212 FASHION DOS AND DON'TS
Don't pull up your stockings in public.
Do wear color near your face.
Do soften the hard lines of a suit with a lace top underneath.
Don't wear sweaters so long that they make you look short.
Do borrow your husband's clothes.
Don't wear acid-washed jeans.
Cropped pants can make you look shorter.
Do wear a hipslip or minimizer under tight clothes.
Do have a stash of basics on hand: T-shirts, leggings, black socks and tights.
Patterned leggings can make legs look heavier.
Monochromatic outfits are one of the best slimming secrets there is.
Lies, Lies, Lies
* Nice girls don't wear white after Labor Day.
* You shouldn't wear suede shoes in summer or patent leather in winter.
* Handbags have to match your outfit.
* Black is boring.
* If you wear two pieces that are both navy, the colors have to match.
(It's all but impossible.)
Elements of Style
* Try something that's "not you" once in a while.
* Adapt trends so that they work for you--and adapt is the key word
here. A plaid minikilt isn't for everyone, for example. But if you love
the look, try a longer plaid skirt.
* Hold on to a few of your favorite outdated pieces. You never know!
* Add a couple of stylish, inexpensive things to your wardrobe each season.
* Force yourself to wear something for somebody else.
* Dress like a teenager.
* Mix two seasons in one outfit.
* Wear really casual shorts or beach sandals on dress-down Fridays.
Wear black with navy. Trust us! Both of them also go with...
* cream * white * beige * brown
...and the combinations are timelessly elegant.
Don't wear too many colors at once.
If you find an inexpensive, basic item that fits well, buy it in several colors.
10 Must-Haves For Fall
(To Buy or Dig Out from Your Closet)
1. White blouse
2. One perfect dress
3. A pleated or A-line skirt
4. Boots--tall or short
5. A mohair sweater--yes, they're back
6. Anything plaid
7. A pea coat in navy or black
8. A short, fitted blazer or a long, tailored style
9. Tapered trousers
10. Pretty pastels--a jacket, sweater, skirt or all of the above
* Do wear black for an evening affair if the event is black tie.
* Do keep dyed shoes in the closet with the bridesmaid dress.
* Do take advantage of the "Bring 'em back--shoes, that is--we'll dye
'em black" policy. Don't, however, wear dyed shoes if there's any chance
of snow or rain. The color is likely to bleed.
* Do carry a small evening bag and don't overstuff it.
* Do sew Velcro on strapless bras and on your dress to keep everything in place.
* Don't wear a casual watch with very dressy clothes.
* Don't wear a casual jacket over a fancy dress.
* Don't wear anything too tight, too sexy or too see-through.
* Don't wear uncomfortable shoes.
* Don't upstage the bride in something that's too attention getting.
* Pearls. Need we say anything more?
* A chambray shirt under a blazer.
* The perfect little black dress. Every closet should have one.
* Twin-sweater-sets that do double duty in your wardrobe.
* Opaque hose with Lycra spandex are a girl's best friend.
* Anything that's obviously left over from days of yore-
-especially if it's polyester with topstitching.
* Linen in winter.
* Skirts so narrow that you can't walk.
* Jogging suits when you have no intention of jogging.
* Too many patterns at one time.
The All-Time, Best-Ever, Never-Fail, A-Number-One Figure Do:
Learn to love your body, flaws and all.
Figure It Out
* Buy elastic-waist pants and skirts--they're more comfortable.
* Emphasize your best feature: Great legs? Wear short skirts.
* Create balance by wearing shoulder pads--they can make your hips look smaller.
* Wear loose, comfortable clothes in soft, drapey fabrics. They're forever forgiving.
* Road test bodyshaper pantyhose before you wear them.
* Buy a supportive bra--everything will fit better.
* Wear dark opaque hose or tights with short skirts.
* Match hose to shoes for a slimming silhouette.
* Choose belts that match your pants for an unbroken line.
* Opt for pinstripes rather than wide vertical stripes.
Make sure your hemline suits your legs:
* If you love your legs, anywhere above the knee is fine. (Above midthigh is pushing
it, though, no matter what your legs look like.)
* For heavy legs, go below the bottom of the calf.
