Book Review: “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life”

By FIN

By Rita Plush

“Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Because You Can’t Go Naked”

by George Brescia

Non-fiction

Gallery Books $21.99

George Brescia wants to get into your closet. Whatever mashup style your wardrobe is in, he wants to put it right. A top-tier New York City-based stylist and image consultant, as well as a Cherry Grove resident who has worked with fashion leaders and A-list store directors, Brescia dresses women for a living. He takes your closet seriously and wants you to do the same. Even if you shop only when you must, procrastinate over every purchase, only to find you made the wrong choice when you get it home, there’s hope for you. You too can become a “shopping ninja,” and change your life along the way.

Brescia is just the fellow you need to up your fashion game and his look-good feel-good philosophy takes in more than the right top or pair of shoes: If you dress your best, you feel your best. Feeling good makes you more confident. That confidence will carry over into your personal relationships, your job prospects, and, more important, the relationships you want and the job you aspire to. It’s win-win all around.

Section headings like A Great Outfit Can Change Your Life, Dress for Life You Want, and Dress to Win show the reader that Brescia means business. There’s even a segment about Your Man on the Weekend, with advice on how to bring his khakis up to code. Brescia thoroughly enjoys his work and wants readers to look in the mirror and like what they see. He’s determined that you have your best life by paying “attention to what you [put] on your body every day and in every area of your life, with no exceptions…”

Closet purging is a start, a search and destroy mission the author calls “a master cleanse” that has nothing to do with maple syrup and lemon juice – hold the cayenne pepper – and everything to do with an “incredibly centering and calming process.” Who knew that tossing your holey tees and those “hideous cargo capri pants” could be a Zen experience?

“Make sure it fits,” and “Make sure it flatters,” rank front and center for every garment you own. There are must-haves in every self-respecting wardrobe. A pair of perfect black pants, a silk blouse, a great winter coat, a giant black wrap, a neutral bag, and a knockout pair of sunglasses are among them.

Lively and entertaining, Brescia dispenses advice to all shapes and sizes. From long and lean to plus-size, and what to look for in a garment and when to look away, from the right dress to the right shoe and accessory – he’s a fan of statement jewelry – to belts and handbags, makeup, hair and grooming. Brescia is out to put a high shine on your “personal brilliance.”

As far as dressing for the gym: lose a little belly fat and find a boyfriend while you’re at it – but only if you have the right outfit on. Meaning nothing left over from high school or college “unless you are presently in high school or college,” or anything you wear to clean the house or wash the car in. And no outrageous color combinations. You want “perfectly fluid and flattering tops and form fitting pants or leggings.”

A true color-activist, Brescia provides a palette insert readers will find helpful for finding the most flattering hues based on hair color and complexion. For a “warm and inviting” look, you want light-colored neutrals. If you’re into “cheerful, fun, and perky,” bright colors are for you. Going for “drama and sex appeal”? Dark colors and jewel tones are your best bet. A hint from the pro: sequins and silks draw the eye by capturing the light.

The book, handy-sized at 5-½ by 7 inches, is wrapped in a multicolored jacket that gives the effect of pinked (saw-toothed edge) fabric strips. Easy to hold and refer to it’s just the thing to take along on your next shop-till-you-drop adventure for a quick review … Do I really need those culottes?

As for moi, I just did a closet cleanse that would make George Brescia proud. T.J. Maxx here I come! Let’s see now – do I want warm, perky, or sexy? Could I combine all three looks? I think I better call George. He wants to hear from me. And YOU! It’s right there in the Introduction. He’s on Twitter @georgebstyle, on Facebook, or email him at georgebstyleny@gmail.com.

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