This book is fantastic! It's personal, visually rich and emotionally satisfying. The author, Stacy London, takes nine women of different ages, sizes and ethnicities and radically transforms their appearances. However, they don't just dress better; they all seem to glow - as if they'd discovered something amazing about themselves.
The most striking transformation is that of a 57-year-old executive from Silicon Valley who looks like a mature tech nerd. Initially, she is wearing mom jeans, a saggy cardigan and has a platinum mullet. By the end of her chapter, though, she is drop-dead gorgeous! She looks so chic in a velvet suit, bold jewelry and a modern short haircut. (She also looks about forty pounds lighter just by dressing differently.)
The author works with all different clothing budgets, too. The Silicon Valley womn is steered toward designer suits while in the 19-year-old UT student's makeover shot, she's wearing straight-leg jeans, a fitted blazer and edgy boots. There's also a plus-size African American woman who goes from frumpy to chic. Then, a breast cancer survivor has a whole different set of specific body issues, so she comes to look sexy, feminine and comfortable. There's also a tiny (4'11") 26-year-old who goes from wispy and faded to having a real presence, a zing; her hair color also changes to a deeper, richer tone which really brings out her facial features.
One chapter transforms a plus-size 39-year-old who is trapped in Mommy Syndrome - subsuming herself in her family - and dressing only in black. The author pulls her from her black clothing doldrums into a tailored career mom look. Another participant has issues with her extreme height. She's 5'11" and curvy, yet she almost fades into her "before" photo background. She absolutely comes alive with fitted, colorful clothing and a good haircut. Then, there's the Missouri redhead who also retreats into all black. The author styled her, so her delicate features shined. Finally, there's a cute 48-year-old divorcee who is ready to jump back into the dating pool, but first must overcome her addiction to blah-black and wrap herself in colors that really flatter her and make her look about fifteen years younger.
While the tone of this book is similar to Stacy London's approach on her TV show, "What Not to Wear," this book adds something more. There's a gentleness and a depth. Stacy shares her own early struggles with psoriasis, a visible chronic skin condition, which makes it easy to understand how she oozes empathy for so many other women and their struggles with self-perception and style. This book feels luxurious; the pages are glossy, the pictures abound, there's so much depth and careful analysis that one can reread at will so as to understand the approach to each style situation. The actual layout - fonts, insets - are so visually pleasing, too.
This is a must-have book for any woman who wants to be true to herself and her style!