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Four Fashion Books I Tore Through During Quarantine

Quarantine has forced us all to slow down and take a good, hard look at our lives and routines. Personally, I’ve realized that creating a sense of normalcy was one of the most important ways to anchor myself mentally - especially since I couldn’t leave the house. This meant getting dressed (wrote an article on this, of course), selling vintage clothing online, talking to friends, cooking, doing yoga, and maintaining my morning and night time routines. 

If you grew up a voracious reader but lost it somewhere around 8th grade, now is the time to tap back into it. Did you win the Read-a-Thon three years in a row? No? Just me? Well that’s the kind of attitude that’s been peeking its head out, emerging from buried elementary school memories and settling next to me on my nightstand where a stack of books is currently sitting. I’ll read anything from nonfiction to self-improvement, romance or mystery novels, but my nightstand currently boasts an impressive stack of fashion books. 

There has been a crazy amount of pressure on both sides to conform to two different camps of people in quarantine. We’ll call them the relaxers (watching every single episode of Queer Eye on Netflix within a week, hello!) and the busy bees (“I’ve taken 10 online courses during quarantine, what have YOU done?”). Though I myself have swung to both extremes I’ve landed on a happy medium - relaxing by tearing through some of the very best fashion reads I’ve been able to get my hands on. There’s nothing quite like a paperback book so here are my top picks. Get ready to write these down for a major dose of fashion inspiration.

  1. 1. GirlBoss

    Also a Netflix original (sadly one season only), this book written by Sofia Amoruso has become the holy grail for me. Amoruso begins with her story as a whirlwind of success from selling vintage on eBay. As a vintage reseller on Poshmark, these few chapters are EVERYTHING. I constantly find myself rereading her tales of late-night packaging in her small-apartment to sitting on her bed with a laptop marketing the business on social media. Amoruso walks the reader through her journey as an eBay seller to the head of Nasty Gal, a full-fledged company, and offers golden nuggets of career wisdom along the way. As someone who is currently making the journey from reseller to career-searcher, this transition caters seamlessly to all of my questions about career moves and interview skills. Sprinkle some fashion doodles and kitschy quotes, and you’ve got

    #GirlBoss by Sofia Amoruso.

  2. 2. Overdressed

    Elizabeth Cline came to my Survey of the Fashion Industry class to speak on sustainability and it’s clear that the woman knows what she’s talking about. Coming from a self-assigned “outsider” perspective, she lays out the nitty-gritty secrets of waste, happening both in the industry and in individual closets, due to the wrong mindsets American women have when it comes to consumption. If you’re planning on a job in fashion post-graduation, the book breaks down the facts and numbers that you’ll need to be able to give input on sustainability in a meeting at work. 

    Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline

  3. 3. The Curated Closet

    Written by Anuschka Rees, this book touts the idea that your closet needs to be built on your own style - not what somebody else tells you to wear. If you’re into self-help books, "The Curated Closet" takes a fashion spin on the classic self-help narrative allowing you to take a deep-dive into what your style is and why it is the way it is. Rees will walk you through clothing tips, organization hacks, fresh ways to approach shopping and the best methods to free yourself of the idea that style can be quickly and categorically defined. Your clothing should be unique to you. This book will give you the vocabulary to articulate not only your outfits but your words too. If you find yourself floundering while trying to explain to the dressing room attendant at Anthropologie why the trendy sheer embroidered duster you tried on just doesn’t feel right, "The Curated Closet" is for you. 

    The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe by Anuschka Rees

  4. 4. Instastyle

    Utilizing social media, influencers and digital content creation is the future of marketing. Tessa Barton, better known as @tezza on Instagram for her insanely creative photos, presets and 6-foot-tall frame, breaks down how to navigate the new, emerging world of Instagram marketing and blogging. Trust me when I tell you this isn’t “Social Media for Dummies” - everything from photography to scouting locations to filters to hashtags is covered in this up-to-date book. Add retro-inspired, purposefully dust-filtered square photos into the mix and this book functions as both a guide to a bomb Instagram feed and a pretty coffee table book.

    InstaStyle: Curate Your Life, Create Stunning Photos, and Elevate Your Instagram Influence

Maybe you've never considered yourself a reader, or you're more than aware of how being forced to read aloud in middle school led to a less-than-friendly relationship with books. The beauty of leisure reading is that there are books for every single topic you could possibly imagine. Fashion books are usually stunningly illustrated, and I barely scratch the surface with my list of four but trust me when I say they're good ones. Not doing anything in the next few days? Hop onto Amazon and pick up a copy!