Sunday, September 21, 2008

What do I look good in?

A date is a time for the tried-and-true: the outfit you already know inspires everyone to ask, “Have you lost weight?” — or the male equivalent, “Have you been working out?” If you find yourself musing, “You know, I’ve always wanted to try spandex,” immediately do the following: Drop this book, run to the bathroom, turn the faucet on cold, and shove your face beneath the icy stream. If no water is available, a gentle, but firm, slap on both cheeks will do.
Save your experimental urges for dark, stormy nights full of lightning when you’re trying to jolt a green-faced monster with a giant flat-top back to life. If you’re not sure what you look good in, put on a potential outfit and stand in front of your mirror. Then really look at yourself, from head to toe to the back of your heels. You’ll be tempted to be judgmental. Don’t. This is a time for
honest appraisal, not nit-picking. If you’re not good at figuring out what looks terrific and what qualifies you for arrest by the fashion police, ask a best friend to be brutally honest (if one isn’t handy on the day of the date, do this beforehand). Friends see stuff you’ve been overlooking for years.
  • Select substance over style. Style is great, and great style is truly fabulous. Often though, the latest, latest, latest style is a tad too trendy for anyone other than the very young and very hungry. Again, go for it only if it looks good on you.
  •  Pick the right color. Yeah, I know. You guys aren’t about to hold an orange scarf up to your face to tell whether you really are an “autumn” instead of a “winter.” I don’t blame you. Who needs the devastation of discovering you’ve spent your life as the wrong season? Yet, a little color savvy goes a long way. Often, it’s hard to tell if a color really does look good or the salesperson was pulling your leg when she said, “Puce is you!” Once again, a trusted friend can come in handy. One quick rule: If your skin has a yellowish cast to it, you probably look best in soft browns, golds, and reds. If your skin is more pinkish, try grays, blues, and purples. When in doubt, hey, there’s always basic black.
  •  Consider the breadth and scope of the entire date, not just the sashay to the car or to the table in the restaurant. If there’s dancing after dinner, for instance, that jacket’s going to come off, so you’d better make sure it isn’t the cornerstone of your look (or at least that your shirt is ironed).
  •  Choose fabrics that wear as well as you do. Satin? Linen? Fuhgettaboutit unless you’re dating a Shar-Pei who loves wrinkles.

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