Monday, 10 October 2016

Book review: Knickers Model's Own by Caroline Jones

Hi you. 

It's been such a long time since I shared a book review here and - considering that once my own book is published I'm going to be talking about it awkwardly but endlessly - I want to make sure I point you towards someone else's first! 

Please note: this is not a sponsored post.  I heard about, and paid for, this book all by little self. You'll see why I'm happy to recommend it once I start describing it ...  

Book review: Knickers Model's Own: A Year of Frugal Fashion by Caroline Jones

My copy of the book alongside some of my many charity-shop price tags.
Like a panicky under-prepared student taking a multiple-choice exam ... this book really does tick all the boxes.

For example ...

  • It's about personal style, clothes and every-day outfits ... so far so perfect.
  • Better still ... it's about personal style, clothes and every-day outfits ... using items found in charity shops!
  • Even better still ... it's about a woman - Caroline Jones - who set herself a year-long challenge to dress only in charity-shop outfits and then share them on Instagram (Challenges? Outfit photos? Social media? Tick, tick, tick!!!)
  • And the piece de resistance? She did it all in memory of her mother and to raise money for Cancer Research UK and this book continues that fund raising.

In short: there's nothing about this book I don't admire. 

Want to take a look inside?
The main focus of the beautifully presented 144 page hardback is Caroline's daily outfit photographs which are laid out on one side with details of the outfits and tips on how to wear/combine pieces on the other:
I bought my copy back in the Spring and ever since Caroline's brilliantly creative approach to styling second-hand clothing and accessories has reinvigorated my own love of the same. In the last few months I've  been encouraged to look again, to browse with an open mind, to discover a bumper crop of pre-loved treasures (if you're interested you can catch up with my latest finds on Instagram).

For one thing it's her ability to layer her outfits that I find myself drawn to, scrutinising how she did it, which elements I can introduce into my own outfits, seeing how interesting combinations breathe new life into individual pieces.
In amongst all of the fabulous visual inspiration the book also features tips on things including how to buy pre-loved:
... and how to style it:
Plus it takes you through the moving story of why Caroline began her year of fund raising through frugal fashion following the death of her mother, Mary, to cancer in 2014. And we see where Caroline's efforts took her, the people she met along the way, the money she raised (over £50,000 in the first year and ongoing with the book) and even how she sold off her year's worth of outfits.
A beautiful book, a beautiful sentiment, profits to a good cause close to all our hearts ... what's not to recommend?

Knickers Model's Own is for you ...
  • if you're interested in clothes and personal style and enjoy drooling over creatively curated outfits.
  • if you're feeling a bit stuck in a rut with your own wardrobe - these outfits will help you reassess your current clothing and find new ways to put outfits together.
  • if you're interested in charity/thrift shopping - this will only harden your resolve to go forth and find fabulous outfits that no one else can copy.
  • if you want to experiment with clothes but don't want to spend a lot of money - this will wholeheartedly inspire you to get into charity shopping to seek your treasure! 
  • if you love the feel and personal connection created by blogs and social media but sometimes wish you could see that kind of content in 'traditional' book form - you'll love flipping back and forth through this, dipping into the story, poring over the images. 
  • if you like well made glossy coffee table books - in presentation and content this can't be faulted.
OR ... 

Buy Knickers Model's Own as a gift ...  
  • for yourself ... if you fancy a guilt-free way to indulge your fashion-loving instincts then you should know that 100% of the book's profits go towards finding a way to beat cancer sooner. Who's going to argue with that?
  • for anyone you know who fits any of descriptions above; the style-loving / charity-shop addict / fund raising-fan in your life will thank you for it. 
  • for women of all ages. Like me Caroline is in her 40s but her style is pretty ageless, there are so many styles, so many options, so much inspiration here that a woman in her 20s would easily find something to relate to and I for one am determined to keep aiming for this level of stylishness into my 60s, 70s, 80s ... 

Want to know more?
So, what do you think? 

  • Is it going on your own Christmas List? Alongside the usual pyjamas, socks, and knickers will Knickers Model's Own be waiting for you under the tree this year?
  • Or has it ticked off a name on your list? Does this quickly and easily sort out a gift for the fashion-lover / fashion-novice / creative blogger / best friend / stylish sister / charity-shop-trawler on your list? 
I hope that in sharing Caroline's fabulous book I've not only indulged my love of all things styley and charity-shoppy ... but I've also helped out with your gift-planning this season. 

If I have I'll feel like the best dressed and most useful of Santa's Elves in all of Christmastown!

Thanks for dropping by today ... let's continue the conversation in the comments or on Instagram, my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Julie x


  1. Great review... Potential Christmas present! Jo x

  2. I know someone who would like this....though I'd be really interested to see the same format with a middle aged lady who's a size 20... don't think it would be quite the same!

  3. It looks fascinating. I'm going to put it on my own Xmas list but I think my daughter would like it too!

  4. That looks like a great book! I would love to do more refashioning of charity shop buys. Off to check it out!

  5. It looks like my favourite kind of Christmas book: the kind I pick up to look at even just a picture or two any chance I get, all Christmas Day and then at the end I take it to bed with me.

    This would make a good contribution to #slowfashionOctober

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  8. I'm late to this, but what a fabulous thing to do! I feel this book may well be a Christmas gift to myself!


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