Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fashion Expert?

Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a flowing cape at the premier of "I Don't Know How She Does It." Fabulous or odd?

I love to watch fashion makeover shows and read advice in fashion magazines on how to improve your own look. Sometimes the advice is sound and makes a lot of sense. Other times I don’t think the fashion expert took into consideration the person’s lifestyle who was receiving the makeover. My biggest pet peeve in when a fashion expert recommends wearing heels to make one look taller, slimmer and generally more hip and less like a frump. While it is true that a pair of killer heels will make any woman feel better and walk taller, it doesn’t necessarily translate into safe or sane footwear on a regular basis. This rule should be avoided if there are toddlers in the house or if there is walking in soft dirt or grass or near a typical mall escalator. I’ve seen numerous women bite the dust in heels at the mall, myself included.

I’ve also noticed fashion magazines telling their audience what the “hottest” fashion items are for a particular season and sometimes it’s a look few can wear successfully. Take the poncho or the cape. The poncho was hot back in the 70s when hippie chic was in full bloom. When the poncho died there was a massive sigh of relief, please don’t bring it back, and definitely not in puffed up material. The cape is supposedly a hot new trend. The only people who can wear a cape without looking pretentious are royalty, 5 year olds, and super heroes, the rest of us look silly. I think fashion expert look through seasonal fashion releases and pick the most outrageous items, declare it fabulous, and sit back and watch. They are maybe secretly playing a trick and want to see who will fall for it.

So I have to ask, what makes a fashion expert an expert? I’m sure a love of fashion is a “gimme,” but they should also have some background in fashion. Working in the fashion industry, writing a column for a fashion magazine or an education in fashion design probably all qualify someone for a career in fashion. But having vast knowledge about fashion and/or a job that allows one to experience fashion may not always be enough. The person must also be fashionable. They must have style, a sense of taste and confidence in their own opinion. Let’s face it, if they have no sense of style or taste and little confidence in their ability to discern what is truly fashionable, no one would listen to them.

But a good fashion expert must also have ears to listen. Being able to listen to what your client wants and who you’re speaking to is important. This concept is extremely important in jewelry sales. You must know your client in order to make effective recommendations regarding a jewelry purchase. While I’ve always admired a thirty carat diamond necklace, even if I had the money, where would I wear it? Talk about pretentious. Delicate jewelry, wild geometric shapes, abstract colors, classic pearls and a multitude of different styles exist because one single jewelry piece can’t appeal to everyone. So fashion experts please listen a little instead of always dictating because we mere mortals may not be able to wear your recommendations. Does anyone else agree?

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