Style is one of those things that most people want. Finding and developing personal style can be a long process and it can be a scary if you don’t know where to start. One of the most common emails I get through my blog is “I want to start dressing in BLANK style but I really don’t know where to start!”. I usually offer tips and suggestions but until now I haven’t really been able to direct people to a decent resource. Enter the lovely Vanessa who has written exactly that: her guide to style. She sent me a copy to read over/listen to and review so here are my thoughts on it.

The Guide is billed as a resource for beginners who are embarking on a style journey or looking to expand their style repertoire.

Title- Nessbow’s Guide To Developing Your Personal Style Price- $5 Available from- Nessbow’s Blog here.

Format-I really appreciated having the option of reading or listening. I downloaded the transcript to my iPad and read it in bed. While it would be good to be able to download the actual recording for portability it’s not a big deal as you can keep coming back to listen to it as many times as you like with the password you’re given. For the price as well I think having these two options is more than ample. It downloads as a doc file which is good as it’s a fairly universally compatible format.  Vanessa’s voice on the recording was cheerful and easy to listen to. She speaks with the enthusiasm of someone who clearly loves what she’s talking about.

Info from Nessbow:

The guide covers topics such as: – Finding Inspiration – Defining your personal style – Pulling yourself out of a style rut – Debunking common excuses for not dressing the way you want to. – Translating your dream look into everyday life – Acquiring your dream wardrobe – Pulling an outfit off with confidence And a whole lot more.

The guide costs $5, and you can purchase it by clicking the Paypal button on the sidebar.  For $5, you will receive: – A 30-page transcript of the entire guide – A password and link so that you can access the audio recording of the guide via Ustream – A big, sloppy thankyou kiss from me.Vanessa writes well, very descriptively and with humor. The beginning where she’s describing starting out in Melbourne and experimenting with her fashion, I could actually picture her standing there and trying to decide where to start. I can imagine there are a lot of girls who can really relate to her lack of money and confusion of where to start. Having grown up in a reasonably small town myself I understood exactly what she meant when she felt overwhelmed by the choices that are suddenly available when moving to a city. She uses herself as an example in a lot of the work shops which is great because you can actually put a face to the advice and see how her own personal style has evolved. It’s almost a bit like a large case study.

I think that’s what sets this guide apart from other similar options- it’s written from the point of view of someone who is being extremely realistic in their approach. You won’t find her advising that you ditch everything you own and drop a couple of grand on a new wardrobe because for most people that’s just not an option. Instead it contains tips for budgeting, saving and collecting to gradually build a style over time. She makes it seem like an actual journey and at one point describes her fashion wish list as being like a treasure map which I thought was an adorable way of thinking of it. Its nice to read about financially responsible fashion!

While I think this would be most useful for people who are just starting out on their style “journey” there are tips and exercises here that could definitely be of use to those who are in a slump and need inspiration to get out.

The advice and ideas here are easily adapted to someone interested in one style only such as Lolita or hime gyaru but also those who like to pick and choose styles to suit their moods, there’s even a whole section devoted to each idea!

The techniques and exercises here would definitely suit people who enjoy planning and making lists. Many of the suggestions involve note taking, diary keeping, outfit documentation and planning which I think is something people either love or hate so this may not appeal as much to those who prefer to just wing it.

I think the only nit picky points I can make about this was that I felt the end was a little abrupt and that maybe it could have done with an extra paragraph to send you out on your journey? Perhaps a few more links to starting points for the absolute beginner at the end? I suppose though that’s the part where the reader really needs to take over and make the leap themselves otherwise they might rely to heavily on advice not be comfortable taking initiative in future!

I think my favorite section overall was the one in which she tackles common excuses people use not to dress how they really want to. As someone who wears what a lot of people see as weird and out there fashion I have heard all of these before! I can’t wear BLANK because of my job, I wish I could dress like you BUT, I would never have the confidence to wear BLANK in public, what if people laughed at me for wearing BLANK. She covers how to overcome common fears and actually get out there and do it!

VERDICT- I found the guide to be very inspirational without giving unrealistic expectations, I would definitely recommend it for people who are looking to get more into style or fashion but don’t have a clear idea of where to start or those who are finding themselves in a slump and are in need of new inspiration. I think it is well put together, cleanly written and I will totally be recommending it to people who contact me in the future as a great place to start for style advice. DO WANT!