I realized there is a good amount of misinformation floating around, and 2010 is a good time to dispel some of these old notions. Here are the top five myths that I have observed.
1. Wearing a watch ages you. I have heard this comment from several people and I suppose the idea began because younger people often consult their iphone or blackberry when they want to know the time. It is not true. Many watch styles are sold with Gen X in mind and even if they are only worn as another piece of jewelry they can still be used as the function for which they were originally intended.
2. Men’s double-breasted suits are coming back. This style idea has been around for a few years now, and double-breasted jackets still look very dated and old-fashioned. At least in traditional colors and fabrics. The only way I would recommend wearing a double-breasted style is in an English stripe or plaid pattern; it sounds a bit eccentric but is eye catching and acts as a counterpoint to the double-breasted style.
3. Pink does not go with red/orange. Some of the new looks for both men and women include unusual color combinations that you wouldn’t have seen a few years ago. I have seen men wearing red ties with pink shirts and women in pink and red or pink and orange combinations and it looks new and fresh.
4. Panty hose are gone for good; panty hose are a necessity in business. There are two opposing viewpoints on stockings for business and these viewpoints are often a function of age, industry and the condition of one’s legs. As with other style conundrums, the best advice is to do what works for your job, geographical location and physical characteristics. Dark stockings make a fashion statement and act as both camouflage and leg warmer. These are generally accepted everywhere. But sheer hose is where more questions arise. Sheer hose will date you as the younger generation has shunned them. Certain industries still require them however and they make an elegant statement with dresses and suits. If you feel you need sheer hose to cover a leg condition or because of industry expectations, go ahead. Just make sure to also have on closed-toe shoes and buy a color that is closest to your skin tone (or as sheer as you can find).
5. Shiny fabrics are only for evening. This fashion rule changed about a year ago as both men’s and women’s designers showed fashions that featured fabrics with shiny threads woven through them or sporting sequins (okay just women for this one). Unless you are in a super-conservative industry, shiny fabrics are okay for day when worn in combination with plainer fabrics and basic silhouettes.
If you know of other myths that were long thought to be true and are no longer applicable, please email me and I’ll include them in a future issue of Image Notes.