Top 10 Fashion Dos
From left: Cult skinny jeans by Nobody; Emily Blunt trades her LBD for an LPCD; A.P.C.'s lovely basic trench. (Nobody Jeans | Getty Images | Barneys New York)
It's a topsy-turvy world when those barefoot running shoes keep moving off the shelf and Toddlers & Tiaras is in its fifth season. But some things hold true in this often confusing thing we call life, and these Fashion Dos are among them.
1. Buy More Than One of the Same Thing. When it comes to the perfect threadbare T-shirt or the Repetto ballet flats that get you stopped on the street, you should never hesitate to buy in bulk. Consider this simple test: Do you find yourself wearing said miracle sartorial piece day-in and day-out, and dodging your best friend/the postman/your local barista so you aren’t found guilty of the perfect crime? If you answered yes, you have permission to buy another one—ideally in a different color—and also to pity the poor fools who haven’t discovered your secret.
Indulge that secret neon fetish before it's too late! (From Betsey Johnson's New York Spring 2012 show. | ImaxTree)
2. Go Through a Phase. Classic is great, but there's something to be said for diving into a trend now and again. If you're feeling neon in a big way, let 2012 be your year in dayglow. If you're mad about vintage millinery, by all means, be the Downton Abbey girl. Monochrome will be there waiting for you, like the first wife in Big Love before she had her feminist revelation.
3. Be Comfortable, Just Not Too Comfortable. Trade your birks/crocs/flops for heels every once in awhile, (during the day! and not even at work!) because there is such a thing as comfortable and ladylike, and it doesn’t usually look like a trip to the neighborhood Coffee Bean. On the flipside, yes, those Louboutins are next level, arguably more lustworthy than that Norwalk Hydraulic Press Juicer I’ve been dreaming about (it maintains ALL the nutrients people!). But unless you are a stiletto ninja, no one will be looking at your amazing red-soled feet if your face is a blotchy, tear-streaked mess. I speak from experience.
What, this old thing? No bigs. (Badgley Mischka)
4. Dress Like It’s Your Birthday When It’s Not. The temptation to underdress is understandable, because, you know, you’re already wearing jeans and they worked yesterday, right? Plus, you don’t want to look like you tried. But guess what? It’s cool to try. The worst-case scenario? You make up an excuse about the amazing party you’re going to after this less-amazing one, which turned out to have a no-shirt, no-shoes theme you weren’t briefed on. The best? You’re the girl in the glittery peplum cocktail dress (paired with black almond toe flats, to keep it from going too OTT) and everyone wants to talk to that girl.
5. Wear Your Boyfriend’s Stuff (But Not All at Once). Steal that flannel shirt and throw a belt around it with a mini skirt, or snag his Navajo sweater (since when does he go in for Navajo anyways?) and rock the oversized look with your skinniest jeans.
6. Take a Hiatus from Flattering. One of my favorite blogs, the Man Repeller, disregards fashion convention in favor of things like clashing patterns and ruffled leather jackets. Try out a look that's not conventionally flattering, but pushes the envelope in a way that's so fun and exciting it doesn't matter. Just promise us you'll think twice about harem anything.
7. Touch Your Toes. You’re attending a formal event, it’s freezing, and your shoes are open-toed. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? Here’s a hint: you don’t wear knee-high boots, and you don’t wear tights and hope no one notices. You wear toeless pantyhose. Those magical pantyhose constructed with a loop that seamlessly fits around your toe to hold the hose secure yet makes it appear that you’re not wearing anything. Did you know about these? Am I the last one to discover them? Either way, go buy them now.
Emily Blunt proves the best things don't always come in black. (Getty Images)
8. Trade your LBD for an LPCD. I love black as much as the next fashion clone, but I’d like to propose moving in a little-primary-colored-dress direction instead. Bright blue, yellow or red frocks can be just as timeless, and totally refreshing, in a left-of-fashion-center kind of way.
9. Invest in a Trench. I thought I’d found love before, once during a fling with a cheap but seductive black H&M number (the pockets were fake, it was never gonna last), and then in a longer-term relationship with an olive mac from All Saints—no slouch in the closet. But when you meet the one, as I have with this A.P.C trench (pictured above), nothing else compares. Trust me, if you’re going to push the boat out, this is the item to do it with—it will instantly transform the most blah of uniforms into something dazzlingly gamine and French.
10. Find Your Jeans. Because they’re out there. And they will be your fashion Rosetta Stone. I won’t pretend that this is a one-size-fits-all issue, or that it’s going to be easy, but I do believe there is more than one denim soulmate out there for each of us, and that if you keep an open mind and keep looking, you will find yours. And if not, feel free to copy mine: Cult skinny jeans by Aussie label Nobody (pictured above).