Cheap Chic

Sarah Underwood

5 Stars

August 25, 2015

“Cheap Chic” is a 70s style bible that was written by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy in 1975 and, since going out of print, has turned into quite the collector’s item, with prices going up to $600. I was so excited when I saw the 40th Anniversary Edition on Blogging for Books!

The book contains lots of timeless style advice and interviews with 70s fashion icons, interlaced with tons of fascinating tidbits about American culture at the time, including now curious must-have items (leotards! army clothes! cowboy boots!), political (in)correctness (skip to Diana Vreeland’s opinion on pale skin to see what I mean) and not-so-healthy diet tips.

Although most of the specific advice is of course pretty outdated by now, the book does focus on style rather than fashion and was written at a time when people didn’t buy more than a handful of garments a season, and so it still features lots of applicable material on cultivating a personal style and carefully building up a small, individual wardrobe.

“We’ve become spoiled in America. Surrounded by mass manufacturing and mass marketing, we stuff our closets with masses of mistakes. Fashion seduces us from Sears to Sak’s in a dizzying array of styles, prices, fabrics, and colors. We end up with far too many clothes, without stopping to consciously work out our own personal style and gather together the basic elements we need to get it going.”

“The most basic element of Cheap Chic is the body you hang your clothes on. Building a healthy, lively body is far cheaper than buying a lot of clothes to distract from it. And once you really know your flesh and bones, you’ll find it easier to choose the clothes you really need and love. Try standing in front of a full-length mirror some morning, not holding in your stomach, tightening your buttocks, or sticking out your chest. Take a look at your body – front, side, and back. Are you content with what you see? Is your skin clear and healthy? Could the muscle tone of your stomach, upper arms, and thighs be firmed up with a little jogging, swimming, or a ten-block walk each morning? It isn’t important if your breasts, hips, or legs aren’t those you would see in a fashion magazine or in the pages of Playboy. What matters is that you get acquainted with them as they are and treat them with care and respect.”

Go get your copy! This is 70's fun in the most funnest of fun ways possible and you don't even have to beg the library for their dogeared copy with the pages falling out- you can have your own!
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."