Guest Posts

Summer Wardrobe Wreckers

By Sharon Mosley
Well-fitting skirts are key to keeping comfortable and stylish in summer months. (Photo courtesy of Kohl's)

Do you think just because it’s summer and the livin’ is easy that you can throw caution to those beach breezes and forget about what you wear? After all, summer is all about less is more, right? Well, not so fast, says fashion trend expert, Andy Paige, author of “Style on a Shoestring” (McGraw Hill, $16.95).

“At any mall USA on any given Saturday,” says Paige, “you will find hundreds of women who have willingly sacrificed their power, femininity and confidence by opting to drown in fabric, logos and flip-flops. The national devotion to sloppy, comfortable clothes keeps me in an absolute tizzy and has become seriously ridiculous.”

But Paige — who regularly travels the country conducting “Beauty Boot Camps” — says she has discovered that there is a “predictability” to the wardrobe mistakes that many of us make. “And remember, there is nothing more comfortable than looking fabulous!”

Here are some of her tips:

♥ Choose clothes that fit. Horrible oversized sweatshirts add 40 pounds and smother any glimmer of feminine shape. Choose active wear that creates shape through the waist, ends around your hip bone, and contains Lycra or spandex. “It’s just as easy to throw on a flattering active jacket as it is a fleece blob,” she says.

♥ Instead of wearing sweatpants that look like “oversized clown bloomers,” Paige advises wearing straight-leg yoga or running pants instead. “You still get the simplicity of just pulling them on, but the cut and lighter weight fabric create a much more figure-friendly look.”

♥ Skip the long tube skirts. “If an ankle-length body tube is hanging in your closet, use it to insulate your water heater,” she says. “Casual ankle-length skirts make us look like shapeless trunks.” Paige recommends wearing knee-length A-line skirts that fall freely from the largest part of the hip. “It’s a timeless silhouette that is the most flattering on everyone, from your grandma to your cousin Gracie.”

♥ Beware of horizontal details. “Whether they’re from stripes, rickrack, ribbons or ruffles, keep all wide lines and voluminous details off your rump,” she says. Vertical or diagonal details will elongate your body and give you more of an hourglass shape.

♥ No pleats, please. Pleated tapered-leg pants are a big no-no in Paige’s fashion book. She advises sticking to flat, front boot-cut or stovepipe-leg pants hemmed to the bottom of your heel to make your legs look longer. She also cautions about “muffin tops” and suggests wearing pants with comfortable waistbands that “frowns in the back and smiles in the front.” Leggings worn with crop tops, see-through white pants and splotchy bleached denim are also summer no-nos.

♥ Put away thick-soled shoes. “Frankenstein’s monster was big, green and dim-witted in the movies; why would you want to wear his shoes? There is nothing feminine, modern or attractive about thick, chunky man shoes. Plus, the thicker the sole, the thicker your legs look.”

♥ Some other summer shoe wardrobe wreckers: white pumps (go for silver pumps or slingbacks), sandals with toe overhang (you generally want about a half-inch of room at the heel and toe), bulky he-man jock sneakers (there are lots of sleek, “declunkified” urban walking shoes available) or socks with sandals (“sandals are for freshly painted toes).

♥ Last thoughts. “So considering the dynamic potential of clothing,” says Paige, “something we all have to buy and wear anyway, since most of us don’t live in a nudist camp, why would you choose to tell the world you’d rather be napping, as you sport a comfortable outfit that’s barely a step above footie pajamas? Smarter fashion choices simply make you look smarter.” — CNS

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