Follow trends . . . don’t be left out

Tafadzwa Zimoyo : Fashion Talk 263

Style is a way to say who you are without speaking while fashion is something that comes from within you. The debate between a fashion stylist and designer is continuing with most locals stating that we are not yet on the same level where one does both. But why are we looking down upon ourselves? Isn’t it just a misconception, like saying “we don’t decorate food but we garnish it” yet we are speaking the same language?

Here is my line of thinking, fashion stylists and fashion designers are similar to one another, as they both conceptualise colour, texture, and design to create unique styles for a client or audience.

Fashion stylists are responsible for a crafting and co-ordinating garments and accessories to create outfits for a clientele like models, celebrities, actors or any prominent people.

A fashion stylist always needs to be ahead of the up and coming trends in fashion; the fashion-styling career is extremely involved in fashion trends and fashion forecasting for each season.

They collaborate with hair stylists, makeup artists, designers, and photographers while fashion designers are responsible for conceptualising and creating garments, handbags, shoes, or other accessories.

For fashion designers they typically create sketches, observe fashion trends and changes within the fashion industry, and perform trend research.

Well in a century where everyone idealises a person’s appearance, tolerance begins with accepting a person’s looks.

This week style guide is on, ‘When shirt meets tie’ for men while ladies we check on ‘The pencil skirt’.

These are some of the trendy items that fashionistas and celebrities are rocking right now and we bring you style guides on how to own the look.

Shirts and ties

Some men have terrible taste in shirts and ties — a quick glance around your work place will confirm it.

For those unfortunate enough to be confined to suits for the majority of their working week, fashion has to take a back seat.

Corporate suits can often be mind-numbingly dull and the sea of miserable faces trudging to work every morning is, to my mind, a mix of both work-based hatred and the realisation that they really don’t know how to match up their shirts and ties.

Getting creative with your shirt and tie combinations is one of the best ways to showcase your love of fashion and style within a formal environment, but they’re extremely easy to get wrong.

After all, colours and patterns can be confusing individually, but when you start mixing them together, all hell can break loose.

And to add to that the concept of colour matching continues to stump even the most stylish of men.

But the problem you have with combining shirts and ties is that, unless you want your work wardrobe to be very, very dull, you will at some point have to tackle the issue of colour — getting to grips with it once and for all.

Always buy nice ties.

Nice doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, but it does mean tasteful.

Yours truly avoids anything that is too shiny or too smooth because received wisdom says they will not work too well for those of us who are not gifted in the height stakes.

As a general rule, your tie should be as close to the width of your suit lapel as possible.

I give credit to men like Genius Kadungure, Prophet Passion and His Excellency the President Cde Mugabe when it comes to choosing the correct tie and shirt.

On shirts, I think essential shirt colours that every man should own include white, sky blue and pink.

As said before, white shirts offer you maximum versatility.

No matter if you opt for a preppy stripe, tartan check or knitted navy version, you can combine almost any tie with a white shirt.

If you are going down the safe white shirt route, make sure your tie is full of character — whether that is provided by pattern, colour or an interesting texture.

Pencilling in the correct skirt

To the women, just like a scholar who moves around with a pencil, make sure not to be left out in the bandwagon of the pencil skirt. This is a classic popularised by the one and only Coco Chanel. Worn right it is a style that flatters every woman and is great for office as well as parties, or more formal gatherings.

For working women pencil skirts are the number one office style staple.

They’re like this sartorial uniform that’s never passed and you can’t go wrong with. Due to their flattering cut, they fit any body shape like a glove.

They are slim yet play up the curves.

Even curvelicious US rapper Nicki Minaj who normally goes for pants once wore one during her one of her shows.

They conceal, yet are fitted enough to follow your body line in that very refined sort of way

Not to mention how quickly it literally polishes up a look, regardless of what you pair it with.

Which only brings me to my next idea: how easy it is to wear pencil skirts in terms of the “How To Style Them”?

Heels, heels and heels. That is the number one rule for this skirt.

Stiletto sandals are so very sexy and classic pumps are timeless.

I always used to say that stiletto heels best flatter any outfit and body.

And it seems to me, in this case it’s truer than ever, just because you need extra height if you’re wearing a pencil skirt, yet at the same time you want to keep it light in the feet, to get that hourglass effect.

Of course we can still wear flats with them, it’s not a fashion crime, but kind of 50s laid back. Pumps make you look frumpy. You just might be able to pull off a practical look with a slick pointed pair if you really do not do heels.

Even chunky styles work or sneakers, but it’s more of an edgy style. There’s this new craze in town of pairing high waisted pencil skirts with crop tops.

Local fashion blogger Lillian Madyara affectionately known as Hollywood Lee has out-shined most girls in that style.

From fitted to loose crop tops in different fabrics or exactly the same ones as the skirt.

Think uber trendy deux-pieces.

The look is in between those late ‘90s glam grunge, Dolce & Gabbana imperial decadent bustiers, and retro glamorous looks.

You can wear a coat on your shoulders and spice it up with a peak of body jewellery.

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