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Q&A: Glen Ellyn fashion author discusses new style guide for tweens

Pamela Dittmer McKuen
Pamela Dittmer McKuen

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn resident Pamela Dittmer McKuen coauthored a fashion guide for tweens published in 2013 titled “Expressionista: How to Express Your True Self Through (and Despite) Fashion.”

McKuen is a writer and adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. She collaborated on the book with motivational speaker Jackie Walker.

Suburban Life news editor Anna Schier recently sat down with McKuen to talk about the project.

Schier: Can you tell me about the book?

McKuen: My partner and I believe very strongly in the concept of esteem dressing. And what that is, is having clothes, wearing clothes, that make you feel good about yourself. … And so many of our habits and our beliefs about our clothing start in childhood, good and bad. … So, our idea is helping young girls build their fashion confidence and they do this by being able to identify their unique fashion personas.

Schier: Why was this book something you wanted to write?

McKuen: I’ve been a nonfiction journalist and writer all my life and started in the fashion field … and so fashion’s always been my first love.

Schier: Why, specifically, did you want to write a book for tweens?

McKuen: Bad habits and hard feelings start very early in life. Jackie and I talk in here about our school stories, schoolyard stories, and how they still, maybe not hurt anymore, but we still remember them.

Schier: What sets “Expressionista” apart from other fashion guides for that market?

McKuen: We have a quiz to help you identify your fashion persona. We’ve divided females into five fashion personas and the quiz puts you into one of these categories. There’s natural. There’s classic, romantic, dramatic and trend tracker. … And then, we also tell them what items of clothing go best with that persona. … When you have the clothes and wear the clothes that fit your fashion persona, your inside and outside match, you’re going to feel better, you don’t have these insecurities.


Buy the book

What: “Expressionista: How to Express Your True Self Through (and Despite) Fashion”
Why: Written by Glen Ellyn resident Pamela Dittmer McKuen
Where: iTunes, Amazon,

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