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Favorite Blogs + YouTube Channels

favorite blogs youtube channels(Me watching “Getting Doug with High” on YouTube…while probably high…and eating Oreos.)

After taking a long break from reading magazines and blogs, I got back into it this summer. Writing a blog makes it tough to read them sometimes. It’s that whole “knowing how the sausage is made” issue. Many blogs became a string of sponsored posts and advertisements, and I gave up on those. Others changed their content drastically after having kids, a topic I have no interest or relation to. I typically read my blogs through Bloglovin’, and after doing a “clean-out,” got rid of almost 2/3 of the blogs in my feed – and I don’t miss a single one.

I also got back into watching YouTube again, and found a few channels I really like. YouTube is another place where I kind of lost interest, but thankfully there are people out there putting out amazing new shit every day!

Here are just a few of the blogs and YouTube channels I’m digging lately. Enjoy!

Blogs I’m Loving Lately

Hello Glow

I am on a DIY-beauty kick lately, and Hello Glow has been a great resource for my newfound hobby! Stephanie has recipes for DIY sugar scrub, eye masks, rosewater, and much more. Her site also has great posts on essential oils, food recipes, and overall wellness. If you want to learn more about wellness, this is a great site to start with!

The Chalkboard Mag

If you want to dive a little deeper into the spiritual and wellness world, check out Pressed Juicery‘s blog, The Chalkboard Mag. I love reading the refrigerator tours of course – because #nutritiongoals. They also have articles like what the upcoming solar eclipse means for your wellness journey, the best organic bed sheets, and Nauli (the weirdest yoga move I’ve ever seen). The site is a little more hardcore than Hello Glow, but it has a ton of useful information!

Because Im Addicted

After Geri Hirsch left LEAFtv, she decided to revamp her blog – and I am all about it! She encourages her readers to try her Wellness Challenges, which are (usually) simple tasks aimed at making us happier and healthier. Her healthy recipes are another reason I keep coming back. They are all super healthy and easy to make! I can’t wait to see her blog grow over the coming months!

Man Repeller

Man Repeller is a blog I come back to from time to time when I need some fashun and snark in my life. They were the first to inform me that low-rise jeans are coming back (gross), and that I’m not the only one who thinks quinoa is a load of crap (also gross). I also recently read that yellow is now the new “Millennial Pink,” which is great because I might be one of the few people who can pull off bright yellow.

YouTube Channels I’m Loving Lately

The Sorry Girls

If you are a DIY fan like me, definitely check out The Sorry Girls, a Canadian duo that have some of the coolest tutorials out there. Everything they do is totally #pinterestgoals, from their midcentury plant stand to their amazing DIY Halloween costumes! I know Halloween is a couple months away, but if you’re like me and always wait until the last minute, their site is full of last-minute ideas!

The Lo Down

Yes, I used to watch Laguna Beach and The Hills obsessively when I was in college. It’s no surprise that when I heard Lo Bosworth started her own YouTube channel, called The Lo Down, I subscribed immediately. She has great videos on skincare, wellness, recipes (she went to culinary school, after all), and her battle with depression. If you’re looking for videos that sound more like you’re chatting with your best friend who has all the right answers, check her out!

Lisa Eldridge

If you don’t know how to do your makeup, or always wanted to learn how to master the illusive cat eye, go here. Seriously. She will change your whole life. I started watching her videos before my wedding 6 years ago, and I’m still watching. Lisa’s relaxing voice is mind-numbingly amazing, and her tutorials are totally do-able for most people. My makeup skills improved a ton after watching her videos – and yours will too!

LEAF

I wasn’t sure what would happen to this channel after its two founding members, Geri Hirsch and Erin Falconer, left the brand. It took them a while to find their footing, but the new LEAF channel (short for living, eating, and fashion) has become a new favorite. I’m enjoying their #WakeUpWith series, and the longer videos in general! I’m glad LEAF is living on with new creators and great new ideas!

