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Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Because You Can't Go Naked (English Edition) par [Brescia, George]
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Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Because You Can't Go Naked (English Edition) Format Kindle

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Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life

chapter 1

the secret language of clothing

learning to read your wardrobe

Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.

—Jean Cocteau

Whether your starting point is a full-blown style crisis or just a sense that your current wardrobe is in need of improvement, if you’ve picked up this book, you’re looking for change. Maybe clothing has been a lifelong struggle and you’ve finally decided to tackle the issue head-on. Maybe you’re contemplating a career or personal transition that has you anxious to put your best foot forward, but unsure of how to do it. Or maybe you’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a personal stylist of your very own.

Whatever your reasons, I’m glad you are here. Welcome to the world of George B Style!

For me, clothing is nothing but pure fun, but I’ve seen firsthand how very much my clients struggle with style, how fraught and emotional and personal and deep this subject can be. Yet so often, style is treated as though it’s a problem with a simple solution: a formulaic makeover with a side of increased consumption.

The idea that you can simply buy your way to a better closet is highly flawed. While I do believe there are certain core elements every woman needs in a fully functioning wardrobe, it is also my belief that most style problems start on the inside. They start with long-held beliefs about our limitations, whether physical or mental. They start with fear—whether it’s a fear of being seen, a fear of being ignored, or a fear of change, aging, progress, and responsibility. They start with confusion about their identities and the various roles they play in their lives.

Why is clothing so emotional, and for many of us, so fraught? Well, first off, clothing is what literally keeps us from going naked. It is a second skin, and its proximity to our actual skin cannot help but bring up a wealth of emotions surrounding body image, self-worth, confidence, and identity. In a very real way, it hides our most vulnerable selves.

It is the bridge between our private, interior worlds and the public, external world through which we travel.

It is a shape-shifting cloak with a symbolic power that works in two ways: deeply affecting our sense of self while simultaneously informing the perceptions of strangers, acquaintances, and loved ones alike. Clothing, more than any of our possessions, has the power to define our identity.

Your Style Is Speaking for You

Here is the central truth of this book: Our clothes speak for us before we do.

Countless studies have proven the sway that first impressions have over our perceptions of the people we come into contact with every day—and over their perceptions of us. Within ten seconds of a first meeting, an impression is formed, and an opinion begins to coalesce.

Think about it: In your daily life, how often do you make assumptions about the people you come across? You spot a man in his mid-forties in the checkout line at your neighborhood grocery store. I can guarantee you that in a matter of seconds, you have taken in enough about his clothing, hair, and general appearance to process guesses as to what he does for a living, how much money he makes, how much you might or might not have in common, and maybe even his politics. These guesses go way beyond the difference between a construction worker in paint-spattered work boots and a banker in a manicured Brooks Brothers suit—our eyes are extremely discerning, quickly taking in very subtle details. If he’s wearing jeans, it doesn’t take a professional stylist to make a snap judgment as to what those jeans mean. You do it all the time, whether you’re conscious of it or not. Are they beat-up dungarees that have seen their fair share of drywall, or carefully distressed artisan denim with a price tag north of $150? What does the style of the jean, the hair, the shirt, and the shoe say? “Architect” or “entertainment lawyer”? Serious and ambitious, or laid-back and fun-loving? Possible future husband or commitment-phobe with a Peter Pan complex? Your brain is constantly collecting visual clues and arranging them into patterns—patterns that turn into assumptions.

And here’s the rub: The same thing is happening to you, every time you step outside your home. The outfit you casually threw on in an early morning haze? It’s being assessed by strangers and acquaintances alike as a clue to your character, your identity, and your overall appeal.

That’s why I believe that everything we put on our bodies is a “statement piece,” whether we’re talking about the ten-year-old sweats and scary flip-flops you threw on for a grocery store run or the drab office uniform you haven’t tweaked since Designing Women was still on the air.

You’re probably familiar with the concept of the statement piece. The term sprouts up all over the place in fashion magazines and on makeover shows—it’s stylist code for an eye-catching, colorful garment or accessory that defines your entire look in one fell swoop. But if you think about clothing through the lens of that ten-second rule, you’ll come to realize that there is no such thing as a non-statement piece.