* If you have heavy ankles, stick to longer lengths, but don't try to cover them since you
only trip on your hem. Slip on a pair of matching opaque hose instead.
* Treat yourself to a new outfit when you lose a few pounds.
* Opt for jackets with soft, body-skimming lines.
* Take advantage of cover-it-all tunic tops.
* Wear layers of streamlined knits, not bulky ones. They're universally flattering.
* Make sure you have one outfit that you know you'll feel good in--even on "fat" days.
* Wear a skimpy dress unless you're sure that you look good in it--absolutely sure.
* Fall victim to the whims of fashion and wear ultrawide-leg pants--especially if
* Reveal too much when you wear leggings. Even if your rear end is supertoned,
always wear a top that covers it.
* Buy pants or skirts without checking out your rear view. And when you try on
pants, always sit down in them.
Figure Fantasy vs. Figure Fact
Big, bulky clothes will hide my figure.
They'll also add pounds to it.
Prints will make me look bigger.
No, as long as the print is small.
Buying something a size too small will inspire me to lose weight.
Maybe, but it's much more likely that you'll never wear it.
Battling the Bustline
If you're large-busted, skip...
wide belts, long necklaces, big pins
And go for...
Blouses that minimize:
* softly draped (but not oversized) styles in silk or polyester.
* simple V necklines without pockets.
Dark colors on top, light ones on bottom.
A bright jacket over a dark top.
Taming the Tummy
If your stomach is not as flat as you would like it to be, skip...
tucked-in blouses, cropped tops, belted jackets
And go for... tunic tops ... loose jackets ... softly pleated pants
Slimming the Bottom Half
If your hips and thighs are less than svelte, skip...
leggings, big patterns below the belt, narrow trousers
And go for... * loose-fitting trousers * long jackets * long flowing skirts
5 Faux Pas
(No Matter What Your Figure)
1. Tops that draw unnecessary attention.
2. Jeans that don't fit perfectly. Finally, there are styles for every conceivable
figure--flaws and all.
3. Long full jackets paired with long full skirts.
4. Anything so tight that it looks as if the seams might split.
5. Stiff, boxy jackets. Not only are they unflattering, they're uncomfortable
as all get out.
Good eyeglass frames. Don't, however, wear them on a clunky chain around
your neck. If you must, choose something a little more subtle.
A good, versatile scarf that goes with the colors you wear most. And
look for silk crepe versions. They're usually easier to tie and more
likely to stay that way.
A well-made jacket in a 3-season fabric--lightweight wool or gabardine.
What's the mark of well-made? Look for fully lined versions with sturdy,
A good bag that will last for years, big enough for all your essentials,
but not too big.
At least one well-made pair of pants (or a skirt, for that matter) that
you can wear for three seasons. By the way, pleats are fine as long as
they're not stiff.
A pair of classic pumps. Look for: leather, heels no higher than two
inches, and a natural, versatile color like black, navy or ivory.
* Wear ivory and tortoiseshell, but only if they're fake.
* Assemble a collection of good, basic costume jewelry:
* a pair of matching gold bangle bracelets, or a gold cuff not wider than
an inch and a half.
*link necklaces in varying lengths.
* a pair of simple gold hoop earrings, or gold button-style clip-ons.
* Buy a two-tone watch so that you can wear it with silver or gold jewelry.
* Keep your jewelry organized. Even egg cartons or plastic silverware trays will do.
* Wear large earrings if you're a large woman--you're among the few who can
carry them off.
* Wear jewelry that jingles when you walk.
* Pierce your ears more than twice in each lobe. Never wear earrings so heavy
that they stretch your lobes.
* Mix your metals. Silver jewelry is out of the question if your jacket has
* Wear rhinestones before 6 p.m.
* Squeeze a large neck into a dainty choker. It just doesn't work.
* Do wear a belt with a gold buckle if you are wearing gold jewelry.
* Do cover elastic waists with belts or scarves.
* Don't assume that you must, in every circumstance, match your belt and
shoes. But don't stray too far afield either.
* Do wear a belt whenever you wear clothing with belt loops.
* Do wear belts made of leather. If they aren't, they should at least
look like they are.
* Do replace belts when they start to look shabby. Or take them to a
shoe-repair store for reconditioning.
* Do iron them on low!!!
