By: Sharon Mosley
“It costs us not to look our best,” says Amy Goodman, a fashion expert who has written the newly released book, “Wear This, Toss That!” (Atria Books, 2011, $27). “That’s the premise of my fashion philosophy,” she says. “Every day, believe it or not, clothes can be a saving grace. The bottom line is that we all need to look good. All the time.”
Goodman admits that when we don’t look our best, it costs us in job opportunities, positive first impressions, respect, confidence and self-worth, dates and dollars and lots of dollars.
“Packing your closet with clothes you don’t wear is equivalent to stocking your refrigerator with foods you don’t eat,” she says. “Generally, we turn to clothes as things to throw on and just get us through another day.”
Goodman — who is a frequent contributor to the “Today” show, as well as “The View,” “Good Morning America,” “The Early Show,” CNN and “Movie & a Makeover” — is currently editor at large for Southern Living and fashion trend director for Timex. She thinks many American women have gone “on fashion furloughs” because of body image problems, as well as time and budget restrictions.
“Looking good can jolt you with self-generated power,” she says. “It can shift your paradigm when things aren’t looking up, so you feel stronger.”
Goodman’s strategy is simple and easy. Most of us know that we have a closet full of clothes that never see the light of day. Goodman tells us exactly what to keep and what to “toss.” This is definitely a “must-have” guidebook — complete with resources for where to find relief — for those of us who have gone on fashion “furloughs.”
Here are a few of Goodman’s suggestions for finding the perfect spring top:
— Wear: The quintessential shirt (tailored, feminine and fitted shirts) made with stretch fabric for easy movement. Toss poorly fitting tops with buttons that pull on the torso, causing wrinkles. Her suggestion: Shop Topshop (http://us.topshop.com).
— Wear: A V-neck wrap shirt with a tailored hem, a belted waist, and a neckline that shows some skin. Toss a non-adjustable, sewn-in “wrap” shirt that is made of stiff, unyielding fabric in a blah color with knotting that adds bulk to your bust. Goodman suggests checking out the lace Boob Tube by Miss Oops if your neckline is too revealing (www.missoops.com).
— Wear a sophisticated tank in a vibrant color with ruffles that sweetly frame the neckline. Toss high density ruffles that jam together like bumper-to-bumper traffic, an additional tie that chokes the neck, and thick cuffs that add to a heavy, busty look. Goodman likes the girlie looks at Romeo and Juliet Couture (www.romeoandjulietcouture.com).
— Wear a top with billowing sleeves, known as a blouson. This blouse is comfortable yet defined, and it has details like metallic buttons and slight gathers around the neckline. Toss the oversized knit pullovers that have batwing sleeves. “This pirate-style top offers little justices to any maiden,” says Goodman. She suggests checking out Newport News for front-tie silk blouses (www.newport-news.com).
— Wear a tastefully revealing one-shoulder top with a streamlined neck, which lies flat in a metallic print for fashion fun. Toss an off-the-shoulder blouse with a neckline that makes you look too wide on top and too narrow on the bottom. Goodman’s best bets are at Ann Taylor (www.anntaylor.com) and LC Lauren Conrad and Elle, exclusively at Kohl’s (www.kohls.com).
— Wear the ultimate day-to-night top: a fitted tank that has necklaces sewn into the garment or around the neckline. Doff a cardigan, and you’re ready for happy hour. Toss a densely sequined top that refracts light like a disco ball and makes people stop in their tracks — because they’re blinded by the bright color. Goodman suggests the latest looks at www.mellies.com or www.shopstyle.com.
— Wear a slimming sweater of medium weight that hits just past the hip, with a V-neck to show some skin and a mid-length sleeve. Check out Uniglo (www.uniglo.com). Toss the overly chunky, overly detailed, heavy knit sweater that makes you look stuffed like after Thanksgiving dinner, with an unattractive zip funnel neck.
— Wear a long cardigan that hits past hips in a deep shade or versatile neutral. Choose one with flat pockets in a medium fabric that hangs gracefully over curves. Toss undefined long-sleeve wraps in drab colors that look more like an airplane blanket than an article of clothing. Check out sweaters at Boutique to You (www.boutiquetoyou.com).
— Wear an unexpected twinset. Pair a contrast trim cardigan with a thin, simple underlying layer that lies flat on the body. Toss matchy-matchy twinsets in cheap prints and synthetic materials that both age and pale your complexion. “Think beyond the perfect pair and separate the twins,” says Goodman. “The knitted tank or sweater can stand alone in warmer temperatures and can be paired with long necklaces, while the cardigan can be layered on top of other separates.”
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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