10 Fab Books for Vintage Fashionistas

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If you love vintage clothing and want to read more about legendary designers, style icons and the history of fashion, add these drool-worthy books to your collection this year.

1. "Vintage Fashion and Couture"

“Vintage Fashion and Couture: From Poiret to McQueen”
By Kerry Taylor, foreword by Hubert de Givenchy
Firefly Books, Hardcover, 224 pages
September 2013

Why it’s fab: Every vintage lover will feel giddy about this book. It’s a well-organized resource filled with gorgeous garments and images of vintage labels, which is super handy for vintage clothing vendors. It spans 1900s to 2000s and spotlights designers, style icons and vintage trends in an easy-to-read format. Love!

2. "The Fashion Book"

“The Fashion Book: New Edition”
By Editors of Phaidon
Phaidon Press, Hardcover, 576 pages
New Edition: October 2013 (first edition released 1998)

Why it’s fab: It’s a beautiful reference book containing 579 entries of fashion’s biggest designers, models, photographers and icons, including new entries like Lady Gaga, Bill Cunningham and Alexander Wang. Plus, its new cover is gorgeous!

3. "Fashion Designers A-Z"

“Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of the Museum at FIT”
By Valerie Steele, et al., contributing author Suzy Menkes
Taschen, Hardcover, 654 pages
December 2012

Why it’s fab: With its amazing garments from the Museum at FIT’s permanent collection, this book is a crash-course in iconic fashion designers and their signature creations. Plus, the book comes in several different covers made from fabrics by Missoni, Prada, DVF and more. More info at: Book Review: ‘Fashion Designers A-Z’

4. "The Fashion File"

“The Fashion File: Advice, Tips and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of ‘Mad Men’”
By Janie Bryant with Monica Corcoran Harel, forward by January Jones
Grand Central Life & Style, Hardcover, 192 pages
November 2010

Why it’s fab: “Mad Men” fans will adore this book filled with classic fashion, beauty and grooming tips that span the decades. Lovely “Mad Men” photos and fashion illustrations make this book a joy to read.

5. "Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible"

“Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet”
By Tim Gunn with Ada Calhoun
Gallery Books, Hardcover, 312 pages
September 2012

Why it’s fab: Ever wonder how jeans or the bikini were invented? “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn explains the origins and history of every piece of clothing in our closets. And just like the book’s subtitle, it’s truly fascinating.

6. “What Would Grace Do?"

“What Would Grace Do?: How to Live Life in Style Like the Princess of Hollywood”
By Gina McKinnon
Gotham Books, Hardcover, 240 pages
April 2013

Why it’s fab: Fans of Grace Kelly will learn how to live with true grace and elegance like the Hollywood actress-turned-princess. The adorable Tiffany blue book instructs how to achieve the Grace Kelly look and throw a “swell party.”

7. “WWD: 100 Years, 100 Designers”

“WWD: 100 Years, 100 Designers”
Forward by Bridget Foley
Fairchild Books, Hardcover, 312 pages
October 2010

Why it’s fab: Organized by decade, then by designer, this book looks at 100 years of fashion history as documented by the famed trade publication Women’s Wear Daily. It’s a book that will make fashion journalists and fashion students feel awestruck by WWD’s huge influence in fashion.

8. “The Little Dictionary of Fashion”

“The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman”
By Christian Dior
Harry N. Abrams, Hardcover, 128 pages
November 2007 (Originally published in 1954)

Why it’s fab: Christian Dior wrote some sage advice for women in the 1950s that still holds true today in this little pink book that’s sprinkled with charming illustrations and fashion photos. His advice, everything from Accent and Accessories to Young Look and Zest, is arranged alphabetically in this breezy, yet informative guide. Every fashionista should read this book.

9. “BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern"

“BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: Mastering Iconic Looks from the 1920s to 1980s”
By Nora Abousteit with Jamie Lau
Potter Craft, Hardcover, 216 pages
December 2012

Why it’s fab: If you’re a vintage lover who sews, or are itching to try, this wonderful book provides step-by-step instructions and paper patterns to make vintage silhouettes like a 1920s drop-waist dress, a 1950s petticoat, a 1960s Jackie dress and much more.

10. “The Anatomy of Fashion"

“The Anatomy of Fashion: Why We Dress the Way We Do”
By Colin McDowell
Phaidon Press, Hardcover, 272 pages
September 2013

Why it’s fab: This book dissects what we wear, its origins and how we’ve clothed ourselves literally from head to toe. Want to know the origins of bras and cufflinks? This book will tell you. And there’s a fashion timeline from 40,000 B.C. to today that’s fun to peruse.

Keep up with the latest vintage clothing news on Twitter @trendyjenny, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.
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