5 Reasons I Quit Magazines

i quit magazinesIn the spirit of following my 2017 mantra of “good enough is good enough,” I want to remove magazines from my life. I hope that I can return to them more mindfully in the future. While this won’t be a permanent life change, I wanted to take a break from them for a few reasons.

It was a waste of money.

Most of us don’t think twice about dropping $5 on a magazine every so often. However, if you read as many as I do, it can easily become a $50+/month habit. If you get into reading small-batch or international magazines, the cost can easily skyrocket. I reduced my spending a lot by using my local library’s free magazine app. However, they don’t carry everything I read, so I was still spending $10-15/month. I can’t justify spending that much on reading material anymore.

The other nasty side of magazines is that they’re almost entirely ads. Whether it’s a fashion magazine pushing the latest trends, or a health magazine pushing new supplements or exercise equipment, the pressure to spend after reading is too much as well. I don’t like being prey for advertisements. I know I’m being advertised to all the time, but any progress to remove them from my daily life is worth it to me.

It was a waste of space.

Even after reducing the number of magazines I buy on a regular basis, I still find they pile up quickly. Before our last move, I piled them up and found I collected over a dozen over the past few months alone. I don’t tend to re-read things, so after I read them they just sit around collecting dust. In an effort to reduce visual clutter and useless waste, I want to keep the magazines I do read in the future to digital copies only.

I felt too much pressure to keep up.

Anyone who has ever read a Martha Stewart magazine knows my pain. Home magazines in particular are a sore spot for me. I get stuck down the rabbit-hole of wanting to organize, clean, and plan my home into oblivion after reading them. I always feel guilty for not doing more or being good enough. Fashion and travel magazines just remind me that I don’t have to money to keep up with the young jet-setter they’re aimed at. So for now, I need to quit playing the comparison game and repeat to myself “good enough is good enough.” I don’t need to know how to organize my bathroom in 20 different ways – how I did it is already fine.

They still bear unfair and negative messages toward women.

While some publications improved on this, many merely became more covert in their demeaning messages toward women. Fashion magazines may promote diversity or body acceptance, but they still largely show women with unrealistic body types. They still tell us that being thin is glamorous, and being curvy is purely for sexual appeal. I appreciate the progress, but we have a long way to go.

Many women’s magazines also promote we have to be superwomen who run marathons, have insanely successful careers, travel the world, raise perfect children, volunteer every weekend, clean our homes obsessively, and cook restaurant-quality meals for our families each night. I can’t keep beating myself up over what I don’t do, so I need to just stop reading about it for now.

I want to focus my time on books.

Instead of focusing my reading time each night to the instantly gratifying, ad-filled magazine stack sitting on my iPad, I want to read more substantial stuff. Reading magazines always had an addictive quality to them. Getting a new issue was a rush. I pour through the pages with reckless zeal, only to feel a crash when I was done. I don’t know how they do it, but magazines are like a damn drug to me. For a long time, though, they were the only reading I could stomach.

After graduate school, I was burnt out on reading almost anything. Add to that a career grading essays for hours every day, and I was usually too mentally exhausted to pick up a book. So for years, I didn’t read for fun beyond magazines.

Now that I have more time and mental energy to devote to books, I’m getting back in the habit. I was surprised how rusty I became, to be honest. At first I got distracted all the time, and I found reading took longer. However, after a few books I’m mostly back to speed-reading my way through everything. I’m also focusing my attention on reading books by women and about women.

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So for as long as I can, I promised myself I would actively avoid reading magazines. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading them forever. I just need a break to find other things to occupy my time and mental space. I also want to find more publications that speak to what I want to read about. Being more mindful of what I read is important to me, and I know this “cleanse” of sorts will be a good first step!

What I Read Recently

what i read recently

(This was originally posted on Bloglovin’, using their direct-posting function, which does not link to Afternoon Glow. It has been updated to reflect more books I’ve read since the original post.)

Happy Tuesday!

