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Belts aren't meant to hold up pants, according to Freeman, deputy fashion editor at the British newspaper the Guardian; belts are "superfluous" additions to outfits that help cinch a waist or make one appear thinner. In her witty and acerbic debut book, Freeman notes what designer bags say about their owner (Fendi is for the "well-groomed" lady); the messages different hemlines can send ("super short miniskirts will have men whistling Roy Orbison's greatest hit at you"); and the trouble with the "unnecessary distraction" patterns provide. Her short chapters come at random as Freeman takes a haphazard approach to the fashion world by organizing her book alphabetically-which leads to some confusion as there are six separate chapters dealing with footwear. Her most convincing chapters expose the problems with the fashion industry, such as the unrealistic body image models like Kate Moss present. Readers plagued with indecision concerning what blouse is best or what jean style fits their body type can turn to Freeman, who doesn't pull her punches (ethnic clothes, like a pastel beach caftan, are "offensive"; mittens are "childlike"; and animal prints "embarrassingly obvious"). (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"[An] uproarious dictionary of style (or what passes for it)." -Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times "Wildly entertaining." -Entertainment Weekly "The world needs more wickedly observant naughty gals like Hadley Freeman." -Simon Doonan, Creative Director, Barneys and author of Eccentric Glamour