By Alison Houtte and Melissa Houtte

Attention shopaholics: here is a book for fashionistas everywhere who view their grandmothers as fashion icons, who know crocodile is the real arm candy, and who never hesitate to throw a little catwalk into their step.

Alligators, Old Mink and New Money is a celebration of the clothes that capture our memories and imaginations; that leave their indelible stamp on each of our lives. Narrated by Alison Houtte, a former fashion model who runs the beloved Brooklyn, New York, boutique Hooti Couture -- a shop that Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times has toasted as a premier spot for vintage finds -- this book is not only the story of one woman's life in fashion, but also a vintage-shopper's guide that helps readers embrace the idea of seeking out fashion finds from past decades to accent their current wardrobe.

Marrying two of women's favorite pastimes -- shopping and reading -- Alison Houtte uses the merchandise she has bought, worn, or sold as a prism through which she examines everything from the labels we wear to the labels we put on our surroundings. Whether talking about her grandmother's navy blue slip or a creamy white forties alligator purse, Houtte knows that every article of vintage clothing has a story behind it. She uses these items as a springboard to explore such universal topics as relationships, self-image, the bond between mothers and daughters, and that elusive thing called style.

Whether you're a flea market veteran who savors the thrill of the hunt or a couture shopper with a Vogue budget, or are simply drawn to the de rigueur world of vintage, Alligators, Old Mink and New Money offers a shopping adventure -- through auctions, estate sales, flea markets, and clothing racks all over the world -- to be savored, and inspired by!

ISBN13: 9780060786670; ISBN: 0060786671; Imprint: William Morrow; On Sale: 11/22/2005; Format: Hardcover; Trimsize: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4; Pages: 256; $23.95