It’s been a while since I have read the book: The Essentials of Fabulous. I had the intention to review it soon after, but here we are a couple of months later, so definitely need to refresh my memory!  However, I have often thought about this book as it contains some important messages that are essential for being and feeling fabulous in daily life.

The book was written by Ellen Lubin-Sherman, a writer, coach and consultant on fabulosity, and it is not so much about how you dress and style yourself, but more on how to be fabulous as a total person.

She writes:

“If you want to be fabulous, you have to decide to do it – to transform yourself into one of those amazing creatures that infiltrate our lives and ignite our dreams with their swagger, energy, pizzaz and soigne charm”

So what is fabulous according to Ellen?

She presents us with the ten+ traits of the truly and completely fabulous people

  1. They are passionate about life
  2. They are delightfully authentic
  3. They are revered for their amazing attitude
  4. They are warm and completely accessible
  5. They have flair
  6. They have impeccable manners
  7. They are competent
  8. The just ‘get it’
  9. They have a big bandwidth
  10. They are vivid virtually
  11. They have a board

Wow, as you can see it’s not so easy to be fabulous. But that is where this book comes in handy because Ellen will walk you through each of these items. She starts with passion, which she believes is the road to fabulous. I couldn’t agree more. “With passion, life is an adventure, an open landscape filled with possibilities“.

And another important one is authenticity:  “Being authentic – being real – means accepting yourself for who you are. that comes from knowing and believing in your strenghts” She suggests asking your friends to help you construct a list  of your qualities.

Attitude has everything to do with your philosophy and worldview, which she sees as the single best predictor of success. “The reason: A great attitude is shorthand for “fun”. Fun to be with, fun to eat with, fun to stand in line and wait for Dylan tickets with“. Her advice is not to take yourself too seriously, be happy with what you can do and don’t obsess about what you are not.  Of course, I also like what she says about clothes: “Wear your most gorgeous clothes, save nothing! Looking good, thinking beautiful thoughts, and acting as if you were the most sensational creature on the planet is the most effective way to mastermind the narrative of your life“.

She continues to descrribe each component of fabulosity like warmth (be accessible and listen), flair (wear clothes that oomph, not ouch), manners (need to be impeccable), competence (there is no halfway for the competent, but they do ask for help), bandwith (can connect with people from all walks of life) and a board (a group of individuals who may not know one another but know you, and who are willing to put their brains and their expertise at your disposal for however long you need it).

How does the fabulous woman dress?

When it comes to clothing she supports comfortable quality clothing that makes you feel happy and confident. As basics she mentions:

  • Black pants
  • Grey cardigan
  • Simple white cotton shirt
  • Safari-style jacket in olive drab
  • Trouser inspired jeans
  • A classic raincoat
  • Lots of accessories
She advocates a closet full of perfect basics that you can wear again and again, adorned with great accessories. Of course, according to Ellen, the absolutely fabulous woman really knows her own style.


I thought the book was very interesting and a good read. Ellen gives a lot of good tips and reminders on how we can become more fabulous as a person. At the end of each chapter she will also list additional resources to read more on that particular topic.  She is quite tough on you though and I would find it hard to become the kind of fabulous person she describes in the book. I still have a lot to work on for sure. But it’s certainly worth aiming to be a bit more fabulous each day and brighten up both your own as well as others’ lives!

The Essentials of Fabulous (Because Whatever doesn’t work here anymore) is available at Amazon.

Do you have what it takes to be fabulous?

This book was sent to me by the publisher for editorial consideration. Please note though that all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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