Must-have Fashion Books

    Do you dream of working in the fashion industry and spend about 70% of your time thinking about clothes? Did you spend most of your childhood scanning through glossy pages of fashion magazines and stealing your mum’s lipstick? If you have answered with yes to most of these, then you can officially call yourself a Natural Fashionista! Welcome to the club – I like you! 

    Milions of women around the world dream of working in the fashion industry! Most of them probably think of it in the Carrie Bradshaw style, with tons of free clothes, magazines, runaways, and endless coffee shots. This whole idea sounds very attractive; however, most women still don’t exactly know where they would love to work, and which steps they need to take to get there. 

    What skills do you need to have to work in the fashion industry?

    Do you want to be a fashion designer, a fashion journalist, a stylist, or a fashion buyer? You do need to choose a specific position, as skills required to become a designer are much more different from if you want to work in sales. According to School of Style, the top skills one should have in the fashion industry are an eye for detail, aesthetics, fashion and art history knowledge, note taking, networking, listening, business and marketing skills, being a team player, and having thick skin – as the industry is very demanding!  

    According to Alexa Chung, one of my favorite role models in the fashion industry, the key traits one should have to work in the fashion industry is to work hard, be passionate about the field, and always be keen to learn. 

    PS: If you want to get a better grasp of the future of fashion and learn how to find a job in the industry, I recommend watching:

     Future of Fashion British Vogue Series featuring Alexa Chung. 

    She interviews super cool people as Leandra Medine from Man Repeller and Scottish designer Christopher Kane. 

    Although highly competitive, keep in mind that the fashion industry is still a trillion-dollar industry, which means there are plenty of opportunities out there. To help you navigate a bit better,  I am sharing this list of different jobs you could do in the fashion industry! 

    If you are still indecisive about the career direction you want to take (or you just want to learn more about the fashion industry), I absolutely recommend reading the following books. They will help you get a better understanding of the industry, be better prepared and more confident once you start looking for a fashion job. Here we go: 

    Books about History and development of Fashion

    The History of Modern Fashion by Daniel James Cole, for $28, 99

    The book focuses on fashion from 1850 to 2010, exploring it from an aesthetic point of view and as a manifestation of social and cultural change. It looks at the evolution of womenswear and menswear, decade by decade. What I love about the book is that it also looks at the relationship between fashion and popular culture, and the impact of new materials and technology on its development. It includes photographs of street style, photographs of costume from museums, and images from the fashion press! Cool, right? ;) 

    A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery by Aileen Ribiero and Cally Blackman, for $25.14 

    If you love the way people dressed in the past, then this is a book for you. The book focuses on the history of art and the analysis of costume, portrait, and presentation of the individual. In the book, the writers examine the role of the dress and the material, looking at a variety of examples: from furs of Tudors and Stuart, to the magnificent dresses worn by Queen Elizabeth I. This book will take you back in time and will help you get a better understanding of the link between clothes and social status. I totally recommend it!

    Books about Fashion Design and Fashion Styling

    Breaking the Pattern: A modern way to sew, by Saara and Laura Huhta. For $17.24

    If you have some basics sewing skills, and you would like to adopt a more sustainable approach to fashion, then check out this book! This dressmaking book provides instructions on how to create a coherent capsule wardrobe. It has a complete collection of 20 garments that are easy to make, wear and combine. If you would like to work in Fashion Design, then this could be a good start! As well, you can play around with the designs, and add a unique touch to it! The book is inspired by Scandinavian fashion, so expect a lot of minimalistic design patterns! 

    Fashion Stylist’s Handbook, by Danielle Griffiths, for € 24,00

    This one is for newbies as well! If you aspire to become a fashion stylist, but you have no idea where to start, then this book will be of great help! The author presents a practical guide on how to succeed as a fashion stylist: from landing your first job as an assistant to starting your own business! The book also features interviews with international contemporary fashion stylists – it is definitely one of my favorites! 

    Books about the biggest players in the industry, which you must read no matter what direction you go to

    Well, we don’t need a long description for the following books. Although reading a whole book about a specific luxury brand might seem a bit exhausting, it will help you in different ways. Not only will you understand how a brand grew, but you will also learn about the present challenges and rules within the industry, which is useful for whatever fashion brand you work in the future. Plus, knowing some cool facts about a brand could be a great advantage during a long interview! ;) 

    PS: Most of the books present runaway collections hence you can use it as a great source for inspiration!

    Louis Vuitton Catwalk, for $50, 00

    In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine, by Alberto Olivia, for $57, 40

    The Little Book of Chanel, for $12, 99

    Dior Fashion, by Caroline Bongrand, for $18,99

    Entertaining books about fashion you will actually enjoy reading

    It, by Alexa Chung, for $22,50

    Alexa Chung, a global fashion-trendsetter, shares her own personal inspirations and looks at the evolution of her style. The book is full of personal photos, street style shots, and personal notes, and it really humanizes Alexa and her path to success. It is an easy read, and if you are looking for literature during travels, then this is the book you need!

    The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior, for $12.99

    This ‘Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman’ is a pocketbook for every fashionista out there, and it is actually an amazing gift idea! In this fashion classic, you can find beautiful photographs and drawings by Christian Dior, where he also reveals the secret of his own style. Amazing! The book offers useful advice from what to wear to a wedding, to how to tie a scarf. Must-have literature for every fashion lover!

    And we have come to the end of the list. These were my favorite, must-have, fashion books! I would recommend them to both women who live and breathe for fashion, but also the ones who are curious to learn more about it! The books will give you useful information and inspiration, and they will definitely urge you to pursue your dream career!  

    Good Luck!


    • Iuliana R Iuliana R : Great list, thanks for sharing! I now added a couple of books to my wish-list :D
      5 years ago 
    • Una  O Una O : Thank you!! Enjoy your reading, let me know whether you liked them x
      5 years ago 
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