February 2012 Magazine Report: People Style Watch

Grade: A-

The zeitgeist dress of Spring 2012

The zeitgeist dress of Spring 2012

I’m close to finished reviewing the magazines available in my Stop and Shop check out aisle. I hadn’t thought People Magazine would make the “fashion mag” list, but the February issue labelled itself a “Style Watch”. Plus, I figured I could brush up on my celebrities in the off chance that I acquired a sudden need to put names with faces for the latest starlets. (Let’s put it this way… I THINK there are three Kardashian sisters? I know they all have names that start with “K”. This is the sum total of my Kardashian knowledge.)

So here are the top trends I identified:

1) The expressive manicure is still going strong. Nail color ads dominate the magazine, and there are all sorts of exciting colors on offer. You no longer need to have all your fingers match – the hot thing is nail art. For example, painting your fingernails like various Angry Birds characters.

Do if: you find it fun
Do not do if: you do not find it fun, or you are not willing to maintain your fingernails so your manicure never looks awful.

2) Pink. Pink is the dominant color for the spring season, in all iterations, saturations and combinations. There was pink leather, hot pink, antique pink, lacy pink and shimmery pink. So if you like pink, go for it this spring!

3) Sheath dresses. I personally cannot wear sheath dresses. Dress manufacturers do not plan for hips like mine. (On the plus side, I gave birth – twice! – without pain medicine. Thank you, child-bearing hips.) I have tried. I have wanted to wear sheath dresses. But I cannot. If you do not have childbearing hips, a sheath dress is an awesome piece. They look great by themselves. They are the perfect under-layer for a suit jacket. They are usually flattering, and almost always professional. You can accessorize them up and down. A light pink sheath dress would say to the world, “I synthesize this season’s fashion trends”. Also, it would look super classy with a gray jacket and pearls.

Do if: you have slim hips, you want a versatile dress that you can style up and down, you want to look professional.
Do not do if: HIPS, you refuse to dry clean, you don’t like skirts that hit above your knee.

4) Miniskirts. I have too small a sample size to ascertain whether mini skirts are a hot new look this season, or whether this is just what happens whenever you’re looking at warm weather fashion. But tragically I am obliged to inform you that miniskirts are hot right now.

Do if: Miniskirts are your thing and you’re a pro at them and you love them.
Do not do if: Really, just do not do. It’s pretty much never cool professionally, it is wicked uncomfortable, it is crazy easy to do wrong, and you have to have behavioral stuff down as well as a skeletally slender body. Also, you really need to wear high heels with them. Go buy a sheath dress instead.

Bonus Most Terrifying Trend: High heel sneakers. I kid you not.

There are lots of these high heel sneaker styles. THE MIND BOGGLES.

There are lots of these high heel sneaker styles. THE MIND BOGGLES.


For the magazine itself, I was unexpectedly pleased. There were women of color on almost every page, in a very natural, uncontrived way. They did have the “one page larger sized person page” which often serves to highlight that on every other page, the largest size shown is a 0. However, many of the outfits shown are actually within reach of a realistic budget. They put together a whole Valentine’s day outfit for $100. I was expecting it to be a barf-o-rama of exploitative celebrity gossip, and was very pleasantly surprised!

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