Who are you wearing? A report from Fashion Week
By: Lexi Smith
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week closed its second season at Lincoln Center February 17, 2011. Of course, the big designers were all present. My favs include BCBGMAXAZRIA, Elie Tahari, Ralph Lauren, and the amazing Donna Karan. Newcomers were Irina Shabayeva, from Project Runway, Christian Cota, and Son Jung Wan. So what will we be seeing off the runway this fall – and who will you be wearing?
If you’re anything like me – you’ll be putting on whatever still fits from last year, although I do try to take cues from the experts so that my look doesn’t get too dated. Also, my budget and my day job prevent me from being too over the top. So, I use Fashion Week to help me be stylish and cost conscious about building my wardrobe.
I love that Fashion Week for fall hits at the same time stores are getting rid of winter inventory at great prices. It is the best time to get deals on things that you will be able to work into your existing wardrobe, and still stay current. Resale shops are excellent hunting grounds for those key (if not designer) pieces at very reasonable prices. In fact, many stores are offering up to 75% off of winter inventory just to move it out.
When I’m shopping – especially resale – I look for quality and fit. I cannot stress that enough. I can go into any consignment store, or even Goodwill, and pull out an entire designer wardrobe just by feeling the fabric; but try it on. Do not buy something because the tag says it’s the right size. I’m a size 4 in Ann Taylor, but a size 6 in J Crew. You don’t know until you try.
I’m more style conscious than a slave to fashion. I know what looks good on my body type and try to accentuate my best features rather than donning the latest trend. So, if you don’t know what your body type is – find out. Put on a pair of black leggings and a black, long sleeve, fitted t-shirt. You’ll get a good silhouette of yourself and be able to see where you carry your weight. I think this works better than standing naked in front of the mirror because you get a true outline (and you won’t be shivering).
Extend your arms out. From your shoulders to your hips, what shape do you see? A triangle = your shoulders are wider than your hips. A rectangle = your shoulders, waist, hips are about equal. You get the point.
What to buy? Designers are showing lots of neutrals – black, grey, tan and winter white – with big splashes of color (red seems to be front and center). Graphic patterns are also big this fall, which can be tricky depending on your body type. Feminine cuts, romantic ruffles, and full skirts are all the rage. So are parkas and ponchos. Feet, unfortunately, are going to take a toll. There are no flats in sight. The best we can do for comfort may be the wedge, but even that is going to be sky high.
Best tip – go through what you already have and decide where you can add some trends. Take pictures of looks you pull together before you pack away your winter clothes. When fall comes, you might forget what inspired you. Now, on to Paris . . . and happy shopping!
Lexi Smith is a lifestyle guru for the woman seeking positive change. She is owner and creative director of Being Fabulous!, a consultation and personal shopping service designed to help clients achieve a higher quality of life by finding their own signature style.