I suppose the cat’s out of the bag as far as my opinion of the Fall 2006 collections — so I’d advise New Yorkers to take advantage of the spring splendor hitting boutiques across the city this month. It won’t last. The shades and the pessimists are hovering on the horizon, so take this moment to buy up bold prints, wedges and linen blazers and hit Central Park with a picnic basket. Come September, you can retreat to coffeehouses and black long-sleeved sweaters.
Do: “Do it, do it.”
It’s been said a thousand times in a thousand iterations, but spring really is the fashionista and metrosexual’s time to play. Reinvent yourself, become the bolder you — the one who dares to swing the vintage poodle skirts she found in a bargain bin or the slightly ragged linen blazer he found at the back of a sale rack. Along the lines of being brave, this season is all about the bold prints: bright colors, eye-catching florals and splashy patterns reigned over the runways during the spring collections. Picture punchy Roberto Cavalli mini-dresses and vintage chiffon Pucci prints and you’re not too far off. Miami should conjure a few visual images if you get run down. Give yourself a high-fitted waist for some structure — use a wrapping Obi belt or a brightly colored clunky piece. Contrast is the key: pair low-slung, flowing masculine pantsuits with fitted corsets; shirtdresses belted with a colorful scarf and some bright wedges. For men, mix resort with city: Havana hats with ripped jeans or linen suiting with punky, frayed tee.
Don’t: “I ain’t tellin’ you what to do, I’m just offerin’ some friendly advice.”
I’m not saying this to be parental or impose boundaries on your sense of style, but any reinvention can become a bit of a mess if you let it go to your head. Watch your patterns and your colors — creating ensembles that are slightly akimbo is an acquired skill and I’ve seen it go horribly awry too many times not to offer a word or two of caution. Don’t go matching florals with stripes or hot pink with orange. Start small and let the eye-catching spirit take you as it will. The same goes for wedges and minis — go too tall or too short and you’ll look like a fool. I don’t want to see anyone teetering and falling off six-inch cork wedges any more than I want to see some girl’s thong as she bends over to get loose change that fell out of her clutch. Boys: steer clear of over-layering. I know you’ll be bombarded with lightweight button-downs, suit pieces, T-shirts and light sweaters, but don’t feel inclined to try and wear them all at once. Be brave, but be sensible. Hell, that’s good advice for anything.