Street: The Nylon Book of Global Style - Nylon Magazine This is one of my favorite photo-based style books.

I'm a sucker for style books, as distinct from "fashion" books that focus on designers, trends and advertising. I adore street style blogs like The Sartorialist and Lookbook, and this is essentially a companion volume to the best of those blogs. With photos taken in several distinct locations (New York City, Stockholm, Tokyo, etc), there is a wonderful blend of quirky, adventurous types, and the more understated, elegant dressers. The subjects vary in culture, age, sex and economic situation, so there is a lot of variety to be seen in these pages. Each photo captures something beyond what is gracing the cover of Vogue any given month, and the only drawback is when you see something fantastic, you can't just go out and buy it because it was probably found at a flea market or in a friend's closet.

I take a lot of inspiration from the pages of this book, both in my own thrift store scouring trips, and in doctoring and altering my clothes to suit my personal style. I know the stereotype of shallowness is still very prevalent when clothes are up for discussion, but I've always considered the way I dress to be an important facet of my personality and my relationship with the world. No matter how you look at it, your appearance is your first introduction to others, and while it's not the most important facet of personality or social interaction, it is nonetheless a substantial one. I don't think liking clothes or putting effort into what you wear is shallow, unless it is simply a matter of conspicuous spending and label-whoring. I love originality, and I love when people express themselves, whether it is in a book they write, a painting they create, or an outfit they wear.

Someone, I forget who and I'm too lazy to google it, once said that "Clothes are the furniture of the mind made visible," and I've always taken this quote to heart. Sure, not everyday is a photo shoot, and I can't stand when people dress to an extreme that renders their clothes a costume, but clothes are fun and personal and I love them. My only difficulty is choosing what to spend more of my scanty ducats on: books or clothes.