Book Review: Closet Confidential

closetconfidentialWinona Dimeo-Ediger brings us Closet Confidential: Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way, a witty look at how to dress, and how to creatively mix up wardrobe pieces you already have.

Winona is a blogger (Daddy Likey) and a regular contributor to National Geographic. Her writing style is natural and like-able, with lots of humor peppered in. I may even argue a bit too much humor. I kinda felt like I was reading: sentence – sentence – joke – sentence – sentence – wisecrack – sentence… you get the picture. I could have gone even a whole paragraph without a silly quip and still enjoyed her writing. Her voice is also mature. If her age is accurate on her blog, I’m quite surprised.

And while I’m mentioning what I did not like about Closet Confidential, there was probably only one more thing. I found the layout of the book hard to follow at time. Sections I thought were finished continued a page later after being interrupted by an anecdote which could have waited a page – or a paragraph.

closetconfiNow that we have my little quibbles out of the way, I will say this book did inspire me to pull my clothing out of my closet and rehang it. This way I could take stock of what I had, what I had forgotten about, and what “went together” that I may not have thought about before. After finishing the book I was also determined to wear my black boots the following day – and built an outfit around them just to prove I could now make them “work” with an outfit other than jeans. (See – in the photo? I don’t own leggings, so don’t go there. If you politely ask why, I might just tell you.)

I enjoyed a WHOLE chapter about underwear, since that is my niche. And underwear advice is revisited when discussing athletic wear – hurrah for the sports bra! I would argue, however, that your underthings need not be of the same style as what you are wearing on top of them. Even if you are a SAHM with a stained TShirt, a sexy black lace bra may do wonders in how you feel about yourself. (And if that is you, throw away the stained Tshirt immediately unless you are painting today.)

I like that there is a bit about purses, accessories and swimsuits. And LOVE that there is NOT a huge focus put on figure types. This book also has a flap in front and back – which can act as a bookmark so you don’t have to scrounge for a Walgreens receipt in your purse when you need to force yourself to stop reading momentarily.

Here is a part of the book that made me laugh – from the ABCs of shoes: O is for “Oh my god! I love your shoes!” and other things a man will never say to you.

Here is a piece of advice from this book you can use today: Cream lace camisole + Brown long-sleeved cotton T-shirt + Blue cashmere cardigan = Weekend getaway chic. Long hot-pink tank top + Shorter black tank top + Gray boyfriend sweater = Movie-ready.

The problem with most fashion advice in print or on TV – for me – is that it focuses so much on layering and I live in Central Florida. It is the first week of December with a high of 83 degrees. A woman can’t wear a cute cami with a cute blouse and a cardigan and 3 skinny belts without sweating up a storm! We only need a pea coat for those 6 days that it is 45 degrees. And just once, I wish fashion designers would realize it RAINS in the SUMMER, and raincoats are HOT. I need something to protect from rain that I can wear when it is 93 degrees outside. — But none of that is Winona’s fault. I can use much of her layering advice and substitute the top layer with a very light cardigan or button down blouse and wear it Dec-Feb.

So Winona, keep writing. And if you need an idea for your next book, write it on Florida fashion. You can come visit and I’ll take you to meet The Mouse. Mock my flip flops all you want, but when it is 103 degrees for 10 weeks straight, you’ll wear them too – and you just might stop buying black cardigans!

(P.S. I’d like to congratulate Sam Trout on his great artwork throughout this book! The drawings are spot-on and tie everything together nicely.)

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