When I attended a family brunch on Christmas day, I was struck by how many of my cousins allow their little girls to wear their evening party dresses from the night before again in the daytime. You know the dress – the awful shapeless black velvet bodice with the hideous polyester satin skirt and the enormous bow at the empire waist – the one that for some unfathomable reason makes little girls feel like a princess. I started to think that little girls who insist on wearing their favorite dresses inappropriately might be in danger of growing up to be the type of women who stick to one look their entire life or, worse, insist on wearing one category of clothing – say daytime or evening – regardless of the time of day. By the time I left the party, I was convinced that this could be the deep-seated childhood root of the fashion atrocities committed by otherwise mature and reasonable women.
I myself do not buy into the whole New Year’s resolution thing, preferring to make my planned life changes after my birthday in March. But if I could make a resolution for everyone else out there, it would be to strive to be stylish and fashion conscious 24/7/365 – 366 in Leap Years! I know that we all lead busy lives – work, work events, maybe happy hour, dinner with friends and that doesn’t even account for pets or children. Regardless, we can all aspire to looking great – and feeling great – by being dressed appropriately every day and night.
I must admit, dear readers, that I am probably guilty of focusing my column too much on evening clothes and clothes for special events. That said, I resolve here to make some suggestions on how you can be equally striking in the daytime by sporting Resort 2010’s strongest trends. Let’s start with the latest take on leather. Save that Fall 2009 motorcycle jacket – you did get the Esteban Cortazar for Ungaro one, right? – for your winter weekends. For Resort, consider an amazing leather day coat by Celine. This simple, clean-lined coat is not as â€œstrictâ€ as say a Jil Sander or a Prada one, but has just enough volume and shape to evoke Catherine Deveuve<'s excruciatingly stylish Belle de Jour– Miss Deneuve’s wardrobe by St. Laurent himself, thank you – in today’s workaday world.
Do you need to wear a suit to work? Assuming you can push the limits a little or simply don’t care, why not try your favorite silhouette in one of two of Resort 2010’s most eye-popping trends: graphic prints and bright red. Givenchy’s black-and-white floral print is ultra-feminine, yet totally fashion forward. Or, you can go subtle as a stop sign in normally reserved Bottega Veneta’s bright red slouchy suit. The shapely shoulder may be pure business, but the soft drape says you know how to let loose come quitting time.
If a skirt suit is more your style, then why not kick it up a notch and hike up that skirt? Maybe that means jumping from below the knee to just above, but if you normally wear your skirts two to four inches above the knee, then why not go for broke with Balenciaga’s mini-skirt suit? If you aspired to Murphy Brown’s long-jacket-over-a-matching-skirt look courtesy of Giorgio Armani, then you may consider this the modern mini version. Still holding back because you remember all those dressing room conversations about the astronomical price of skirt that only showed two inches below the hem of the jacket? Put it out of your mind. The only thing people will be talking about is how amazing long your legs look. From the sidewalk to the boardroom, you’ll have the advantage over anyone in a pencil skirt. Just remember to pair a plain suit with an â€œon-trendâ€ graphic print or pop of color.
Finally, it wouldn’t be Resort with a little nautical. Call me a softie, but I can’t help but love the classics. Ever since, Mademoiselle Chanel co-opted French sailors’ Breton stripes for her Deauville wardrobe, women everywhere have associated Resort season with seaside escapades. Nothing brings to mind a cool cocktail on a warm Mediterranean beach or a lazy day on a yacht in the Caribbean like these classic stripes.
Quintessential American designer, Donna Karan, offers a fresh take on these classic stripes with her bias-cut day dress. Easy to wear, yet incredibly striking, this draped look will have all the sailors – both military and weekend – doing a double-take without looking gimmicky. Alexander Wang, who won the CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund award in 2008, reinterprets the classic French sailor’s knit shirt as a sweater, complete with fluffy mohair stripes! It’s the perfect item to keep you warm on a chilly sunset at a seaside resort or get your through another dreary work day in the urban jungle until your next long weekend away. Finally, I couldn’t possibly properly address the nautical trend without bringing you a little Paris fashion, even if it is courtesy of America’s own Marc Jacobs. For Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2010 collection, Jacobs gave nautical stripes the Three F’s of fashion: flirty, fun and (tres) French!
Here’s to smooth – and stylish – sailing in 2010!