What should I wear?

Women have been asking themselves this question since...well, probably the beginning of time (yes, probably even Eve with the fig leaves!).

In modern times, we’ve looked for answers in the media: catalogs, magazines, TV, or movies. Some women are fortunate to hire a personal stylist, while others rely on a style-savvy friend. If you are not this woman, fret not. There’s now a complete guide to help you be your own personal stylist.

Former beauty editor of Verily Magazine and author Nicole Caruso has stepped in to provide insider knowledge at our fingertips. Worthy of Wearing (WOW) is a new book designed to educate readers on how to curate their own unique signature style.

Before becoming a beauty editor, Caruso, who is now a clean-beauty makeup artist, worked as a fashion intern at two New York fashion houses. She likens the experience to Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada—from coffee runs to styling models at Fashion Week, she saw it all. Drawing from her experiences since then, Caruso cares more about curating one’s look to truly reflect the woman, rather than fads or trends.

In Worthy of Wearing, Caruso shares how to put together an outfit that best communicates one’s story. But what is our story?

Here’s where this gem differs from other fashion books in the market. While the fashion industry likes to tell their followers how to be trendy, Caruso does not. Quite the contrary, she encourages women to recognize their own unrepeatable worth.

Caruso shares from her own experience of trying to fit in as a teenager, to recognizing the power of beauty to share a message. Through affirmations and encouragement, she reminds women of their intrinsic worth—not because of what we wear, but because we are all born worthy.

To cultivate self-confidence, Nicole Caruso offers reflection questions to help readers develop a greater sense of self-awareness and provide an impetus for self-care—something she emphasizes should not be neglected. Caruso believes that knowing one’s heart and mission is a vital step to externally expressing an authentic interior life.

“It is the most important work you will do in your life,” she writes.

Caruso also notes the differences between fashion and style.

“Famous designers and big-name brands don’t own personal style. We don’t need to follow their arbitrary rules,” she writes. Instead, style is “the way you adorn yourself within various contexts to express who you are uniquely, boldly, and unapologetically.”

In curating our personal style, Caruso suggests the following questions to ask oneself:

  • “Which story do we want to tell?”
  • “Do we let our trials define us, or do we use them to grow?”
  • “When we wear clothes that don’t reflect who we are, we may cause others to misunderstand us.”

While the last third of the book features a plethora of practical tips from sizing guides and shapes to color palettes and fabric recommendations, Caruso doesn’t explicitly tell readers what to wear. She invites women to “show up,” and offers useful tips on how to discover and express oneself through clothing.

“We can distract ourselves by wearing clothing that misrepresents who we are or simply does not fit our body or state in life.”

For style inspiration, the women featured in the book are not models, but real-life women from all walks of life, and they are not styled by Caruso. They dug into their own closets and picked out their favorite outfits for the photoshoot, giving readers a glimpse of different perspectives and ideas.

“Personal style is unique for each person and is really just a genuine expression of the self through clothing,” she writes.

Informed by her faith, Caruso asserts the importance of celebrating one’s inherent beauty. She states that dignity is written in the heart of every human being, and one should safeguard it. “Our personal style is a reflection of our identity, inherent worth, dignity and femininity, and should authentically represent who we are to the people we meet and serve each day.”

It’s fair to say it’s a jungle out there in the world of women’s style and finding peace with what you wear. Wherever you are on your journey, readers would be hard-pressed not to find something helpful in Worthy of Wearing. If you’re looking for a book with styling tips, this is it. If you’re looking for a book that will guide personal reflection on finding your unique style, this is also it. Because if there’s one thing the pages reveal, it’s that Nicole Caruso has a vocation to help women along the path of becoming the best version of themselves, know their self-worth, and find joy while looking their loveliest.