Friday, October 11, 2013

Fashion Fix ::: Girl's Night Out with Clinton Kelly!

Photo from Macy's. Note that I am hiding behind the table/flower arrangement. 
That's because the color of that awesome C. Wonder cardi would sear your eyeballs.
Trust me, you're thankful that you can still see. I love that cardi, but holy damn it's bright.

Last Friday I mentioned that I would be attending an event at Macy's with Clinton Kelly, from What Not to Wear and The Chew.  I have to report that it was AMAZING!  Really, though, what else would you expect, he's freakin' fabulous!

Just before the show, I sent him a tweet telling him I was super excited...and HE WROTE BACK. *fangirl squeal*.   I wonder how he feels about people screaming with excitement about him...who wouldn't enjoy that, though?

After those 15 minutes passed, Clinton Kelly bounded out on stage met to screams and applause from screaming women, and opened the show by introducing himself, for those who maybe didn't totally know who he was (how!?) and did a little impromptu "360 degree mirror" on a good sport in flip flops. 

He spoke candidly and openly the entire evening, and there was a little fashion show depicting some trends.  Between each set of looks, he would answer questions. I made sure to record a lot if not all of his advice.  However, due to limitations on recordings, I am not allowed to post any, regardless of being "media." 

For his runway show, he chose models in all shapes and sizes, and from young to more "mature" to show how to do all the trends every way.  He has always championed accepting the body that you have, and made a point of mentioning it several times through the night, not only in his talking points, but in response to questions.  He also went over the "four rules" for putting outfits together, and making sure there is visual interest, which any long time viewer of What Not To Wear already knows::: COLOR, TEXTURE, PATTERN, SHINE. My outfits usually consist of Color or Pattern. 

Here are the looks on the models (forgive the photo quality, some of these were from pretty far back and they were moving, so I did some serious zooming and, later, cropping).

First Trend--PLAID

Look 1:::  White lace tee by Denim & Supply, red plaid blouse by Guess, Aztec-print sweater by Denim & Supply and distressed denim short by Guess.

Look 2::: Plaid dress with pleated skirt by QMack, blue and lime striped sweater by QMack, denim and faux leather jacket by Calvin Klein Jeans.

Look 3::: White button-down oxford by Ralph Lauren, blue and green watch plaid blazer by Ralph Lauren, bootcut jean by Michael Kors


Look 1::: Gold embellished tank by Miss Me, grey herringbone jacket by Bar III, distressed boyfriend jean by INC.

Look 2 ::: Mixed print top by Lucky Brand, distressed denim vest by Style & Co, distressed denim stretch skinny jean by INC.

Look 3 ::: Leopard print button down top by INC, distressed denim jacket by Calvin Klein Jeans, rust-colored jean by Not Your Daughters Jeans


Look 2 ::: Abstract print peasant top by INC, black leather vest with zipper detail by Calvin Klein, grey skater skirt by INC

Look 3 ::: Black and white ruffled blouse by Calvin Klein, black and white tweed jacket with faux leather sleeves (no designer listed), black lace skater skirt by Rachel Roy


Look 1::: Olive crocheted sweaterdress by Rachel Roy

Look 2::: Baseball tee by Guess, black and white sweater with leather trim by Sunny Leigh, Red jeans by Levis

Look 3::: Black motorcycle boot by Vince Camuto, vneck sweater by Charter Club,  draped multicolored sweater by Charter Club, houndstooth trouser by Ralph Lauren


Look 1 ::: White sweater with faux leather sleeves by MADE, Aztec-printed skirt by Rachel Roy

Look 2 ::: Lace and fabric top by Sanctuary, tweed jacket with leather collar by Bar III, black skinny jeans by Style & Co.

Look 3 ::: Color block lace dress by Bar III

Look 1::: Black mini dress with sequin bodice by Rachel Roy

Look 2 ::: Sweatshirt and chiffon blouse by Bar III, black and white stretch tweed pencil skirt by Grace Elements

All photos taken by me, for use only on {accordingtoame}

Look 3::: Mauve tank with pearls and beading by Bar III, wine quilted faux leather motorcycle jacket by Bar III, wine knit skinny pant by Maison Jules.

The models were great, and adorable. They all had great bodies, and seemed confident strutting down that runway despite probably being super nervous.

After the runway show, Clinton bounded around taking many more great questions.  One of the best questions, and one very relevant to me, was how to do dress a body with a belly. He said that's probably the number one, or maybe number two, question that he and Stacy get.  Clinton's first rule, and one he and Stacy often spoke of on What Not to Wear: WEAR STRUCTURED JACKETS. They distract the eye and distribute the attention to other parts of the body. 

