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Review: How to Get Dressed…by Alison Freer

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What a fun read! “You’re joking, right?” I hear you say. Nope! Fun Read.  This is not a home ec textbook on constructing clothes to fit properly! This a savvy young woman telling it like it is in words we all understand. It helps, I supposed, that she is a Hollywood costume designer. She knows both how to achieve perfect fit in clothing–and to fake it for the cameras.

There are many, many great tips that are easy to accomplish if you are willing to either figure in the cost of the small alteration or to just do them yourself. Stop! I know what you are thinking! I hate sewing and don’t want to do it. [Well, “hate” is a bit extreme, but you get my gist, right?]

If, like the author–or like me, you grew up with a relative sewing your clothing so it all fit perfectly, you’ve likely struggled ever since with clothing choices (unless you ended up liking to sew or do alterations). But, thanks to my Mom teaching me over the years, I know this author is RIGHT. Fix it if it can easily, and cost-effectively, be fixed. Otherwise, don’t buy it.

Back in the day, the great department stores, ladies’ dress shops, etc., offered alterations either for free or for a very reasonable fee. They liked having their image protected as style arbiters by having their clientele wear their fashions fitting correctly. Today? Try and find this service unless you are buying a high-end item or a man’s suit!

 

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This image is from the book.

In spite of 56 years of my Mom’s fitting knowledge (don’t laugh–she was a clothing major in college and can even construct a man’s suit!) I still got a few great tips that I won’t share (T.M.I. about yours truly) but if you are my age, these tips will leap off the page at you! Like my cousin, who started life in retail selling with commission, the author knows that “fit” is not size. My cousin once showed me that (at my smallest adult weight, but sadly not today), pants that fit me “right” were the width of a hanger! Oh to be that size again (oh! to have knees that could run and keep the weight off again!).

I enjoyed her debunking of fashion maxims, too! “Never do X…” “Never wear Y…” Very helpful. She also has helpful tips beyond the usual on dry cleaning, hand washing, regular laundry, and on buying and wearing vintage clothing.

Best of all, this is a super-fast read that will make you want to go out and SHOP! Now, who doesn’t love THAT idea?

Perfect for the new graduate!

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This would make a SUPER college graduation gift for the new career woman! Forget the old Dress for Succes book–give this and a huge gift card instead.

Rating

4.0

Rating is for the fun writing style and the practical, real-world friendly tips.

 

How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing by Alison Freer

Want to see what life is like in a lingerie shop like Alison Freer mentions in How To Get Dressed, then read Sima’s Undergarments for Women. Here’s my review from my old blog:

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I’ve long been fascinated by all types of fundamentalism, regardless of the political or religious creed the espouse. Sima’s Undergarments for Women is set in a mostly Orthodox and Hassidic Jewish neighborhood in New York. As the title indicates, Sima sells lingerie–the real stuff that real women wear daily. She fits bras perfectly–altering them when necessary. [Yes, I learned a lot!] The story intermingles her struggle to have children with that of the young woman she takes under her wing as a sort of surrogate daughter. Her stale marriage, a friend’s glorious marriage, all get worked into the story. Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross.

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