Sunday, July 11, 2010
Secret Fashion Faux Pas
Hello. I’m Jillian Knight-Osborne, cousin to Abby Knight, owner of Bloomers Flower Shop, and New Chapel, Indiana’s premier florist (or so she claims). Kate Collins was gracious enough to let me blog today despite objections from Abs. And p.s., the reason Kate gave me permission is not because I nagged her incessantly, so don’t believe everything you hear. I do not nag. I advise, which is why I’m in such high demand as a fashion consultant among misguided, hapless people who don’t know how to dress.
Seriously, you wouldn’t believe some of the outfits my customers have chosen without my guidance: long, frumpy, wrap skirts with Birkenstocks. Bulky sweaters with pleated pants. How embarrassing!
What I want to talk about is style, and I don’t mean the in-and-out trends. I mean classics, things that you need in your wardrobe that will never go out of style. A basic black dress. Dressy black slacks. Black heels. Black flats. A black jacket or sweater. A pair of dressy silver earrings and another in gold. A white blouse that can be worn under a jacket or on its own with a pair of jeans.
Once you have those basics, you can go a little crazy. Notice I said “a little.” Add jolts of color to the black dress by tying a print scarf around your neck. Add sparkle with a silver belt or red shoes. Add a turquoise sweater or blouse to pair with the slacks. There are so many ways to change up the look as long as you have those classic pieces. Then you can add a few trendy items to compliment them. But as with all fashion trends, you have to watch out for the extremes.
For instance, I bought a pair of bell bottoms last fall that were so belled, the hems kept wrapping around my ankles as I walked. Not a graceful look, trust me. Then I bought a short sheath dress in a bright lime green, orange, and yellow block print that sent my mother running from the room screaming, “No! Not the 60s again!” Go figure.
And can I just tell you all the problems Abby has? First, she’s short. Second, she’s busty, poor thing. Third, she has flame-red hair, as opposed to my shiny copper tresses which enliven every outfit I wear. And fourth, she has no fashion sense when it comes to –
Wait! Let me type! Abby, come on! I’m only telling the brutal truth.
Fine. You have excellent fashion sense, Abs, which is why you’re wearing those ugly plaid capris with a long yellow T-shirt and short brown vest and some kind of footwear – I shan’t even speak what kind it is – that would only work if you were a swamp creature with webbed toes. Happy now?
Okay, everyone has one horrendous article of clothing in the closet that has been there for at least five years, maybe ten, that never makes it into the donation bag. For me, it’s a bulky, loose knit multi-colored sweater that makes me look ten pounds heavier and older, and won’t even fit under my winter coat. I’d never wear it out, yet, for some reason, I’m attached to it.
What’s in your closet that shouldn’t be there? Your secret is safe with me.
Kate Collins’s next Flower Shop Mystery, DIRTY ROTTEN TENDRILS, is an October, 2010, release, and yes, Jillian makes an appearance, pestering Abby as usual.