The number two rule? A GREAT BRA that is professionally fitted by someone at a legit bra shop. The reasons? First off, your boobs should be located halfway between your elbow and your shoulder. Secondly, that location is where the bust of the garment is located by design, and where the garment is fitted to the fit models. So if your bust isn't fitting into that area, your bra might not be putting your boobs in the right zone. The most important reason, especially for someone built like me, is that hoisting the girls up more keeps the two zones -- boobs and stomach -- separated and keeps them as two zones. That area right below the bust is usually the smallest part of your midsection, and that's what you want to accent to take away from the "whole cake" or "muffin top".  

He next explained why tshirts, fitted or otherwise, are horrible for a woman's body because we are not T-shaped. T-shirts are particularly dangerous for those of us with a stomach, because, even fitted, it just clings in all the wrong places, and essentially makes you look like you're suction-cupped to the shirt. Not a good look. And yet, one I do everyday...Great work, Ame. Way to make inroads into your goal of being a "tastemaker."

As for pants when dealing with a belly, keep the waistline around the belly button, if you have just a smaller muffin, two finger widths below the belly button. If you were in the whole-cake zone, right at the belly button. 

Another question that was well received was regarding classic pieces everyone should have.  Clinton rattled off quite a list, consisting of:::
-Dark Wash Jeans 
-Pencil Skirt
-Structured Jackets
-Blouses that are not T-shirts
-Shiny Heels
-Ballet Flats
-Great Boots
-Non-athletic Sneakers
-Little Black Dress
-Colorful Day Dress for cocktails and weddings

Each time he'd ask for another question, I'd shoot my arm up and miraculously, I was able to ask him a question, and for some reason, like a fool, I choose to ask him how to get out of ruts, because as you well know, I have a uniform consisting of a lace trimmed cami, a vneck fitted tshirt and a cardigan. Every. Day.  Looking back, I wish I had not asked that particular question, and I wish even MORE that I had not interrupted him to blame it entirely on comfort (but I mean, that is 90% of it!). But his answer was essentially...get therapy. Half jokingly! Really he said to figure out WHY you choose to put the clothes you're putting on your body on your body and make better choices. Since he could see me, he could see that I was wearing tshirts and cardis and that was seriously two strikes right there for a girl with a "whole cake" in the middle. And really, let's be real, two whole cakes, because I like cake, dammit.

For the record::: Yes, I. am. mortified. About all of it, most especially interrupting him.  But, I also think I do need therapy for my stockpiling. And yes, he IS freakin' fabulous!

But if there was any doubt about my hoarding tendencies, here's a photo of my collection, which has become kind of a "signature". It has actually been slightly pared down, I got rid of some of the ones that were getting ratty. 

The closing points he made were the most important, I think, of the entire evening. His last question was presented by a 14 year old girl, who had asked about wearing "fun socks" and his response was simply "when you're 14, you can wear whatever you freaking want!" But further, he used that as a launching point to tell moms and parents in general to not be so hard on their kids for their appearance, and women in general to stop being so hard on themselves for how they look. 

In his experience, women as a whole hate on ourselves and our bodies far too much and some of that comes from things we were told by our parents growing up, and to forgive them for that and move on.  He said in his years working with women, doing makeovers especially, he's never seen such hate for ourselves and our bodies and he simply doesn't get it, or why we compare ourselves to this "ideal" that is not reality.  We're comparing ourselves to this airbrushed, photoshopped, not real image of some person that is not at all her real self, and expecting that we need to look the same and it's not fair or realistic at all.  Best. Advice. Ever.

After his amazing presentation, we were able to line up for a photo with him, and each person who lined up got to speak briefly with him. He was SO nice, and he really is just real! He told me I am actually on the right track, and that he is impressed that I do actually put in the three piece effort, but that I should replace my "completer piece", which right now is the cardigan, with a knit blazer that is fitted better so that it minimizes the "food baby" gut that I am perpetually dealing with, and it will still be comfortable.  He laughed out loud at the term "food baby" by the way, but that's kinda what it is!

He thought my bottom half was great and said my jeans were perfect and that I had on a great flat (my metallic bronze Cole Haan's) but that the structured knit jacket would be the way to make the look perfect without being uncomfortable.  I actually DO have a blazer from Old Navy made of sweatshirt material, though I thought it looked a bit sloppy and it's a bit heavy for warmer temps. Obviously I need to make that change!  And work on my comfort trumping all mantra.

I kinda wish I'd have hugged him! But I don't think we wanted security called. Because let's be real, I would not let go.

I had such a great time, and he was so amazing sharing his input and insight with everyone.  I hope you all enjoyed reading about it!

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