Everything we wear makes some kind of a statement, whether it’s a dull army-green puffy coat paired with faded black khakis or a great-fitting pair of jeans flanked by a crisp white tee and a classic navy blazer.

Whether we like it or not, we are being seen. Our statement is being deciphered. And the reach of that statement goes far, far beyond the fleeting impression of a stranger on the checkout line.

Learning to “Read” Your Own Statement

Here’s the good news: Your clothing may be speaking volumes, but what it doesn’t have is a mind of its own. That is to say, your outfit didn’t simply slip off of its hanger and fling itself onto your body—somebody selected it for you, and that somebody (YOU!) can choose to make different decisions, more educated decisions, more conscious decisions. Better decisions. You have the power to change your statement, and it’s a change whose effects will ricochet throughout your entire life.

But before you can tweak the statement your clothing is making, you’re going to need to learn to read it. Learn to decipher the statements your clothing is making and you will know exactly how to dress.

It starts with a very simple shift: paying attention. If there’s one activity you are going to hear me endorse again and again, it is being more attentive—for it is my sincere belief that the difference between a fantastic outfit and a not-so-great one is largely a matter of consciousness. Ask any guru, philosopher, or psychologist and they’ll tell you that real change begins with mindfulness—which is just a fancy word for paying attention and being present to your life.

Where do I get off making it sound as though if you simply get in touch with your third eye, you’ll instantly morph into a modern-day version of Jackie Onassis? Because I know that every woman has the ability to piece together a great outfit, a skill she tends to demonstrate when the stakes are high or when the event requires it. Think of the last time you went on a job interview or attended a wedding. Whether you shopped for the occasion or simply pulled that go-to power outfit out of your closet, I’m quite certain you turned up in something that showcased the best of your style, figure, and personality.

Your proven ability to turn up the heat, using nothing more than a little forethought and some extra effort, proves my point: When we pay attention to what we are wearing, to the statement we are making, our outfits wind up telling a different story. A much, much better story.

On some level, the greatest gift I give my clients is my undivided attention. When they work with me, they gain an extra set of eyes that objectively evaluates the statements their outfits are making, urging them not to settle for the ill-fitting, the good-enough, or the timid. If you cultivate your awareness, you will learn to act as this objective witness for yourself—and you will soon hold the key to controlling the story that your clothing tells about you.

Cultivating that awareness begins with a very simple question.

“What Does It Say?”

This is my golden question, the question I want you to ask of every single outfit you put on your body. It’s such a simple question, really, but it’s one I find to be incredibly powerful. Instead of just throwing outfits together and hoping for the best, you’re going to be interrogating your clothing in order to come to a deeper understanding of the statements it is making.

Though it requires a major shift in perception and will eventually entail an entirely new approach to your wardrobe, this process of interrogation will come far more easily than you may imagine.

Think about the speed with which you made those snap judgments about that handsome architect in the grocery store line—one quick look at the cut of his jeans told you so much. Now you will be turning that razor-sharp perceptiveness around and applying it to yourself. If it only takes you ten seconds to “read” the signals put out by strangers you cross on the street, it shouldn’t take you much longer to submit your own reflection to the very same scan. When you are the stranger in the grocery store line, what are other people seeing?

Does your clothing communicate success, happiness, hopefulness, and confidence, or does it betray insecurity, bashfulness, confusion, and fear? Is it true to the life stage you inhabit or hope to inhabit, or does it speak to a long-gone self of decades past?

If you’re looking down at the outfit you have on right now and drawing a blank as to what it communicates, don’t worry. Throughout this book, I am going to be teaching you how to evaluate the message of your clothing based on its colors, its overall harmony, and its fit and form. All I am going to ask of you is that every morning as you are getting dressed you begin to pose the golden question—“What does this say?” Eventually, the answers will emerge. And when they do, nothing will stand in your way . . .