* Do think twice before you wear a print scarf with a print outfit. To
make it work, you need a dotted jacket and dotted scarf, for example.
* Don't wear a long one dangling from your shoulder. Even if you can
manage not to lose the thing, it screams fashion victim.
* Do keep scarves folded in clear plastic containers or in plastic bags.
Whatever you do, DON'T...
* carry more than two at once
* overstuff them
* carry anything bigger than a bread box.
Do learn at least one great way to tie a square scarf.
* Fold in half to form a triangle; then fold it, from the point end
toward the flat side, until it's about 1 1/2" wide.
* Wrap around neck from front to back.
* Bring ends back around to front and knot.
Just Say No
* Impossibly trendy jewelry like nose and navel rings
* See-through clothes
* Extremely high heels
* Fake Chanel anything
* Baby-doll dresses
* Slouchy socks
* Huge shoulder pads
* Fishnet stockings
* Ankle bracelets under pantyhose
* Baggy sweatsuits
* Aprons, unless they're in the kitchen
* Thigh-high skirts
* The schoolgirl look
* Bra tops
* Socks and sneakers with a suit
* Ultra-cropped tops. If your belly button shows, skip it
* High heels with jeans
* Sunglasses at night or indoors
5 Closet Classics
* Organize your closet by item (all skirts together, all jackets
together etc.) rather than by outfit or color. You'll see more
* Invest in shoe trees. They'll keep your shoes
in better condition (we promise) and keep all that closet clutter to a
* Slip belts over hangers.
* Buy padded hangers for delicate items.
* Keep longer clothes on one side of the closet.
* Buy things that go with at least two other things you already own.
* Shop in consignment shops.
* Ask salespeople to call you when they know there is going to be a sale.
* Shop in the men's department for basics. They're usually much cheaper
and offer a larger variety.
* Buy it if you absolutely love it. Next time it may not be there.
* Keep receipts in case you want to return something that goes on sale. And
don't be shy about doing so!
* Take advantage of the convenience of catalogs. But be careful! It's easy to
overspend if it doesn't feel like you're shopping. Before you pick up the phone:
Set a limit.
Make a list.
And for every piece you plan to order, take something out of your closet and
lay it in front of you. If you see things piled up, you'll be less likely to
lose your head.
* Ask about free tailoring and personal-shopping services.
* Take a friend along with you. Not only can she can tell you how things look
from the back, she can save you from yourself--"A hundred dollars? For that???"
Don't Be Afraid to...
* Check the sales racks in better department stores.
* Say no to a salesperson.
* Spend a little extra for a classic item that you know will last.
* Ask if the store will discount an item for a missing button or a loose hem.
The Extras: Maintenance
* Hem your cuffs. And bear in mind that if you're tall, you can get away with
a wider cuff.
* Treat your clothes with loving care. And buy clothes you can afford to take care of.
* Hang woolens out for 24 hours after wearing them to air them out.
* Clip out labels from sheer blouses and bras.
* Use liquid detergent when washing darks.
* Dry-clean and store winter clothes in the summer, and vice versa.
* Bleach whites that are bleach safe.
* Save time and iron only the cuffs and collars of blouses you are wearing under a
sweater or jacket.
* Redye black jeans when they start to fade.
* Keep white canvas sneakers white by soaking them in one part water to one
* Use spray starch.
* Sew bra hooks onto shoulder straps that always slip.
* Carry a portable sewing kit in your purse.
* Buy a steamer to dewrinkle your clothes in a jiffy.
* Try to wash something that says "dry-clean only" unless you're willing to part
with it for good.
* Rehang clothes that are in need of repairs. Fix them first.
* Hang sweaters.
* Alter expensive clothes yourself, unless you really know you can.
The 7 Deadly Shopping Sins
* Wearing lace-up shoes--you'll double your time in the changing room.
* Spending more than you should on trendy items. If you absolutely must have
that silver lame blouse, set a limit before you get to the store.
* Buying on impulse just because something is on sale.
* Using a credit card when you can spare the cash.
* Shopping without a list, even if it's just in your head.
* Looking like a schlump when you shop. If you don't put some effort into your
hair and makeup, you'll feel like nothing looks good on you.
* Shopping with your husband. Why torture one another?