Review: That Extra Half an Inch

As you may have gathered, I don’t really follow celebrity gossip. If a headline catches my eye while I’m in line at the grocery store, I’ll read it out of curiousity, but my interest goes no further than that. So I don’t know how or when Victoria Beckham became a style icon, and honestly know little more about her than she’s tiny and used to be Posh Spice – but I did know that her book That Extra Half an Inch is supposed to be good, so I picked it up used on the cheap.

The back says that it’s a “revealing and practical book on fashion, beauty, and style.”. The chapters are Jeans & Trousers, Tops, Skirts & Day Dresses, Accessories, Parties, Vacations, Winter, Special Occasions, Pregnancy & Post Pregnancy, Lingerie, Hair & Makeup, and then there’s a short conclusion with a ‘Where to Buy’ list. A lot of material is covered, obviously!

Let’s start with the things I didn’t like:

  • First off, there are an awful lot of pictures of her. In the introduction and the first few chapters, there’s seriously one full page picture for about every three pages. You’re pretty, Vic, but do we really need to see that much of you? This becomes less of an issue later in the book, as more fashion illustrations take over.
  • I found it pretty amusing that in the introduction she states “In most respects I am very ordinary; smaller-boned than average, perhaps, but normal height, normal face, normal hair…”. Which, honestly, is a little ridiculous and almost patronizing to say. To claim to be average sized when she’s that thin (not unhealthily-looking so, but still – she is a slim lady) speaks of a not-quite-firm grip on reality.
  • There’s also a few lines in the denim chapter that read a bit like an ad for her line. Example: “I am very fussy about getting the length right on my jeans which is why dVb offers both varying lengths and a fabulous fit.”
  • And the ‘Where to Buy’ section in the back is very heavily UK based, which means an unfavorable exchange rate and high shipping costs for US readers.

However, those are all relatively small nitpicks and they’re the worst that I came up with. And honestly, I think a bit of tooting ones’ own horn is expected in a book like this. The good far outweighs the bad!

  • She occasionally uses funny or endearing turns of phrase, i.e. “…don’t wear a push-up bra under a tight T-shirt as that really is too obvious. What you should be aiming for is a nice simple line, not trying to hoik your boobs up your nostrils.” I have to admit I giggled when I read that!
  • I absolutely loved that there was a section on tattoos under accessories, and she didn’t pull any of that “they’re oh so tacky” crap. I also love that there’s a section on pregnancy and post pregnancy that seemed realistic and like it had great suggestions (obvs I’m not the one to ask!).

I liked that it walked the line between a “style” book and a “fashion” book. I’m not much into books that talk of fashion as follows: “Every woman should own this, this, and this, and never be too daring with their choices so as to stay classic and chic.” – BORING! Unfortunately, these seem to be the majority. I was a little worried this book would fall into that category, but it doesn’t. It’s more about how to find things that fit, where to look for them, and what her favorites are. She covers the different options under each section without ever getting too preachy; it’s made clear several times that her style tends more towards pared-down looks, but she doesn’t say that’s what everyone must look like. She’s also very good about staying relatively realistic – designer clothing is mentioned, but so are high street type shops. Including Kurt Geiger shoes, which are just gorgeous and shortly afterwards found a pair on eBay at a great price. And I quote “Being a label queen doesn’t necessarily mean you look better.” Vintage shops and thrift stores are mentioned favorably as well.

All in all, it’s nothing groundbreaking but a good book to have. It’s one that will most likely stay on my bookshelf instead of being resold.

Have you read it? What’d you think? What are your favorite fashion and style books?

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4 Responses to “Review: That Extra Half an Inch”

  • Katie says:

    I haven’t read it I actually forgot all about that book. I love VB :) I think shes hilarious and I love her wit.. She is kind of ordinary looking but she makes the most of it. IE starves herself has the best hair/make-up team best clothing and best of everything. But if she didn’t I don’t think she has the natural beauty like a lot of celebs do to make anyone stop in the street and stare. She’s my favourite hehehe. I’m not that into fashion though thats probably why I over looked this book x
    Katie´s last blog ..Pain My ComLuv Profile

  • Alicia says:

    I’m glad you liked it. I can’t really trust the reviews on Amazon…
    Alicia´s last blog ..These are my Confessions… My ComLuv Profile

  • Retro Chick says:

    I have this book and I really liked it.

    I think VB actually has a killer sense of humour that people tend to forget about behind that pout!
    Retro Chick´s last blog ..Brand New Recycling from YSL “New Vintage” My ComLuv Profile

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