Jewish Journal


November 19, 2010

A passion for fashion

Advice from TLC’s style maven Stacy London


Photos by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Photos by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Stacy London is famous for transforming slovenly, dowdy and otherwise style-impaired women into color-coordinated, accessorized and age-appropriately dressed ladies on TLC’s popular show “What Not to Wear.” In November, she shared her expertise at Westfield Topanga’s Style Tour, hosting a fashion show featuring apparel from Westfield’s own stores – Forever 21, H&M, Bebe and Macy’s, to name a few – highlighting the season’s hottest fashions in wearable, affordable outfits.

London — whose mother is of Sicilian descent and whose father is Jewish — is an expert at translating runway trends into styles that women can wear to the office, for a weekend brunch with girlfriends or on a date. Here are some of the sassy style maven’s tips for incorporating the latest fashions into your wardrobe.

Chunky knits. Thick, wool sweaters and cozy knit cardigans can be layered over jeans or tights, but be careful they don’t make you look chunky. To prevent this trend from drowning you in heaps of thread, choose a thinner knit and fitted styles, or belt it to add shape.

Cinched waists. Belts are showing up all over the torso this season. Play with different-sized belts to see what fits your body type. Petites can accentuate a small waist with a thin belt over a shirt and cardigan, and thicker belts can create an hourglass figure if worn at the natural waistline with a sweater dress or fitted jacket.

Military-inspired details. Cargo, camouflage prints and olive green are a cyclical trend that keeps coming back, so keep them in your closet for the next go-round. Embellished shoulders, brass-buttoned jackets and studded belts will get you attention without looking like you’ve been drafted.

Brightly colored tights. Not for the over-30 set, London says. “It won’t make you look young and hip, it’ll just make you look like you’re chasing your youth.” For those who can pull it off, pair solid-color tights, like bright green, with a black-and-white plaid skirt, or a muted mini. Patterned and textured tights spice up any outfit, but stick to the same color palette to avoid looking too busy.

Animal prints. Keep it simple. Use prints in subtle touches, like a cardigan, or a tank top under a jacket. This season’s twist on the old favorite are colors nature never intended: Blues, greens and purples take leopard prints to a funky new level.

Style Wisdom for All Seasons

Are you guilty of some of the fashion blunders London lovingly lampoons on “What Not to Wear”? The madame of makeovers offers suggestions for rescuing your style.

1. Fit is everything. Do not accept clothes as they are made, she says. “Stores sell cookie-cutter sizes, and you’re all snowflakes!” Find a good, cheap tailor, and use him often to shorten hemlines, take in waists and alter clothes to fit your unique body.
2. Always dress appropriately for your age, even if you’re in great shape and don’t look your age. Toss skirts your teenage daughter would wear and look for ways to translate a trend for your age.
3. Shop in outfits. If you see a jacket you like, try it on with a shirt and pants to give it context. You don’t have to buy the whole outfit, but it’ll give you ideas of how to pair it with items you already have in your closet, saving you big bucks.
4. Be realistic. Know your body type and what looks good on you. London advises stripping down to your b-suit and taking a critical, but objective look at yourself in the mirror. Look for features you want to accentuate and those you would like to camouflage. Shop accordingly.
5. Build from the basics. Unlike the participants on “What Not to Wear,” most people do not have the luxury of tossing out their entire wardrobe and starting from scratch. But you can gradually update your look by starting with a few classics – black fitted trousers, a wrap dress – and mixing them with the season’s trends.


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