Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Little Black Book of Style

The Little Black Book of Style

3.7 30
by Nina Garcia

See All Formats & Editions

From Nina Garcia—fashion judge on Bravo’s hit Project Runway and author of Style Strategy and The One Hundred—comes her wildly popular New York Times bestseller The Little Black Book of Style. Here, in one indispensible volume, are Nina’s ultimate rules of style to help you uncover your own signature


From Nina Garcia—fashion judge on Bravo’s hit Project Runway and author of Style Strategy and The One Hundred—comes her wildly popular New York Times bestseller The Little Black Book of Style. Here, in one indispensible volume, are Nina’s ultimate rules of style to help you uncover your own signature look.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

The Little Black Book of Style

Chapter One

Be your own muse

When a beautiful woman walks into a room, I may glance up for a moment, but I soon return to my entrée or my conversation or the dessert menu. Let's be honest: beauty is not all that interesting (and certainly not more interesting than the dessert menu). But when a confident woman walks into a room, it is entrancing. I'll watch as she moves with poise and self-possession. She is not usually the one in the plain black dress. She is the one in the interesting shirt and the vintage skirt, and I immediately want to know where she got them. And she may not be the most stunningly gorgeous woman I've ever seen, but she has a way about her that can make her one of the most intriguing. Confidence is captivating, it is powerful, and it does not fade—and that is endlessly more interesting than beauty.

The first and most important step to developing style is to project this kind of confidence. The kind of confidence that tells others that you respect yourself, love yourself, and dress up for yourself and nobody else. You are your own muse. Style comes from knowing who you are and who you want to be in the world; it does not come from wanting to be somebody else, or wanting to be thinner, shorter, taller, prettier. Many of the most stylish women in the world have not been great beauties, but they have all drawn from an enormous amount of self-confidence. They made us think they were beautiful simply by believing it themselves. They did not let anyone else define them; they defined themselves.

I truly admire women who love themselves, even if they are not the standardbeauty norm. I am fascinated by the "imperfect icons," the girls who are by far not the most beautiful girls in the room, but they are confident and think they're beautiful, so others think they are. I marvel at a six-foot-tall woman in stilettos, a big-bottomed woman in a curve-hugging skirt, a flat-chested woman in a tight, low cut T-shirt. When a woman embraces her "imperfections," they can become her greatest strengths, definers of her character and spirit. When she plays up her weaknesses and draws you to her flaws, she makes them special, attractive, and even enviable.

Confidence has nothing to do with aesthetics and everything to do with attitude. Nothing suits a woman better than this air of self-assurance, and when she truly owns that, she is unyielding and stunning. Confidence is the one thing that can instantly turn the volume up on a woman's beauty. When it comes to style and confidence, you have to learn to move with it, which can be daunting. We all have our insecurities. But you just know when you are in the company of a confident woman. Even (or especially) in the face of imperfections, her air is striking. Her beauty is fueled from something inside her. It's not that she doesn't care about her looks; on the contrary, she is so comfortable with who she is that she even embraces her quirks and flaws.

The confident woman loves herself entirely. Think Lauren Hutton and her gap-toothed smile. Think Frida Kahlo and her unibrow. Think the Duchess of Windsor, no great beauty. Think Barbra Streisand and her Grecian nose. Notice how their heads are always held up high and their flaws are always flaunted, never hidden or apologized for. Look to these women. Follow their lead. Hold your head up high and flaunt your flaws—the confidence should follow. And if all else fails, fake it. Confidence is the one thing that you can fake and you will actually end up believing it (oh, if that were true in other arenas!). You have to put yourself up on a pedestal before anyone is going to look up to you.

You are the goddess, so start treating yourself accordingly. Get your nails and hair done, take long baths, wear great perfume. Do whatever it is that makes you feel amazing. You have to pamper yourself, because nobody else is going to do it for you. Start adoring yourself. Love yourself from the inside out, and slowly but surely you will become comfortable on that pedestal, and you will exude the kind of confidence that others admire. And what you wear up on that pedestal matters. Sweatsuits just won't do. I promise you, a great dress or a stunning skirt will make you feel much more "spotlight worthy," and others will see you that way too.

This instant language is much smarter than it gets credit for at times. They are just clothes, shoes, and bags, you could say. And people do say it, day after day. But I think they are more than just clothes, shoes, and bags. They are a large part of a woman's character and tell us a bit of her story without saying a word.

