Review: The Accessory Handbook by Alison Freer


Let me start off with a few disclaimers that I’m sure my 20-something daughter will vouch for:

  1. I am not stylish.
  2. I am among those librarians, the dionsaurs of the field, who do NOT own either a cardigan or cats-eye glasses.
  3. I do not do “cute” except for cat t-shirts and Snoopy t-shirts  for at-home wear only.
  4. My most frequent accessory is cat hair. Since we have three cats, I have hair for every color pallate.
  5. I haven’t purchased a complete outfit, with accessories, shoes and all, since 2003.

“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” (Steel Magnolias)

Now for the great news: Alison Freer can fix all of this! In her first book, How To Get Dressed, which I reviewed here, she explained how to pick clothes that are right for you. And, even better, she told you how in a fun way. This gal has both style and panache. She also uses words that non-fashionistas can understand.

This time around she’s addressing how to finish the look–that is how to accessorize yourself. From scarves to hats to purses to shoes to jewelry and beyond– it’s all in this wonderful little book with lots of great illustrations. But wait! There’s more! You also get instructions on how to clean, store and even repair the items! There’s help with colors,  with textures, with…..well EVERYTHING to do with accessories of all kind.

Take beanies. Now, I don’t know about you, but beanies really don’t hit my fashion radar. But, should I see one suddenly that I love…..she’s got me covered! “How to wear a beanie like a cool girl” is right there on page 108. Read it and rock it!

THE #1 Tip For Me

Photos: purse/gretnagreen, pad/Target

Page 131 will probably help my blood pressure for the rest of my life! Truth. I always thought my purse strap wouldn’t stay on my shoulder because I have narrow shoulders. NO! It’s because the folks who make purses don’t CARE if they stay there! Well, well, well. Never fear, Alison is here! And her tip is cheap and practical–a hunk of clear, self-adhesive no-slip shoe insert! Blew. Me. Away. As soon as the budget allows, I will be purchasing some of these! I’ll buy multiples because she knows her stuff so I know it will work.

See? Practical information ANY woman can use! But best of all? Her favorite shoes are….wait for it…yes…yes….yes… Velvet Smoking Slippers! Soul Mate! Don’t believe me? See page 155–read it and weep rejoice!

A Suggestion For Alison

Now if she’d only write a book titled Dressing and Accessorizing the plus-sized, middle-aged woman with no neck, not much budget and nowhere to wear it all. THAT would be a best seller! She’d get her own Monthly Clothing Box deal She’d have fans and groupies! She’d be the India Hicks, the Dominio Magazine, of middle-aged cool. Sigh. She’s got a damned sweet gig now as a costume designer in Hollywood. Isn’t that always the way?

The Accessory Handbook by Alison Freer


4 thoughts on “Review: The Accessory Handbook by Alison Freer

  1. This sounds great! the purse strap tip is good. I agree that if someone could focus specifically on middle age women it would be GREAT. The other day I was reading comments about Sophie, Duchess of Wessex. She is my age — 53. Various young commenters were dissing that her dresses fit too close, etc. I had to think — they have no idea what it is like with body changes after age 50!

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