I thought I’d start the day by sharing what I’ve been reading lately. One of my goals for 2017 is to read 50 books, and I’m already well on my way!

I also want to focus on reading more from our feminist history, as well as honoring amazing women writers. One area I didn’t explore much in college was women’s studies. I’m going to make up for that this year, hopefully. I’d also like to read more fiction, but man I am picky when it comes to fiction. Perhaps more Margaret Atwood? 😉

2017 Reading List (So Far):

1. The Feminist Mystique by Betty Friedan

2. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

3. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

4. Blue Nights by Joan Didion

5. How to Win at Feminism by Reductress

6. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

7. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

8. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gray

There you have it!

Any suggestions for books I should pick up this year?

Loving Lately: The Year of The Work

the year of the work

When I was a kid, I longed for a pen pal. I remember thinking how great it would be to have a friend on the other side of the world or country to talk to. We could bond over our favorite television shows, growing up, and silly things kids talk about. I tried a few times to keep up with old friends after we moved, but it never lasted long. Then the internet happened, and writing letters all but disappeared.

When Kayley Vandenberg, a Michigan-born blogger I’ve followed for years, wanted to start mailing out a monthly letter to her followers, I was hooked. She started “The Year of the Work” as a way to share her journey to find peace within herself, and to work out some things that were too intimate for an online forum. I look forward to getting her letter in the mail every month like I did when I was a kid waiting on a pen pal.

To honor the amount of work she puts into these letters, I make a point of taking each letter to a special place to read them. I also treat myself to a donut (a totally non-intentional thing). When I sit down to read, I take my time to pour through everything – often reading it a couple times. It’s a great time for me to relax and catch up with a woman who feels like an old friend. One month, I even ran into an old friend while reading my letter. He’s someone I know from college, and it was bittersweet to catch up with him. It was a nice reminder of a time when I used to have friends. (I’m only sort of joking about that…)

Kayley has also inspired me to start journaling more for myself, which has been a lifesaver lately. I don’t have people in my life I feel comfortable venting to. Most people I know have a tough time keeping things to themselves. Having a journal is a great alternative. I didn’t know I needed the journal this much. Now that I’m getting the hang of it, I actually miss it on the days I don’t write.

Now all I need to do is muster up the guts to write her back someday! I’m working on it, girl!

If you have been a long-time follower of Kayley, and want to join The Year of The Work:

Click here to sign up for the mailing list, or to read more about Kayley’s project.

Click here to donate to cover the cost of your letters or sponsor someone else’s.

Reading Lately

Reading Lately

This has been a slow summer for reading. I’ve torn through several magazines, cookbooks, and home decor books, but I haven’t read a lot of books. I’m still trying to get through The Omnivore’s Dilemma too. It’s not the kind of book I can just chew through – it’s graduate-school level academic, which even today still feels like homework.

I have managed to read a few things I found noteworthy, though:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I just got done reading this one last night. I originally bought it to take with me to Portland in May, but didn’t get around to reading it until last week. It’s the first fictional book I’ve read in a long time, but it came strongly recommended, so I gave it a shot. It was a great, quick read, and had a strong message about finding your path in life and deciding what’s important to you. While I’m not usually into those kinds of stories, this one was so well done I really did take a lot of lessons from it.

Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano

I’ve been a fan of Guiliano’s work since French Girls Don’t Get Fat, and I don’t know how I managed to miss reading this until now! I loved reading about her path to a successful career, balancing life and work, and how to be a great leader in the workplace. She’s a great inspiration to those of us who want great careers, but also want to help others have great careers too.

The Year of the Work by Kayley Vandenberg

Now, I know this isn’t a typical “book.” A few months ago, I subscribed to Kayley’s monthly letters. Each month has a different theme, and delve into a more personal side than we’ve seen from her online writing. I make a point of taking her letters somewhere special to me each month – last month, I ended up at my favorite beach. I haven’t felt confident enough to write her back yet (still kind of fan-girling out a little), but I will whenever I muster up the balls. It’s a great throwback to the old days of having pen pals, and I’m looking forward to my next letter very soon!

