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The Power of Style

How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures

Interest Age: 12+
Grade: 7+
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RI.6.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
SL.6.1,1a,1b,1c,1d,1e, 2,3,4,5,6

Reading Level: Lexile 1070L
Hardcover : 9781773214900, 96 pages, April 2021 , 10.0" x 8.0"
Paperback : 9781773214917, 96 pages, April 2021 , 10.0" x 8.0"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773214924, 96 pages, April 2021

Table of contents


  1. Sewing Tradition: Through making (and wearing!) ribbonwork, the Indigenous community is keeping their culture’s unique traditions alive.
  2. Level-Up: Today’s cosplayers are disrupting the art form, promoting self-confidence, acceptance, and body positivity along the way.
  3. Standing Tall: By rocking high heels, men are walking tall—using footwear to advocate for the acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.
  4. Head-Strong: Muslim women are embracing hijabs—but they’re doing so on their
    own terms. They’re celebrating their culture by embracing modest
    fashion in new, unexpected, and very stylish ways.
  5. Mighty Makeup: Makeup can be used as a tool for creativity. But it’s not only about getting
    glam: beauty junkies are channeling their cultures into their looks, using
    their face as a canvas for self-expression and pride.


Style is not just the clothes on our backs—it is self-expression, representation, and transformation.

As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire rarely saw anyone that looked like him in the magazines or movies he sought out for inspiration. Now the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, he is working to change that—because clothes are never just clothes. Men’s heels are a statement of pride in the face of LGTBQ+ discrimination, while ribbon shirts honor Indigenous ancestors and keep culture alive. Allaire takes the reader through boldly designed chapters to discuss additional topics like cosplay, make up, hijabs, and hair, probing the connections between fashion and history, culture, politics, and social justice.

*A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


  • Joint winner, Top 10 Arts Books for Youth, Booklist 2021
  • Commended, Eureka Nonfiction Award Honoree, California Reading Association 2021
  • Nominated, Yellow Cedar Award 2021
  • Joint winner, Booklist Editors’ Choice 2021
  • Joint winner, Best of 2021 List, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2021
  • Joint winner, Texas Topaz Reading List 2022
  • Joint winner, Best Bets Book List, OLA 2021
  • Joint winner, Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, YALSA 2022
  • Joint winner, Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List 2022
  • Short-listed, Cybils Awards 2021
  • Joint winner, Bank Street College of Education’s Book of the Year List 2022
  • Short-listed, Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist 2022
  • Nominated, Rocky Mountain Book Award 2022
  • Winner, Norma Fleck Award, Canadian Children's Book Center 2022


“A vibrant read about the connections between fashion, culture, and social justice.” 

- Kirkus Reviews, 02/23/21

“The book to appeal to a wide age range. It is important that readers of all ages be given the opportunity to learn that there are others who have had the same or similar experiences of feeling that they were different from their peers because of the way that they looked or dressed. Highly Recommended.” 

- CM Reviews, 02/12/21

“Dazzling and empowering . . . Fab drag queens, genderqueer and BIPOC YouTubers demoing makeup, plus-size and gender-bending cosplayers, men wearing high heels and fem fashion—they’re all here, a proud and dazzling explosion of confetti transforming the landscape.” 

- Booklist, *starred review, 03/02/21

“A visually stunning celebration of self-expression, self-acceptance, and cultural pride.”

- Chatelaine Magazine, 04/21

“Though it tackles heavy topics like cultural appropriation and the importance of representation, The Power of Style is resolutely celebratory.”

- Vogue, 04/22/21

“Ultimately a book about empowerment. It champions diversity and self-acceptance through style and encourages readers to discover new ways of expressing themselves.”

- Quill & Quire, 05/21

“A celebration of humanity.” 

- Black Goddess Reviews, 04/26/21

“Edifying and uplifting.”

- BlackBook, 05/11/21

“A gorgeous and enticing book about fashion that will broaden definitions and embraces inclusion.”

- Waking Brain Cells, 06/10/21

“An offer to preteens and teens that seek to find their bodies, identities, and experiences reflected in the world of fashion and a contribution to non-fiction on fashion that expands its contours.” 

- Canadian Children’s Book News, 08/13/21