Book Review – Staging Your Comeback by Christopher Hopkins


This book is aimed at the over 45 woman, but really it’s for any woman, especially the over 30 who no longer feels the need to wear the latest fad whether it suits her or not.

I’d have to say that this is one of the better image books on the market, it’s easy to read, has the best makeover pictures (though more on that later), and good basic information about all the aspects of image and style that you could ask for.

I think it’s easy enough for the laywoman to follow, but this is what I do all day every day, so I might think it’s more simply laid out than it is.

What I love is that Christopher Hopkins has allowed the reader to have more than one personalitiy style (though I think people usually have 3-4, not just 1-2, but that would probably be too hard to explain in a book), he makes body proportions, (described as your vertical body shap) easy to understand (and this is a tricky concept for many), though I have one issue with his instructions on how to measure – he doesn’t really specify exactly where the hip begins.

Unlike Trinny and Susannah’s Body Shape Bible, he understands that women don’t all fall into simple categories, and that body variations (such as large or small bust, big or small thighs etc) are spread over every body shape.

His makeup tips are great and his hairstyle information is fantastic (given what a spectacularly good hairdresser he must be, if these makeovers are typical of his work).

My one issue with the makeovers, is that a lot of the clothing is evening type wear – what I ‘d love to see is also some makeover pics in every day wear – because that is where we all get sloppy, old fashioned and frumpy, and what most people actually find hardest to master – so ideas of attractive, age appropriate every day, casual or smart casual wear would have been the icing on this very yummy cake.

Still, you can’t have everything I suppose. If you want to improve your image, I’d recommend this book highly.

Have you read Staging Your Comeback? If so – what did you think?


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  • Great review. And, no, I have not read it. I rarely buy such books as I feel I can rarely translate their suggestions into my wardrobe as I am not sure they are right for me. I did read Isaac Mizarahi’s new book( in the book store) and some of the outfits have stuck in my head. I might have to buy it as I would like to recreate a few of these outfits.

  • La Belette,

    What I like about this is that it’s less about outfits, and more about helping you find your personal style idiom, so you can put together your own outfits that truely reflect who you are as a person, plus great anti-aging tips, and good body shape information so that you enhance your features, not detract from them. Next time you’re in the book shop have a browse.

  • Hi Imogen!

    I did receive this book as a gift, and I found it mostly useful. I too, had trouble with the fact that most of the outfits were for evening and not all that helpful for my casual lifestyle.

    I also found it (might have been my copy) that many of the women seemed quite more tan after their makeover. AS a very pale redhead I’m not quite sure if the idea is to lessen the contrast in your colouring or not?

    Love your blog!


  • Thanks for the review, looked at it once in the store but passed it up for the Harper’s Bazaar style guide, which I love.

    I will reinvestigate this!

  • I agree with you! Most image books are weak, but this one contained a number of ideas which were new to me and useful.

    My mom took issue with the before and after pictures being for different “lifestyle segments”, but I thought there were just a couple that were clearly different (like you mentioned, evening wear). In several, the before picture could have been under-dressed for the occasion, while the after would have been appropriate.

    Does that make sense?

  • I read Staging Your Comeback. The makeovers were striking. Like Imogen, I also would have preferred to see the ladies in casual clothes or a level of dressiness similar to what they started in. It was kind of like comparing apples and oranges. The most helpful style book for me has been Kendall Farr’s book, The Pocket Stylist. It’s not specifically geared to an age group but the body type guidance is very accessible.

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