Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Nothing to Wear? Purple dress!

First let's get some photos - here's what I wore at school today, a very old purple dress that I've threatened to throw out many times, with pink jeggings and a silver knit cardigan/bolero:

The reason I've kept it through the years is that I thought it was one of my best colours - now I'm not so sure anymore. Or maybe my eyes have changed? Do you think this colour suits me?

I'm also wearing another new bracelet, a gold one, the lower one at the right side of the photo!

Now to the book review:

The book is called Nothing to Wear by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo. The authors are presenting a method called Visual Therapy that guides you through exercises that will determine your style type, help you edit your wardrobe, filling in the gaps and pull it all together.

First chapter of the book is dedicated to determining the problems with your wardrobe and finding your style type. They list 5 common symptoms, that many women will recognize and then they give a diagnosis. Then an exercise follows where you write down your age group, body type, lifestyle and arena.

They only operate with three different body types, six types of lifestyles, four arenas and five style types. That is one of the books shortcomings. It clearly reveals to me that the authors only work with a limited number of client types in their business.

The book carries on with a test to determine your style type. It's a multiple choice test, 8 questions,each with 5 answers to choose from. From this test you can categorize yourself as either Classic, Chic, Whimsical, Bohemian or Avant-garde, or a combination of categories. Again this system has it's limits, some questions don't have answers I can identify with.

The first chapter finishes with a style statement form to fill in. The idea of getting it down on paper is great.

Second chapter is about editing your wardrobe. The idea of buying matching hangers for all your clothes is ridiculous, clothes are very different and need very different types of hangers. They justify it with the clarity it brings when all is hanging at the same level. They also suggest that you buy a collapsible rack to use when you go through your clothes. I don't have that much clothes - but for someone with a large walk in style closet it might be necessary. There are other helpful hints like: Get pen and paper ( they use half a page on this!), a full-length mirror, a babysitter... Pretty much common sense!

The actual sorting of the clothes is done by asking three questions: Do I love it? Is it flattering? Does it represent me, and is this the image I want to portray? Particularly the last question is hard to answer if you don't have your style type determined.

After editing out any inappropriate items (according to your style statement) from your wardrobe you may have gaps, and filling them in can be tricky. Sometimes what you think you need isn't the answer. There has to be harmony between what they call the cake and the frosting. With half my style type being Avant-garde (which I think should have been named Minimalist after reading their interpretation of Avant-garde) I'm having a hard time imagining an Avan-garde piece of frosting...

The authors also suggest a capsule wardrobe based on a three piece suit. Who wears a suit? Not the Lady at the cash register, or the hairdresser, or the kindergarten teacher...  The same goes for other items on the list. They mainly focus on business, casual and dressy looks - again very limited.

As for age appropriateness the only advice they give is to temper your style with a bit of Classic or Chic if your style is either Whimsical, Bohemian or Avant-garde. There's no mentioning at what age one might start thinking about tempering with Classic or Chic... and I absolutely hate that they define the face/look of fifty as subtle and past stilettos!

Chapter four is about pulling it all together, and is pretty much about taking photos of yourself in different outfits - what a lot of bloggers do everyday. Having a look book in your closet is a great idea that will save time in the morning for many!

Last chapter is about keeping up the good work, reviewing your style regularly and cleaning your clothes.

For many women this will be a great help, but I can't help feeling like a "difficult customer" - not fitting in any of their style types. I would really have liked more style options.

I would have liked some suggestions on how to dress in the different styles for different climates (how to do Chic in Florida vs. Oregon, summer and winter).

I would have liked suggestions for more capsules - for different lifestyles, and maybe different age groups... with less emphasis on appropriateness and more on opportunity!

 Last but not least, for something called Visual Therapy there's an awful lot of text!

In other words: I'm not impressed.


  1. Very helpful review, thank you, Kaffesoester. Those quizzes always pull me up short too - there aren't enough categories, or they're too narrow, or something!

    1. Thank you Patti, I'm glad I'm not alone here!

  2. I think the color of the dress suits you great! The outfit would be better with either a white cardigan on top or a bright color. ;)

    1. Thank you very much Joni! I don't have much white in my wardrobe - I'm having trouble finding the right shade - but I do like the idea of a bright cardigan!

  3. I've come across similar concepts as this book by consistently reading a wide variety of blogs. I do think the color of the dress suits you and I love the silver bolero!

    1. Thank you so much Terri! In my opinion many bloggers do a better job than these two boys. I'm also a big fan of Trinny and Susannah. Anyway, I guess the purple dress lives a little longer...

  4. I love your bracelets, specially the blue one !
    Please, check out my blog and tell me what you think :

    1. Thank you Luna Tiger! I just visited your blog - I love it! Can I sign up to follow you somewhere? You have so many amazing outfits, and I love the way you use all the pictures - very inspirational!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you very Megan! I'm working hard to get a nice collection together.

  6. Hi Tine, I definitely think you could wear purple, but I think bright colors serve you better. I love you new member in your bracelet collection, which is very impressive! Best,

  7. Thank you so much Anna! Someone suggested a bright cardigan and I think that's what I'll do. Can a girl ever have too many bracelets?

  8. I like the purple but think the fabric is dulling it down a bit -- I think you may need "brighter" via color or shine. However, I love the review and hey, you're not a difficult customer, just a discerning one!

  9. Thank you again Vix! I think I'll try to find a bright cardigan or jacket and see if it changes my feelings about it. Being discerning suits me fine!