• Book Review – How to Get Dressed by Alison Freer

    I love reading style books and have collected quite a few over the years. I thought I would share one that I am reading at the moment.

    How to Get Dressed – A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit and Feel Amazing by Alison Freer.

    This book is a bestseller in the style & clothing category on Amazon.

    How to get dressed - Alison freer



    Alison Freer is a Hollywood costume designer who shares her expert advice and solutions for making your wardrobe work for you. She gives us an insight into the whirlwind life of a costume designer, who with minimal time and budget must design whole wardrobes for characters in films and movies. Alison knows what small differences in the way we dress make a difference.

    I enjoyed reading this book and want to share my biggest “takeaways” from the book:

    Want to look stylish – Fit Matters

    Alison stresses that those people we think are stylish are actually just wearing clothes that fit! The characters in film that we love have had every (and she means EVERY) piece of clothing altered in some way to make it fit the actor perfectly.

    If you want to appear more stylish focusing on fit is of utmost importance.

    You may have heard this before but think “What is a good fit?”.  The last 50 years have seen mass manufacturing of clothing and we are not used to having garments hand made for us. We are more used to wearing clothes just as they go on our bodies from the shops. We don’t really have an eye for analysing good fit. Alison discusses just what is good fit in detail. She teaches us what good fit is and which alterations are easily achievable and which are not.

    I found this a very helpful part of the book.

    Why you must develop a Signature Style

    Alison discusses the importance of developing your own signature style.  Her job requires her to dress characters so we know who they are, where they came from and where they may be going, their visual appearance tells us as much about them as the lines they speak.

    In much the same way your clothing speaks for you too. Alison tells us “good clothes really open all doors”. She stresses that “good” means good for you not necessarily fancy or expensive.

    Your style comes from the inside out and Alison gives advice and tips for finding your style, much in the same way she delves into a character in a scrip to decide on the clothing a character should wear.

    Of course I really believe in this concept and the liberating effect of labeling your style and teach these in my style consultations  but Alison has a wonderful do it yourself approach too.

     How to care for your clothes.

    A large part of the book gives us really useful advice in caring for our clothes. In this world of fast fashion many times care of our clothing takes a back seat. We buy, throw it in the washing machine and dryer and wear until it falls apart in 6 months time. When you have taken the time to find your style and purchase garments that you love taking care of them will extend their life and save you money.

    Alison covers laundry, shoe care, clothing storage and last minute hacks that can save a wardrobe disaster. All of her tips are very specific, practical and have obviously come from her years of experience as a costume designer.

    In Summary

    Alison stresses a “no rules” approach to style and instead discusses some very practical aspects of clothing and dressing ourselves.

    I found this book very interesting and helpful and would recommend it.


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