The Style Me Vintage book collection has aroused some controversy in the past; while some swear by the previous vintage style source books in the same title, the reviews were mixed. For those who haven't heard about it, this volume is the third in print, and focuses on Clothes while the previous two featured hair and make-up. The buzz for this book launch was beyond prediction, considering how it was written by vintage star stylist Naomi Thompson. I for one was ecstatic to even hear of it, and every retro blog on my list was publishing great reviews it even before the grand launch party which only built up my expectation.
The hardcover has a fabric-like texture that reminds me of my vintage paperbacks a bit and the cheerfulness of the cover is so appealing. The fact that Jeni Yesterday, one of my favourite bloggers, is modelling on the cover and many others in every other page was also a nice surprise.
The book design is very interesting; the different pages and chapters are layed out in a most beautiful way, using fabric and fashion plates as background for photographs and text. After the introduction, the golden rules of vintage shopping are layed out in a few pages. These are standards to live by when buying frocks from yore, or you may very well find yourself disappointed in your purchase soon after you've made it.
The core part that follows highlights day and night looks per decade from the 1920s to the 1980s. These include a shopping list of the must-have items in your closet, catalogue images, model photographs and a summarised explanation of the era's context and how the most popular styles related to it.
There is also further explanation on each type of look and the avant-garde introductions to fashion in each one. This is of key importance to understand the era in full, rather than picking up bits and bobs from photographs and prints.
The final chapter, "Useful Extras", explains some things you're not necessarily versed on when you start wearing vintage and make a world of difference; starting with lingerie and foundation garments and going through swimwear, how to get into your frocks and how to wash, repair and maintain them. These particularly are things you don't necessarily want to learn by trial and error, but the final reference of historically important labels, shops and blogs suggestions are simply a treat.
All in all, Style Me Vintage: Clothes is the best sourcebook you can have at hand when browsing for clothing or before a shopping trip - from what's from when to how to coordinate it, every question you should have is covered in this glossy 112 page book.
Buy Style Me Vintage on Amazon (it's on sale!)