New Advice Column – Ask The Bean!

May 21, 2006 • Magazine

New Advice Column - Ask The Bean!

New Advice Column - Ask The Bean!

Sun, 2006-05-21 23:00

Dear Ms. Bean,
I will be attending a relative’s wedding in Telluride in July and must choose my ensemble wisely. Here’s why: I was briefly engaged to the best man (things ended badly which has caused a huge rift in our families; they think I cheated on him, but I didn’t); my monstrous and ultra competitive sister-in-law will be there; and some of the men in the family have roving eyes, if you know what I mean. What do I wear to look fantastic (I would love to meet a man there!) but not call too much attention to myself? And where can I get it?

Fretting the Fete

Dear Fretting,

Fleeing the summer smog for a wedding in the Rockies and a weekend outdoors? Lucky you! But I hear you; it does sound as if you are indeed heading into the Wild West, where the hissing might be coming from more than the rattlesnakes! Here’s how you’ll wrangle the perfect dress. First: Consider the location. Though celebrities have no problem sipping an après-ski martini at the Noir Bar during the month of December, Telluride is a ski town with ski bums, rich ranchers with cattle, and scads of outdoorsy types with mountain bikes. Do not pack sequins (unless they are tiny and scant), floor-sweeping tulle, or nylons (which you shouldn’t be wearing anyway unless you work for United Airlines). Also, ditch the black. Try a more laid-back color for evening, such as a rich chocolate brown. Check out the Layna Dress by Theory in “Earth” for $395 or Wyeth’s Goddess Dress (Jolie Joli) for $500, if your feeling spendy. Second: Handle your situation with the best man and his family by choosing attire more Jennifer and less J-Lo. Think sexy yet refined. In other words, save your platforms for the bachelorette party. Instead consider Nine West’s Yalla sandals in a dark gold (don’t worry they’re high-heeled and strappy). Add some metallic accessories, like simple gold jewelry and carry a copper or gold clutch, both of which are classy ways to liven up the brown. Third: Resist competing with your sister-in-law, not only because you will probably look better than she does anyway, but also it is impossible to glow (you do want to glow, don’t you?) when surrounded by negative vibes. That said, you can still play up your enviable beauty: visit Mystic a week before you go, get your toes done, and treat yourself to some new lip gloss from the Powder Room. You sound darling, and I’m sure you’ll dazzle all those cowboys with your composure and urban sophistication. They’ll be falling at your well-groomed heels!

Dear Ms. Bean,
My boyfriend is super sweet, smart, and generous. He has a great career in a creative field, which makes me wonder why his clothes are so boring! It seems like he hasn’t gotten anything new since college, which was a very long time ago. He needs a wardrobe to reflect the cutting edge, artsy, and successful man he is. Frankly, I am having trouble finding places that carry stylish but not too trendy clothes for heterosexual men. Any suggestions? Oh, and he’s very stubborn!

My Man’s Rags Bug Me

Dear Buggy,

Your predicament takes me back…it seems as if just yesterday, in a fit of disgust, I decided to clean the toilet bowl with hubby’s grubby, beer- stained frat shirt that had crossed my path one to many times. You know, the one that read “Lamda Lamda Lamda is for Nerds!â€? Though it was a moment of true liberation for moi, I am not advising that you turn all his clothes into rags. Just some of them. No really, you have more options than you think. It’s going to take patience (yours and his) because, as you know, straight men just love to shop, don’t they? Go slowly. Begin by bringing home a few shirts from Ted Baker (for a more European fit, good for the sexy slim guy) or Kuhlman (for attractive yet unusual color combinations). Keep the receipts just in case! Most likely he will only show interest in a few things. Make dinner reservations somewhere swanky and suggest he try one of his new items, then compliment, compliment, compliment! Tell him how sexy he looks. With some men, behavior can be shaped with the mere mention of sex. If he is less formal and prefers t-shirts, visit Jake for ones so cool they’re hot. Next, in order to replace his Dockers from 1992 (which by now you should have stuffed behind the dryer), visit Lucky or Diesel. Both carry a range of styles and cuts. Gently warn him that he may not be the size he was in college, and that the fabrics may feel a little different than something he has worn for years. Tell him that in a few days, his new duds will mold to his body, like a good pair of shoes. Speaking of which, your next stop is Aldo for both work and play kicks. Grab a belt while you’re there — men need accessories too! Lastly, be sure to shop with him, and seek out sales people — they know the products, and, more importantly, if they are doling out the advice, he is less likely to feel as if you are attempting to change him. Men can be oddly sensitive at times. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

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