21 February 2007

Style Dilemmas: The Post to the Rescue?

Yesterday, two of the Post's style denizens, Suzanne D'Amato and Janet Bennett Kelly (Deputy Editor, Sunday Source, Fashion and Beauty Editor, washingtonpost.com, respectively), spent an hour online Talking Fashion and helping solve style dilemmas for the style weary. They kicked off with a rant you read here quite a bit,

"Don't know about you, but this is exactly the time of year when I feel as if I haven't a thing to wear! If you're facing the same problem and sick and tired of all your [in this case] winter clothes, let Suzanne and me know what strategies you have to deal with it."

Now I realize that I could be committing style-writing sins here, and could find myself blacklisted in the DC fashion scene (ok, so I'm being a little dramatic - but who knows - I haven't met either of the women - I have no idea what they're like. And a little bit of blacklisting never hurt anybody's publicity...).

I wasn't impressed.
Apart from a few bright moments (recommending a trapeze or shift dresses for a woman wanting to update her wardrobe, and the "But wait -- you're in London! Why are you writing to us when you could be at Topshop?!" response - my favorite), the ladies' recommendations seemed as staid as D.C. fashion is rumored to be.

Of course, because it's an online chat, and folks send questions in, maybe this was all they could do. That caveat aside, this could have been a fun, witty chat with some interesting suggestions.
For example, a courthouse bride asked for recommendations on style and colors. Janet recommended (kudos on this point) "going short," then sent the bride-to-be to Reem Acra because "they also do less formal." Wouldn't that have been the perfect place to recommend a retro wedding suit or shift dress, per their earlier answer? Reem Acra? Especially when the bride mentioned that she wants to wear a "simple, off-the-rack dress," and is having a small lunch afterwards.
Sure, I could be jumping to conclusions, but I'm guessing that maybe the couple is looking to not blow the bank on the wedding, but still make it special. A $50 Isaac Mizrahi party dress from Target would do the trick much better, in my opinion. Or, if she's willing to pay a little more, J. Crew's Vanessa dress paired (ok, so I took the website recommendation, but for once it's right) with their Piazza cotton jacket. So Audrey, and so lovely in navy - perfectly unexpected for an April bride. Toss a pair of brightly colored pumps on, and you're going to wow your hubby-to-be and the whole courthouse. Just don't wear the pearls (unless they're heirloom from grandma - that's what wedding style is about, for heaven's sake) - too expected.

I do have to thank them, though, for telling the grad student to ditch the Uggs. Phew.


Miss Scarlet said...

This is the time of year when I am frantically trying to wear all of my sweaters before the awful heat comes. March/April is when I feel I have nothing to wear.

NYC was overrun with Uggs. You would have died!

dccaf said...

So funny...I took a peek at the WaPo Fashion chat yesterday, too, and had the same feeling. Oh, well. It seems like the advice works for the people submitting questions...guess that's all that matters.

I actually love the 40-50 degree temps we've had this week. I was able to wear my not-too-warm but very cute cropped vintage coat. :)

DC Celine said...

Miss Scarlet - all I have to say is, "they're shepherds' boots." Used in that context, and related to my fascination (see the post on your query re: NYC weekend) with barnyard boots, they're fine. But really, no more! with skirts (and everything else under the sun).

dccaf - agree - if the advice works for the posters, then hey! they've done their job. But I still think that they could've branched a little more and helped push the style envelope a little. And want to see a pic of your vintage coat! Sounds divine!

caphillbarbie said...

I totally agree that the Style chat was very uninspiring. Wow! Skinny jeans with flats? No way! Leggings are on their way out? Say it isn't so!

I'll stick to Robin Givhan and other sources for my style advice.