Book Review: 365 Style by Nicky Hilton with Allie Kingsley

365 Style by Nicky Hilton with Allie Kingsley
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Fashion
ISBN: 978-0373892976
Source: ARC from BEA 2014
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From red carpets and runways to front row at Fashion Week, designer and muse Nicky Hilton has earned her reputation as a style icon. Exposed to the top tier of the fashion industry from childhood, in this style guide Hilton reveals tips and tricks of the trade she has learned along the way.

Never having employed a stylist, Hilton has created her own personal style. In this guide she helps you discover yours. Despite her opulent upbringing, Nicky maintains a less-is-more mindset and instructs you how to look like a million—without spending a million.

Her formula for creating your signature style is as easy as 3-6-5. Consider the 3 main aspects of your lifestyle, choose 6 staple items of clothing, and identify 5 essential accessories. This simple plan will allow you to make savvy wardrobe selections that keep you on-trend and out of hoarder status, for good.

Nicky shares her best-kept style secrets:

*The $30 wardrobe item you can’t live without

*The one closet accessory that keeps you organized at all times

*Five must-have wardrobe items

*DIY upgrades: from bygone to brilliant

*How to pack like a jet-setter

Full of personal stories, style successes, fashion mishaps and more, 365 Style is the ultimate guide to fashion from the style expert turned best friend you never knew you had!

When I discovered that Nicky Hilton would be at BEA signing advanced copies of her book, 365 Style, I knew that I had to be in line for this book. I’m the last person anybody would go to for style advice because I’ve always dressed for comfort and never felt comfortable with my body shape to really go out and even…try. But that doesn’t mean I never admired people in the fashion world. I have my people and Nicky Hilton has always been one of my fashion inspirations.

I remember going to the Macy’s in New York City almost ten years ago just after Nicky Hilton’s first clothing line launched and seeing such a vast amount of space on the show floor dedicated to her clothes and being so happy and so proud of this person that I didn’t know. I just knew she was fulfilling her passion and if you know me, that’s what I’m all about. I love her personal stories sprinkled throughout this book but I still don’t much about her. And that’s fine. Her personal tidbits influenced her style and this book is about style. So. Over the years, I’ve followed Nicky’s career and it’s been so exciting watching her find her style. So it comes as no surprise to me that Nicky Hilton is the one helping me find mine.

Nicky stresses that this book is not about how to dress like her, rather how to dress like the best version of you which I love and after reading, have found to be so true! It’s so important for this to be said since so many young girls do look up to her and she does have a responsibility, whether she likes it or not to so many (but it seems like she doesn’t mind) to say things like this. To push young girls, push everyone and anyone who looks to her to look to themselves and simply be inspired by many people as well as what’s around them. In fact, Nicky goes so far as to list her style inspirations and what she admires most about these people whom she’s picked out. It’s important that I say style here, because in her book, she states that fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it. When you think about it, this statement alone kind of transforms your entire wardrobe. Then add on your style inspirations and everything else one can tap into when honing in on their style. It’s a really invigorating experience.

The little boost from the heel makes me feel as if I have risen above average on an otherwise average day. – Nicky Hilton

Now for someone like me who loves fashion but simply never thought that I had the body type to pull off anything, always thinking that I just can never seem to get it right… something clicked when Nicky said in this book that it’s not about body type. People have said this to me before but you know how you can hear something a million times and then one day it just clicks? Well, it clicked for me in the pages of 365 Style. I’ve been overthinking it this entire time and I’m finally seeing that I was hiding behind various excuses because being comfortable was easier than trying. Which is hysterical considering how proactive I am in every other area of my life.

Anyway, in 365 Style, Nicky walks us through the 5 black essentials, signature items, fashion by the seasons, tips while traveling, tips while shopping, style influenced by our destinations, vintage store tips, sample sales, what to wear on special occasions (even including what to wear for a break up!), and so much more.

One travel tip that might seem obvious to many but half of the time I think about it last minute – and now I’m going to make it a point to think about it as I pack – is to bring an oversized sweater or wide scarf as your own blanket instead of using the ones on the plane. As far as our style being influenced by our destinations… I’ve never been to France but anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been in love with this country since the second grade. This was a great reminder to use the French culture as an influence in my style. This will take time but I’ll get there!

I also want to mention that I didn’t realize how much Greece has influenced my and so many other people’s fashion choices! Also, note to self, look up Australian designers: Sass & Bide, Wayne Cooper, and Rachel Gilbert.

Now, one of my favorite points in the book comes when Nicky says that if you can’t pinpoint where you would wear an outfit, you don’t need to be buying it. Which brings me to the 3-6-5 method for which the book’s title comes from. Nicky advises readers to pinpoint their 3 most common occasions and what they wear for those occasions to help determine your wardrobe needs as well as 6 staple items and 5 accessories. What a fantastic method! I won’t share much but I will say that I am very excited about incorporating more accessories into my style. Anyone who sees me on a typical day can find me in my staples including a tank top, sweater, striped top, or three quarter sleeve shirt. Get ready for me to keep that up but also spice it up! The 3-6-5 method is about to be used to the max!

I hope this guide inspires you to connect to what is most meaningful in your own life and to find what inspires you to be a better, stronger, kinder human being. – Nicky Hilton

Nearing the end of the book, Nicky shares a number of lessons that she learned from her mother which easily makes this one of my favorite chapters because it’s true, mother knows best and there’s so much great advice in this chapter. Most of which I’ve already heard but it was still refreshing to hear it again and read what else Nicky decided to expand on. Don’t skip this chapter! It’s great!

Here’s a spoiler! Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know it. Okay. So. I’ll admit, I was shocked to discover what the final chapter was about. It makes perfect sense but I simply wasn’t expecting it. I certainly haven’t seen it in other fashion guides I’ve browsed through. It’s ironic but that’s the beauty in all of this, really. Nicky talks about what really makes one’s style stand out and that’s the beauty that comes from within. This is when I realized that all of the quotes throughout the book are more than just quotes splashed throughout each chapter. It leads up to something. It leads up to 6 of Nicky’s favorite quotes that keep her grounded. Along with 3 of her role models and 5 goals of hers to remain accountable each day. 3. 6. 5. This book is about style but not in one way. What a beautiful surprise. 365 Style is fluid and fast paced, very easy to read and follow along with as the structure of this book is exceptionally well crafted.

365 Style is meant to inspire readers to rev up their creativity and find their style as well as leaving a lasting mark. It’s safe to say that 365 Style has certainly inspired me. So much of this book has inspired me that I’ve decided in honor of its release, I’m going to challenge myself to document my style on Instagram using the 3-6-5 method. Beginning September 2nd, when this book releases and lasting 365 days, ending on September 2, 2015. This is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. But I’m equally excited about it. And I hope that if you’re interested in taking the next step with your style, 365 Style will be just the encouragement you need! It sure has been for me!

365 Style by Nicky Hilton with Allie Kingsley releases September 2, 2014.