Five Fashion-Themed Books for the Beach

Summer reading lists are everywhere. Your favorite bookstore has probably compiled one or ten, and everyone from the New York Times Book Review to NPR Books is busily compiling a list of literary companions for us to enjoy throughout the summer months. Here at the Houston Press we've published a couple of our own:

Houston's Local Bookstore RecommendationsTop Five Foodie Beach Reads

Naturally I had to get in on the action, and since summer reading should be three things--fun, frivolous, and fabulous--my list is heavily stocked with selections that include a fashion bent.

If you love YA, you'll love ...

Spoiled and Messy by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

You may know these authors better as The Fug Girls, the bloggers behind the sassy sartorial review website Go Fug Yourself. It's easy to spot their favorite pop-culture inspirations in the writing--Sweet Valley High, Dynasty, and pretty much everything soap opera-esque. Light reading perfect for the beach, there is plenty of Hollywood/celebrity/fashion/blogging snark to go around.

Speaking of Sweet Valley High ...

If you were a die-hard SVH fan, and you haven't read the follow-up published in 2011, what are you waiting for? Sweet Valley High Confidential: Ten Years Later gets us all caught up (and then some) with Wakefield twins Jessica and Elizabeth. And if you thought the rest of the books were unbelievable, wait until you see what the Wakefields and their friends are up to now. This selection is not fashion-focused, but we do learn what Elizabeth and Jessica are wearing in any given scene--it counts!

If you open Vogue and even the pictures don't make sense ...

How to Read Fashion by Fiona Ffoulkes is like a little pocket guide on how to read and understand fashion-speak. It's fabulous, and I'm not just saying that for alliteration's sake. Ffoulkes' book is for newbies, not hardcore fashion fans. A perfect, picture-heavy choice for that day on the beach when you are so hungover you can't handle a lot of words.

For the boys

The title alone is worth having this book on your coffee table--Fuck Yeah Menswear: Bespoke Knowledge for the Crispy Gentleman. Based on the hilarious Tumblr of the same name, FYMW gives the oft-overlooked world of men's fashion its due.

For mystery lovers

The Crimes of Fashion mystery series by Ellen Byerrum is a perfect, lighthearted choice for readers who love fashion and a good murder mystery. The series' sleuth is fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian: a vintage-wearing, crime-solving fashionista who unravels mysteries by following the threads (groan!) left behind by criminals.

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Christina Uticone