Folks: I'm looking for a book on the principles of elegant women's dress; the womenswear equivalent of Alan Flusser's Clothes and the Man: The Principles of Fine Men's Dress or his Dressing the Man; Bernhard Roetzel, Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion; or Nicholas Antongiavanni, The Suit: A Machiavellian Guide to Men's Style. Ideally, it would contain separate discussions of fit, silhouettes, body type, color, pattern combining, dresses, jackets, skirts, slacks, blouses, jumpers/sweaters, vests, overcoats, shorts, hose, footwear, accessories, maintenance, levels of dressiness, and what to wear to different events. (Flusser's two books more or less cover all of that for menswear.)
Any suggestions? I've been searching the online booksellers, and the pickings are pretty slim. The closest to a Flusser-style book looks to be Eliza Chamber, Glamour: How to be a Chic and Elegant Woman. It's good on body types, color, and different events. There's some on silhouette. It doesn't seem to have any discussion of fit or combining patterns, though. And it's only available in e-book format.
The other contenders I've found are pretty sad. A lot of them suggest they'll do what Flusser or Antongiavanni do, and then signally fail to do it. None of them, so far as I can tell, discuss fit and criteria for it (even Edith Head's and Christian Dior's books seem to be offenders here; and Tim Gunn seems to think fit is taken care of by discussing RTW sizing). A lot of the books are just random collections of the author's opinions, judgments, and dislikes, without any system other than being alphabetically ordered. In short, there are no principles, and there's too little system. These womenswear style guides offer a lot of insipid counsels like "Choose clothes that serve you," just left at that, or followed by an amusing anecdote. Everyone knows you should choose clothes that serve you--what people want are criteria for deciding which clothes will serve them, when, and how. That's what Flusser and Antongiavanni gave men, which is why their books are worth the money.
Any suggestions? Or if there isn't such a book out there, is anyone up for writing one? It would be a lot of work, but I'll bet it would sell. There are a lot of women out there in positions of authority or influence who know that what the fashion advertisers peddle won't make them look elegant, or that Molloy's New Women's Dress for Success doesn't go into nearly enough detail. But they're not getting much help.
(Given that Flusser and co. more or less exclusively focus on the man's lounge suit and accompaniments, a nearer equivalent for women would be a book strictly limited to women's dress in business environments--including evening business parties.)
Edited by Testudo_Aubreii, 18 August 2015 - 11:19 AM.