Be yourself

fear and clothing by Cintra Wilson

I really really really really really like Fear and Clothing. I like how it explores the different ways that Americans dress. I like that Cintra Wilson tries to reason out why people in different parts of the country dress differently. I like her feminism, I like her ideas of weaponized femininity, I like her respect for Valerie Steele, I like her attitude towards Iowans.

What I didn’t like was how the structure of the book sort of falls apart at the end – why are there so many photos of Seattle fashion if you’re not going to have a chapter on Seattle? Why couldn’t she have talked directly to more people who lived in each place she visited, who live with that fashion day in and day out? Did she have to be so mean towards Salt Lake City?

But mostly, I like her ideas that fashion is a way of expressing who *you* are and your fashion should be unique and different. Clothes really are fun and do communicate a lot about who you are (or who you want to be). You are unique. Why shouldn’t your clothes be?

Recommended.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

how to be parisian wherever you are

How to be Parisian Wherever You Are is silly and fun and a bit of a joke. The glamour and mystery of Parisians has been dissected to death, and glamour only works when there’s mystery. This book repackages the style and attitude of Parisians as something not to be taken too seriously – and that’s the best bit. I enjoyed it.