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Reviving your closets
“After a certain age women and their clothes just don’t get along anymore,” begins The Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age. Many of us over the age of 40 find that our lives and bodies evolve quicker than the contents of our closets, but we don’t quite know what to do about it. This guide, by fashion editor and beauty expert Lois Joy Johnson, shares “hundreds of body-enhancing, closet-reviving, and money-saving tricks” aimed at changing the way we think about what we wear. Readers can approach it in three basic ways: to reinvigorate what’s already in the closet; to “look contemporary but not silly” and “dress for comfort without giving up fashion”; and to start over after a big life change (new job, divorce, weight change, etc.). Johnson is helped by supermodel Cheryl Tiegs (who wrote the foreword) and 18 “extraordinary women” in the arts, fashion and beauty industries, each of whom appears in outfits from her own closet to illustrate a particular principle or suggestion. For those of us on tight budgets, the style-for-less shopping guide (from Ann Taylor to Walmart) is especially helpful.
WEDDING DAY DIY
Vintage Wedding Style: More Than 25 Simple Projects and Endless Inspiration for Designing Your Big Day is for couples with an eye for “something old” and a vision of an unforgettably unique celebration. Author and wedding stylist Elizabeth Demos shows how easy and fun it can be to layer old and new by bringing antique and vintage pieces to any (or every) aspect of a wedding. She explores 12 broad themes—from a fabulous Gatsby revival to “Flea Market Charm”—shared from 12 actual weddings. Within each are DIY how-tos and scrumptious photos of projects with details large and small. Basically, almost anything goes, especially when used with suggested “editing skills,” and with tips that help couples “navigate common problems such as out-of-the-way locations, weather concerns, and budget.” Hundreds of “styling ideas” and photos vastly outnumber the designated DIY projects, and altogether they make up a real wish-book of wedding inspiration. Readers should expect sudden urges to visit thrift stores, yard sales and antique malls. The 25 projects are rated by difficulty and timing (as in, “when to start”), and include sweet touches like vintage map votive candles, muslin favor bags, faux forced flowering branches, jute-wrapped jars, giant letters (you’ll see . . .) and wood-block flower centerpieces.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner combines aesthetic sensibility and literally down-to-earth pragmatism with insight and ingenuity. Who knew that a plot full of weeds and scrubby trees could so readily be transformed into a garden of earthly delights just a few steps away from the kitchen, and just a few more easy and thoughtful steps away from an arrangement for the dining room? Whether your yard is big or small, out back or in front, or limited to a few containers on a balcony, you can “pursue food production and beauty together” and “form meaningful spaces that have the power to both ground and uplift.” And here’s the kicker: With a bit of planning, all this useful beauty can flow from season to season the whole year ’round.