Closet Confidential (Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way)

7 years ago

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Closet Confidental.

If you're following fashion blogs, and you aren't already reading Daddy Likey, then you are missing out. Fashion can be "serious business" (lighten up, it's just fashion!), but Winona keeps it smart, hysterical, and grounded at the same time.

Three of my favorite recurring columns from Daddy Likey are Don't Show-cha your Chocha, where desperately-needed pants have gone missing, Inadvertently Ask Daddy Likey, with the answers to the Google results that brought readers to Daddy Likey (haven't we all looked at our stats and wondered "why did you Google that?"), and Martin, the shiny-object-coveting raccoon contributor.

Not only busy searching for models in need of pants and writing haiku about haute couture, Winona has her first book, Closet Confidential (Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way) out this fall. I was sent an advance copy by Sasquatch Books, her publisher. (Winona's from Oregon, which is where I spent my four undergrad years, so holla to the PacNW!)

I love buying style books -- I've got Posh Spice, Hadley Freeman (who co-wrote Posh's book), and Simon Doonan (creative director of Barney's) on my shelf. That said, that's where they've been living: on my shelf (Posh is wedged between Amy Sedaris and Julie Powell, so that tells you about my book-life). I haven't actually cracked any of them yet, whereas I've been carrying Closet Confidential with me, reading it on the train, reading it at my desk (sshhh) since it came in the mail.

Closet Confidential particularly stands out from the crowd of style books because it's full of good humor, good advice, and stories from her own fashion past, where colored jeans can save your life, a dog-hair covered fleece jacket ruins the best traffic court outfit ever, and a rainstorm can prove a "I don't need a bra, I don't!" speech totally and completely wrong. It's funny, it's personal, and it's relatable.

Some of my favorite sections:

- The A (for Ankle Strap) to Z (for Zipper) of Shoes, featuring "D is for Don't Get Pressured into Buying $1000 Shoes". Because, after all, if you have to choose to spend $1000 on a single pair of shoes or on a trip to Europe... as Winona says, "I'm getting on the plane barefoot."

- The Work It chapter, with practical and fun advice on dressing for work, as "there's a big difference between having an awesome wardrobe and having awesome outfits to wear to work", quoth Winona. The book is even dedicated to those of us with a full closet and nothing to wear. (This book is dedicated to ME.)

- The chapter on packing/dressing for travel, the gym, and the beach. All three tricky situations, all three handled very well. I know I've fallen victim to the suitcase full of "I'll totally wear this on my trip!" as well as the "oh, these shoes are totally broken in, let's go walk around Pari-- aaand now I have blisters" trap. And we all know that it's the day you wear the ratty t-shirt that you're going to run into someone you know at the gym, right?

- The love for cardigans and peacoats and the disdain for suede's finicky nature. I hear you loud and clear.

I'd particularly recommend this book for teenagers or twenty-somethings -- someone who may be thinking about college in the next year or two, or someone who's shifting out of college mode and needs an extra bump of confidence in her wardrobe for the new professional world.

Closet Confidential is available from as well as your own local booksellers and libraries; you might even want to salute Oregon's favorite fashion blogger by picking it up from Powell's Books in Portland.

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