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I have a few books waiting on my shelf next…but for now, I’ve gotta get myself through that Pollan book before I forget what it’s all about!

Print Magazines: A Love Story

print magazines

One thing I haven’t done much of over the past year is read print magazines. This is partly because I don’t have the budget for it – over time, even cheap subscriptions add up. I also don’t have to buy many of my favorites in print anymore, thanks to the free digital service my local library provides. Going digital also helped me save precious space in our apartment – though I do sometimes miss thumbing through a stack of old Vogue or Real Simple issues for inspiration.

Every once in a while, though, I’ll make a special trip to my local bookstore or newsstand to bring home a few ‘zines I can enjoy on a quiet afternoon or evening, usually with a coffee or tea in hand. I don’t know what it is about print magazines, but they make for a more relaxed experience than swiping through magazines on my iPad. I read more carefully, more slowly, and more mindfully. It’s a ritual I didn’t realize I missed until I went back to it recently.

My occasional splurge often introduces me to publications I wouldn’t otherwise read. I picked up a copy of More recently, and found that I enjoyed it more than I did many years ago. Maybe I’m at an age where I relate to the content, or perhaps they were the ones who shifted – who knows. All I know is that I will definitely go back for More (pun totally intended) again.

So while I can’t go back to making this a regular habit, I do think I’ll take the extra few dollars (and few minutes) to pick one or two print magazines each month to savor over some tea and my new favorite chocolate from Trader Joe’s. While it is a frivolous expense, and one I know now I can certainly live without, it’s one that I do miss more than I remembered.

Cookbook Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

Cookbook Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime

Today, I’m going to share with you a new cookbook I got recently as an early Christmas gift from Danny. While I wouldn’t say I’m a huge Ree Drummond fan, I’ve been enjoying her Food Network show lately. It’s usually on when Danny gets home from work, so he sometimes watches it too (and I’m guessing he like what he saw because here we are).

Cookbook Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime

Cookbook Review:
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

Some Basic Information:

The title pretty much sums up what this book is about – dinners. Instead of trying to cover all meals of the day, Ree Drummond decided to just stick to dinnertime as her main theme. Each chapter covers a different way to do dinner (soup for dinner, salad for dinner, breakfast for dinner, etc.), and she even covers some great freezer-friendly recipes for lazy nights. Since I am also a fan of using theme nights for planning dinners, I was immediately on board!

Cookbook Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

What I Liked:

I love that the recipes, for the most part, are pretty easy to make. I’ve already made the freezer Chicken Pot Pies, and they were a big hit (not to mention we now have 2 extra in the freezer for some other night!). I’m planning to make her Potato Soup recipe tonight, and it looks just as simple. I just need to go hunt down some more celery (which I can’t believe I’m saying because I hate celery and never use so much). 

I think since these recipes are so simple and easy, they can also be easily adapted to suit your tastes and what you have around – in fact, many of her recipes include ideas to add to/adapt for your own needs. I like that the recipes seem practical, and thank goodness I don’t have to go hunt down ingredients I’ll only use once, or pay way too much for! 

One thing I can’t wait to try are her easy desserts – most cookbooks include desserts that are meant to wow and amaze, but these (while still pretty amazing) are meant to be whipped up on the fly and enjoyed. While I love baking, these are great ideas for nights when I want something sweet without having to wait an hour or more!

Also, the layout of the book is a lot like reading her blog, with easy to follow directions and photos of each step of the process. The farming photos are also a nice addition to the book:

Cookbook Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime

If you haven’t picked up this book already, I highly recommend grabbing The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime! Target is selling a special version that includes extra recipes, which is never a bad thing, right? You can also check out Drummond’s other recipes and read about life on the farm here:

The Pioneer Woman Blog

Fall Reading List

Fall Reading List

Welcome to November!

I read a LOT of books in October.

I should be more specific – I attempted to read a lot of books in October.

