I just had the pleasure of reviewing this book from fashion blogger favorite, The Budget Fashionista. This accessibly written wonder is geared towards women of the 21st century, with just as much time given to in-store shopping as there is provided for online surfing. Harking back to her time as a post-college spendthrift, author Kathryn Finney tells of the road to destruction that credit cards and fashion addiction allowed her, and shares what she learned about careful consumerism, do-it-yourself remedies, and inside track innovation that brought her back to the path of APR righteousness.
In this delightfully written and fast read, Finney takes us from Canal street to couture, helping women of all body types determine their right style, right sizing, and right pricing – and gives cool ideas from temp jobs to trading parties for financing those of us with fashion habits. While there are minor inaccuracies in the book (on p. 117 she states “Skirt lengths  are relatively shorter in a bad economy, relatively longer in a good economy” when historical records for the US demonstrate the opposite to be true after 1961, a point I remember because of a near-brawl the discussion caused in a world history class), for the most part this book is on with tried and true methods. If too many of her tips don’t work, it will be quite simply because she shared her fabulous secrets and the stores will now be on to us budget shoppers!
Just from reading the table of contents, Finney is a woman in line with the Fat Chic philosophy. One chapter is titled, “The Importance of Good Undergarments.” Chapter three is entitled “Reality Dressing.” She advocates the simple, closet space saving philosophy: “dress for the life you actually have.” It’s a motto I’d like to have embroidered on the inside of my wallet.
Finney herself considers herself a plussie, and although at a size 14 pant I’d likely argue that point with her, she takes special time and consideration for women of larger sizes. Not only does she point out some great brands and department stores that don’t typically come to mind when discussing plus clothing options, she provides a helpful chart of most body types. The pear does seem to be missing from the chart, but I think “pear” translates either to “oval” or “triangle.” Besides, how could she not win my approval by starting off the page on finding plus size fashions, “Lane Bryant isn’t the only place for plus-suze fashionistas to find great deals to fill their style quotient.”
As delighted I am with the shopping tips and a book that is the ultimate companion to Internet surfing – definitely have this by you and read and surf at the same time – the most important message of the book is one that needs to be spoken to women worldwide: take control of your money, and take control of your life. Finney brings finance to an arena that needs more talk about money, and brings it in a way that even the most fiscally-avoidant woman will look at it and walk away thinking, “Gee, managing my money is fun!” Pair this with Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich, and you will be on a whole new track where fashion is your power.