This article in the NY Times deconstructs how jeans--the one clothing item--ike pizza as a food item---most everyone relates to or has owned. Even my hopefully soon- to -be 90 year old mother wears an age appropriate--dark navy, unembellished, purist, straight legged and at her waist--pair.
In the 80s I showed up on the set with a pre-torn pair from Ralph Lauren (yes... the classically oriented designer!) and the director questioned (if not so politely) my sartorial choice. He was truly a classicist--and today --30 years later --I agree with his distaste. It was the style's first go-around in the 80's
when many unsightly looks germinated and today are regurgitated to a new, receptive generation (and those going for an inappropriate second dose of "don'ts!").The issue is mostly about "pretension"--if not pure silly- ness. After all--jeans
are a "purist's" item. They are best as authentic--and you can pick the "rise" or leg style for your body. As I said in "Forever Cool" .."dare to be classic"...you will find yourself in the minority today. The absurd is too often embraced as fashion.
My books were written because I wanted everyone to benefit by my "ageless" philosophy. And I mean everyone--not only those who can hire me on a one-to-one basis.
If really followed--I guarantee my philosophy.It allows you to recognize the items you need. They exist--but with all the confusing choices, youth oriented styles and gimmicks--it can seem as if the choices are not there for you anymore..
This is the most common complaint I hear from an aging population. Particularly Boomer women--and older. They rightfully still want to look youthful and modern...but are having huge issues in finding appropriate yet hip, stylish clothes.
But what are those items? What is their mix-match potential? And how do you recognize correct fit as your body changes? Perhaps your lifestyle has changed--so how do you change your wardrobe? What are good accessory choices? Where should you be shopping? Reassessment is key to look current, vital, and your personal best.
So here is your new year opportunity: A Personal Consultation.
Please send me a current full-figure photo of your self, and basic measurements (height, weight, bust, waist, hip, shoe sz). Fill me in on any physical issues that keep you from wearing certain pieces of clothing, shoes etc.
Let me know your wardrobe budget, and your location.
My very favorites were Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lopez (the most beautiful cleavage I've ever seen!), Dakota Johnson --her white skin beautiful in red, Jennifer Hudson wears yellow beautifully, a thinner Meryl Streep in a very flattering and feminine 3 pc outfit with a lovely belt (all great--except for those aging glasses she often favors for black-tie) the very pregnant Keira Knightley (who still manages to look great), Marion Cotillard ( but less enamored by the hairstyle) and lovely Cate Blanchett...I loved that turquoise necklace against her simply elegant black dress .I wear Ralph Lauren's turquoise necklace on the cover of "Forever Cool" over my navy shirt ...so of course I love it:). Many of the men espoused the new navy tux trend..and when it's well fitted it looks great--like Eddie Redmayne. Again, congratulations to the Best Costume design winner -- Milena Canonero...and finally my vote was for American Sniper as Best Picture.
My last blog on Jan. 16th, discussed glasses and make-up. So "movin-on-down" (as promised) we come upon a very tell-tale area at the neckline and shoulders-- where skin is no longer taut. It varies from person to person of course. (The late Nora Ephron's "I Hate My Neck!" lent humor to something we all complain about). But if you know that dressing is all about smoke-and-mirrors you'll feel empowered. You cannot count on tight turtlenecks because unless you have a strong firm jawline and a long neck--the skin is pulled--thereby aggravating the situation.
So amongst the best options are: A loose cowl neck turtle neck, or an infinity scarf that creates the same effect or a long scarf that you loosely coil around the neck (high enough to basically camouflage your neck). But my favorite is to go "against intuition"--by exposing the neck fully and wearing a V-necked shirt (or any V-necked top, or jacket) with the collar up if possible to frame the neck. A beautiful "statement necklace" or classic large white pearls (decent sized) can deflect from your neck's imperfections as well. Make sure the colors you pick to wear truly flatter your complexion for a "healthy/vibrant" appearance.
As before--J Crew is showing how their styles which have classic roots can be adopted by all ages.My books show their clothes..sometimes mixed "high-low" with brands like Etro and Prada.It is my philosophy and how I dress.The secret is plucking out the items that will suit you stylishly and appropriately for your age and body.
