Christie Brinkley, fashion, MORE Magazine

A bone to pick with fashion magazines…

Click on each photo to enlarge…

Yellow is the trendy, delicious surprise color this season. I think this sundress is fabulous, but, alas, at these prices, I may have to fashion one for my self by hand on my trusty sewing machine.

Okay. Maybe I’m being ridiculous or it’s very possible I just don’t get it. Why do fashion magazines, with the exception of Vogue or Harpers Bazar, put clothing on their models that are so outrageously expensive, most mainstream women can only dream of owning them, much less actually can go out and purchase these garments for themselves?

Here’s my beef. I am devouring my new May issue of More, (my very favorite women’s magazine) and I come upon this fabulous spread featuring Christie Brinkley in a combination interview/fashion show. She’s beautiful, we all know it, and at 56, she’s unbelievably fabulous looking. All well and good. Okay, so I am completely turned on to the yellow sundress, and immediately start coveting it for myself. Where can I find it, and how much is it? I read the small print that gives the clothing facts, and I’m floored-but not surprised. The dress is a Diane Von Furstenberg, and the price is a whopping $385! Wait, it gets better. The shoes she’s wearing with that sunny yellow number are $595! See that gorgeous yellow jacket she’s wearing in the closup on the opposite page? That is really something, isn’t it? Couldn’t you just see yourself going somewhere important in that baby? Well, you can’ t have it-and you know why? Because it’s $1715!!!

Let’s move on a bit more, shall we? Next page-see that adorable raspberry jacket that fits her like a glove? I’d give a a thick lock of my hair for that, even though it probably doesn’t come in plus sizes, and even if it did, it wouldn’t look like that on me-but hey, I’d love to have it anyway. This jacket, according to small print adjacent to the photo is a Burberry (you know it’s unobtainable already, don’t you?)Prorusm (huh?) neoprene scuba trench. Yes, you read right, it’s a scuba coat-whatever. So do you love it enough to pay $2995? No, I didn’t forget the decimal point, it’s almost 3 thousand dollars. You can have a really state of the art refrigerator for that kind of money. Oh, and underneath, peeking out is a white, Ralph Lauren tank for a bargain price of $88. Geezzzze!

You get my point, I’m sure. Of course, these prices are a pittance for really wealthy people, but I know damn well, the vast majority of women reading these magazines are mainstream, middle class gals with a few wealthy women peppered in for good measure. Why do these stylists, editors-whom ever is in charge-choose to exhibit clothing with such out of this world price tags? I mean, it’s bad enough most of us don’t look like models, now we can’t even hope to purchase the clothing they wear so we can pretend or fantasize (as some of use do) to look even an iota as fashionable as these some of these gals do. This really pisses me off. What is the purpose of this spread? To show off Christie Brinkley, I bet. Who gives a crap about her-I want the flippin’ yellow sundress!!!

As I stated a paragraph ago, I wanted that yellow sundress so much, I was ready to plunk down a fairly sizable amount of money to get it- but my budget on a dress is about $100 tops and that’s only if it’s really cool and unusual. What the heck? I’m convinced, if they put reasonably priced good clothing on these models, they would sell a whole lot more product and women would be praising these magazines for doing them such a great service in advertising such gorgeous clothing. I was lamenting on this subject last night and my husband chimed in and said in a condenscending tone, “Well, we all know if the clothing is cheap, women won’t buy it assuming it’s not good quality.” I said “Bull! I don’t think the clothing has to be extremely cheap, just ‘obtainably’ expensive.” I don’t want clothing of the quality of SJP’s Bitten line. I really think those clothes are bottom of the barrel. What I would like is something that doesn’t require me to mortgage my house or take from my childrens’ college fund in order to be able to pay for it. (Not that I would…this is just an example.)

