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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Balloon Animals and a Lookbook

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may know that I spent Monday at jury duty and was unsuspectingly entertained for hours (with about 200 other prospective jurors) as one kind-hearted gentleman constructed elaborate balloon animals. While I wasn't watching him construct a 6-foot dragon, an octopus, or teaching us how to make flying mice or birds resting on a hoop, I read a copy of Nina Garcia's fourth book (that I received), entitled Lookbook: What to Wear for Every Occasion. Confession - before going to jury duty, I flipped directly to page 266 for her advice on what to wear for this occasion that everyone seems to dread.


Nina Garcia Lookbook

While I rarely make it into the courtroom let alone on a jury, I believe it's still important to look polished and professional for this occasion, as it shows that you take pride in the first impressions you'll make. To the young woman who wore animal print boxer shorts and an oversized college sweatshirt with slippers, I know the feeling of wanting to rebel by dressing casually, but could you at least wear something suitable for being seen by hundreds of other people in a serious courthouse setting? The jury summons requests that prospective jurors dress in "business casual" attire.

Now back to the topic at hand - Nina Garcia's latest book. It's illustrated by Ruben Toledo and extends tips on everything from what to wear when you break up with your boyfriend and what to wear to an art opening to what to wear for Rosh Hashanah and what to wear when asking for a raise. Sprinkled throughout the book are highly amusing quotes by notable people. For example:

"I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity." - Diana Vreeland

"You don't learn style from watching people on a runway. Fashion happens every morning when you wake up." - Shalom Harlow

"When you ask people about their clothes, what they do is tell you about their lives." - Delia Ephron

Nina's wardrobe tips and the scenarios she writes about were chosen based upon the most frequently asked questions she receives from women around the world. Her advice is both practical and easy to follow. So the next time I find myself at a loss for ideas on what to wear when getting my hair done, going dancing, or most importantly, what to wear on an average weekday, I'll keep Nina's book close at hand for a quick dose of confidence and inspiration.