To the outside observer, I’m a pretty stylish dame. I have a tendency to over- rather than under-dress, and I often stand in front of my closet for a full three minutes executing complex fashion calculus with regard to my outfits. (Admit it, you do it too sometimes.)
To my close friends, however, I’m a total klutz. Give me a cascading staircase and I’ll slip down it, couture gown or no. I once bought the most amazing vintage silver dress with a white tulle skirt for a garden party in San Antonio, then ended the evening by slipping down a mud-slicked hill. So when I say that you should choose your party-wear carefully, I speak from experience.
Everyone loves to buy something new and cool and wear it out on the same day. We live in a consumer society (hell, even the government keeps saying we can buy our way out of recession), and there’s a certain satisfaction to buying a new pair of jeans or a new jacket at 4pm, then arriving at your friend’s birthday party on the LES wearing it at 10:30. But here’s the problem with that equation: There’s no “trial run.” Those fabulous gold heels start to hurt your pinkie toe for no apparent reason after about two hours; that fitted dress rides up something awful; and the fedora you thought was so debonair suddenly becomes another thing you’re lugging around to bar number five that night. Here are some current trends to avoid:
While a gorgeous print scarf can make jeans-and-a-T-shirt look like a French-film-star-worthy ensemble, think long and hard before wearing a long, draped one should you be planning to yell your drink order over a bar soaked in beer. The same goes for those long, flapper-inspired necklaces — splatter city. Fellas, I hesitate to tell you to lay off the ties (because I love them), but the same advice goes for you — watch those things when you lean over your drink to say “hello.”
A Word on Footwear
While fall’s an easy season for going-out footwear (the advent of the chic, flat riding boot has done wonders to combat the curb-ankle-twisting-scourge of this fair city), spring poses myriad threats. You might not believe this, but it’s true — the platform is your friend. Spring’s sandals have low, oft-hidden platforms and either lace up the foot or wrap around the ankle — a far more secure alternative, I assure you, than a stiletto sling-back.
I’m as thrilled as the next girl to find that Biba and Halston are coming back, but when you’re flipping through your closet deciding what to wear to that new, super-crowded joint in Tribeca, do not pull out that “I’ll make such an entrance” to-the-floor printed dress. People will trip on you. You will trip on you. Save it for that stand-up cocktail party at the Rainbow Room.