More magazine has a target audience of wise women over 40 who have their shit together and are sensible. This is insulting to me, a wise woman of 45. I would never spend this kind of money on an article of clothing. It’s completely ridiculous. Do they think it’s entertaining for most of us readers to sit and read about beautiful Christie Brinkley and her gorgeousness, being made to feel like we are window shopping, salivating for what we can’t have or ever hope to afford?
I am by no means a fashionista, or fashion follower, for that matter. But I do know what I like and I do know what I can afford. I just wish these magazines were down to earth. Specifically, the More articles are interesting and intelligent and aren’t geared toward just the elite or twiggy models, so why should the fashion content? In fact, now that I think about it, these magazines don’t really appeal to larger women, either. Most middle-aged women generally do not fall into the slender category because with age, comes thicker middles. Why not cater to women of all sizes so we feel like we matter just as much as the thin women? Do I make sense, or am I all wet here? Feedback, please, if you have any thoughts on this.
Looks like I need to direct my letter right to the editor where there’s More room for improvement. Now, I’m off to look for some sunshiney yellow fabric and a pattern to try to make that sundress my own. Damn them for teasing me like this!

'Chocolat', Diane Keaton, diva, fashion, personal style, red shoes

What constitutes your personal style?

Why can’t you wear black shoes like all the other mother’s?” whined Anouk, to her mother, Vianne, from the movie Chocolat. She seemed bothered that all the townspeople thought different of her mom because she had a very original style (among other, more questionable traits)-that emerged from having the confidence to wear red high heels on a daily basis. Good for her. And I mean that sincerely.

Have you ever met someone that has a signature sense of style? They always seem put together and have a look that’s all their own. I’m not saying it’s totally important, but it is a fun thing to do. Do any of you know Diane Keaton loves turtlenecks? Yes, she wears them quite often and that alone, could be her signature style. In Diane’s movie, “Something’s Gotta Give,” her character, (like her real life self) wears turtlenecks in almost every scene. Remember Barbara Bush’s double pearl necklace she wore on most public appearances? Can you think of any other women you know, both famous and average Janes who’ve managed to capture a unique style that’s all their own?

How do you achieve a signature style? Think about your hair style. Do you sweep your hair up into a French twist every moring before you head to the office, or do you have a sexy, swingy short style that makes you immediately recognizable from a distance?

Stop and think about the things you love to wear. How about donning a fashionable scarf that gives you a bit of a rock star vibe-maybe a silky neckscarf will transform you into a chic faux French woman, if that’s what you’re going for. Some gals carry a trademark type of purse. Do you have a signature pair of eyeglasses you wear regularily that make you look really smart and at the same they scream “I’m a creative Diva!” An example of a woman with a sassy style is Helle Greer. She’s looks so fabulous with her artsy black frames and her very cute hair style.

When you’ve read everything here, hop over to her blog. She has a very recognizable look that’s all her own.

Are you someone who prefers a clutch over a large shoulder bag? If you do, make clutches your signature style. Have various clutches in different colors and sizes. (I own one that was used as a prop on Sex and the City. It’s vintage and divine!) Use your imagination, and seek out something colorful and fashionable that speaks your name. If you strive for a signature style, just figure out what it is you really like to wear or accessorize with often enough make it into a regular, personal fashion statment. Remember, too, it isn’t just clothing and accessories that help create your unique look, it can be something as simple as wearing the same color lipstick.

I mention red shoes at the beginning of this post because for a time I liked wearing red shoes. It was a pleasant surprise while watching Chocolat to see Vianne had the same fashion sensibility as myself-she loved her red high heels. I own a pair of red Mary Janes similiar to the ones the girl above is wearing. I don’t feel sexy in them, but I do feel a bit sassy, and artsy. There’s just something about red shoes that sets you apart from the rest.

I’m am in the process of finding my own signature style. For one, my long, blond hair is what makes me noticable and familiar. I just purchased a new pair of sassy glasses, and maybe those will morph into a personal fashion statement.

I think thrift shops are a great place to start when begining to search out a signature style or if you already have it figured out, it makes a fantastic, inexpensive place to collect the things you love. You can find so many wonderful, vintage items for a song. Discover the thrill of the hunt and make the second hand shops a weekly shopping event. You just may be able to discover something that suits your fancy and spells out your name. Have fun!