“What I believe in is the timelessness of an attitude, the timelessness of style.” – Ralph Lauren
For as long as I can remember, I’ve collected books about style icons. I have books from Oleg Cassini, Kate Spade, and Nina Garcia, and books about Audrey Hepburn, Lilly Pulitzer and my personal favorite, Jackie Kennedy. During my college years and time in fashion school, I devoured books about fashion, personal style, and style icons.
I have always been drawn to and fascinated by the classics. In my mid twenties I gave up shopping for fashion trends and instead began investing in classic pieces. A great fitting pair of denim jeans (blue and white denim), classic striped tees, crisp button up shirts, timeless Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses, ballet flats, and pearl studs are now my go-to uniform.
Below I’m sharing all of the books that have influenced my style in some way. For all of you still finding your style or for those who have found it and just love fashion icons, I hope this list provides some enjoyment and some much needed break from reality.
A Thousand Days of Magic by Oleg Cassini
Hands down my favorite book on Jacqueline Kennedy. Written by Oleg Cassini, the favorite designer during the Kennedy’s White House Years, this book chronicles over 300 outfits that Mrs. Kennedy wore during her time as First Lady. A MUST if you love the Kennedy era.
In Vogue by Angeletti Olivia
This is truly a fascinating look into the world’s most influential fashion magazine. In Vogue is one of the most interesting publications I’ve read on the subjects of culture, art, fashion, photography, and media. Plus, it has some of the most gorgeous images of fashion photography I’ve ever seen.
Style by Kate Spade
Another favorite, this book explores the people and experiences that influenced Kate Spade. It talks about how style comes with age and opening up one’s self to difference experiences, cultures, and ideas. But most importantly, style comes from your own self-confidence.
The Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia
This fun, easy book outlines Nina Garcia’s (previous judge on Project Runway) rules of style. It comes with some really cute fashion illustrations, which is probably why it’s L’s favorite book to flip through.
Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn Ferrer
I think I have four books on Audrey Hepburn, but this one is my favorite. Compiled by her son, this book contains hundreds of images straight from the family’s picture albums. It’s a unique history that celebrates this much loved fashion icon and remarkable woman.
The Fashion File by Janie Bryant
Calling all Mad Men lovers, this book is for you! The author is the costume designer behind the show Mad Men. This book provides a peek into the design process Janie Bryant used to create each character’s look. It also provides tips for the everyday woman on how to cultivate their own personal style. Definitely a fun book to add to your collection.
Lilly by Kathryn Livingston
Perhaps my favorite biography to date, this book tells the true story of fashion icon Lilly Pulizter. You will get a full dose of Palm Beach society, scandal, and the beginnings of a fashion empire. If you love this iconic brand and are fascinated by privileged American society, this is a book for you!
Fashion: The Twentieth Century by Francois Baudot
My sister gifted me this book while I was in college and actively exploring my style and love of fashion. It’s still one of my favorite historical references for fashion. Spanning the 20th Century, this book showcases the most famous fashion designers of the century and details all the silhouettes and styles that defined a specific decade. Definitely a must if you love fashion history!
On my radar:
Classic Style by Kate Schelter
Ralph Lauren: In His Own Fashion by Alan Flusser
All of these books have brought me great joy over the years. I hope one of these sparks some interest for you and brings you a little joy too.