I purchased this book because I enjoyed Roetzel's other book, Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style (also available as Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion). With "Ladies", he and Claudia Piras have tried to do for women what Gentleman's Guide did for men, but the effort falls short. The attempt to encompass what it means, from a sartorial perspective, to be a lady or gentleman is much easier with a man than a woman. Gentleman's Guide is clearly trained on the early 20th century English gentleman, the creature who set the standards in men's dress that continue today. Women's fashion, even for real ladies, has no such narrow scope of to fall back on. Moreover, whereas men essentially dress the same regardless of the look they are trying to achieve, there is a wide divergence in women's style between the attempt to look refined and the attempt to look sexual. So we get as examples in this book everyone from Lady Margaret Thatcher to Coco Chanel to Madonna--clearly nothing timeless and enduring to stake out a look. Of course, women have the problem of not being able to pull off at 50 the look they could at 20, which men don't necessarily have (as long as they aren't dressing in jeans and t-shirts). Also, by touching on elements such as tobacco and hunting, Gentleman's Guide has just a hint of boyish conspiracy that is necessary for its success. Artful winking conspiracy is missing from Ladies, which, judging by what's on newstands everywhere, would have needed a section on ladies' sex to be comparable, although this would have debased the book as well.
Objectly, Ladies is not done quite as well as Gentleman's Guide. The graphic design is not quite as imaginative, the text slightly less interesting, the photos appear to be more stock and magazine shots. Conceptually, the book is a mistake: whereas a large book, a sturdy tome of timeless advice, appeals to the male psyche, women by their nature will always gravitate toward fads and the periodical format to see what styles they should follow.
Probably, Ladies is better as a gift selection for a man clueless of women's wear than for a woman interested in clothes and style. Not sorry I purchased it at its price, though.