Monday, March 14, 2016

Nonfiction Monday: What's your style? Hipster Fashion and Boho Fashion by Karen Latchana Kenney

My next two articles for Nonfiction Notions are going to focus on or include crafting and making books so I requested some new titles from two of my go-to publishers, Lerner and Capstone. You'll be seeing more about those titles soon, but I had several titles that didn't fit into what I was writing and I wanted to feature them here.

These two, Hipster Fashion and Boho Fashion are from the "What's your style?" series which also includes Edgy, Preppy, and Streetwear fashion. Each book starts out by explaining the look, showing how it's worn by various celebrities who are into the fashion style. There are ideas for getting the look for yourself - advice on accessories, shopping, makeup, and hairstyles - as well as a few DIY projects that are simple and inexpensive. Resources on learning more about the fashion, further reading, and a glossary are also included.

These titles are heavily addressed towards girls - the Hipster Fashion features some male celebrities and a few guys are pictured and occasionally referenced but more in an "oh, and guys too" way. There is racial diversity in both the models and illustrations, although Boho Fashion's casual advice to shop at ethnic stores made me feel a little iffy. However, there's no diversity in body types (unless you count the suggestion to find long, loose skirts and dresses in the plus-size area of stores). Also, Boho recommends heavily depending on thrift stores. Unless you live in a large city (and even then) the selection, especially of vintage clothing, is really slim and prices aren't always affordable. However, I did appreciate that both titles gave suggestions for having a sense of style without having to buy tons of expensive clothes and accessories.

Overall, compared to the average fashion book for tweens and teens, these are light, fun reading with lots of practical advice and reasonable suggestions for kids who want a popular "look" while being on a budget. They could also be a great reference for a fashion program with teens - find your style, create accessories, etc. My one concern, as a library, is that these titles are only available in expensive library binding ($25 apiece) and with the heavy dependence on celebrities will be outdated quickly as those celebrities go out of style and/or change their looks.

Verdict: Recommended if you have a big audience for fashion books or the $$ to update your fashion section, otherwise they're a little too expensive for the average budget.

Boho Fashion
ISBN: 9781467714709

Hipster Fashion
ISBN: 9781467714723

Published 2016 by Lerner; Review copies provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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