It’s a rarity for me to pick up a book and not finish it. I’m not sure where that comes from, but I’ve tortured myself through many books I found boring or dumb. Since I’ve been trying to be kinder to myself lately, I actually sent two books back to the library before I finished them. This is major for me.

The first one was The Happiness Project – which I got about three chapters into before quitting. It was excruciatingly boring, and the more I read, the less I found it applied to my own life. I don’t have a clutter problem, my marriage is fine, and I don’t have children or a job. Based on what little of the book I read, I should already be an incredibly happy person, I guess?

The second book I quit reading was The Lost Art of Dress, which I do feel a twinge of guilt about. It read way too much like a graduate school textbook for me to stay awake. If I’m going to read before bed, I don’t want to feel like I should be taking notes for a later research paper.

Anyway, on to the things I did manage to read – and a few I’m hoping to read in the next month!

October Reads

it by Alexa Chung

After tearing through Chung’s YouTube series with British Vogue on the current state of the fashion industry (click the link to watch the entire series in one video), I was tempted to check out her book. I enjoy her writing style, related to a lot of her experiences growing up, and the photos were fun to look at. It was a nice, easy read for a relaxed evening. I remember dreaming of working in the fashion industry when I was a kid, but never thought I could because I sucked at sewing and drawing. Maybe I can weasel my way in there someday, and it’s nice to see someone is out there telling young students that you don’t have to be a designer or model to work there (which would have been nice to hear when I was in high school).

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

I didn’t know anything about this book or the author when I picked it up. I’ve seen it in bookstores, and often recommended by people online, so I checked it out. The book is a series of essays by Crosley that share some triumphant, embarrassing, and funny stories of her everyday life. She starts off by asking readers what their family would think if they suddenly died, and their parents now had to go through their apartment – then offers up a cautionary tale of hidden secrets, lost loves, and a kitchen sink horse collection. I quite enjoyed this book, and any woman who has struggled with work, love, and growing into “real” adulthood will relate.

Martha Stewart’s Cakes by Martha Stewart

Of course, I couldn’t do a post about what I’ve been reading lately without a cookbook – especially one by Martha! I didn’t end up having this book for long (someone else had it on hold, so I couldn’t renew it), and it’s one I might go out and buy anyway. I wanted to make damn near everything in that book. I have a serious problem with cakes, in that I love eating them but I’m not great at baking them (unless it’s a boxed mix, which is just cheating).

November Reads (Hopefully)

There were a few books I didn’t get to last month, and some I have on my wish list for the near future, so I thought I’d share those too!

Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates

I just picked this book up at the library, which was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t know my local library carried stuff like this. I’m excited to read it tonight or tomorrow with a comfy blanket and a hot apple cider. Then I’ll probably spend the rest of the evening bemoaning how lame and ugly our own home decor really is. Seriously, it’s not great.

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

I’ve been wanting to read this one for a long time, and just never got around to it. Silverman is one of the funniest people alive, and I can’t wait to dig into this one! I’m planning to read this after Gates’ book makes me think I have made too many huge mistakes in my life (like not wearing enough stripes).

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein

Everyone and their mom wants to read this book. I’m currently number 150 or something on the waitlist at the library, so we’ll see how long I hold out before buying it instead. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Brownstein outside of watching her on Portlandia, so I’m looking forward to this one big time!

Well, now I’m off to dig into some bread that just got done baking, and maybe a book too!

5 Cookbooks for Summer

Confession time:

I hate buying cookbooks.

It just seems like a huge waste for me to spend $20+ on a cookbook, knowing that I’m only going to use a few recipes out of it. When I moved last year, I whittled my collection down to only a few that I really do use from cover to cover. So, to combat the cost of buying new cookbooks, and keep needless clutter at bay, I got myself a library card and started checking out cookbooks. My library system is amazing, and every time I go, there are always new cookbooks for me to read through. We also have a decent online book program, so I get digital cookbooks for free too! Sure, it means I don’t get to keep them, but I print out or write down the recipes I want to try out, and return the books for someone else to enjoy.

I’ve spent the summer tearing through several cookbooks, and these are just a few I’ve enjoyed lately!

5 Cookbooks for Summer

Everyday Food: Light: The Quickest and Easiest Recipes
from The Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living

Of the few cookbooks I still own, I have two Everyday Food books (Great Food Fast and Fresh Flavor Fast), so I was excited to take this one home. I’ve never had a Martha Stewart recipe go wrong on me, and if they’re healthy too, then sign me up! I have yet to try any of the recipes I saved, but I’ll make sure to share the ones that turn out well!

5 Cookbooks for Summer

Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis

Giada’s cookbooks are another set that I wish I owned, since I’m a huge fan of her book Giada’s Kitchen, which I’ve had for years. She has a lot of great advice on making easy sauces, cooking healthy pasta dishes, and stocking your kitchen to make any dish on the fly. It’s a great, practical book for beginner cooks.

5 Cookbooks for Summer

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten

I’m pretty sure I’ve read every single Barefoot Contessa cookbook at this point! I love her show, and while I’m not a huge fan of her love of fennel (sorry, I hate anything licorice or anise flavored), many of her recipes in this book look tasty and super easy to make. While I don’t throw dinner parties, it’s nice to read about those who do, and fantasize about a day when I get to have get togethers of my own! In addition to the great recipes, she also gives amazing advice to those who want to have a nice, stress-free night with friends or family.

5 Cookbooks for Summer

 My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut by Hannah Hart

I just started reading this book, and I have mixed feelings about it so far. Sure, I know going in that it’s not “really” a cookbook in the traditional sense. It’s recipes mixed in with a self-help book, and a fun little history of how Hannah Hart has made a name for herself via YouTube. My problem with it mainly has to do with me not liking her writing style – it’s a bit confusing to read and inconsistent in places. Girl, if you need an editor for your next book, CALL ME!

I think this would be a great gift for a recent college graduate who is setting off into the adult world for the first time. The recipes are easy enough to handle, sober or not, and she is honest with her readers about the struggles of coming into adulthood – and even offers some great advice to make things easier.

5 Cookbooks for Summer

IT’S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great
by Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site, GOOP, has become a strongly divisive topic in recent years. I know many people who can’t stand her or this site, with her “conscious uncoupling” to her lavish and unattainable holiday gift guides (she did put a $4,700 gold juicer on her list last year). Personally, I find her blogs about health and mindfulness to be very helpful. Her blog tackles issues I find women don’t talk about openly – like why we so often criticize each other, fear professional self-promotion, hold onto bad relationships, and can’t seem to find time to unwind. I can’t really blame her for wanting to show women that they deserve happy lives – and I certainly need to hear it from time to time.

I have wanted to read this cookbook for a while now, but never wanted to buy it because I kept hearing it was another example of her overtly posh, impractical lifestyle. What I found was a book full of simple, easy recipes that anyone can afford to make. Even if a recipe does include a more “high-end” ingredient, most of them are things you can easily swap out with something more affordable or practical. They’re also incredibly healthy, of course, and for anyone who is looking to “dabble” in vegetarian or vegan food, this can be a great place to start!

 

There you go! If you’ve hit the dreaded summer cooking slump like me, grab your library card (or go get one…it’s super easy) and bring home a pile of kitchen inspiration!

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

When it comes to reading, I like to say I binge read in phases. If I read a book that I like, I’ll end up reading several more that are in the same vain, whether it’s books about the Jazz Age, coming of age stories, female comedians, international travel, or food. I also have a habit of sticking with the same author for a while, but that happens less often. I’ve enjoyed reading through the works of Oscar Wilde, Margaret Atwood, Anthony Bourdain, and Chelsea Handler. The range is great, but when I get hooked, I’m hooked for a while.

Lately, my reading list has been mostly about fashion. It all started with the book Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. Actually, it really started with her video series on YouTube with Roger Vivier, where she shares her love of shopping in Paris – the book being an extension of the video series. I enjoyed the book so much that I have been on a bit of a tear lately with fashion-related books. I’m also a sucker for a good biography, and fashion is full of stories from those who have lived through it.

If you’re in the mood for some summer reading, and you spend more time than you should reading fashion blogs (like I do), then I highly recommend picking up or downloading these for an afternoon on the beach, or a summer evening outdoors.

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading:

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide
by Ines de la Fressange

This book is part style guide, part shopping map of Paris – and sounds like it was written by that much cooler, wiser Parisian friend we all wish we had. Ines’ writing style is conversational, self-depricating, and makes you wonder if she’s going to be ousted from the fashion inner-circle for divulging so much useful information. It’s a book that I will definitely purchase one day, if only to have the catalog of Paris stores and websites to refer back to – from where to find great a great leather jacket, to a website that sells the famous metal chairs that sit along the Jardin des Tuileries. The book itself looks like it has a leather cover, which would make it the most fashionable book on your shelf, too!

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From The World’s Most Elegant Woman
by Karen Karbo

As I said earlier, I’m easily swayed by a good biography. Not knowing much about Coco Chanel, I found this book was a great introduction to the woman who would one day start a fashion institution. Karbo does a great job of blending in the story of Chanel’s rise to infamy with her own failed attempts at finding her own coveted Chanel tweed jacket (the holy grail of vintage fashion, I’ve noticed). I had no idea what kind of life Chanel lead, and the story was a fun, quick read. I think this would be a perfect beach blanket read – though I will warn you it’ll give you a major itch to do some thrift store shopping!

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits
by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, and Sophie Mas

While Ines’ book focuses on giving women advice on how to dress like a true Parisienne, this book gives us a roadmap on how to be a true Parisienne. These four amazing women show us how to live the chic, carefree life of a Parisienne – from how to answer a phone (hint: it involves not answering), what to wear (or not wear), and romance (like how to convince him you might have a lover). The book contains a lot of fun images, and has that snarky humor that Parisian women are well known for. I read this book in an afternoon, and it’s one I could easily re-read when I’m feeling like a totally dumb, overly stressed-out American. Their general consensus is that Parisian women are always cool, relaxed, and only mildly passionate about the world around them – or at the very least, can easily trick everyone into thinking they are.

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

 I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist
by Betty Halbreich

I picked this book up at the library on a whim recently, and tore through it over a few evenings. Halbreich grew up a wealthy debutante in Chicago, before getting married and begrudgingly moving to New York. After her marriage fell apart, and a few failed attempts at finding the right job, she ended up as a personal shopper (and therapist to the rich and famous) at Bergdorf Goodman, where she is still working well into her 80s. As a woman trying to find her place in a world that wasn’t always welcome to working women (especially those who are wealthy enough to not need a job), she paved the way for women to be taken seriously in retail. I enjoyed her biting sense of humor, and determination to make it as a professional powerhouse in spite of her upbringing.

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

Grace: A Memoir
by Grace Coddington

I’ll admit that I avoided this book for a long time, simply because when it came out, it showed up in almost every fashion blog I was reading. Anything that popular I tend to take with a grain of salt, mostly because on more than one occasion, I’ve been left disappointed by book that people tell me I “absolutely must read right now!” I will say, however, I was pleasantly surprised by this autobiography. After watching The September Issue, like many people I found myself rooting for Coddington, the quirky creative director at Vogue. I enjoyed her foul-mouthed, no-holds-barred attitude, and her book definitely has plenty of that (though maybe not so much of the foul-mouth part). While this book appears to be a long tome, it’s full of Grace’s own illustrations, photos from her old modeling days, and so many short stories about her years in modeling and magazines that it’s another quick, fun read I’d suggest for a day at the beach. It’s also another beautiful book that would look amazing on any bookshelf (if you’re into that sort of thing).

 

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave a comment! I’m always looking for new books to add to my list!