This year I hope to give each month a tip on what truly ages people (besides the horrific news we get daily..). I'm grateful my work defines what is attainable and with effort and interest very doable. As I've long held--it's much more about personal style than wrinkles. So starting at the top--your eyeglasses. Eyeglass frames run the gamut. Every 5 years what's considered "youthful" changes radically--especially for women. Nowadays plastic rims--especially large squared ones are very "in" with the younger set. Hip, modern glasses are appropriate no matter your age. They make a huge difference--as the face is usually a first focal point. Plastic squared or rectangle with a slight upward angle at the outer edge will give a "facelift" to your image. I still like neutral colors--if only for practical reasons (same reason you'll learn later that neutral nail polish is best). Rimless, or wire glasses will age you as a woman--but not men (life's unfair!:)
Wear less eye makeup if you wear glasses.A brown/ashy shade of shadow, and light mascara on the top lid only. Save the bold colors for your lips--and consider a tawny shade for everyday.Keep your brows natural as possible--but well groomed. If the pencil or powder shows--you've defeated the purpose.Blend everything well--"The last thing you want your glasses to do is magnify sloppy work!" says Bobbi Brown, in "Living Beauty". Then, over your daily moisturizer with SPF--dab lightly over only skin imperfections a light reflecting natural makeup. Finish with a peachy blush or bronzer on the apples of your cheeks, forehead temples and nose tip...for a healthy, vibrant look.
The Golden Globe 2015 had as many well dressed men—as ladies.
Monday, January 12, 2015
This year I was encouraged to see many men loooking really handsome in their tuxes and dark navy suits. Not as many gaudy choices, ties askew, poor fits, or pants puddling at the ankles (they still present themselves often--and when will Robert Downey Jr get a lesson on stylee) .Of course George Clooney, Seth Myers and Colin Firth always get it right. This year I was amazed at Channing Tatum (a not so easy body to fit), Matt Bomer, Owen Wilson, Harrison Ford , Michael Keaton and many others who really got it right. Adriane Brody was able to pull off a more trendy combination--he has a great physique for clothes.The women were sexy and lovely--but my favorites? My clear winner is Julianne Moore who has great instincts. Her choice was simply GORGEOUS! Emma Stone was my second favorite and Salma Hayeek was my third pick. I thought pregnant Kiera Knightley took a risky fashion choice with her Chanel...but it too--looked great .
..are discussed in the WSJ article "Oops I Did it Again" by Meenal Mistry.She begins.."HELL HATH NO FURY like a woman with ill-fitting designer pants and a receipt bearing the hateful red block letters: "FINAL SALE."Sooo true!..she continues"That woman, dear reader, was me—standing before a full-length mirror in my bedroom, puzzling over the inexplicable combination of a gaping waist and narrower-than-comfortable legs on a pair of Céline tuxedo trousers, and, of course, getting madder by the minute.My impotent anger was directed as much toward the bubbly and seemingly well-intentioned blonde salesgirl who talked me into buying them ("You'll have them forever!" she retail-cheerleaded) as it was toward myself. After all, as a fashion professional in her late 30s, I had over time crafted a precise set of rules to avoid just such mishaps. But I had neglected to follow them. The punishment—mental anguish over the loss of a few hundred dollars—felt cruel and unusual...." In summary: #1 Walk away if the iem you're considering doesn't immediately make you feel fantastic.#2 Sales are suspect-Well made wardrobe builders rarely languish on racks (yes even at high prices!). #3 Tailors are not fashion wizards..they can only do so much.#4 Hold grudges--keep a list of blunders, so you're not doomed to repeat them.#5 The Internet is key to shopping well...especially "What's New" and Amazon's Universal Wish List". #6 You will lose on shoes?...well they're the biggest gamble, because you don't know if they fit till you've worn them. So make an educated guess, and walk on a rug awhile before you hit the sidewalks:)...
The style “Elephant in the Room” for women in power..
