While packing for a trip to New York for my niece’s wedding, which just so happened to coincide with Fashion Week, I read the following amusing (sort of) quote on designer Mondo Guerra’s Facebook page: “Every year women in New York City put the past behind them and look toward the future: it’s called Fashion Week.”
I’m sure that’s a delightful concept for designers and retailers who make a living by inspiring some level of insecurity in their customers: “If I don’t buy the latest I’ll be so passé.” Now, I love buying something new every season as much as anyone, but the idea that what looked terrific just last year is now horribly out of date is, IMHO, retail tyranny.
Of course, if you buy something that is so exaggerated in color, pattern or cut that it has about a three-month shelf life you can expect it to be out of style pretty quickly. (And by the way, when you see those starlets and models in “candid” shots in magazines wearing those very outré pieces you can bet they were given to them by the designers’ publicists.)
So what did I pack for September in New York? A pair of stretchy dark brown tailored “track pants” that went from day to night effortlessly which I wore with an extremely comfortable pair of cream and black stretchy sandals. I wore the pants with a couple of blouses—one silk, one yellow cotton and a brown/tan striped tee. For the evening, an off-white knit sweater/coat with the pants. I found an amazing a cream and black playful geometric print sundress (at a local ‘seconds’ shop for $13.99!) that I wore with a coral knit sweater. For the wedding: a silk light taupe/dark taupe print dress with a skin colored pair of off-white low heeled “snakeskin” pumps. They all had the right tailored but light-hearted flavor of my style types, (Classic/Traditional, Exuberant/High Spirited and Natural/Relaxed) and were just trendy enough for the bright lights of the Big Apple.
Only four of the items were new things I had bought this year.
If you know your color and style and the basic principles of proportion, balance and scale you should expect what you buy to be wearable, flattering and chic-looking for a long time. Just keepin’ it real, here’s to the real you!