A quick scroll through Instagram might inform you of the most up-to-date trends and brands to put on your radar, but the best way to dive deeper into fashion’s rich history is to pick up a book on the subject. While many fashion books feature beautiful imagery, they will also transport you to the worlds of your favorite designers, aid your personal style journey, and tap into the small pocket of the industry you enjoy the most. (If you have a niche, there’s probably a book about it.) This year, we saw a lot of industry-related releases, such as Sunita Kumar Nair‘s homage to the classic style of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Glossy, which reads like a true crime and explains the inner workings of the beauty business and rise of Emily Weiss’s Glossier.
The offering can be a tad overwhelming, so to make it a little easier, we’ve selected the best books that not only have been published more recently but also are crucial to a deeper understanding of fashion (and beauty) right now. As the holidays approach, one of the books below would make a great gift for the fashion and beauty lover on your list. (And they won’t be collecting dust on a coffee table or bookshelf.)