15 Books on Style That Will Change Your Life

Read. Absorb. Grow.

Style isn't really something you can learn from a book—so few of us even learn it from real life :(—but a book *can* leave you with words and images that inform the individual way you dress and live. Here, 15 titles after which you'll never be the same (sartorially) again.

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The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman

Really great old photos, even better, time-transcending advice. 

$20, amazon.com.

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Advanced Style: Older & Wiser

Personal style is a journey that doesn't end even when everyone around you is in cardigans and no-slip orthopedics. 

$35, amazon.com.

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The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History

Robin Givhan is a goddess among fashion writers, and she's at her best examining the legendary showdown between American and French designers. It's like being a fly on the wall.  

$28, amazon.com.

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The Book of the Courtier

"What's this lame old book doing in here," you might be asking yourself. First, that's rude. Second, remember that dude on a really long-ago season of The Bachelorette whose *thing* was sprezzatura? He got it all wrong, so don't be like him, read this dusty tome, and actually know WTF you're talking about when you talk about giving off the effect of carelessness but actually caring a lot. 

$10, amazon.com.

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The Killer Detail: Defining Moments in Fashion

Pictures that will haunt you. Done. 

$40, amazon.com.

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Women in Clothes

Serious thoughts about clothes and the way they create our selves and how we relate to others. #intellectual #brainworkout

$30, amazon.com.

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The World According to Karl

"There is one thing I love on Earth: to learn." And so you shall from fashion's great uncle. 

$13, amazon.com.

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That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between

Just look at it this way: If Posh Spice can turn herself into Victoria Beckham through sheer will and careful grooming, you can at least give her the courtesy of listening to her story. 

$22, amazon.com.

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Face Paint: The Story of Makeup

Outwardly (and inwardly, mostly) Face Paint is a makeup book, but Lisa Eldridge has such an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion—her Biba stories, OMG—that you can't *not* learn history and the putting-together of a strong aesthetic. 

$30, amazon.com.

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A Dedicated Follower of Fashion

Fashion in the larger context of history and social change. You won't be able to look at a Chanel suit the same way again. 

$35, amazon.com.

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Life in Color: The Visual Therapy Guide to the Perfect Palette—for Fashion, Beauty, and You!

LOL @ the title, but this is basic information you need to know but probably don't yet. 

$5, amazon.com.

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The Woman I Wanted to Be

Super campy—Do I really need to know this much about whom you slept with, Diane? (Yes, kinda.)—but also so relentlessly woman- and life-affirming that you'll feel like you could build your own wrap-dress empire after. 

$17, amazon.com.

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Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano

Two broken geniuses. Two in-depth looks at what it means to devote your life wholly to fashion. You will cry. 

$18, amazon.com.

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The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand

With the return of the tracksuit (dun dun DUNNN), the story of Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor is more relevant than ever—though that particular brand of Horatio Alger-ism, especially with a healthy dash of fur and velour, never really gets old. 

$17, amazon.com.

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In My Shoes: A Memoir

Ditto, but with a very real, gritty look at Mellon's battles with anxiety and depression (and some business partners). The lesson here is rule with an iron hand in a velvet glove, don't let anyone play you, etc., etc. 

$18, amazon.com.

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