Saturday, February 23, 2008

i beg to differ

Tim Gunn, media appointed fashion guru who became something of a household name when Project Runway hit the big time, has a few words of fashion advice for those of us over 40. Among the fashion don'ts:

~capri pants
~horizontal stripes
~pleated pants
~low-rise jeans
~jackets that hit mid-thigh
~double-breasted blazers

I have a few comments to make. First, I'll concede the double-breasted blazers (easy to do, I don't think they've been on the racks in at least five years) and the low-rise jeans. The latter definitely belong on bodies that are too young to vote (and a few svelte shapes that can call themselves twentysomething).

I will flagrantly disregard the other "advice."

Let's start with capris. I will wear them. It's generally impossible to find anything BUT capris for sale, especially in southern climates (we will overlook the low-rise jeans, for reasons previously stated). Is Tim afraid that our aging ankles will draw attention to the floor? At 50 my ankles look just fine, thank-you-very-much. It took me a few years to warm up to the look of capris in the first place, so I'm not about to abandon them now.

Horizontal stripes: I don't recall seeing vertical stripes on anything except button-down shirts, and bias stripes are rare. It's called availability. And besides, historically horizontal stripes were no-no's for those among us who are sometimes considered vertically challenged. I have a plethora of horizontals in my closet, and I intend to wear them.

Pleated pants: Again, good look finding any on the rack. Unless you shop at Goodwill or yard sales you will search stores in vain. I can testify to this because I have tried. Because of my shape (waist proportionately smaller than usual), this style of pants is my best pant friend. I don’t discard my friends.

Jackets at mid-thigh: Um, gee. For those of us who are well endowed at the hips (the majority of mature women), such jackets are a must if we don’t want to draw attention to our endowment.

I like Tim Gunn. I think he’s got great instincts when it comes to fashion, and he strikes me as a compassionate kind of guy (that’s a plus in my book). But I have news for him. Unless there are fashion alternatives for the “mature” among us, we’re going to wear what flatters us, rules or no rules.

As for the picture that appears here, I nominate this woman for the fashion chutzpah award, and rest my case.


Jayne said...

LOL... you tell him sista! Well, you are correct about the capri pants. Can't find anything else in the spring/summer clothes pant selections. For me, at 5'2", they more often than not end up hitting me above the ankle (even the petite cuts) so I'm not sure which fashion rule THAT breaks.

Pam in Moncton said...

Yes I am with Jayne; at about 5'3" everything is long on me except if I find Petite sizes. That being said I love capris! They sort of fill the gap when it is too cool for shorts (or shorts aren't appropriate) and too warm for long pants, and they can be more comfortable than a skirt in hot weather. I agree with you on the blazers and the low rise jeans. Horizontal stripes depends more on body type than age and you are right - there aren't any vertical ones!

madcow said...

You are so my twin!! LOL
Capris - same as Jayne & Pam! I'm 5ft and resent having to pay $40 a time to get full length trousers shortened ... capris are just a lovely combination of dressy/casual for me and a great alternative to shorts. (If anyone thinks I will ever show my knees to the world think again! LOL)
Stripes - I just don't care! LOL
Mid-thigh jackets a "no-no"?? He must be kidding! In my black-suit-work-world they are salvation.
Pleated pants ... mmm ... well that's where I beg to differ. Little waist, big bum here and I must say that the Trinny & Susannah advice to buy "flat front" trousers does work. The trick is to avoid buying trousers with a waistband I think!
I'm addicted to these style programmes but it does always worry me that all the makeovers end up looking the same. A few rules are ok but for goodness sake - lets just take pleasure in our differences!

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