Spring is on the way and like many of you, I look forward to opening my
mailbox for the March Vogue. Reading mags can prove daunting during the week
so thankfully I was able to fully absorb the goodness on the Vogue pages
while in the friendly skies last night. (The Meisel story is to die for
Having my husband next to me as I pored through had me thinking about what I
like versus what he likes on the fashion front. I tend to embrace the
general fashion truths but twist them a bit- I may do a bit classic but with
a little bohemian, tough with a little sweet, or just basic black with a few
doo dads so people won't think I'm a roadie on some Cure reunion tour. In
general though, I have a lot of fun with seasonal trends but know my style
DNA and body type well enough to know what works.
None of that matters to men really. Often my husband questions how it is
possible for me to buy yet another black dress and how one is any different
from the others. He doesn't understand the Zara one is different than the no
name vintage mini which is different yet again from the basic James Perse
maxi model. We girls understand such things- the subtle nod of an
interesting neckline, the cut of a bias, the flow of supima cotton. I
always felt that a wardrobe of perfect black dresses is really all you need
to achieve that chic jetsetter thing- the fallen heiress on permanent
holiday if you will with about ten black shifts, all of varying weights and
fabrics. Wearing a black dress is like wearing a blank canvas- anything is
possible really when you are appropriately clad for most situations. (This
ideal does not work that well in Miami though. I tried very hard to embrace
full color when I moved there but often felt not myself. Once in a while I
rock color, but don't make a daily habit of it).
Many men find the harem pant trend ridiculous, though I am presenting
evidence to the contrary (see photos). Most men don't want their women to
look like they are wearing a diaper, at least not in public anyway. (I don't
know what you are all into in your spare time...) To me, these pants can be
really chic when worn with the right stuff on top and some good shoes. It's
all about proportion. I like the urban uniform feel of them and the ease of
mobility they provide.
Most dudes I know don't get the gladiator sandal thing either, and my very
own boo seemed dumbfounded by my "Jesus sandals" when I first rocked them a
couple of seasons ago. I get how the Jesus analogy may not translate as chic
or sexy, but most girls I know were immediate disciples of the shoe, whether
they were religious or not is highly irrelevant.
Mixed prints or loud prints in general throw most men off- to them it may
read too "wacky". Admittedly this trend can be tricky to pull off, but I
love the whimsy of it and it takes a true style star to make it all work. I
think loud prints can recall Mrs. Roper, though the chattiest patterns make
me feel happy and a bit eccentric, which for all accounts and purposes I am.
Prints are fun for a change and show you have some real style cajones.
Speaking of Audra Lindley and fashion cajones, let's move on to the caftan.
Not exactly a male magnet. I love a caftan because I am a fan of the boho
gypset ideal- and I also love to feel free and unfettered- it's liberating.
I am not one for heavily structured clothes that are at all uncomfortable-
being flowy feels sexy and feminine to me- I like to feel at ease in my
clothes, not like I am being tortured by them. To most men though, a caftan
is part Mrs. Roper part Bea Arthur part Boca bubby. None terribly sexy for
the most part, unless you are into post menopausal sitcom stars of the 70s
or find mahjong a fantastic form of foreplay. In its defense, the caftan can
be super hot when rocked over some tan limbs and tousled hair- look no
further than style icon Talitha Getty back in the day, lazing on some
rooftop in Morocco, in a drug soaked sultry haze. Bea Arthur she was not.
Many say women dress for other women, and not for men. I'm not sure that is
exactly true. I do think about the types of clothes my husband likes when I
am shopping, but it's certainly not going to stop me from buying a vintage
caftan, or another black dress (an intervention may be in order on that
front). In general, I dress to make myself feel good and am really never
worried about what my girlfriends think (my gay male friends are a
completely different story however). My man is down with my love for fashion
and the joy it provides as I gasp over the new Balmain collection for spring
(OMG too much to bear).
And he has his own weaknesses when it comes to how he likes to dress- I
often wonder why he needs another vintage tee shirt but he loves them the
way I love my LBDs. And his heart pounds at the sight of a sky blue '72
Impala the way mine races at the newest bag from Lanvin. We all have our
things really. If we can meet in the middle, then we have common ground.
After all, I can very easily picture myself in a funky Pucci print, head on
the shoulder of my beloved as we cruise around in the Impala in some desert
locale. I may wear the dress for me and he may drive the car for him, but we
can find happiness in each other and that's what really counts. (That and a
good handbag.) And when you are comfortable in your own skin and your own clothes, isn't
that sexiest of all?