Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Thumbelina's Guide to Style

Tim Gunn repeats his 10 essential items "that every woman should own" to every fashion-challenged woman that appears on his show, and these items are relevant, basic, and trend-proof; however, I've added some additional items that are just as essential:

1. Feminine White Dress: While fashionistas will swear by the LBD, the feminine white dress is a fresher choice for day or night, and isn't as severe.
2. Cropped Leather Jacket (preferably in a light neutral shade): Your favorite black motorcycle jacket should be traded in for a lighter, cropped, and streamlined one. Fendi's new peachy-camel jacket is neutral and perfect with nearly everything for spring.
3. Designer Bag: While the craze for a designer bag has even worn me out, a carefully chosen quality bag--like a quilted Chanel 2.55 or a Bottega Veneta exotic--will outlast seasons of trends (case in point: the Paddington). Avoid large logos, clumsy shapes, and heavy leather.
4. Belt: Although many women fear exposing their lovehandles, the high-waisted belt has the ability to deceive the eye and accentuate the smallest part of their bodies (most women's hips are wider than their waists). Choose a wider style if you have a larger belly.
5. A Sentimental but Substantial Piece of Jewelry: An engagement ring given to you by
your husband, diamond earrings given to you by your parents, or an antique ring given to you by your grandmother: these pieces represent your connection to others.
6. Day Flats (or low-heeled shoes): Give your feet a break, and save the sneakers for the
gym. There's a reason why Europeans don't wear sneakers on the street. And that's part of the reason they look so chic.
7. Tall Boots: For cold climates, tall boots are a must with dresses, skirts, and even pants (either above or underneath them). Bare legs with a heavy coat look odd and feel frozen.
8. Daily SPF: Daily SPF (I wear Neutrogena's Ultrasheer SPF 70 every day) will save your skin from sun spots, wrinkles, and cancer. Even dark-skinned women need to abide by this one. (A tan is evidence of sun damage.)
9. Special Occasion Dress: A unique, detailed, and stunning number will carry you from event to event: another's wedding, bridal/baby shower, graduation, anniversary. Choose your favorite color or one that complements your skin tone and shading. Pewter, gray, blue, and purple are excellent and easy choices; red, orange, green, and hot pink are too severe to be worn for any special occasion.
10. Cardigan: A simple cardigan can be worn over a dress, stand alone with a skirt or pants, or can take the place of a more formal blazer; it can be worn open or closed, and it can be taken off easily.

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