Book Review of Shadows: Magical Fashionista by Tess Whitehurst

๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ/5!

magical-fashionista-1-360x570“Discover how to use fashion to become your most gorgeous self, attract good fortune, and attract what you desire most.

Far from being superficial, fashion with intention can be a powerful, life-affirming practice. Popular author Tess Whitehurst explains how to build a wardrobe of beautiful items that enhance your attributes and personal magnetism. Discover how to select clothes, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories with simple guidance that will help you look and feel your best and manifest positive life changes. Put together empowering outfits every day–and for every occasion–with simple guidance on everything from the color, material, and pattern of clothes to gemstones, nail polish, and tattoos. Drawing on astrology, feng shui, the Wheel of the Year, moon phases, and more, this unique mystical fashion guide teaches you how to build a wardrobe of beautiful items that will express your true essense and attract what you desire most.” – Goodreads.com

I’ve referenced this book a million times here on the blog, along with basically everything by Tess Whitehurst. I’m a huge fan of how supportive she is, and how much she tells you to just trust yourself and know that you’re perfect and magical as is. When I first bought this book I was nervous because, as a fat woman, taking fashion advice from thinner people just doesn’t always work out. This was so not the case with this book, however.

First of all, this book is so incredibly easy to read and use that I was able to re-read it for this review in just a couple of hours. I meant to just leaf through yesterday, and ended up reading the whole thing! That’s the first true marker of a great book for me. It’s also easy to use for quick reference while you’re getting dressed or planning out your week. It’s fun, conversational, friendly, and super encouraging.

The book opens by dispelling the myth that fashion and appearance are vain or shallow pursuits that spiritual people shouldn’t have time for, and explain just how using fashion along with your intent and magical knowledge can change the outcome of a day or even an important event. Meanwhile she mentions throughout the book to consider the ethical implications of your clothing and fashion choices – most notably regarding animal products which she vehemently opposes.

Through the book Tess compares making fashion choices with creating visual art, which I really loved. I wear a lot of colours and kind of wild styles and I often attribute this to being a highly visual and artistic person. She also encourages you to pay attention to how certain objects or outfits make you feel. Do you actually dress the way you imagine your most authentic self would? Why or why not? She tells you to think about your future, the kinds of energies and experiences you want to attract, or the kind of feelings you want to stir in others and pick outfits or colours that match.

The book is, of course, full of great correspondences (which I LOVE) like the energies of days of the week, moon phases, astrological phases, and elements (both western and chinese), colours, shapes, and textures to help you decide everything from the colour of your outfit, to the material it’s made from to how how you should dress for a new moon in aries on a monday during the festival of lughnasadh … or whatever. I found all of that really interesting, and had never really thought of colours or shapes in exactly that way, but have ever since. It all just made perfect sense.

There is one section of the book I didn’t like, however, and it’s because it mainly had to do with gender and sex. Though it’s obvious that she is definitely not judgemental about anyone else’s gender or sexuality, or how they choose to present that to the world, I just don’t feel like I really need gender correspondences in general. Then again, as a fat woman I’ve often felt pressured to either be EXTRA feminine in my dress or appearance to tone down my size and be less masculine – as if my body is inherently less womanly because I’m fat and tall? It’s not great. My own gender and how I present it actually is something that has come up in my own fashion thoughts and rituals, but I rarely like the things that anyone considers “feminine” or “masculine”. As soon as you start lumping body shapes or colours or types of clothing as one or the other I’m out. So even though the advice in that section wasn’t for me, it actually gave me something to think about as far as how I dress and choose clothing and even reject clothing.

On that topic though, I was impressed with the variety of clothing options and style of dress and corresponding spells and rituals. There are spells that involve dresses, and some that involve pants, something that involve wearing a lot of sparkly jewelery, and ones for those who aren’t into that. You absolutely don’t have to be a “”FASHIONISTA”” by most standards to find something useful in the book. You don’t need to be wearing designer, using make up, or wearing dresses or jewelery at all. I liked that.

I bought this book in 2013 when it was new and this is one title that is so used it’s nearly falling apart on me. It’s sun-bleached, full of post it notes and dog-eared pages, and has clearly lived in my purse on more than one occasion. As someone who loves magical correspondences, daily magick, and using my intuition and spiritual insight to do mundane things, dressing magickally is something that I almost can’t stop doing now. I have a power outfit that makes me feel invincible (a galaxy dress), jewelery I’ve aligned with the elements (I have “queen of wands” earrings!), and have gotten better at finding that special thing at a thrift store that seems WILD but is actually perfect. I’ve also felt like I am presenting myself to the world in a way that’s more authentic to who I am, which is something I’ve really struggled with in the past. I still face barriers to this like cost and availability, but I’m better able to use what I have and appreciate it more.

I love dressing with intention, and showing kindness to my body, and making everything I do and am magickal all day if I so choose. I also love being able to use what I have in my magick and witchcraft, as it makes it so much more personal. This book is full of really great advice that will apply to you no matter how you dress now or want to dress in the future –ย  how you want to be seen, or don’t.

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