Ask Avery: Lessons from Fashion Week
blog by Avery Hartmans • February 22, 2013 @ 8:54am
I love checking out all the clothes from New York Fashion Week but the outfits are always so weird. How do I wear those trends in real life?
For regular people — i.e. anyone who isn’t Anna Wintour — New York Fashion Week can be a little overwhelming. So many shows, so many clothes and way too much pressure to not only appreciate the awesome, but look awesome yourself. As much as I wish I could score an invite to the front row at Yves St. Laurent, I’m honestly slightly terrified of NYFW.
But since I’m not Anna Wintour and my non-existent trust fund doesn’t exactly allow me to outfit myself in couture, I can enjoy the craziness of Fashion Week from the comfort of my bedroom with no pressure to be street chic.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this year’s Fashion Week. Marc Jacobs claims you can now just hold your arm across your chest in lieu of a shirt. Oscar de la Renta says cult-like capes are hot right now. And Band of Outsiders has decided that eyeshadow should not be restricted to eyelids only, but should cover your whole forehead. These are valuable lessons, people.
But in all seriousness, some fantastic style came out of fashion week that real people can actually wear. So sit back, relax and prepare to embrace the overpriced pretentiousness of the world of fashion.
Lesson No. 1: Military is still in, so learn to love it
I’ve been watching trends for about as long as I knew how to read, and I can’t remember a time when military wasn’t in. This season it’s all about the camouflage — though in my world, every season is about the camouflage — and there are tons of different ways to rock it. Skinny camo pants or a camo jacket are my favorite picks, but don’t restrict yourself to what all the other cool girls are wearing. This is the one and only time I’ll say this, but take your fashion cues from the Army and try a camo hat or vest. But just know that with badass fashion comes badass responsibility.
Jacket: Urban Outfitters, $99
Lesson No. 2: Suits are for chicks, too
I know very few women whose first instinct is to put on a suit when they want to get dressed up. There’s something so masculine about structured separates that makes most girls shy away. But suits are in and they’re chic and they’re about as ladylike as you can get. And you’re no longer restricted to ill-fitting pantsuits in heather gray or black or navy: the new suit comes in every color, material and style imaginable. You’ll look like a total boss, in every sense of the word.
Pants: J.Crew, $148
Jacket: J.Crew, $295
Lesson No. 3: Hooker boots aren’t trashy, they’re classy
I know this is a controversial stance. And if your hooker boots are pleather and held together by safety pins, then they’re still trashy. But knee-skimming boots were all over the runways and they should be all over your legs. We’re not talking riding boots, or anything that could make people mistake you for a sweetheart with good values. We’re talking up-to-the-knee, high-heeled, tough girl boots, the kind that will make you look hot but also like you could curb stomp someone. But you don’t have to wear them with leather pants and a crop top to get the full effect: even worn with dark or black jeans and a loose, silky top, you’ll be the coolest girl in the room.
Boots: BCBGMAXAZRIA, $281.99
Lesson No. 4: Plaid isn’t just for preps
O.K., it kind of still is. But if you’re cool enough and keep the pastels to a minimum, you can pull it off. Plaid took the form of long coats and capes on the runway, which I strongly support, but don’t restrict yourself: plaid pants, pencil skirts and blazers are also always encouraged. And if you’re trying to avoid the country club look, only wear plaids in muted or harsher tones, like tan, black, navy, gray or red. If it’s a choice between Phil Mickelson and Sherlock Holmes, always opt for Sherlock’s style.
Coat: Nasty Gal, $128
Lesson No. 5: If it’s black and see-through, wear it
This may just seem like the motto of sorority girls around the nation, but it’s about to become your motto, too. Now, I’m not saying this is a command to go put on a sheer off-the-shoulder shirt, black bra and bandage skirt and head out the door: this requires a little more subtlety and a lot more fashion sense. The look on the runways was something along the lines of classy goth — think lots of lace, ladylike cuts and all black everything. Basically, dress yourself in something Sylvia Plath would wear if she was alive and worked for Vogue.
Top: Forever 21, $19.80
Photo courtesy of Facebook / New York Fashion Week