Tall and Terrific by Rikke Andersen, illustrated by Miriam Larrson (Doubleday: $17.95).
This advice on fashion for women 5'8" or taller is straight from the giraffe's mouth, so to speak. Andersen, who is six feet tall and has spent 15 years as a fashion photographer working with scores of tall models, is well aware of psychological studies showing that tall people are more easily noticed and likely to be considered more powerful than their shorter brethren.
"Try to see your height as your most powerful asset, because it can help you get what you want," she writes. "In business, men are apt to take a tall woman more seriously than a short one."
But Andersen is equally familiar with all the difficulties tall women have in finding apparel and accessories that fit correctly and look great. She discusses everything from undergarments (a tall woman's camisoles and chemises should "not have frills or ruffles as these will look inappropriately dainty for her height") to shoes (with a limited choice of fashionable shoes in larger sizes, the author encourages tall women to visit better department stores in a group, and then ask the stores to special-order shoes in their sizes).
The book, full of similar advice, is easy to read and illustrated in a plain but helpful fashion.
The Ford Models' Crash Course in Looking Great by Eileen Ford (Simon & Schuster: $19.95).
This slick, elegantly designed volume looks enticing, but there's not a lot inside that hasn't been covered in scores of beauty books before. What the book does offer, however, are occasional, offbeat tips that the models involved say work for them. It may not be news, for instance, that blow drying your hair upside down adds fullness (a Cheryl Tiegs practice), but Debra Halley's ritual of rubbing Vicks VapoRub down the middle of her face to combat oiliness is indeed a revelation.
The book seems to suggest that models are better-than-average experimenters, known to use products for purposes far from those for which they were designed. There's Nancy DeWir, who uses a dab of toothpaste to dry up a blemish, and Shari Belafonte, who "uses petroleum jelly for everything, including her hair when it gets dry." Chris Royer, who likes to travel light, is likely to order honey and yogurt from hotels' room-service operations. She mixes a tablespoon of each together and has a quick facial mask.
Always In Style with Color Me Beautiful by Doris Pooser (Acropolis Books Ltd.: $16.95).
For those who subscribe to and want more of the seasonal theories of color coordination, which claim that individual colorations tend to mirror the shades and tones found in the four seasons, this is it.
Pooser, who works with Carole Jackson of "Color Me Beautiful" fame, has taken the seasonal theory a few steps further. In this book, for instance, she asks readers to define their body types (as sharp straight, straight, soft straight, soft curved or curved) and then explains which style lines in clothing look best on each body type.
In addition, she describes which fabrics and which details work best with each silhouette.
For those who have felt constricted by the colors prescribed for their seasons, Pooser presents an "expanded color system," which describes how individuals can wear all colors for special effects.
A "winter" person, for instance, may want to dress counter to her type (typically, bright, clear colors) by wearing soft, muted colors to create a much gentler, decidedly romantic impression, Pooser advises.
Though this may run slightly counter to the advice previously provided by Jackson, she explains in a forward that "It was important when I wrote 'Color Me Beautiful' to present the basics in a simple and understandable way. But now it's time to take poetic license and expand your colors too."