Saturday, October 28, 2006

'Tis the Season to play Dress Up

cos*tume  /n. Pronunciation[n. kos-toom, -tyoom; v. ko-stoom, -styoom] Pronunciation Key -
1.a style of dress, including accessories and hairdos, esp. that peculiar to a nation, region, group, or historical period.
2.dress or garb characteristic of another period, place, person, etc., as worn on the stage or at balls. of dress appropriate to a particular occasion or season: dancing costume; winter costume.
4.a set of garments, esp. women's garments, selected for wear at a single time; outfit; ensemble.

Halloween is just around the corner, and this is the weekend where all of Chicago celebrates our Mayor's favorite holiday! Halloween in Chicago is a big deal, there are tons of parties, parades, and festivals to attend, and more than ever, the focus is on what you wear!

Dressing up for Halloween gives us a chance to tap into our alter-egos; you can be whatever character you want that night and it doesn't matter the next day. Liberation through clothing! As you can imagine, I take this opportunity wherever I can find it!

With the barrage of events that call for a costume in our fair city, there are multiple routes you can take with your garb. You can choose one costume to last the whole holiday, or dress up in a new costume every night, the choice is yours and I've provided a little list to get you started on your search for the perfect outfit on this spirited holiday!

The Clever Costume:

These are always my favorites, the costumes that make you think! My friend Jesse dressed one year as a "Freudian Slip," wearing just a slip and letting people write their favorite Freudian Slips on the dress in red ink. One of my own favorite costumes was "Devil with a Blue Dress On." You get the picture.

The Tramp:

Yes, a lot of girls like to tramp it up on All Hallow's Eve. Slutty cop, nurse, schoolgirl, sailor, etc. Put the word "slutty" in front of an occupation and you'll find a girl rocking the look. Hey, better to get the trashy out all at once rather than spread the wealth over the course of a year.

The Stitch:

Costumes that bring a little humor to the party are always fun, the Drunk 1950's housewife, the Banana, The Dude. These are the costumes that bring out the true characters on Halloween.

The Spook:

Dead people, ghosts, witches, skeletons. Anything creepy keeps up the true spirit of this ghoulish night.

So now you have some ideas; go forth, dress up, and have a safe and stylish Halloween!

Tags: Chicago Fashion ; Halloween ; Costumes

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chicago sous la Neige

Oh Chicago, we knew it was coming and in true midwest fashion, it was by suprise...SNOW! (and inevitably winter).

Although I'm a big fan of the summer months, one thing I always miss is my outerwear. I love getting bundled up and picking out my coat or vest and a whatever scarf/hat/glove combination suits my mood. I look at winter as another opportunity to accessorize!

One of my best friends once told me that he could always tell a girl by her jacket and her hair. His reasoning was that most of the poeple who will see you in your lifetime will see you in your coat, so it is essentially an outword expression of your personality.

As a firm believer in fashion and style as a form of expression, I feel this theory is more than valid (though I would qualify it with people in general, not just girls. Who doesn't love a guy with good hair and a sense of style?). So, Dear Chicago, I've come to you with the tao of self expression via outerwear.

Lets start with a motto: Quality vs. Quantity. A good coat is not going to be cheap and an expensive coat will last longer and look MUCH better than a cheap one. Tailoring is key and the style should be classic. Look at it as an investment, not just a trendy piece. Choose something well-made, in a good color, that will last long enough for you to pass on to your children.

Speaking of color: I know you think you want that perfect, winter white cashmere blend pea coat, but think again! You'll spend as much money on dry-cleaning as you did on the coat. Winter is not clean. If you want something lighter, chose a camel color. I personally think that there is nothing more beautiful than cream accessories with a dark coat.

Next is tailoring. I'm not going to lie, I have a lot of coats. A bomber, a trench, and a duster. Length and tailoring are extremely important. Remember, you want to look your best, even when its freezing. I know that Chicago winters have instilled some bad- style choices involving floor length, quilted, North Face coats, but we can acheive warmth and beauty at the same time. An ankle length, double breasted, cashmere blend coat will keep you warm and be flattering at the same time.

Finally, my favorite, Accessories! The scarves, hats, and gloves! You can go a multitude of directions and pull in a lot of color with these warmth neccessities. When I wear my black, bishops collar wool coat, I like to wear a colored or cream pashmina tucked in to the coat, some black leather riding gloves, and a structured black wool hat. With my khaki trench, a knit scarf hanging loose with tan, suede gloves and a brown beret. And with my nordic vest a pair of knit gloves, and a knit stocking cap. Use your own judgement, but create a unified look.

And with that my all-weather friends, I wish you a happy and stylish start to the colder months!

tags: Chicago Fashion; winter coats; hats; scarves; gloves; accessories ; outerwear