Style Forever by Alyson Walsh

worth waiting for: Style Forever

Style Forever by Alyson Walsh

Back in the Gilded Age, American women of means would travel to Paris to have themselves outfitted with the latest fashions, which they would then bring home and promptly store for a year until styles caught up on this side of the pond, avoiding the taint of being too avant-garde. Today that seems like a quaint anachronism, yet even in the Digital Age there is still sometimes a trans-Atlantic lag and we’re left cooling our heels while those in the UK and Europe are getting all the good stuff months ahead of us. Cases in point: Downton Abbey and Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide To Looking Fabulous by Alyson Walsh. The book is being released in the U.S. tomorrow, so our wait is finally over! (Being the impatient sort, I couldn’t hold out; I sprung for the extra shipping and ordered from when the book was released there in the spring.)

You may already read Alyson’s wonderful blog, That’s Not My Age. Alyson brings the same levels of expertise, wit, irreverence and keen eye for style to this book. She coins the term Generation FAB (Fifty And Beyond) for those of us who “…don’t buy into the anti-ageing, younger is better model and the pressure to look a certain way. Who refuse to be patronised by unrealistic images and prefer to see women they can relate to.”

Never preachy or full of oppressive “do / don’t” lists, this book combines some relatable and helpful style guidelines/suggestions with profiles and interviews of real-world FAB’s who are paving the way (examples: Linda Rodin, Cindy Joseph, and Iris Apfel). The illustrations by Leo Greenfield are charming, too.

fashion illustration

My two favorite aspects of the book were Alyson’s chapter on Grown-Up Style Tribes, which I found very helpful for quantifying and refining my style (I’ve decided I’m three parts Scandanista to one part Casual Glamourpuss and one part Fabulous Femme), and how clearly Alyson’s voice comes through in every section. Alyson obviously enjoys style and stylish women, but never takes herself or her material too seriously. I haven’t seen the U.S. version of the book yet, but I’m really hoping they haven’t edited out the British-isms which to me are so much a part of the humor and unique voice. Words like “slap” (used as a noun) and “faffage” just have no U.S. equivalent.

The chapter on wardrobe building blocks offers some great suggestions for achieving wardrobe cohesion (and I’m right there with Alyson on walkable shoes and the superpowers of a good pair of black pants). There are no-nonsense sections on beauty, makeup, and self-care for the FAB years. This is one of my favorite “certain age” style books yet, and one I find myself picking up and re-reading from time to time, always gleaning something new.

If your local bookstore doesn’t have it yet (shame!) or like us you no longer have a local bookstore (sniff!) you can order here.

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  1. September 7, 2015 / 5:20 am

    I’m over a decade away from being FAB, but I, too, found so much useful info in this gem of a book. Highly recommended, even if you aren’t yet in your FAB years!!

  2. September 7, 2015 / 6:06 am

    Ah the local bookstore – a forgotten treasure. But I shall order this book asap – thanks for the review. I love Alyson’s writings.xo

  3. Andrea Z.
    September 7, 2015 / 6:17 am

    Just ordered! Looking forward to reading it.

  4. September 7, 2015 / 6:46 am

    I’ve just ordered mine, too!

  5. September 7, 2015 / 6:56 am

    I followed your link to the amazon page and did a quick search for the British-isms. They are there! Book looks interesting.

  6. Andy
    September 7, 2015 / 7:23 am

    If your local chain bookstore wandered off, then you might have luck at a used bookstore. Some order new stuff to offer their customers.

  7. Jeanne
    September 7, 2015 / 8:28 am

    YEA!!! Mine is arriving tomorrow!!

  8. September 7, 2015 / 10:21 am

    Susan, totally awesome. Cannot wait to get the book. What great Christmas gifts for my girlfriends! All the ultimate fashionistas !!!

  9. September 7, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Thank you so much for the lovely review, Susan. Much appreciated!

  10. September 7, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    Sounds like a great book (and I’m going to order it right now)! Love the illustration!

  11. Tiffany
    September 8, 2015 / 4:23 am

    I did enjoy it, but how I wish the publishers had bothered with a sub-editor. The horrible spelling (‘flare’ instead of ‘flair’, for instance) and punctuation errors really marred my enjoyment of it …

  12. September 8, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    I pre ordered it. Can’t wait to receive it!

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