Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reality Check

Amongst many scary silhouettes that trot down the catwalk at Fall fashion shows around the world are always a few feasible styles that the average person can actually wear. For the upcoming season, I have found a few looks that I'll be recommending to my favorite style seeks, such as my fashionable mother and always well-threaded friend Rebecca.

Fashion magazines and style reporters urge that the "cocoon coat" and "bondage boots" are among the must haves of the season. I beg to differ. I don't know a single woman that can walk into her office in a pair of thigh high, skin tight leather boots or a coat shaped like an oblong, badly over-ripened pear. Recommendations such as these scare away the fashion faint of heart, and for good reason.

On a brighter note, there are many looks that can not only be worn by a woman who has a job as, say, a lawyer or a marketing manager, but also by a young college student, a retired professional, or a lady of leisure hoping to find a new job. (Those not employed as circus performers who might wear the above mentioned bondage boots on a typical day). Some of these crowd-pleasers include plaid and tartan pieces. Note: no need to do this head to toe, take the key pieces you like and mix with solid basics to ground the outfit and make you feel comfortable and not like a bag piper. Ruffle details are also universally wearable, and slightly reminiscent of Shakespeare in a 2009 way. Who doesn't love to throw on a waist defining belt and show that under those layers, there is a waist? My mother will love that trend, since she has been trying to belt over everything from a silk dress to a busy wool cardigan since I was 10 (sometimes successfully, other times not so much.) Be careful with the width of the belt, as my friend Rebecca likes to say, you don't want to put a string on a ham. That should provide the appropriate visual of what a too-skinny belt can do to a full figure. Stick to medium width belts, worn at your natural waist (which may be hard to find if you're a 20-something who has been wearing seven jeans for life and has been trained to think your 'waist' is somewhere around the band of your low rise hanky pankies). The natural waist is around your belly button, and this general area is where the belt looks best.

But the rule is always the same: if you like it, wear it. (Yes, that includes the above mentioned cocoon coats and bondage boots- who am I to tell you what you like?)

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