You reckon you’ve heard it all, right? ‘looking good is good business’; ‘dress for success’; ‘dress the way you want to be addressed’, ‘power dressing’; and so on and so forth. All allude to the power of a great turn out and the magnetism of superb dressing. No doubt, the runaway success of the fashion industry worldwide affirms these facts. On a regular and realistic basis, the great looking person grabs attention and the poorly dressed one is adjudged wrongly before he or she even opens their mouth. Unfortunately, human beings are wired to believe more the evidence of their own eyes and a great looking person seems to ooze good exposure, good decisions, smartness, etc to others. Knowing this, there’s an awareness more than ever before amongst men and women of all ages and social strata for good dressing and killer outfits. Our fashion industry today has grown in leaps and bounds as a result of this. We are genetically honed to admire good things and so we do. It’s really quite as simple as that.
In our pursuit of looking good, however, some get it right, some flounder sometimes aye and sometimes nay and still others meander off on a tangent all of their own; in other words, they get it totally wrong. While perfection is a long shot, moderate success in dress sense can be achieved by most if some basics are avoided and some basics applied. Behind every fashion faux pas is a bad decision which could have been avoided in the first place.
We all know this type of person. He or she is usually stuck in a time capsule that stays at some date in their youth and refuses to move from there. This is the lady or man who tries really hard to look young and gets it horribly wrong along the way. The ‘eternal teen’, she’s the middle aged woman in ripped jeans or the too short dress; she’s the woman in her thirties who still wears her make up and hair styles the way she did when she was in school; she’s the ‘shan’t gree mama’ in the very tight clothes with fallen cleavage on reckless display! He is the middle aged man who goes everywhere in face caps and long necklaces because he’s forever ‘awon boys’, even though his dyed hair and belly size belie this. Conversely, she could be the very young lady wearing the dinner dress and jewelry of her much older aunt’s generation or the youth who forgets she’s one, going about in the most sorrowful looking and ill fitting classically cut outfits of very sober colours.
Looking good is an art and here are some tips to help the age challenged:
l wear colours that suit the occasion
l very tightly fitted clothes require a good body and look better on the very young;
l dress to include comfort discomfort usually shows in your demeanour and posture!
l Hide the not-so-nice bits don’t expose a cleavage that’s gone flat, thighs riddled with cellulite or the rolls around the waist and/or back
l If you have the aftermath of previous use of harsh creams showing anywhere, cover it up! These usually include shoulders, legs, upper arms, cleavage;
l Carry brightly coloured hair? Like bright red, platinum or bleached blond, blue, etc? Only if you’re under thirty and have the personality to pull it off. Everyone else, perish the thought!
l Do not pile on too much jewelry, real or otherwise, whatever the age. Accessories must be tastefully used, the noise of your bangles should not precede your entrance!
l Accept the fact that not everything currently in fashion will suit you. Pick and choose what goes with your frame and personality, leave the rest for others;
Trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.
Keep It Simple, Sister! Wearing everything at once never helped anyone and this is general fashion faux pas number two. The more there is to look at, the more confusing it becomes to the beholder. The more we pile on, the more disheveled we look, right? This is a massive no-no that must be diligently avoided. Some areas to watch are:
l very long nail extensions – not attractive anymore. They tend to look plain untidy, like they’ll harbour a lot of germs; besides, the pain of and tendency to have them caught in doors, clothes, etc should give a quick re-think;
l very long false eyelashes except you work in the theatre, do dance videos or are generally artsy and eccentric, this is a no go area. Falsies do enhance the eyes beautifully, but only when kept at moderate length. On everyone else on a daily basis, the overly long ones look plain comical. Since they also drop off without warning, the bearer has to be careful about how she bats them particularly over food. Tell your beautician you want lashes, not wings, on your eyes.
l Very long weave on or braids this looks good on Beyonce and other artists, but not on most other people. For the very few that wear it well, its usually because they purchase good quality weaves, maintain it scrupulously, have the persona for it, and dress the part too.