Revue de presse

“This easy-to-read, entertaining guide will appeal to women looking to make a real change to their wardrobe.” (Publishers Weekly)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 8503 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 289 pages
  • Editeur : Gallery Books (19 août 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00DPM7TD6
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x8d00de40) étoiles sur 5 39 commentaires
52 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8cc8ec30) étoiles sur 5 Best fashion book I've read (despite a few flaws) 20 septembre 2014
Par Marcea - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle
PROS: I'm not very good at fashion, but I've been reading a lot of fashion books lately. So far, this is the best one I've read. The first few chapters are mainly about one's attitude and personal blocks to dressing well. This portion of the book had some amazing insights. For example: "Hiding doesn't relieve us of the gaze of others--it only highlights our discomfort and awkwardness, making those our visible qualities." How many times have you noticed someone else (or you yourself) dressing in something cheap or dowdy or faded in the hope that no one will pay attention to you--and then realizing that person stands out in their awkwardness? As a shy person, this idea made a big impression on me. It does make sense that dressing in traditional "wallflower" attire actually draws some attention--and negative attention, at that. Brescia also does a great job explaining how our goal should be a harmony that pleases the eye rather than some kind of perfection of every detail.
Most of the rest of the book had more specific advice. The most helpful part of it for me was the list of "wardrobe essentials." I've read a lot of lists of these kinds, and I dreaded reading another one because I expected it to be yet another list of unattainable, expensive near-useless items that maybe career women in NYC use but no one in little towns like mine would ever use. Brescia's list, though, was the most inspiring I've ever read! The way he broke down articles of clothing made a lot of sense to me, and I could see how almost all of the items on the list were usable and fashionable even in a smaller town like mine. This could be just a coincidence--maybe his sense of style appealed to mine, and that's why I found the list so helpful. It may not apply to most women; I'm not sure. Brescia's chapter on color made a lot of sense to me because it explained why high-contrast skin/hair tones (like a dark brunette with pale skin) look better with strong colors and contrasts, while honey blondes need milder contrasts in color.
CONS: Brescia considers a few arguments against wearing makeup and high heels and tries to counter them (for example, he explains why you shouldn't be lazy or think it doesn't matter). He never addresses the most important arguments I've heard against such things, though--namely, that they harm the body. I get plenty of harmful chemicals in my food, water, and air, so I really don't need to be adding some to my skin (and even "natural" makeup contains some pretty bad stuff). Wearing heels harms the feet, legs, and spine even if you wear them correctly, and tripping or twisting an ankle is a lot more likely in heels. Also, it's just plain hard to get around in heels--trotting to catch up to someone ahead of you, jumping up to reach something, changing direction quickly, walking on soft ground, and a lot of other commonplace activities are difficult or painful in heels. Brescia never even brings up these objections, and he certainly doesn't counter them. (And if "elongating the leg" is so sexy, why don't men wear high heels, too?) That was probably the most frustrating part of the book for me. He did a great job selling me on why I should update my clothes and jewelry, but makeup and heels fell flat. Another difficulty I had was with the color categories. They sounded great, but I had trouble figuring out whether I was in the "brunette" category or "tawny brunette" category. Since the color palettes were pretty different, I really needed to know which one I should apply. I tried looking on his website for some pictures, but all I could find was a long selection of TV interviews. I just need some photos of women with different hair colors with labels of which category they belonged to. He had a couple of drawings in the book, but there weren't enough for me to identify my shade of hair.
OVERALL: Although I had a few things to nitpick, this was the most helpful fashion book I've read to date, and I plan to implement a lot of what I read. It gives some helpful psychological analysis, a lot of specific fashion advice, and an easy-to-read writing style.
38 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90a7233c) étoiles sur 5 A Polite, Informative, Fun and Breezy Read 20 août 2014
Par James Zeruk, Jr. - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I do not know the author, so let’s get that settled before I’m accused of kissing up to a friend. I heard about this book via the ever-informing facebook. I have no interest in fashion apart from my vast collection of New York Football Giants caps and jerseys. However, I was intrigued by the title of George Brescia’s book, and so I began to read it. It’s wonderful! Brascia has a most polite, friendly way about his writing. Indeed, while the book is targeted toward women, I found myself translating it into “guy speak” because it seemed like I was being spoken to by someone who likes me and cares not just about how I look, but how I feel about how I look.

