Question: How many trends are too many for one outfit? —Lisa
That’s a tricky question. First of all, no one really ever wants to look too “trendy”—but these days, just about everything out there seems to be trend-driven to some degree, whether it’s in the colour (i.e. Bordeaux is one of the hot colours of the moment) or the cut (peplum waists made big news this season) or the fabrication (leather is everywhere!). So, say you had a chic Bordeaux leather jacket with a peplum waist. Would you consider these three-trends at once “too much”? And say you wore that stylish jacket with a pair of snakeskin print jeans (snakeskin being one trend, and printed jeans another)? That’s already a total of 5 trends. Now let’s talk accessories. If you teamed your outfit with a metallic clutch (metallics are hot, and clutches are even hotter) and an extremely high-heeled ankle bootie with studs (extremely high heels, ankle booties and studs are all considered “trends”), well that’s another 5 “trends” to add, for a total of 10 so far. Then maybe you wanted to wear a jaunty little chapeau—very trendy—and a fur scarf (also trendy) and a boyfriend watch (gigantically trendy). Now we’re at 13 trends! Anyway, I think you get my point. The outfit I described sounds pretty cool to me, despite the fact that 13 “trends” were incorporated. I think the key to subscribing to trends is just always remembering to mix them together in complimentary ways, rather than just layering them on for the sake of being trendy. No one wants to be victimized by fashion, and sporting certain trends only because everybody else is. I think statement-making pieces are always welcome. Just be careful not to upstage yourself by putting too many mixed messages out there. Less is often more in fashion, and simplicity is always modern and elegant. Then again, that look could be considered minimalistic—which is a whole other trend! The best rule of thumb in fashion is always, “To thine own self be true!” Wear what you love, wear pieces that you’re comfortable in, that fit properly, and that say a little something about who you are. Clothes and accessories are great tools for communication. If we only choose those ‘of-the-moment’ things, our overall message might end up being a little too monotone and predictable.
Question: I wear makeup and heels daily, but I still look at five years younger than my age (I’m 30). How can I look playful yet professional for my work holiday party? —Anne-Sophie
What a great problem to have! It’s always a blessing to look young for your age. But I can certainly understand wanting to amp up the sophistication quotient. That shouldn’t be hard at all to. It all starts with the right haircut. Consult with a good hairdresser for suggestions on the type of easy-care style that would suit you best. Make sure you let him or her know that it’s sophistication that you’re after. If you don’t feel you need or want a new cut, just try putting your hair up/ That’s always a playful change that usually comes off as quite sophisticated. The way you wear your make-up is also key. And why not treat yourself to a great brow session just before your party. Often the way our brows are trimmed and shaped can really help us look a lot more polished. I certainly wouldn’t go heavy on the make-up, even though you are off to a holiday party. But you might want to try a pair of subtle false eyelashes to pump up the glam. A burgundy lip might also help give you an air of drama. Nix any sparkly or crazy coloured nailpolish. That certainly won’t give you the “professional” look you’re after. You say that you wear heels, but it’s important to consider the design of your heels. Go for something a little more classic and classy than usual. Instead of a funky platform, try a sleek, pointed-toe stiletto. I find that type of shoe to be extremely sophisticated, and sexy. I’d also go for a sleek and simple dress with classic lines, maybe in a midnight blue. And an at-the-knee length would also help you look more “professional”. A vintage frock could give you that extra edge of playfulness you crave. Dark, sheer hose would be the elegant route to go in the leg department. To make your outfit sing, have fun with your accessories. Dazzle ‘em with crystal or go for chunky gold. Just make sure your jewelry doesn’t look too over-the-top or junky—that would certainly make you look more junior. Also make sure you’ve got a chic little evening clutch to complete your ensemble. But no matter how much you try to refine your sartorial trappings, at the end of the day, it’s likely your attitude and energy that translates as a bit “younger”. And that’s certainly not a bead thing. You might want to try and be a little more conscious of the way you behave, and even the way you stand. Looking “older” often starts with acting “older”. Of course, the “costume” always helps!