Sunday, February 24, 2013

How'm I Doing?

He did just fine

Who would have thought the late, great Ed Koch would turn up in this fashion-centric blog?  Although he often asked constituents, "How'm I doing?", he wasn't referring to wardrobe choices. Koch was not known for sartorial excellence (though he did know how to sport a pair of suspenders). The multi-term mayor of New York and one of the city's greatest "characters" had a phrase for it. When asked about his political beliefs, Ed Koch described himself as "a liberal with sanity".

So I would describe myself, fashionwise. As time goes on I don't love fashion any less, maybe even more. I'm not fearful. I don't worry so much about something being practical. If I wear it twice a year and feel Marvelous, well, that's fine. And these are the people I admire. Women my age (within a generation or two) who take the best of what's out there— past, present and future— and make it their own.

While I would never describe myself as a slave to fashion, I certainly hear its siren's call. Such was the reaction reading news from Milan for Fall 2013. What struck me were some interesting ideas emanating from some not-very-spring chickens. Miuccia Prada (64) threw a half-buttoned drab cardigan under a sophisticated party dress. Karl Lagerfeld (80) shaved some mink and used it on half of a simple (and simply gorgeous) wool cloth coat for Fendi. Donatella Versace (57) showed spiked collars so long they would surely stab your dance partner. Reviewers called her looks a little adolescent, but why not if spiked collars are your thing? Why not indeed?

Prada Fall 2013
Fendi Fall 2013
Versace Fall 2013

It all boils down to knowing yourself. At some point you know how much attention you want to attract and what to say when you do. You may not know where you stand politically, but you probably know what shapes look good and which colors work to your advantage.

How to become a fashion liberal-with-sanity?
> Allow yourself to pick and choose among the wide scope of fashion trends.

> Don't just wait for the looks you loved to come back in style, declaring the rest "off limits".

> Never say never without trying it out first, if only in the privacy of your bedroom.

> Be gracious enough to pass on something that doesn't work for you without putting it down for others.

> Think of dressing as playing dress-up.

> Expect to be looked at. Then smile back.


  1. I love the spiked collar - I would wear that!

    Your advice is so spot-on. Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Sheila. I love that you are one of my readers!

  3. Wonderful advice. It is so true about knowing how much attention you want payed to yourself!! I think more of us should "play" with our clothes. Life is too short to not have fun with our wardrobes.

  4. I love your advice. It is fun to experiment with different looks even when my lifestyle is very simple. Sometimes I am in the mood for attention and other times not so much but I am always interested in dressing up and it is an art form if you want it to be.

  5. Michelle, you are the ultimate fashion enabler, and I love you for it.

  6. I'm a new reader and I loved your advice. I will be following you.
    Hugs, Susan