Book Reviews

Book Review: Style Essentials Series

Chic Casual Dressing: The Budget Guide

By: Bobbi Schwartz  |  Book Review By: Marlene Caraballo ~ 

don’t have a natural sense of fashion style, but I do want to look my best. So I couldn’t wait to dig into Chic Casual Dressing: The Budget Guide, by Dallas-based personal style expert Bobbi Schwartz.

First, there’s the book itself. It has a crisp matte black cover and sleek spiral-binding. It looks decadent enough to display on the coffee table, but you’ll want it nearby where you dress in the morning. The cover and inside pages are made of paper with noticeable substance and weight. You can feel the chic rubbing onto your fingers as you turn the pages!

Schwartz begins by explaining the way she organized the book, along with clear advice for how to be classically stylish while keeping your wardrobe simple and affordable. She goes through what she calls the “Essentials List,” complete with pictures of each category of clothing: Tops and bottoms, handbags, shoes, and accessories.

Then, she takes us through how to put it all together with a formula for casual dressing both cost-conscious and chic. The formula works for occasions like business lunches, or dinners with friends, or even date nights when you want to feel extra confident.

The best part about this book is how easy Schwartz makes it for us to create endless looks from a closet of essentials. Most of us don’t want to think about what to wear. We want it to be so easy the clothes almost jump out of the closet and onto our body! Having the essential pieces as she describes makes feeling pulled together, confident, and stylish a no-brainer.

Although I might switch out her choices for handbags and shoes to those that would feel more like me, I appreciate how having a wardrobe that works together for a variety of looks makes getting dressed and being stylish so much less stressful.

I especially love how Schwartz makes dressing with style something that doesn’t have to break the bank. For those who could use it, this book is a wise investment in learning to be a smarter dresser (and a discount shopper).


Marlene Caraballo

Marlene Caraballo is an intuitive life coach, writer, speaker, and spiritual mentor, who works with women looking for soulful guidance to clear what’s blocking them so they can build confidence, master their mindset, and chase their dreams. She lives in rural Orange County, NY and is mom to three grown sons. She shares mindset tips at and blogs about life after fifty at Contact her at or on Instagram @_marlenecaraballo_.

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