Fashion Forward: Full Speed Ahead

Aug 10 2011

I know I should feel old, relying on my daughter for fashion advice, but I have no time for age insecurities.  I’m just grateful that she keeps me in check, criticizes kindly, and reminds me to wear a bra.  I figure, it’s my Old Folks Home rehearsal, and the sooner I acquiesce to my daughter’s demands, the happier we all will be.

FYI, I always wear a bra.

Just saying.

I recently broke out a pair of Anne Klein, button-fly, wide-leg jeans that’ve been boxed for a decade or ten.  I love them.  They are comfy.  They are hip… hello, button-fly!  They are trendy and fun.  And – did you know? – if you leave them in a box, after a few years they’re officially vintage!

Vintage is the coolest word ever invented.  I am not aging; I’m becoming more and more vintage.  Put me in a box for a decade, pull me out, and see if I’m not even more comfy than you remembered.  Rub me on your cheek and feel how soft I am.  Thank me for all the good times we had together.  Wear me around the house to see if we can get away with hanging out again.

And then plug my ears when your horrified daughter exclaims, “Oh, Mom! You’re not going to wear those outside, are you?”

Poor, sad, outdated (I guess) Anne Klein pants.  Abby, the silly, fashion-conscious, has-unreasonably-excellent-taste-at-age-13 designer, disagreed with my fashion sentiment.  According to my in-house consultant, my faboo pantalones make me look 20 pounds heavier and frumpy.

Well, I’m terribly sorry.  I’m just not sure what part of putting wide-leg pants with an oh-so-slightly bulging button-fly on a short, wider-than-I’d-wish body doesn’t make fashion sense.  Isn’t Anne Klein timeless?  Come on.  Work with me, here.

I was reading an article recently on Lola Leon’s Material Girl fashion line.  You know Lola.  Madonna’s daughter?  Yes.  I bring her up because it’s pretty clear that Madonna and I live exactly the same life, and I can, therefore, draw certain conclusions by comparing my apples to her app… never mind.  Here’s the definitive similarities list:

  • Oldest daughter a fashion designer and trend setter?  Check.
  • Interest in international humanitarian work? Check.
  • Adopted and biological children? Check.
  • Billionaire?  But, of course.  You mean, you’re not?
  • Biggest, most sensationalized, female pop star of all time?  Um, yes.  Yes, I am.  My singing is unparalleled (comparisons to a dying walrus notwithstanding), and I think I’ve made it incredibly clear that I live a jet-set lifestyle.  Obviously.

I’m not living in fantasy land.  It’s all true, I tell you.  Well, other than the part about the billions and the singing career.  (Just wait ’til I let you in on the ways Angelina Jolie has been copy-catting me for YEARS now.)

Anyway, back to Lola.  She’s 14, and a fashion designer with a top-selling tween brand.  And she has fashion tips to help the rest of us.  I must confess – and I say this in all sincerity – that Miss Lola has some excellent fashion advice to share, and, exactly like I do with Abby, I think it would be foolish for me to disregard advice simply because it comes from a teen.  I truly, deeply believe in seeking wisdom from all people, and this kid knows her stuff.

Here, for example, in an excerpt from Lola’s recent interview with the associated press:

AP: Advice time. What is your idea of a fashion faux pas?

Lola: Don’t wear white. I am all for crop tops, but I don’t like it when people wear crop tops that are excessively cropped. Really, don’t be a skank with your crop top. I think boots are always a “go-to,” no matter what you are wearing, but you always have to make sure they don’t cut off your leg because that is not right. When you are wearing heels, it is more comfortable to walk in platforms. Platforms always look good and they are more comfortable to wear and they make you look way taller. I used to do this a lot, but the hippie bands around your head are very out. Don’t ever wear that again.

I love it, and I love it.  Clear, concise, and specific.  Exactly the kind of helpful information that can be applied across generations.  And, although I can’t wear crop tops (like lots of us ladies in our 30’s are wont to do) due to my unfortunate twin-related stretch marks that travel as high as my chin, I’m particularly enamored with the “don’t be a skank” advice.  Come on, you know you’ve seen them… the people to whom you wish you could hand a “don’t be a skank” notecard.  Right?  Right.  I like a girl who tells it like it is and gets the word out.  Thanks, Lola!

My Abby is 13, and an aspiring fashion designer who relies heavily on thrift stores, consignment shops, and every sale she can convince a grown-up to let her attend.  Lola comparison?  Well, Lola shops in her mother’s used clothes closet, so it’s pretty much same same.

Since you may not have your own in-house fashion guru, I asked Abby if she’d be willing to put together a list of fashion Do’s and Don’ts for the rest of us.

Her response?  Instantaneous, all-caps enthusiasm.  “YES I CAN!”

She enlisted her friend, Elsie, and together they put together this handy, completely unedited list:

Fashion Do’s!

  • Accessorize – add a scarf or necklace to make a plain shirt fabulous!
  • Always have FUN with fashion!
  • Be BOLD.
  • Be simple.
  • Try new things.
  • Always look at second hand stores before you spend all your money. You never know what you might find.

Fashion Don’ts!

  • Never wear plaid and tie dye.
  • Never wear red and pink.
  • Don’t let colors clash!
  • Don’t wear all one color!
  • Never wear stripes and polkadots.
  • Never wear old gross saggy jeans.
  • Don’t be Lady Gaga! (Meat dresses are not in right now.)
  • Short-shorts are not very attractive, despite what some people might think.

There you have it, folks.  Some fun, friendly, fashion advice courtesy of the fabulous Elsie and Abby.

When I head out of town on my next world tour, I know exactly who’s coming along to dress me.

I’m so grateful for my girls.  Thanks, ladies!