With my background in libraries and information services, I have always loved discovering new books on colour and style. Here is my pick of the style guides I turn to regularly for ideas and inspiration.
I first discovered Colour Me Beautiful when I came across Carole Jackson’s ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ book when I began working in public libraries. The original book introduced the concept of the 4 colour seasons, Spring, Summer Autumn and Winter. The revised books by Mary Spillane, Pat Henshaw and Veronique Henderson expanded the colour concept further and there are now 24 tonal colour palettes. Colour Me Beautiful books are the classic texts on how to dress for your body shape, style personality and colouring. Discovering the Colour Me Beautiful books was the start of my lifelong interest in colour and personal styling.
Although fashion magazines are great for seeing popular trends there are two style books I reread regularly and the advice always seems current. Alexandra Fullerton’s, ‘How to Dress: Secret Styling Tips from a Fashion Insider’ includes chapters on fashion versus style, developing your signature style, essential items, how to shop and secret styling tricks. With illustrations by fashion illustrator Bijou Karman this is a book I return to time and time again.
Anna Murphy’s book ‘How Not to Wear Black: Find Your Style, Create Your Forever Wardrobe’ explores how to choose fashion which is right for you, how to look stylish, enjoy fashion and be true to yourself.
The internet is, of course, a fascinating resource and having just completed FutureLearn’s online course on Royal Fashion History I’ve found it so interesting to see how historical influences on fashion are still there in trends we see today. On my wish list of books to read are Angela Kelly’s book ‘The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe’ and ‘Our Rainbow Queen’ by Sali Hughes. The Queen’s use of colour and enduring style is a fascinating topic.
Image by Eea Ikeda on Unsplash