Book Review: How To Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing

by Gio

how to get dressed

Title: How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing
Author: Alison Freer
Pages: 256
Price: paperback, $13,53; kindle, $12,36

Costume designer Alison Freer’s styling kit is a magical bag of tricks, built to solve every single wardrobe malfunction on earth. TV and film productions wait for nothing, so her solutions have to work fast. In How to Get Dressed, Alison distills her secrets into a fun, comprehensive style guide focused on rethinking your wardrobe like a fashion expert and making what’s in your closet work for you. She provides real-world advice about everything style-related, including:
• Making every garment you own fit better
• Mastering closet organization
• The undergarments you actually need
• The scoop on tailors and which alterations are worth it
• Shopping thrift and vintage like a rockstar
Instead of repeating boring style “rules,” Alison breaks the rules and gets real about everything from bras to how to deal with inevitable fashion disasters. Including helpful information such as how to skip ironing and the dry cleaners, remove every stain under the sun, and help clueless men get their sartorial acts together, How to Get Dressed has hundreds of insider tips from Alison’s arsenal of tools and expertise.

Costume designer Alison Freer has had to deal with every possible wardrobe malfunction, from bad fit to stubborn stains. Over the years, she has learned how to solve them all in pinch, and send her actors on set looking fabulous. Now, she’s sharing all her secrets in her new book How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing.

Forget all the rules you have ever learned about fashion. There’s only one secret to looking effortlessly stylish and put together: proper fit. Freer firmly believes that every piece of clothing you buy can’t be worn as is, but must be altered to fit your shape to a T. And no, that won’t break the bank.

Some alternations are costly, but others, like shortening your skirt or taking up a shoulder seam, are quite inexpensive and can easily and quickly transform your look from sloppy to chic. But how do you know if a dress or jacket is worth altering?

Freer explains what you should look for in every piece of clothing before you go shopping, so you’ll know straight away how much a tailor or seamstress will charge you for any modification and whether is better to leave the dress on the shelf after all. No point in taking it home if it is gonna lie forgotten in your closet because it doesn’t flatter you or feels uncomfortable on.

Talking about uncomfortable, how do you deal with ill-fitting shoes and the pain they cause? Is not buying them the only solution? Nope. A piece of moleskin where the shoe badly fits will do the trick (and it can also help repair an underwire bra!). Moleskin, together with safety pins and topstick, can solve pretty much any wardrobe malfunction you’ll ever experience.

That’s not all. Freer shares a lot of useful tips on how to organize your wardrobe so that you’ll always and quickly find what you’re looking for, how to do laundry properly (it’s a lot harder than it seems!), how to take good care of your footwear, and how to remove every stain you could possibly ever get on your clothes. There’s even a section for men, so you can help those in your life look their best too.

I could go on and on. How To Get Dressed is chockfull of practical tips to help you look your best in every situation. It’s not about trends or silly fashion rules (who said that redheads can’t wear red?), but about the secrets of an art, dressing, that have been long forgotten by most, but that will always make its followers look effortlessly polished and stylish, setting them apart from everyone else.

If you can only buy one fashion book, definitely make it this one. It’s informative and useful, but funny and entertaining too, and covers pretty much everything you ever need to know about clothes and accessories. My only problem is the lack of photos. There are a few pretty illustrations, but pictures would have, I believe, provided an easier visual reference. Even so, I’m sure I’ll consult this book very, very often in the future.

Available at: Amazon

Informative and entertaining, How To Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing is packed with useful tips to make you look your best in every situation and solve any possible wardrobe problem you could ever experience.

Rating: 4.5/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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Marina (Makeup4all) April 17, 2015 - 7:51 pm

I really want to buy some fashion/style books. Making the list now – I want to get Front Roe by Louise Roe especially, she is gorgeous.

Gio April 18, 2015 - 5:03 pm

Marina, definitely get this one. It’s quite technical at times, but very useful. I especially loved the section about what to look for in every piece of clothing to make sure it fits well. That way, you can easily avoid buying stuff that’ll remain unworn in your wardrobe.

That’s on my wishlist too. 🙂


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