I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus lately. I know there are few things more annoying than bloggers explaining why they haven’t blogged and promising to blog again (which is rarely the case), but… well, I was very busy. I was also really wondering whether what I’m trying to do here has value, or whether me giving fashion advice is the height of hypocracy. Reading the article on the damage that beauty-obsession can cause, I wonder if maybe we shouldn’t stick to our Birkenstocks and socks – where at least we’re happy with ourselves.
But I remain convinced that there is a happy medium – a place where we pay attention to and enjoy the fun parts of fashion while still holding it lightly and remaining solidly in our skin. Also, someone came up to me at a party and told me that it was useful to her, and she was getting advice she valued. (She also called herself a fangirl. I am nothing if not susceptible to flattery.) So… thanks Jenny. And my schedule doesn’t get this crazy again until next October.
The next fashion magazine on my list to review is InStyle. I’ve read two or three of them, and I suspect that this is one of the better resources for my little target demographic. It, like all fashion magazines, cares about celebrities. But it is about 90% less catty than Glamour was. It’s also relatively factual in its delivery of the relevant material, without weighing it down with value judgments. Even better, I learned a few things I found interesting and useful. They also do a WAY better job of translating the fashion to people of different sizes. They interpreted one look up to a 5X. Most fashion magazines refuse to believe that there is a size larger than 8, so I was happy to see them not only admitting, but un-shaming the larger crowd.
Here are the relevant items:
1) Color blocking
I’m all set to hate this trend, but it’s definitely hot right now. You remember in the ’80s those sweaters that had big blocks of different colors? That’s all the rage. Kohl’s has quite possibly one of the ugliest front pages of their flier I’ve ever seen this last time – so ugly I noticed it (see top!). And the same seemingly-photoshopped picture is in the InStyle magazine. Seriously, it looks like an awful maniupulation job of a non-biologically correct mannequin, covered by a horribly unflattering dress. So…. you can adopt this color blocking trend. But I’m guessing that because even the models don’t look good in this style, it won’t have much power or endurance
2) Leather shorts/skirts
I ignored this in my last fashion report because I had trouble crediting it was true. Seriously, people are buying and wearing leather shorts? Apparently this is the case (although not in the financial district – I assure you. In fact, this is a trend I don’t think I’ve actually seen in public.) I consider a leather skirt/shorts a way advanced fashion skill. They’re really expensive and you’re supposed to be buying them as an “investment piece”. But an investment piece you can’t wash? Really? And what about the fit? How many of us have figures to pull off leather skirts anyway? And how many of us have bodies so unchanging we can purchase form-fitting clothing as an “investment”? And, um, don’t people get sweaty in them? Plus, this trend is so expensive it’s really hard to dabble in it and see how it will work. So it’s a trend, but unless you’re way more advanced fashion-wise than I am (or it’s a life long dream), I recommend against pursuing it.
3) Some great tips
- Use vinegar spray on armpits to remove staining
- “De-Scuff Skins: Rub plain leather with a crepe eraser ($2, dickblick.com) which will lift even deep stains. For suede, all it takes is a firm toothbrush and some elbow grease”
- Store gems and jewelry in plastic bags
- If you have jeans you can’t or shouldn’t wash, you can freeze them to kill bacteria and reduce smell (which really? Why buy jeans you can’t wash?)
4) BB – Beauty Balm
Finally, there were like 93 ads in the magazine for beauty balm. As far as I can tell, BB is a generic name (as in there are multiple brands) for something that moisturizes, tints (like foundation) and provides SPF coverage. I decided that this might be worth trying out, so I’ve bought some (at the grocery store!) and I’ll give you a report.
So what’s up with you? Have you been paying more attention to your style? Have you learned any fashion skills or tips in October and November? Do you have something you wish I’d cover from the pragmatic perspective? Let me know!