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My two favorite coffee table books

May 28, 2015

I’ve always loved coffee table books.

You know, the look of them, the pretty pictures inside. Thumbing through one while drinking a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning.

But you never actually read them, do you? There’s a reason they’re for the coffee table, not the nightstand.

But these books by Amanda Brooks are different. I feel weirdly connected to them in some cosmic way.




Amanda is a fashion maven (was mentored by DVF herself, alongside Patrick Demarchelier, and later Fashion Director at Barney’s New York, to be exact) who I’d never heard of before I happened across her first book. I stumbled upon I Love Your Style, years ago when I was in Milwaukee shopping with one of my best friends and roommate, Kate. Being dirt poor at the time I quickly glazed over the selection at the pseudo-upscale store we were in and plopped down on a posh, tufted ottoman and glanced at the selection of books, deciding which I would peruse first while Kate was in the dressing room.

I picked up I Love Your Style, intrigued by the title and the simplistic-chic cover, and was hooked.

I started reading every word, and felt like my best friend was teaching me the fundamentals of style. Part personal commentary, part style documentary, I was in love. (Keep in mind this was pre-blog years, when I wasn’t exactly the most stylish person on the block.) I think this book really made me view style in a different way.

Kate obviously took notice, because months later, she sweetly bought it for me as a present, and I have never been so excited.  It’s been on my coffee table ever since, and it always brightens my day whenever I have a chance to read through it.

Fast forward about 3 years, and I get an email from Amanda Brooks’ publisher (this was about 3 weeks ago to be exact.) She told me that Amanda just released a new book, called Always Pack a Party Dress, and she wanted to send me a free copy.

WHAT?! ME?! Why?!

I was enamored. Of course, I said yes, and ripped open the package with excitement later that week. I had a chance to finally dive into it while at the lake this weekend, and I have to say, it is equally as lovely as her first.

It provides an insider glimpse at her life and fashion career, but in a way that is completely down to earth and accessible. Not only does this provide expert style advice (and I use the word style, not fashion) but also a personal back story of her life experiences and what she learned along the way.

Jenna Lyons (yes, Jenna Lyons) said it best in her review of Always Pack a Party Dress:

“Amanda Brooks is one of those rare birds–perfectly imperfect, not overly considered, impossibly real and humble. While flipping through the pages of this book, I realized her style is just that: her style.” 

In other words, if you have any remote interest in style, please buy these books. You will love them. That’s all.

Shop them on Amazon: 

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