A few weeks ago I did a Fashion Flashback Friday to Pretty in Pink.  As I wrote the post I also found out that Molly Ringwald just published "Getting the Pretty Back".  I was excited to hear that this star of my teenage years, who was now also 42, had written a book about "Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick".   So I ran off to Chapters to pick up a copy. 

The book reads like a series of blogs.  Like Molly is chatting with her girlfriends and giving advice from her life experience. She doesn't profess to be an expert, just telling it from her own perspective.   It is peppered with personal stories about insecurities, relationships and bad haircuts.  And includes some fun sidebars with practical tips and lists like "how to pack a carry-on bag" or "how to tie an hermes scarf".

The first thing to discuss is the title "Getting the Pretty Back".  Molly says this is not just about beauty.  "It's an attitude toward life, a frame of mind.... Prettiness is inside every woman; it's a feeling, a sense of self that never entirely leaves.  It's always there."   And then she really starts talking about something that is near and dear close to my heart "... it's about taking care of yourself again.  Style is the first and easiest step to reminding yourself - and the world - that you matter. "  And finally she talks about how it isn't about recapturing our youth, but that "Our life experience, after all, is what makes us interesting, smarter, more confident and formidable." So right from the beginning I feel like Molly and I are on the same page.

Quotes that I loved from her chapter on style:

  • "Trying to look an age that you aren't only makes you look older"
  • "The most important thing (about rules for how to dress now) is to know your strengths."
  • "The most important to remember about fashion, though, is to have fun.  Don't take it too seriously.  It's easy to be intimidated by the fashion industry... but style is above all a personal issue." 

And my favourite "The best thing that you can do for yourself is to buy clothes that actually fit you.  Not fit the you that you want to be, or the you that you were, but the you that you are now."

Her list of staples shows she learnt a thing or two while living in France:

  1. Jeans
  2. Black Cashmere Turtleneck
  3. Hermes Scarf
  4. Wraparound Dress
  5. Trench Coat
  6. Handbag
  7. T-shirts
  8. A nude heel
  9. Black Blazer
  10. Lingerie

I have to argue about the black cashmere turtleneck as that does not work on women with ample chests, like myself.  It gives me as Stacy London would say "a uni-boob".

Other Chapters deal with:

  • Boyfriend Hair
  • Make-up tips
  • Friendships
  • Relationships and Breakups
  • Cooking & Wine & Throwing the perfect dinner party
  • Blunders and emails
  • Motherhood - and just for the record I'd have been all up in those cursing kid's faces too.  And if it had been my kid he would have apologized.  But that is for another blog.

Her prose gets a bit snobby around the discussion of wine.  Otherwise I thoroughtly enjoyed the book and the tips provided.  Kind of felt like I had made a new girlfriend, except that Molly probably wouldn't appreciate me hugging her if I met her in the street. 

The question for today... do you want to continue to hear about books broadly related to style?  I hope so because I got a hot little "advance copy" of something I'm excited to read and share soon.