It was also Miuccia Prada who said, "I thought fashion was stupid because I thought there were more intelligent and noble professions, like politics, medicine, or science." And I think every woman has this hesitation at one time or another. I did. I spent four years of college trying to find out what I wanted to do that did not involve the fashion industry. But I always came back to it. And not for the free samples (they are not as free as you might think). I came back to it because I was in love with style, and I finally recognized it as something important and influential.

I have always found that the women with amazing personal style are powerful, intriguing, and yes, even intelligent. Very intelligent. They know who they are and what they want to project upon the world. These women understand that what they put on in the morning is the first thing that people notice about them. It tells the world a bit of their story. And, more important, their clothes affect how they feel about themselves throughout the day.

The Little Black Book of Style. Copyright © by Nina Garcia. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Fashion director at Marie Claire magazine, Nina Garcia is best known for her appearance as the unerring, formidable fashion judge on the hit show Project Runway. An elite authority in the industry, she has worked in fashion houses and in fashion media, from Marc Jacobs to Elle and Marie Claire. Originally from Colombia, she now makes her home in New York City.

Con su ojo experto para la moda, Nina García es conocida como la acertada y extraordinaria jueza de la moda en el exitoso programa Project Runway. Como una autoridad en la industria, ha trabajado en imperios y medios de la moda, con todos desde Marc Jacob hasta la revista Marie Claire. Nacida en Colombia, ahora vive en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Little Black Book of Style 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually loved it, and the only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because while reading it you get too much the impression you need to be rich to follow her advice. You don't and she is trying to stress it but it doesn't work very well in this book. Nevertheless, after I have managed to filter out 'the rich factor' I found this book very inspiring and a very good and light read. It gave me the confidence to follow my gut instinct and to trust to follow what I like and not to try to be someone I am not. Highly recommended.
EllaNista More than 1 year ago
In the LBB (Little Black Book) of Style Nina Garcia tells you about the "basics" in a fun and not in a condescending matter. Whether you love her or hate her as a judge on Project Runway this book is meant to inspire the inner you (at any age).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nina Garcia explains that Styles always change yet the Little Black Dress can withstand the test of time. My Mother's Aunt worked with Coco Chanel and taught me what Nina Garcia states perfectly: buy a few elegant basics and "jazz" them up with the latest style. Nina Garcia touches on what to add and when to add-always elegant and always in style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the book for a fashion designer. It will inspire to try new things and maybe you will think a thing to design I sure did. if you were debating on buyiny the book BUY IT. It is good for people who love fashion.
AlishaPP More than 1 year ago
The book is excellent! It was very fun to read and very easy to understand why Nina is Nina. Of course every single one of us has a style and we just need to translate that to our day to day basis. You do not need to be rich to follow a trend, or to create your personal style. The book is full of new and old ideas with a refreshing sense of style.
For all of you that think that fur can be just the real thing is very mistaken or that you need to be rich to achieve a look, even worse.
Fashion means creativity, breaking the rules and mostly feeling good about yourself no matter shape or color.
For you all purchasing the book or intending to, go ahead. Start looking beautiful...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a good read-Nina focuses on concentrating more on the basics of a wardrobe and sprucing it up with accessories. I love that this book had a lot of film actress/decades references (she lists out all movies/celebrities that were influential at different decades, and why. This book is easy to read and is good for all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will sum up this book in two sentences, and then you don't need to buy it. (1) If you have enough confidence, anything is stylish. (2) A crisp white shirt is sexy. That's about all she had to say. I was hoping for summaries of trends, what to wear together, how to see if a piece blends with something else and so forth. But it was just a pep talk about how you should be confident about anything you wear, with a bunch of quotes about style from movies and other people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely fabulous!! Nina Garcia truly breaks down the walls of the stereo-typical trend setter, and allows everyone to be a trendsetter in her own right. I love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love Nina Garcia, you'll love her book!!! And even if you do not know who Nina Garcia is, and just exploring what style and fashion is about - this book is great! Loved reading it, so resourceful, loved it!
NRSD More than 1 year ago
Ok so this book is really good and even if you dont chose a fashion career it tells you some really good tips with dressing yourself overall i loved this book and would read it again in a heartbeat
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is fabulous! I love her tips on what to invest in, how to be stylish without being too trendy and I really enjoy the quotes throughout the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fashion!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago