Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day1.5 Colours!

I love colour. I even had them "done" in the early eighties. I'm a summer. All reds (except orangy ones), blues and greys. Think misty shores. I want to be a Winter--vibrant, lively Carribbean colours!

But, really, except for the occaisonal bright pink cotton top, I've always been rather restrained when it comes to clothes. I remember having an argument with my Grandmother, once, when we were school clothes shopping. I wanted white blouses and navy pants. She thought I should be dressed in more colour, prints, you know, kids' clothes. But, I was a teenager at the time, and she had the money.

I remember one girl I was in high-school with whose fashion sense I absolutely adored and envied. She had Snow White's colouring: pale skin and dark hair, which she wore in a straight forward bob. One ensemble involved brown trousers and an orange knit top. The kind you'd wear under a cardigan. (I believe she had those too). I loved the way she dressed.

Of course, you have to realise, every one else was running around in Bay City Roller Plaid; punk, led by Style Icons Sid and Nancy was just beginning....but hadn't yet shown up in any acceptable way in our city. Disco wear was actually the acceptable "party garb." Farrah Fawcett set the trendy High School Do. I had two pairs of footless leg warmers.

To refresh my memory, I went here.

But, I knew I wanted "classic." I lusted after the ensembles in the Vogue Pattern Sewing magazine--the articles where they took two patterns and created an entire wardrobe were my favourite. I went looking for that magazine the other day. I couldn't find it, or anything like it.

In the spirit of gathering information for my Wardrobe Therapy, I checked a book out of the library called "Does This Make Me Look Fat? by Leah Feldon. I read Leah Feldon back in those heady teenage years and thought I'd found my mentor.

I still like a lot of what she has to say, even though she hasn't updated her website since 2003.

Here are the 12 rules to looking slimmer:
1) Wear mostly monochromatic tops and bottoms. If you do wear colour, wear it on the inside of a long line, and near your face.
2) Base your wardrobe on dark neutrals. For me, this would be navy and black. But I've never figured out what kind of shoes to wear if I had both these colours.
3) Verticals are your friends. This was a great chapter. Bottom line: Tops should be just long enough to hide the trouble spots and not a fraction longer. We want as much leg as possible. Staying monochromatic and dark minimizes those nasty attention getting horizontal lines.
4) Be Balanced. This was all about how to correct and camoflague heavy arms, legs, bellies, etc. What to wear when you are short-waisted, long waisted, etc.
5) Get rid of anything which doesn't fit. She talks about how to tell if something doesn't fit. Apparently, most of our clothes don't.
6) How to layer with shawls, cardigans and so on.
7) Beware of stiff, shiny or bulky fabrics.
8) Build on the Right Foundations. I have no intention of spending more than $12.99 for a pack of six briefs, and I can't bear hose, so I just skimmed this one. I already know how to choose the correct bra.
9) Accessories. Longer is better, unless you are big busted. More of the same is better: for example, two bangles on one arm instead of one on each. Three gold chains instead of one. There were finer points, of course, but again, as I wear a silver watch, a silver cross and a silver wedding band all the time, I skimmed this too. I do love earrings. I could be the Imelda Marcos of earrings, but a piercing mishap as a teenager left me with scar tissue in my earlobes that makes even the gentlest of clip-ons pure toture after a couple of hours.
10) Attract attention to your face. This was mostly a chapter on how to Tie A Scarf. Theoretically, I think the whole thing is pretentious and over done. Still, when I think of stylish women I know, there's usually a scarf involved.
11) Think small--small patterns (if any) small pockets, small lapels, etc.
12) Keep it Simple. No appliques on the T-shirts, ladies. And does it really need a pocket?

Not sure what to do with this information just yet, but I have the strongest urge to just start throwing out the clothes I have left in my closet. But, I still don't want to go shopping and spend any sort of Real Money on clothes.


smallcitybeth said...

Hoooooold on thar, Baba Louie! I'd wait on the throw-out-everything-in-the-closet until we see what Wende has up her sleeve for the purging-and-replacement of clothes.

I only glanced at that website of 70s clothes, but I'll definitely go back... wow that's a visit to my youth.

I'll have to check "the book" to find out what are summer colors. I think a lot of them are what I used to wear, unsuccessfully, until I "had my colors done". I think I'll have to "check out" the book from the library, because I don't think I kept my copy -- I had purchased a copy of the new version with multiple varieties of seasons, but I think I purged it in one of my Apartment Therapy book-purging binges.

drwende said...

Don't toss too fast!

In the general spirit of "put the noticeable colors where you want people to look," her advice to put color near your face and not on your derriere is basically sound. In most situations in most lives, it's better to have people looking at your face.

But I found her Web site so depressing that I stopped reading after skimming one page -- too much being told that one's body isn't good enough to wear anything except a few carefully chosen items in neutrals that won't force it on anyone's attention. Now I want to wear solid orange today, possibly with sequins.

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