Fashion is all about legs lately. And unless you know how to use them, you could find you and your stems on some fashion faux pas list.
New York excites me for many reasons but since this post and my last post all stemmed (pun intended) from my recent trip to the Big Apple, I have to believe it is my fashion inspiration source. And I don’t like saying that because I feel Bostonians already get a bum rap when it comes to fashion and trend setting even though we have pretty cool stores that know what is in style (Louis Boston for one) before anyone else and some super chic boutiques along Newbury Street and in the South End. Perhaps Gisele will help rectify this stereotype as she starts strutting her mile long legs shooting fashion campaigns here on our streets, but until then it is up to our very own stylish, well-heeled women to run with it. One thing in common and on both streets here and in NYC – leggings.
Leggings are a trend that have been around for many seasons now. Leggings in theory are great. In reality, they do not always work. I commend Gretta Monahan for coming out in a recent article saying she does not like the way she looks in leggings. She is not alone. I see hundreds of women here trying to wear leggings and wearing them all wrong. First, do we really want to relive that God awful 80s style (I mean just add leg warmers and a torn sweatshirt and you could be flash dancing all over again) and second, why are we substituting them for pants? Even our work out wear has changed drastically. Look at the lululemon craze – their Groove pants are on women everywhere. Why - because they hug and hold where they should and then they let go and elongate too. Tight butt and thighs with a long and lean leg - match made in heaven. Leggings have the opposite effect.
I admit I do own a few pairs of leggings. I have basic black (full and cropped lengths) from American Apparel. The full length I never wear. The cropped are fun in the summer with flat gladiators or flip-flops and a long (as in cover your ass long) top. On occasion I have sported these with a chunky high wedge and a dress. The look here is more sophisticated – throw on a thin cardigan and belt it all or add some great chunky necklaces or cuffs. This keeps you hip as opposed to the Hannah Montana inspired tweeners that wear leggings as pants. Be careful with the proportions and “flowiness” – you don’t want to look preggers if you are not.
My other leggings are more formal than your basic pull on lycra. They are Vince and actually have cute defining lines and zip. These I only wear tucked into flat boots with a comfy boyfriend sweater, a long layered cardigan or vest, or a tee and long blazer. I do not wear leggings as pants or with any type of heel.
I have seen many women look great pulling this off – they are either super tall and thin or very petite. I am not quite tall but not petite either. At just over 5′ 5″ in height, I am pretty average and I am athletic. I am not a fan of the more cut leg in full leggings and as I said in the beginning of my legging rant, they have opposite effect on me. Like Gretta, I too do not always like how I look in leggings.
Okay next up in my fabulous two cities is jeans. The latest denim craze – super skinny jeans and jeggings, the denim legging. Both, may I add, are still in style for spring. Skinnys and jeggings in pastel shades too. Um. . . no thanks. For the same reasons as above. But I do love my skinny jeans now and I will also admit I have a pair of jeggings (deep indigo, almost black but not black and not certainly not off- black). I wear them both tucked into flat or slouchy boots, and this spring and summer, I will try my favorite skinny jeans (Current/Elliott studded) with chunky heels. By then, they will be worn just enough so they hug less on the calves and fall just perfectly at my ankles. If you can’t do the skinny, try a super straight or cigarette leg. They are flattering to more body types and give you the same lean look. I prefer these styles with a killer pair of heels or boots. And just about any type of top – classic or trendy works with these cuts.
Something to dress by – put on a pair of skinny jeans or leggings, stand in a normal stance and look in the mirror. Unless you can see clearly through your two thighs, you should not be thinking you look good in them either.
Truth be told, that is actually the long and short of it.
Filed under: Style
Frivolity is not fashion anymore and trendy is not necessarily in. It’s a new year, time to reinvent a new you.
I always love my trips to NYC for the scene, to keep me current and for the people aka fashion watching. I especially took note of a few things to help with my own style update on my trip last week to the city that never sleeps. Two women caught my eye (come on. . .we all check each other out).
The first lady was walking down 57th in mid-town. She was blond, tall and dressed to the nines as my Mom would say. Her hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail, she wore a gorgeous black, fitted long coat with fur collar and maxi sleeves (large and turned up – not your typical grandma puffs), black round oversized sunglasses and a caramel Hermes birkin bag. She reeked of upper class, but her distressed denim and designer motor cycle boots mixed with all of the above made her cool as opposed to uptight.
The second woman was a true hippie hipster walking down B’way in Soho. She too wore her brown locks in a ponytail (a bit more undone) , a black pea coat with an oversized funnel scarf, a large black leather Prada bucket bag and super skinny dark jeans that were perfectly tucked into suede booties. Laid back cool but with the right pieces to polish her entire look.
Both women probably got dressed that morning in the same manner – they pulled out their staples and both knew they had it going on.
Getting dressed each morning is one of my favorite things to do. What I wear and how I feel defines my entire day. When I get dressed these days for an event or just every day, I no longer look for outfits or to fancy tops or frivolous pieces. This season I bought two new dresses for my various events and functions and depending on the tone of each, I would dress up or scale down the dress with accessories and heels. Other than that, I have been content and having fun with mixing, matching and layering my staples. These days they consist of a few great cardigans (Marni and Inhabit are my favorites), skinny or super straight jeans (Current Elliott studded, J Brand cigarette or leggings and AG dark wash Stilts), James Pearse tanks, Kain, Calypso and Alexander Wang tees, Steven Alan shirts, a killer pair of black skinny trousers, a few black jackets thrown in the mix and of course, boots – flats and heels.
Looking ahead into spring fashion, I was happy to learn that chunky wedge heels, statement necklaces (metals and chain especially), strappy heels, layering, belting, all kinds of dresses and muted palettes are still in style. The super trendy looks I will avoid and you will never see me sporting neon nails.
Play with proportions and layering, do not over accessorize and sport a great attitude. When all else fails, a great coat, bag or shoe will always carry you through. For a new look, try investing in a few good staples or shop your closet for the ones you already own. Get them back into rotation. Keep your make up simple and natural to match.
Effortless chic, investment basics and knowing what works on you is what works now and forever.