Book club: A leaf out of their book

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Take advice from the experts and read up on what you can do to save money, in your wardrobe, your home and your pantry.

Minxy Vintage: How to customise and wear vintage clothing by Kelly Doust. Photo / Babiche Martens
Minxy Vintage: How to customise and wear vintage clothing by Kelly Doust. Photo / Babiche Martens

Minxy Vintage: How to customise and wear vintage clothing by Kelly Doust
Kyle Books, $55

There's an art to vintage shopping and getting the most out of a vintage find, and Kelly Doust aims to spill the secrets in this new book. The craft expert offers tips on crafty repairs - alterations, embellishment and other customisation - that could take a dated piece and make it modern again, as well as tips on what to look for when you're flicking through the racks (think of a "More tea, Vicar?" tea dress, or what she calls the "South of the border smock"). Doust delves into her own extensive vintage collection to showcase the different looks vintage can offer - an impressive wardrobe that should inspire you to get and perusing the racks of small town opshop stores and customising.

The Thrifty Forager: Living off your local landscape by Alys Fowler
Kyle Books (distributed through NHP), $45

While this book is based in Britain - so we don't have many of the plants discussed - you can't help but join Alys Fowler in her enthusiasm for foraging for food. Foraging has, of course, become incredibly trendy - whether it's picking puha from the side of the road or kindly asking your neighbour to share the fruit from their plum tree in return for some jam. We like that the whole movement brings with it a return to community; you start to take more notice of what nature is offering in your own backyard and it's a wonderful way to start conversations and sharing.

Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less by Anna Johnson
Avon (an imprint of Harper Collins), $34.99

"An old dress worn right will evoke a film, a photograph, or a painting. An old dress that suits your anatomy will make your body sing, curving over your hips, cupping your breasts, encircling your waist in a way that only amazingly cut and sewn fabric can." So writes Anna Johnson in her fabulous and funny Savvy Chic - The Art of More for Less. This book share the secrets to achieving "rich girl chic" on the smell of an oily rag, explains how to entertain with flair rather than blowing the budget and how to travel with a first class attitude. Johnson who, splits her time between Sydney and New York, has a wonderful effervescence in her writing and approach to life. You can't help but be inspired - and save a few pennies along the way.

* Viva is delighted to have three copies of Savvy Chic to give away. To go in the draw to win, Simply email your name, address and contact phone number to with "Savvy Chic" in the subject line. Entries close November 7. Winners announced November 9.

- NZ Herald

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