Fashion Is You


“Paris, fall ’73 pret-a-porter is [according to a leading fashion magazine] put together and cleaned up (not kinky)! The models—who last season looked very ’40s—are now refined. The music—last season rock—now mostly classical or ’20s–’30s songs. The clothes are refined—worn with high-heeled, low-platformed shoes. It all gives a total put-together look—no more ’40s movie stars.

“The big fashion news in Paris is … would you believe? … longer skirts. Everything is big, baggy, bulky … roomy.

“Pants continue … straight … still wide … cuffed and uncuffed, always to the waist, trousers pleated or flat, some elastic waists … no tight sausage pants. Lots of jackets. The blouse is in, with gathers or pads at the shoulders … the body shirt is out.

“All Paris is classic. … Menswear is tweed on tweed, glen plaids … Shetlands, and heathered mixtures.

“Colors are browns and naturals, burgundy, olive, forest green, purple, rusty henna … with the heathered pinks, blues, peaches, and tans to lighten the darks.”

The forecast is out, and young people are off again in droves to the department stores. Whether they look like Jack who swallowed the beanstalk or a python who swallowed a pig seems to make little difference in their decision to follow or not follow current fashions. But you can keep from getting swallowed up in a totally unbecoming fashion wave by remembering what colors, lines, sizes, and shapes most flatter your sizes and shapes.

Don’ts

1. Who’s the skinny girl there in the short, clinging jersey? She’s Shannon, pretty girl in disguise. The clinging, dark dress is just accentuating the negative.

2. Ryan, in his skinny-knit sweater and slim pants, is looking undernourished. Only Farfol, his faithful brown friend, will stay with him.

3. Farfol himself is looking great in his basic brown suit.

4. Kelly has the right idea—a little exercise to lose the winter’s storage—but in the meantime she could help herself out by not wearing big plaids, short tops that crop her in half, or the layered look that’s too bulky.

5. Kirsten is one who seems to be able to eat all she wants without a worry. She can wear anything she likes too—she can, that is, unless she minds looking like a football player, just another of this year’s bulky, shoulder-pad fashions.

6. Paul usually looks great, but that skinny-rib vest shows off the tummy he developed from lack of winter activity.

7. Shawn has a problem. He looks like a stuffed teddy with his layered shirts, cinched waist, and turtleneck.

8. Jenny is kind of a cute little number, but she came up big on hips, and hip-huggers don’t help.

9. Ivie, over against the wall, is a little thick at the middle. What is she doing wrong? She’s wearing something that divides her at that spot and accentuates the waistline.

10. Carol’s dress is too snug, and a few bulges are appearing.

Remember that tight clothes make heavy people look heavier, and slim people look skinny. Loose clothes (not sloppy) give people the appearance of being slim and better proportioned by not showing all the body contours. A good rule is to fill in with bulky materials, bright colors, or big prints the areas that are small in proportion to the rest of the body.

Do’s

1. Shannon is now wearing layers and plaids, a full-pleated skirt of a crisp fabric, and knee socks. These all fill in the too thin figure. Now watch Ryan’s head turn.

2. Ryan went layered too. A crisp shirt fabric and pleated pants are great for his slim physique.

3. Farfol is starting to growl. What’s the matter, Farfol? Jealous?

4. Kelly, still pedaling for pounds, looks a whole lot lighter in a loose-fitting tunic jacket, solid, subdued colors, and a vee at the neckline.

5. Kirsten looks more feminine now with her ruffled sleeve.

6. Paul is looking better too without the bulging sweater.

7. Shawn has the picture also and is into something loose and less bulky.

8. Jenny has added a bulky sweater, good for a few inches of width, and an A-line skirt, guaranteed to conceal heavy hips (if it’s not too snug).

9. Ivie has her waistline bulge well-concealed by her jacket. A smock-top or tunic blouse would do as well.

10. Carol just needed a bit more room to move in. This jumper does it.

Fatty Do’s

  • Vertical patterns, stripes

  • Vertical stitching and vertical trims

  • Receding colors (that’s blue, green, and all dark or subdued colors)

  • Small patterns or prints

  • Solid colors

  • One-piece outfits; if two-piece outfit worn, make it all the same color and not fitted at the waist

  • Loose fit but not sloppy

Fatty Don’ts

  • Belts

  • Short skirts

  • Horizontal stripes

  • Large patterns (like large plaids or flowers)

  • Knee socks

  • Different colored or valued (meaning dark and light, not dollars) skirt or slacks and blouse

  • Slacks, except worn loosely and with a long top

  • Heavy fabrics (corduroy, quilted fabrics)

  • Tight fits

  • Aggressive colors (red, orange, and other extremely bright colors)

  • Clinging fabrics

  • Any lines that cut up the figure horizontally such as the layered look

Skinny Do’s

  • Layered look (for bulk and horizontal chopping)

  • Heavy fabrics

  • Bright colors

  • Large prints

  • Horizontal stripes and styling lines

  • Two or more pieces to the outfit

  • Belts—particularly wide ones

Skinny Don’ts

  • Vertical stripes or patterns

  • Very tight or very loose fits

  • Clinging fabrics

  • Black and other very dark colors

“They come in all subtle lengths: midknee, just below the knee, midcalf, below the calf, ankle-length … something for everybody. Armholes are loose, shoulders are wide … padded … extended raglan … square … dropped.”

“Something for everybody” in the fall forecast. You can pick what you like; fashion is you.

[illustrations] Illustrations by Peggy H. Proctor