Book Review: Eccentric Glamour

Eccentric Glamour has been a fun book to carry around, but be prepared to be disappointed whenever you have to stop reading it.My friend Jessica and I had breakfast the other day when she passed me this book across the table.

“You have to read this!” she said.

So I started reading it Thursday, and I couldn’t stop. The first line of the book:

“Why wouldn’t you want to be one of those fabulous people, the life enhancers, the people who look interesting and smell luscious and who dare to be gorgeously more fascinating than their neighbors?”

The book is written by Simon Doonan, who is the creative director at Barneys New York and instantly becomes the reader’s fabulous gay best friend with his knowledge and his tone, respectively.

I seemed to giggle every four or five pages, which went between ridiculous stories, sound advice, and interviews of fellow “eccentric glamour”ous people.

While the author does drops a lot of designer names (and I find my rural Maine self surprisingly understanding some of the references), his advice will actually save anyone a lot of money as they go on a quest towards a stylish life.

Be an eccentric glamour. By owning your own personal style (he boils it down to three possibilities with some wiggle room: socialite, existentialist, and gypsy), things like shopping and putting together an outfit become easier as you are able to say “This is me” and “This isn’t me”. This way, you don’t waste time and money buying things that won’t work for you.

Don’t be a slave to trends. When you are going to wear something, really own it. He uses his mother as an example of really owning her 1940s look into the 1960s, when an Avon lady came by and tried to ‘make her over’. The result was disasterous. What made his mother look good in reality was that she cared about her appearance and made choices that worked for her, even if they didn’t go with the latest trends. Her look was not dated (she wasn’t stuck in it) but signature (she had perfected it).

Don’t keep buying new stuff. Among the behaviors advocated are to have one handbag that becomes your signature accessory and chosing a shade of lipstick (and buying a case of said lipstick) when you turn thirty. Sounds cheaper then maintaining collections to me!

If you don’t think you have a personal style (or just want to hone the one you have), I think this is a great book to entertain you and get you started at the same time. It’ll show you how you don’t have to spend money to have great style, and how to own what you already have on hand.

Here’s hoping you had a gorgeous Independence Day!

Nicole Ouellette
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she's not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

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