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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fashion Observations

Photo by: Serge Bertasius Photography

I saw an old family picture the other day—not ours, but it might as well have been. The mother was wearing perfectly permed big hair, the father was in a suit, the little girl wore a wide, white collared dress and the boy a "little man suit." It made me smile, because we have our own family pictures in wide, white collars.

Speaking of things around necks . . . there’s always something around the neck.

When I was in college, it was bows. We had big, tied bows on blouses and dresses. There was an art to tying them just right. I wore them under suits and jumpers. I even wore one for my engagement picture! Bozo the Clown—but we didn’t know it.

Then, there were turtlenecks and cowl necks. Now, I’ll admit I like them both. Anything with a graceful high profile covers a multitude of evils. For the mature lady, they were a blessing. After being face-lifted, with a high neck, no one would ever guess her age—unless they looked at her hands. (Gloves, anybody?)

In the early 2000s came lots of flashy, fun jewelry. Necklaces got longer again, and more colorful. So did earrings. Wear anything with this jewelry, and it looks new and vibrant. Turquoise, silver, natural stones, crazy colors together . . . . It was the beginning of chandelier earrings and tasseled necklaces.

A couple of years ago, it was out with the necklaces and cover-up time again—literally! Long things are wrapped around the neck. We used to call them mufflers and wear them only if living in Minnesota in the wintertime or going sledding in Pennsylvania. The muffler went mainstream and got a new name: scarf. (Not a new name actually, but re-named.) Long scarves are wound around the neck in many different ways. There are knots and weaves and wraps galore. If you don't know how to do yours, you can watch You Tube tutorials! The infinity scarf is a ring of material that makes it easy. Just pop it over the head and dash out the door all color-coordinated and put together! I marvel at young women who can cook without singeing their scarves and eat without collecting food in them. Amazing!

Now that everyone has spent a small fortune on neck rags, we arrive at the 2014 statement necklace. No, you can’t wear the Bohemian necklaces you bought in the beginning of the millennium. Your necklace has to say something! It’s big, much bigger in front than around the back of the neck. Think color, large “beads,” and arranged so that it makes an upside down triangle or a crescent in front of you. The thing I’ve noticed with the new statement necklaces is that many of them look exactly the same or very similar. What kind of an individual statement is that? Hmmmm . . . . Some look like the things my grandmother used to wear. Seriously? Gonna go looking for some big, blue faux pearls in three strands . . . .

I laugh.


The trendsetters laugh as they trot off to their banks singing, “We got them to buy into this, again!”

My advice?
  • If you’re young, keep your Bohemian stuff. It will be cool in about thirty years, and then you can sell it as “vintage” or wear it yourself.
  • Throw away your infinity scarves and your chevron clothing—not yet, but soon. The scarves will not be cool again in your lifetime. If you have a regular scarf, hold onto it. It will be worn in a different way in a few years. Chevron was very “in” when my husband and I honeymooned thirty-six years ago, so it will come back in another thirty to thirty-five. Unless you’re quite young, in a couple of years, forget chevrons.
  • Wear your statement jewelry now. You are cooler than cool, even if all your friends have the exact same necklace. Keep the turtlenecks, cowl necks, and the smaller bows. They are “in” again. 

Prepare for the next “new” fad. (Remember, your grandma wore it first!)

The thing that hath been,
it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 1:9)

I predict chokers in the not-so-distant future. It's been forty years. See if I'm right or wrong! What do you think the next neck ornament will be?

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