Decline Designs

Review: Eccentric Glamour

April 29th, 2009 by Michelle

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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