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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2001
A fab book containing all you need to know about recognising quality clothes and accessories - really useful even if you don't shop vintage!
Weil describes the different types of fabrics, tells you what details to look out for and how to care for your stuff. She also goes through the various types of secondhand shops and what you're likely to find in them. The book insists a lot on designer names, but the information can be applied to no-brand stuff as well.
What she doesn't do is give you an in-depth history of fashion - although there is a summary of the main silhouettes of the 20th century, decade by decade. She also won't tell you how to integrate your vintage finds with your everyday wardrobe.
All in all, it's a really good foundation book - everything your mum should have taught you about buying good clothes! And there's a list at the back of recommended brick-and-mortar and online shops.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 1999
I don't know why somebody didn't do this sooner. On top of her amazing advice (how to tell whether an unlabeled vintage item is worth the asking price, for example), Christa Weil is hilarious. I completely enjoyed this, and will refer back to it as long as I have the strength to shop! Thanks!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 1999
This book, which has just been featured in In Style is the ONLY book you need to walk into a vintage clothing store empty-handed and come out with an arm load of great buys. It teaches you HOW to shop instead of where to shop. Hollywood stylists have long known these secrets, it's time someone told the rest of us! Thank you, Christa Weil.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 1999
This book teaches far more than what its title indicates. The fine art of trolling for bargains in the secondhand shop may be its focus, but I found this book to be one of the most thorough all-around clothing style guides I have ever read. It imparts much wisdom on such topics as fabric and tailoring quality, proper fit, and figure enhancement. And it does so with plenty of wit and good humor.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 1999
This book teaches you what your mother never told you about how to recognize quality fabrics and clothing construction. I always knew that more expensive clothing looked better and hung better, but now I know why and how to find it at bargain prices. Invaluable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2007
Everything that Christa Weil writes in this book is backed up by examples and facts. Packed with valuable information, this is as thorough and informative as a textbook and as well researched as an academic paper whilst being easy to read and entertaining.

I feel as if she would surely wither me with a scornful glance were she to see a garment of mine not hitting that point of the shoulder exactly, missing a lining or sporting a moth hole! Just because it's vintage (or consigned), she explains why there's no excuse to part with your hard-earned cash for anything less than a well-made and great-fitting garment.

This is also quite timely now that there's something of a backlash against dirt-cheap throwaway fashion (also helped me spot a cheapscate detail I'd otherwise have missed on a very expensive desingner garment).

She certainly knows her stuff! Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 1999
Absolutely brilliant illustrations by Chloe March !
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on 11 June 2011
This books content is great and really useful - even if you don't buy a lot of secondhand clothes. It is really useful in recognising quality and how to care for garments. However, think twice about giving this book as a gift. The execution is just appalling. There are some simple line drawings in the book, which are okay but not terribly exciting. Paper quality and especially print quality are poor. My book looks like a bad photocopy. It's bound in some flimsy gloss paper that is warped already in its new state. Even just reading the book is quite difficult as the print quality os so poor. A shame, as this is really an extremely well-written book.
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on 30 August 2009
An excellent book for anyone interested in fabric and how clothes are made, unfortunately the sections on second-hand shopping are probably of more use to it's intended U.S.A audience. However I still enjoyed the book very much and now I will know a well-made second-hand item if I am lucky enough to find one! For anyone second-hand clothes shopping in London or indeed any other big city this book would be a very helpful purchase.
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on 10 June 2011
Disappointed with this book. I got it for my wife, hoping for a glossy "coffee table" book, since the subject matter is a very visual one. What I got is a purely black and white book with no photographs, just some illustrations.
To be fair, I have not read the text (since it's a gift) so I can't comment on that.
I'm sure the text is very good but be warned - no photos!
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