Workday Reading

Book Review: Marie Claire Outfit 911

Marie Claire began publishing in France in 1937.  In 2012, they published a book of advice designed to help women dress appropriately for any occasion.  They were kind enough to send me a copy for my review.

Much like the glossy pages of the Marie Claire magazine, Outfit 911, written by contributing editor Joyce Corrigan, is a feast for the eyes.  The book is filled to the covers with lavish photos of beautiful baubles and perfectly tailored pieces.  It’s the kind of thing that you want to read slowly, absorbing each page.

The book instructs women on the best pieces to wear for interviews, dates, concerts and casual weekends running errands.  It breaks down each look into the “elements of the style” so that you can recreate it at home. 

My favorite part of the book are the profiles with well known tastemakers and designers like Christopher Bailey from Burberry, Tim Gunn and Amanda Hearst.  Each profile contains a collage comprised of the interviewee’s “deal makers” and “deal breakers”–the pieces of clothing and jewelry that they cannot live with or live without. 

I also enjoyed the quotes from fashion luminaries like Sophia Loren and Coco Chanel, and the strict but loving language that Corrigan using to teach important fashion lessons.  My favorite of which was from Sarah Easley, “If you’re old enough to have a real job, you’re too old to wear denim at night.” Point taken.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, though I think it will take many readings before I absorb it all.  My one complaint was that the book uses the same runway and editorial photos as the magazine.  And while they are beautiful, such designer splendor isn’t a reality for those of us in the lower price points. I’d love to wear Dior dresses and OdlR suits to work, I can’t.  But if you can get past that this book is instructive but not accessible, you’ll love it.  (It took two reading before I could get past all of the designer duds.)

All in all, I think that Marie Claire: Outfit 911 (Target, $17.50) would make a great addition to your library.  It’s the kind of book that you’ll devour on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  And it will cause you to think about your closet in a whole new way.