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How to Wear Edgy Man-Tailored Suit
January 16, 2015


The Guardian (previously the Manchester Guardian) features Julia Roberts in a menswear tailored suit in monochromatic black with a touch of white. Scroll down to see the photo.

The look is high-end, urban, and severe. It's not for every personality nor every region.

It can be fun, as well as exhausting, to try to replicate a look for less.

My first choice is a Petite Tahari Pant Suit w/One Button Jacket 4P, Black.

We are not going to get the high-quality wool of Givenchy in a reasonable budget, but we can find a good tailor or seamstress to give garments a custom fit. You can find some tips for properly fitting slacks here.

Taking off a waistband to refit darts is specialized work, but the results can make it look like you have a custom-made suit.

Our next task is to find a black tunic top.

This black Tally Ho 3 Button Cardigan with pockets is loose and long enough to add a belt. Front closure creates the horizontal focal point achieved by the ribbon band by Givenchy.

Wear a white shirt with a crisp collar and a narrow belt to complete the look.

Any crew-neck sweater or top might be worn with a white blouse with collar to create this high-style look.

If you want the textured line, slipstitch black ribbon down the front. Just be sure it is straight and centered.

An alternative interpretation is offered by this NYDJ Knit Mix Top (Black/White) Women's Clothing. The center white line down the front and around the collar eliminates the need to wear two garments.

When interpreting a high-end look, we probably will not get an exact replication: the unique style, along with the quality finishing, is why people pay thousands of dollars for such clothing.

Use the outfit as a guide for developing your own style and do not follow anyone else's taste too slavishly. Remember, Givenchy, Chanel, and all designers start out with their unique vision; they were not always who they become.

To complete the look, I would choose flat-heel or low-heel shoes like these Naturalizing Lancing Shoe that are feminized version of men’s wing tips. Here, the black leather is complemented by cheetah print that would peek out from the hem of the slacks.


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"Visual communication . . . is not unlike other kinds of communication in that it is broadcast and received and . . . uses a code of language which has to be intelligible to the receiver." -- Writing To Learn" -- William Zinsser, writing expert.
Kohls Department Stores Inc


Inspiration came from an unexpected source – William Zinsser's Writing To Learn.

This week's Quote of the Week is my starting place – a reminder that fashion is communication, and it is a code, just like the alphabet or the rules for forming sentences and paragraphs.

Do you remember how proud you were when you learned to spell your name?

Learning fashion's code is no harder and probably more fun!

On the topic of modern art, Zinsser states that "if any one thing is certain in this world it is that art is there to help us live, and for no other reason."

Clothing also helps us to live. It keeps us warm in winter and protects from the sun's burning rays in summer.

It has been used to distinguish class: At certain times in history, no one but royalty was allowed to wear certain colors such as red and purple.

Some professions distinguish themselves with uniforms -- the crisp white lab coat, rugged military uniforms, and ubiquitous logo-adorned shirts for employees of every type of business from airlines to zoos.

Style choices broadcast one's sense of self from the Goth young people in black with combat boots, tattoos, and multiple piercings, to the gardener completely comfortable in well-worn jeans, knees permanently brown from the earth, yellow boots or clogs, and a cotton tee.

Learning the code of style and what looks good on you endows us with the riches of dressing so that we feel alive and joyful -- the reward of learning the basics of style.

In the end, to borrow from Zinsser, style is a form of art, and it is there for no one reason than to help us to live.

Peace and blessings.

Enid Sefcovic, Publisher, Fashion After 50
3700 Inverrary Drive Fort Lauderdale, FL

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