I was grabbed immediately by his opening: “This is not a book about style or fashion … this is a book about learning to see.” That is a profound statement by an author who has more on his mind than simply pointing out that brown shoes and black slacks don’t blend well, it is an assurance that the reader is about to get insight rather than advice. Brascia mixes his extensive and most impressive professional resume with excellent writing and gentle nudging. Again, fashion is not my best suit (yes, the pun is intended), but I do like nice people who know their stuff, and because George Brascia is without question a friendly expert, I will recommend this book and cross my fingers he will do a similar one for the fellas. Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life gets Five Stars.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8d1da090) étoiles sur 5 My review is the most accurate 1 décembre 2015
Par SMG - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
First things first - I feel like some of these reviews both negative and positive were written by people who didn't even read the book - so be wary of that.

Before reading this book my fashion dilemmas were as follows: I have a really weird shaped body for starters and I've always had uniform jobs so there was never a need for me to pay attention to my fashion. Until I moved to LA that is and began having non uniform jobs and now having the need to attend high profile parties. OMFG!

While past years I have made a vague attempt at getting a fashion clue - many a book and magazine assume that everyone is a double zero with a limitless budget.

So I just threw in the towel. I don't remember what prompted me to buy this book when so much other fashion advice just had me feeling like a loser but I did.

And it did indeed change my life and teach me how to see.

This book is different in that it doesn't see or explain fashion as a one size fits all approach. It explains fashion from the approach of "who do you want to see in the mirror and why" and how to realistically tailor your fashion to fit your lifestyle and your unique body type and self image.

I'm not sure where people are getting that this book is for size zeros wanting a classic look? I'm not trying to bash other peoples perspective but I'm shaped like a bull frog and I'm a size 12 and this is the first fashion read that didn't make me want to jump off a bridge.

So props to the author for not saying that "skinny jeans" are the answer to everything as I've heard other authors say.

And I can't thank George enough for helping me feel pretty and confident again for the first time in 2 decades.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8d3828b8) étoiles sur 5 A wonderful and refreshing look at clothes and how they mirror the perception of who we are. 3 septembre 2014
Par Silicon Valley Girl - Publié sur
Format: Relié
If you're looking for lots of pictures, or before/afters, this is not the book for you.

However, it IS an informative, fascinating book and an easy, encouraging read.

This isn't for model-types or perfect 10 bodies. It's for any woman who wants to reflect her true image and self through dress, to open herself up to possibility and mindfulness. It doesn't encourage you to spend tons of money on a new wardrobe or go for the latest fads. It's all about learning to select clothing that flatters YOUR individual figure. The author also goes into the subject of hair, color, accessories, body type, makeup and shoes, which all factor in when it comes to the big picture.

If you feel like you're at a standstill fashion-wise, or exasperated by trends, this is a good source and will give you permission not only to be good to yourself, but to have fun with clothes, color and outfit combinations.

The book itself is a small hardbound book, easily transportable and well organized. I really like the dust jacket -it's embossed, feels like a textile and is so colorful.

I loved this book. I did not know of Mr. Brescia before reading it, but I feel as though he really, really does care about what he does and as though he was speaking through this book to his readers.
26 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f03360c) étoiles sur 5 OK if you want to build a classic look but disappointing for my needs 4 octobre 2014
Par N. G. Moore - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Offers help in building a timeless, classic wardrobe- helpful if you are into that look, which unfortunately I am not. Aimed at women who have no fashion sense (who wear dowdy, shapeless clothes says George), there is a formulaic quality that would provide a useful framework for a transformation. However the lack of pictures is a major flaw, and it all feels so old school. I was also disappointed by the section on color. He offers advice for blondes, dark brunettes, redheads and silver/platinums. I, like many others, have medium brown hair- not the stark brown contrasting brunette he references- and there is no advice at all. Further, my best colors are fall colors- rusts, coppers, persimmons- and that entire spectrum is nowhere to be seen in his palette. Sorry, but this was a waste of my money.
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