Book Review: Nina Garcia's Look Book

Book: Nina Garcia's Look Book: What To Wear For Every Occasion by Nina Garcia. Published in 2010 by Voice. $16.31, Amazon

Pros: If you've ever wondered what to wear to an afternoon garden wedding or how to dress for that job interview, you've probably been able to find some sort of dressing guide to help. But what do you wear to break up with that sweet guy who just isn't right for you? And what about the first day at your new job? How should one dress for a blind date or therapy since both situations will involve people making personal judgments about you (potentially based on your outfit). This is the first current guide I've found that will tell you what to wear when you meet a potential surrogate or chaperon a school dance.

Nina Garcia has thought of everything, and has worked up a great set of guidelines should your life think up something she hasn't. Best of all, women of all shapes, styles and budgets will find the advice helpful. Not one for a dress? Don't worry, Nina suggests a variety of looks for each occasion and usually includes how to work separates or a dress and even what kinds of coats or shoes work best. For added help, Nina offers advice for each situation regarding etiquette and unspoken expectations.

Nina also doesn't make too many hard and fast rules. Yes, society does dictate that you shouldn't wear a bikini to an interview (unless you're interviewing to appear on reality television), but there is plenty room out there for some fashionable rebellion, which Nina highlights throughout the book in a feature called "Rule Breakers We Love" about women who break the rules so well they almost make news ones. As is usual with Nina's books, this one is also littered with fun fashion quotes and trivia.

From the core advice to the tips, tidbits and sidebars, this book is rich with instruction for how to dress yourself, in your style, for any place life may take you.

Cons: This book will have to be updated every decade because as much as Nina tries to stay away from trends, many of these styles will pass. Also, Nina has a habit of referencing designer goods and designers styles. The goods are too expensive for the average reader, and the style of a particular designer can fluctuate drastically from season to season potentially leaving those unfamiliar with a designers "typical" style a bit confused by current offerings.

Also, the travel section with clothing guides for popular destinations is too designer heavy, but perhaps if you can afford those vacations you can afford those clothes.

Overall, a delightful read with few drawbacks.

Favorite Trivia:
  • Casual Friday may have started in the seventies when Levi Strauss was promoting it to sell more khakis.
  • Women couldn't wear pants on the floor in Congress until the nineties.
  • It used to be inappropriate to put on or remove opera gloves in public. Think Gypsy Rose Lee slowly taking off her gloves. Ooh la la!
Favorite Quotes:
  • “You don’t learn style from watching people on the runway. Fashion happens every morning when you wake up.” - Shalom Harlow
  • “The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.” - Marcelene Cox
  • “When you ask people about their clothes, what they do is tell you about their lives.” - Delia Ephron
  • “I’m trying to change the world one sequin at a time.” - Lady Gaga
  • “Isn’t elegance forgetting what one is wearing.” - Yves Saint Laurent


Thanks for the review, that's definitely a helpful book.

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