Sunday, August 30, 2009

The one time when I don't want a margarita:

A fashion lesson

This is an extreme example, but it works for anyone, regardless of what you wear on a daily basis, from professional clothing to your casual gear.

The name of the guilty party has been withheld. But she knows who she is.

I attended an event today and found the offending party in full Margaritaville regalia. And no, she does not work for the restaurant chain.

The outfit consisted of:

- Black Margaritaville track suit with sparkly logo on front and huge lime green sparkly margarita on back

- Black Margaritaville T-shirt with same sparkly lime green sparkly margarita on front

- Dangly silver chain earrings

- Massive silver chain necklace with big lime green pendant (and she was very proud that she can change the pendant's color depending on what she is wearing)

- Mega-sequined silver flip-flops

The theme, colors and sparkles were so overdone that she looked one of the Over-60 Housewives of Palm Beach!

This is someone who should know better.
She is also someone I dress occasionally. When I asked her about the outfit, she snapped that she wasn't going to a fashion show. I wasn't saying that she looked horrible. My concern was that she was trying way too hard to look stylish.

Here's why:
- I'm all for sparkles and glitz, but if you're of a certain age, they can age you

Too much flair can be deadly
Where was the flair in this outfit? Everywhere! From the dangly earrings to the extra large necklace, the sparkles all over the front and back of the outfit, as well as the glittery flip-flops. Each eye-catching piece is another distraction. Those distractions take away attention from the person, where it is supposed to be, and put all the focus on the miscellaneous stuff they're wearing. The eye jumps from sparkle to bright color to the movement of the jewelry.

- Mix it up!
If you have an outfit that you bought together and matches, split up the pieces sometimes. Even if you need to force yourself to do it. There is no law that says you have to wear all the pieces together. For her age, I would have loved to see her in stylish jeans, a white T-shirt, and that sequined black zip-up track suit jacket.
In this outfit, less would have been more. Even if all the clothing pieces stayed the same and she really wanted to wear a necklace, a smaller, less colorful piece would have been better.

My philosophy is that a 5 year old can match their clothes. It takes more creativity and style to think outside the box and put outfits together. At most, repeat an accent color (lime, in this case) a maximum of three times. My magic number happens to be twice - just enough so that it looks like I put some thought into my outfit, but not so much thought that it looks contrived.

There is a difference between caring how you look and being too aware of your appearance. True style - whether you really have it or if you're faking it like so many of us do - relies on being comfortable with yourself and making what you choose to wear look effortless.

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