Prepare to click Add To Cart, because Bridal Editor’s definitive list of fashion and industry-based books to read has finally landed…
Having trawled multiple web pages for recommendations on can’t-put-down fashion and magazine-industry-led page turners for a while now (read: years), I thought it best to finally construct my own (that’s right, I’ve finally managed to put pen to paper…or finger to keypad?). As another UK lockdown looms – and your reading material might be in need of a little reboot – these are the perfect page turners for those looking for a little inspiration and escapism – and particularly if, like me, you can’t seem to find enough magazine industry-inspired and fashion books to pore over.
And, you’ll want to bookmark this link and check back, because I’ll be constantly updating it as I find more fashion-infused page turners to bring you joy…
Plus! If you’ve got any amazing novel suggestions you think should be on the list, please do put your recommendations in the comments section of this post!
So, in no particular order…
#1 #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Infused with the gloriously fearless attitude of Sophia Amoruso, the Founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, #Girlboss is definitely one of my most thumbed-through books currently on shelf. The truly inspiring and creative entrepreneur shares her highs and lows of everything from building the perfect Subway sandwich, to discovering her calling and the doesn’t skimp on the mistakes she made along the way. Many a empowering quote is wittily dropped throughout the pages of this beauty, including:
“With my touch, a plus-size anorak became Comme des Garçons and ski pants Balenciaga.”
“Money looks better in the bank than on your feet.”
When to read: Immediately. Especially if you’re in need of a little inspiration.
Where: Before bed. In the Post Office. On a bench. Wherever.
Complimenting snack: Fresh coffee.
#2 Shop Girl: A Memoir by Mary Portas
An incredible insight into Mary Porter’s life. This had me in tears at some points.
Where I read it: A hazy, sun-filled holiday in France with a glass of wine in-hand.
Complimenting snack: Wine, of any kind.
#3 How To Be An Overnight Success by Maria Hatzistefanis
The personal story of Maria Hatzistefanis, Founder and CEO of Rodial.
Read if: You’re in need of some career inspiration.
First sentence: “I always thought it was meant to be calm at the centre of a whirlwind.”
#4 Pretty in Ink by Lindsey J. Palmer
If you literally lose your mind a little bit when you find a novel written around the ins and outs – and behind-the-scenes gossip – of the magazine industry (me too) then you’ll love Lindsey J. Palmer’s Pretty in Ink. With a new Editor in Chief arriving on the scene (and simultaneously turfing out the old one) you’ll instantly become completely and utterly enthralled with the world of Hers magazine that Lindsey J. Palmer has so carefully built.
When to read: 24/7.
Where: On the sofa after a long day when you’re in need of a little escapism.
Complimenting snack: An evening G&T.
#5 Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
Be prepared to discover the buzzing, glossy lives of three friends living in New York.
Number of times I’ve read it: 2-3 times (4th time pending)
#6 shopgirl by Steve Martin
Mirabelle works in the glove department at Neiman’s in L.A., forever leaning against the glass cabinets that house Dior designer gloves and more, endlessly waiting for customers to turn their eyes her way. This New York Bestseller is charmingly written and follows the protagonist’s journey as she discovers love and heartbreak.
When to read: The perfect page turner for those quieter moments.
Where: In the vicinity of a sun lounger, poolside, so you can pretend you’re also in L.A. for a little bit.
Complimenting snack: Iced tea.
#7 My Story by Jo Malone
This incredible story by Jo Malone CBE is truly awe-inspiring, and a novel you’ll want to keep on your book shelf forever (I’m in no doubt I’ll be reading this again soon). Sharing the challenges, the successes and of course, the struggles, that come with building a powerhouse of a brand in the beauty industry, Jo Malone takes you through her entire journey, from her struggles with dyslexia at school to her battle with breast cancer and her journey to launching the celebrated Jo Loves.
When to read: Morning, noon and night.
Where: In bed, before you turn out the light and dream of your own career goals.
Complimenting snack: Elderflower cordial.
#7 Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones & Anonymous
On the cover it reads: “From high fashion to high street – looking up the skirts of the world’s most glamorous industry.”
Read with: A cocktail.
Tip: Don’t drop it in the bath (the pages will crinkle).
#8 Tales From The Back Row By Amy Odell
On the cover it reads: “An outsider’s view from inside the fashion industry.”
Written by: Amy Odell, Cosmopolitan.com’s editor.
#9 Confessions of a Fashionista by Angela Clarke
Based on memories and experiences of the author, Angela Clarke who had a hit online Daily Mail column.
Perfect for: a fashion-obsessed style maven.
#10 Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon
Length: 442 pages
#11 The Asylum: True Tales of Madness from a Life in Fashion by Simon Doonan
Be prepared for fabulous fashion-led real-life stories all in the form of Simon Doonan’s series of autobiographical essays. A must read.
Suggested accompanying beverage: Espresso Martini
#12 The Circle by Dave Eggers
Intrigued by social media? You’ll love this unique title by Dave Eggers where lives revolve endlessly around The Circle.
First line: “My God, MAE thought. It’s heaven.”
Length: 491 pages.
Disadvantage: You won’t be able to put it down.
#13 The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
A novel that must sit on every fashion-books-to-read list out there – and with good reason.
Number of times read: No longer counting.
Tip: Watch the film after.
You’ll need: Popcorn.
#13 I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland
I ploughed through this page turner without breathing (well, that’s what it felt like). You’ll be instantly hooked.
Best beverage accompaniment: Champagne.
#14 Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth
Love Instagram? You need to read this.
Read whilst: In bed. In the bath. Eating chocolate. Drinking coffee. Anytime.
#14 Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba
Ideal for: budding entrepreneurs in need of a little inspiration.
Includes: Cute note sections after chapters for your own note-taking and ideas.
#15 Techbitch by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
I’ve basically lost count of how many times I’ve dived into the deep glossy depths of this book by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. Built around the life of the story’s protagonist, Imogen Tate (editor-in-chief of Glossy magazine) this is a whirlwind of drama, tech and magazines. You’ll love it.
Read with: a cocktail in-hand
Once you’ve read it: You’ll want to read it again. STAT.
#16 Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington
I pre-ordered this beauty of a vibrant orange tome before it hit the shelves, and BOY was it worth waiting for. Bringing you 333 pages of utter joy, fall in love even more with the incredible woman that is Grace Coddington (Creative Director of American Vogue).
When to buy: Immediately.
Top tip: The hardback copy is perfect for your coffee table.
#17 Inside Vogue: A diary of My 100th Year by Alexandra Shulman
Own your own Vogue library at home? You’ll want to read this ASAP.
#18 Clothes… and other things that matter by Alexandra Shulman
With each chapter carefully dedicated to an item of clothing that either brings about a memory or inspires a certain feeling or emotion, discover more about Alexandra Shulman and the life of this extraordinary woman.
Don’t forget to check back, I’ll be listing more fashion books to read as I find them…
Head to Bridal Editor for more bridal fashion inspiration.