Fab Read: The Fashion File by Janie Bryant

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Since Borders everywhere are going out of business, (boo!) I decided to stop by my local store a few weeks ago and pick up some deeply discounted books.

On a whim, I picked up Janie Bryant's The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men. Since she designs and styles all of the amazing outfits found on Mad Men, I knew Bryant had the fashion cred, but let me just tell you: this book exceeded my expectations and then some.

I expected The Fashion File to be just a typical coffee table book -- you know, pretty to look at, not a lot of substance. However, I was surprised to learn that this book was the complete opposite: it's thorough, creative and totally inspirational.

With those last few weeks of summer break dwindling down, this is the perfect book to read if you're looking to reinvent your style for the upcoming school year, or just want an inspiring fashion-related book to add to your collection.

Want to know why I'm so intrigued with this book? Read on to learn more about The Fashion File:

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4 Awesome Reasons to Check Out The Fashion File:

1. The behind-the-scenes look at costume design.

Even if you don't watch Mad Men, it's definitely interesting to get a sneak peek into the world of a costume designer. Bryant is incredibly passionate about her craft and it shows in her writing. The Mad Men actresses seem to love her work, too: January Jones wrote the book's forward, while Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks contributed short essays to The Fashion File.

Throughout the book, Bryant also discusses how she develops a character through their wardrobe. She talks about everything from creating inspiration boards to defining signature colors and style trademarks, then emphasizes the importance of knowing and developing your own "character."

2. It showcases historical fashion.

The Fashion File provides readers with a bit of a fashion history lesson. Since Mad Men is set in the 1960s, Bryant talks a lot about the style, silhouettes and pieces from that time period. However, she doesn't neglect other fashion decades, because the book draws fashion inspiration from every era, from the Roaring Twenties to the over-the-top '80s.

There's also an entire chapter dedicated to vintage that discusses tons of helpful tips and tricks on scoring unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Fashion file illustrations


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3. The illustrations.

The illustrations found in The Fashion File are, in a word, phenomenal. They're drawn by Robert Best, who is actually famous for designing Barbie dolls, including the limited edition Mad Men Collector's Barbies. He was also a contestant on Season 3 of Project Runway!

I had only skimmed the book before buying it and these illustrations were my main deciding factor in purchasing The Fashion File. As you can tell by checking out the picture above, the outfits Best drew are oh-so gorgeous and extremely inspirational. Seriously, I wish I could buy full-sized prints of these drawings!

4. She didn't forget about the guys!

A lot of style-related books often forgo discussing men's fashion, but The Fashion File includes a section for all the stylish dudes out there. While you probably won't be wearing a Don Draper-esque three-piece suit anytime soon, the book is also a great read for any style-savvy boyfriend, guy friend or any other fashionable male in your life.

Plus, you might just learn a thing or two about menswear. (I know I did!)

Your thoughts?

So, are you interested in reading The Fashion File for yourself? (Psst -- you can pick it up on Amazon by clicking here.)

What do you think of this book and the style from Mad Men? Have you ever read The Fashion File? What's your favorite fashion-related book? I would love to know what you think, so be sure to leave a comment below!