Review: Are you a Jackie or a Marilyn? & The Ellements of Personal Style

booksBecause I'm breastfeeding Jude I have spent a lot more time tethered to my recliner than I had originally anticipated. I'm speeding through books like crazy, so I was super excited when The Penguin Group offered to send me two new books, both with a fashion bent, to peruse.

1. Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?: Timeless Lessons on Love, Power, and Style
jm0It's safe to say that no two women have influenced fashion like Jackie Kennedy Onasis and Marilyn Monroe. This book asks the age old question but applies it to dating, make-up, exercise, and career.

Review: The book starts off with a simple quiz to determine if you lean Jackie or Marilyn. Regardless of the result (I am, much to my surprise, mostly a Marilyn) the book insists that you may be more Jackie in some areas of your life and more Marilyn in others. My favorite part is the adorable illustrations:jmiAuthor Pamela Keough knows her stuff, acting as a cultural anthropologist on all things Jackie and Marilyn. Packed full of personal anecdotes and little known trivia bits on both Jackie O and Marilyn, this was a quick and easy read.

Verdict: a must for those who love either of these stylish ladies or anyone who has aspirations to be a first lady or a Hollywood starlet. Because it does deal a lot with dating and man advice, this book is probably best for the unattached lady, though.

2. The ELLEments of Personal Style: 25 Modern Fashion Icons on How to Dress, Shop, and Live
elleoIt's been 25 years since Elle Magazine first graced the world with its fabulousness. To celebrate, Elle has recently published "The Ellements of Personal Style" featuring 25 fashion icons. These "icons" run the gamut: actresses young and old (Lea Michelle, Angelica Houston), singers/ performers (Fergie, Dita Von Teese), and even one legitimate fashion heiress (Margherita Missoni). The other icons include: model Erin Wasson, tv host Padma Lakshmi, actresses Ashley Greene, Tracey Ellis Ross, Christina Hendricks, Olivia Wilde, Katherine Pope, Kate Mara, Becki Newton, Milla Jovovich, and Charlotte Rampling, designer Diane von Furstenberg, singers Estelle, Alicia Keys, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, art world fixture Yvonne Force Villareal, author Candace Bushnell, Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, and director/ choreography Fatima Robinson.

Review: I loved this book! Every icon is photographed in her home (some in their awe-inspiring closets), and each of them put together inspiration boards, answered questions in their own handwriting, and even boiled down their style to just one item.elleiI especially loved when the women would share photos of themselves from way back in the day. Above is Diane von Furstenberg's personal collage. Every page is full, and this would be an excellent coffee table book or a book to thumb through if you feel like you're stuck in a fashion rut.

Verdict: recommended! Would be a great Christmas gift for the every day fashion lover.

Special thanks to Casey and Anne at The Penguin Group for sending me copies of these books to review. I love non-fiction books, and I'd love to hear your recommendations so I can bulk up my library list! Suggestions?