Sunday, September 6, 2009

Comfortably Numb

I'm comfortable right now, dear friends. As I sit cross-legged on my couch, lap-top at my fingertips, I glance down at my 'knocking around' outfit of choice: dark-washed, straight-legged jeans, a charcoal-gray fitted T-shirt with the words Rick Springfield emblazoned elegantly across my back, and a blue and gray beaded necklace dangling from my throat. This isn't something I'd normally wear out in public, but I could if I had to - therein lies the difference between casual chic and casual catastrophe.
The 'C' word comes up repeatedly when I'm helping someone pick out a new outfit. "I just want to be comfortable!"..."I could never wear those shoes - what's wrong with the flip-flops I picked up at Walgreen's? They're so comfortable!" It seems that many of us use comfort as an excuse for sloppiness. This stems, I think, from living in a visually-numb society: we've become so accustomed to seeing track suits, ragged shorts, and ratty shirts that it's now acceptable to show up in just any old thing.
It's time for change, don't you think?
Now, I'm not saying every occasion is a black-tie one. It's not; we must, however, be aware of our surroundings and dress appropriately for them. Pajamas are great for bed, but not for the grocery store. Swimsuits are perfect for the beach, but not in the restaurant located across the street from the beach. Get the picture?
As we transition into fall, I'd like to offer some tips to take you from comfortably numb to comfortably nice:
Dark wash jeans - be they straight-legged, flared, or skinny, a dark wash is far more visually pleasing than a faded one. They're slimming, too.
Fitted T's and knit tops - do insure, though, that they're wrinkle and stain-free.
Ballet flats - perfect for running errands. Save the tennis shoes for the gym
Accessories - nothing over- the -top for casual outings, but a little something is necessary.
Jackets - structure is essential for pulling your look together.
I'm a firm believer that when we make an effort to look our best, we're actually doing society a favor. That's really how my fashion passion emerged: I realized early on that no on wants to see me make-up free with my hair carelessly piled atop my head. No one wants to see just how much I resemble a twelve-year old boy when I wear a baggy shirt. No one wants to see my big hips balance on my scrawny legs through the power of spandex shorts.
All we must do is realize that our clothing does, in fact, send a message about who we really are. Let's do our part to beautify our surroundings!
Beth Newman
Look, feel, and live your absolute best!

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