Self-Help Books for the Sartorially Inclined

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Americans never seem to lose faith in the possibility of self-reinvention. This fall, three new books offer inspiration and advice on how to become — or at least dream about becoming — one's most stylish self. Metamorphosis (Abrams; 192 pages) catalogs hair stylist Serge Normant's transformations of ubermodels, actresses and pop starlets into goddesses, geishas and queens for the pages of fashion magazines. For self-helpers without access to a team of stylists, there's The Fashionista Files (Ballantine Books; 339 pages). This primer provides would-be style mavens with sample-sale survival skills, tips on befriending shopkeepers and the ABCs of Kabbalah. Sartorially challenged men can pick up Off the Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and the Women Who Love Them (Dutton; 168 pages) by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Carson Kressley. The Fab Fiver has a take on everything from basic questions like boxers or briefs to weightier dilemmas like the blurry line between metrosexual and gay (hint: manicures, metro; French manicures, gay).