Posts Tagged ‘review’

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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Review: 80%20 Lily Wedges

Also, kind of a daily outfit post. Ahem.

After seeing the Demoiselles’ post on their experiences with the 80%20 Lily wedge, I knew I had to get a pair. I’d been eyeing them anyways and had no idea they were on sale at Amazon! So I ordered them before we went to Chicago and then they were here when we got back. Yay!

They are just as vibrant in person and oh so pretty. As you can see, they’re so shiny they were reflecting light on to the wall! I was immediately complimented on them upon walking in to work (I had a short shift – 4 hours – covering for another girl’s play rehearsal, so I figured it’d be the perfect time to test them out!).

I wore them with my Hot Topic shirt (the skulls and the words “search and destroy” are in a red-based orange) and an orange snake bracelet I got at work, plus my linen ruffled Target skirt.

No lie, as soon as I went to take the photo, the sun went behind the clouds and the wind started blowing (hence the weirdness in the ruffles on my skirt). Ah well. You get the idea.

Now for the tough part, the comfort. I was a little apprehensive about this, admittedly, hence only wearing them for a short shift at first. I have to say, they surpassed my expectations! I wore them four hours straight with minimal soreness, although they were starting to rub a bit on my left heel – something I’ll put a band-aid on before I wear them next. I can definitely see what Birdiee was talking about with the toe box being a little low, the tops of my big toes were rubbing but not enough to give me any pain, and the toe area was wide enough (a huge, huge plus!). They didn’t make my back hurt and within 30 minutes of taking them off, my feet didn’t feel like I’d been wearing heels at all, let alone for any length of time.

So, all in all, they’re probably an 8/10 for me! Could be more comfortable, and probably not something I’ll wear all day at work on a regular basis (because of the comfort issue), but they’re still lovely shoes and the color is fantabulous. They’re no longer on sale at Amazon.com, but I’d say they’re worth full-price. There’s some left on Endless for $75, so you might check and see if they have your size! (psst, I ordered a half-size up and mine fit great.)

And in other news:

This is the bracelet I was wearing. Isn’t it freaking adorable?! Something that came in at work, the buyer for the store didn’t want them for some reason but I got one anyways direct from the seller. I think I will name him Roger.

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Review: Eccentric Glamour

So, I believe I mentioned Eccentric Glamour and that I liked it, but never gave a full-fledged review. It is, of course, fabulous. It covers everything a girl needs to make the transformation from drab to fab – and of course Simon is HILARIOUS. Some of his statements are less than PC and will make a few readers roll their eyes – and I personally could have done without the chapter on weight loss. Really, Simon? Isn’t it much more eccentrically glamourous to say “eff you” to societal standards of scary skinniness? (alliteration for the win! *cough*)

But I digress. The book starts with a rallying cry in the prologue of “say no to ho!”, where Simon laments the pornification of fashion and style nowadays. He wants to see more women showing off their personal style in the best way possible – eccentric glamour!

The book is a bit odd in that it isn’t a typical style manual (although, those books usually put me to sleep, so score one for Simon). It starts out with the three categories of glamorous eccentrics – Socialites, Gypsies, and Existentialists – which sounds like an awfully small number, but it works. For the record, I’m firmly in the Existentialist camp. He explains how to realize which group the reader would fall into and what the basics of each style is. From here, the book goes on a wonderfully meandering path – how to guard your self esteem, the meaning of your clothing, handbags, joie de vivre, careers for glamorous eccentrics, etc, with profiles of bona fide glamorous eccentrics in between each and every chapter. Simon liberally sprinkles anecdotes, including stories of his family and his mother Betty (who sounds like she was quite the character!), and is incredibly funny. Some of his advice may seem a bit extreme at first – I remember the first time I read this book, back in November or so, when I read of his distaste for jeans and his advice to throw them out, how boring he finds them, I balked a little bit. Funnily enough, six months later, I very rarely wear jeans and only have one pair! I do feel that the book kind of loses its steam towards the last half of the book – it starts to feel less cohesive and more like a series of short essays than one comprehensive work. This is, coincidentally, where the weight-loss chapter is. Each of the times I’ve read EG, I always get sort of bored near the end.

Overall, though, it is a GREAT book with a ton of style inspiration and food for thought (my copy now has several bookmarks in it of places/people to look up!). Definitely worth picking up – especially because it was just released in paperback a month or two ago! So what are you waiting for?! Go order it! While you’re at it, be sure to check out Simon’s website as well – the Random Scribblings page is particularly amusing!

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