Saturday, November 1, 2014
The exhibit and this humorous article review is well worth your time, if the seemingly forever "head scratching" issue of "women in power's" style is of interest to you. It is to me as a stylist, certainly--but it is also part of the larger discussion of the subliminal language of style.I hold that most women political candidates, and newscasters, political wives (also under public scrutiny) are rarely "into" clothes. They are thrown into this position as women in the public's eye. The proof of the pudding, is that very few do it well. Again, I hold that "interest" makes you better at anything in life. The lack of real interest coupled by current ideas on what's appropriate and the constraints of their personal physiques--present less than wonderful results. Since being more attractive not only makes a huge difference in female self-confidence--and also the subliminal public view of the individual (having nothing to do with your true worth but all about contributing to "likability"). I wonder why more (men too!) don't invest in a really good stylist as they would seek the council of a good doctor for health issues?
"Now we have to deal with it.." writes Michele Willens in The NYTimes, "When Did We Get So Old?". This "must-read" article hits so many truths, I had to smile (or grimace?) in recognition..."Why some of us cope better with the troubling transition may be based on how we measure our self-esteem. “If a person bases his or her pride of self on having won a tournament at 18, they are very vulnerable later on,” says Dr. Gould. “There’s money, there are houses, there are face-lifts. They all help a little, but none matters enough unless your sense of self is not directly related to age.”
Even deciding whether or not to color our hair, not to mention take advantage of cosmetic procedures, presents a boomer dilemma: Can we stay true to our feminism while ceding to our narcissism? In her memoir, Hillary Rodham Clinton writes about being the toughest in the rooms where war and peace were discussed. Still, she is already seeing that her health, fatigue-factor, and even becoming a grandmother may yet speak unspoken volumes. It won’t be much fun being the oldest in the race.
The uh-oh moments, of course, do not come only when we look around that proverbial room and find that everyone else looks like they just attended their bar or bat mitzvah. But the ones that tend to gnaw are when someone gets up to offer you a seat, calls you ma’am, asks if you have grandchildren. Desperately seeking compliments can become a full-time job."....
I contemplate these issues and navigate through the same emotions daily. My experience in the world of style has empowered me to think up my new philosophy for boomers like myself. There is no doubt (Gwen Stefani agrees:))If you look more youthful and your best--it helps your self confidence in a youth centered world. It does not include the obvious shops, nor what the media often touts. I take it as a challenge.
Personal Shopper Betty Halbreich is still going strong!
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Sept 7th NYT's "Night Out With" featured Betty Halbreich's newest book party for "I'll Drink To That". Joan Rivers and Michael Kors, were supposed to host. It's hard to believe that Betty is now 86 years old, and still at it as BG's top personal shopper.I used Betty's services for many years, as I styled all sorts of projects.She was tough-- my business sometimes tested her patience--but we respected one another. Her honesty was a good trait--and when she complimented me --it meant something.I look forward to reading her book, and wish her "all the best!".
Here it is --The Fourth Of July! Let's take a break from the world's (and our personal) problems to relax and celebrate. Generally, most of you may want to dress casually (but not "corny") for whatever you're doing..barbecues, road trips etc.I'll begin with our feet because style and comfort is essential. Did you know there's a rubber-soled revolution going on? So depending on your age and body type, you can make a great choice of sneakers in many colors --but of course red, white and blue are everywhere. J Crew has worked with Nike and New Balance on some fabulous sneakers in red and in navy. They also have navy striped espadrilles. Prada came out with their leather version (soooo chic) of Converse sneakers in white or red, and suede moccassins.. This color scheme can carry you well through this summer.
Tods has gorgeous red and navy driving moccassins. Some are in patent--which are better for rainy days.
I believe in keeping things simple with updated classics and some layering if you wish. This morning Martha Stewart (now in her 70s!) wore an age and figure appropriate outfit on the Today Show. Her base outfit was white (invest in white cotton pants,--especially white jeans!) --then she layered it with a blue sweater that was short sleeved and shorter than the underlayer (Martha's challennge--to detract from a heavy middle area, otherwise known as an "apple" figure). She wore navy wedge-espadrilles to lengthen her already long legs (for a thinner overall look). It was stylish with clean lines.