Last week we started looking in to the 1920s idea of style. You can see where we started here. In our modern, hectic lives we have stopped thinking about the basic principles of style that Isabel DeNyse Conover endeavors to teach her students. In the 1920s it was recognized that style was something that needed to be taught. Today we simply allow retailers to place their ideals on the racks in front of us and we are just supposed to accept their choices as automatically stylish.
So what else does Ms. Conover have to say on this subject? We will cover three more of her cardinal rules to help you discern stylish choices.
“Make the most of the looks and the personality you have. If you are demure or dignified or just pleasantly in between, watch out or the ultra styles will eclipse you.
You don’t want to be remembered as a dressmaker’s dummy carrying around a pretty frock, or the woman who wore the tight skirt, the big collar or queer sleeves.
I think one of the finest compliments which can be paid a person’s appearance is the exclamation, “I can’t remember exactly what she wore but she was dressed in such good taste and her clothes suited her splendidly.”
Wow. I think what that basically boils down to is don’t fall for the fashion fad of the moment. I think we can all picture some of those horrendous fashions of the moment. Big hair, big shoulder pads, super short, super tight, super baggy. Extremes are just that, extreme, and they will always be remembered as such. I think what she is trying to say is that true style stands far above the momentary grab for attention that comes from a fad.
Her next piece of advice can be hard for our modern sensibilities to hear because she pretty much lays down the law that not every one can wear every fashion. I will let her say it 🙂
“Remember that your clothes ought to make you look your very best. Clothes can do kindly things-bring out the pretty lights in your hair, make you look an inch taller, or hide the awkward curve of your hips-or they can be very, very unkind.
A ruffle may be a charming accessory in the shop window but when rolly polly Louise wears it, it just attracts attention to the fact that her hips are unusually large. Just the fact that a dress is the latest mode-that last word in fashion-is no guarantee that it is the stylish selection for every woman.”
Just because skinny jeans are in style at the moment DOES NOT mean that all of us should rush out and buy them! I love the look of skinny jeans on some people but I know for a fact that I should not wear skinny jeans myself or I will end up on someone’s Pinterest board 10 years from now is one of those Most Awkward photos. And just because skinny jeans (or any other garment) are made in your size does not mean they will automatically make you look fashionable. Remember, manufacturers don’t care if you look stylish or not, they just want you to buy their stuff.
Ms. Conover closes this section with reiterating her initial point of suitability.
“In order to be stylish, your clothes must suit the purpose and the occasion for which they are intended. You may not have thought of it in just this way, but there is etiquette in clothes just the same as in table manners.”
Table manners, another entire blog all together! I am quite certain Ms. Conover would have fits to have to endure a modern meal with any of us.
This week’s take away – just because a celebrity jumps off a fashion bridge wearing it, doesn’t mean you should follow! Take the time to learn what looks good on your body and take even more time to fill your wardrobe with those pieces!