I've found myself wandering the aisles of shelves at my local Borders several times in the last few weeks. I usually always browse through several sections: yoga, diet, fiction, and style. Books on style intrigue me. I enjoy reading them, but I can't say that they really affect my fashion decisions all that much. Perhaps I have too much faith in my fashion sense, but they usually tell me things I already know.
There are people that need these books. In fact, I would go so far as to say that an extremely large portion of the population could benefit from some sort of style self-help manual. The flaw in the publishing of these books is that most of the people who need them the most aren't aware of their need or the existence of a solution. For example, there is a book by Clinton Kelly, of What Not To Wear fame, in which he outlines the top 100 fashion mistakes and how not to commit a fashion felony. One of the top blunders listed is tracksuits, velour and otherwise. Does anybody remember that scene in Mean Girls where Regina's mom's chihuahua is chewing on her nipple through her pink velour tracksuit? There shouldn't have been any questions about whether or not tracksuits were a good idea after that.
The next book I picked up was titled, How Not To Look Fat, Ever. This, I thought, had potential. We all have fat days and I know that I never feel like wearing any of my clothes on those days because I feel like they all look awful. Solution! No. This book should be titled, How To Look Less Fat Even Though You Are Fat. Never once does this book suggest going to a gym or putting down the Doritos. I could publish a one page manual on "How Not To Look Fat" and I'd give it away. It would read thus: "Take the $30 you were going to spend on a book to help you camouflage your fat and use it to join a gym. Stop buying soda and junk food and use that surplus to continue paying for your new gym membership. Then, you will not only not look fat, you will not be fat."
After that, I left. I wanted to leaf through more tomes of fashion, but was too sick to my stomach to keep going. On my way out, I witnessed a woman in brown legging with brown socks pulled up over the bottom. Tights? Not quite. I think they have a book for that.