Rocking the red carpet
styling Your life event gives Calgarians a chance to strut their best looks
Calgarians rocked the red carpet this past Saturday at the Styling Your Life event featuring style expert Clinton Kelly from TLC’s What Not to Wear.
Close to 600 people attended, raising upwards of $30,000 for the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s efforts to help women move out of poverty (donations are still being counted; to find out more, visit cdnwomen.org).
We asked guests at the event and via Twitter for questions to ask Kelly. Here’s what he had to say backstage before the event.
Q. What’s the most universally flattering neckline?
A. The V-neck. Remember Debra Messing in Will & Grace? She was quite small chested, but wore deep-cut V-necks and it worked. It will also de-emphasize a larger bust. A V-neck elongates the neck, which is very helpful to elongate the body.
Q. What’s the hardest colour to wear?
A. Beige is tricky, because it can wash you out. And red is hard for a lot of people as well — if you have broken capillaries or rosacea, it can really highlight them.
Q. Is there still anything such as age-appropriate dressing?
A. Yes, there still is. At a certain age, a woman shouldn’t have to lead with sex. When you’re young, you can’t help but want to celebrate that, (but as you age), you want to show the world that you’re smart, sophisticated and have more to offer the world than just your body.
There are rules — you don’t want anything too low cut at the neckline or too high cut on the legs. Nothing higher than mid-thigh. Also avoid showing the navel or anything that’s too slutty looking.
Q. How funky is too funky after 50?
A. Funky is appropriate no matter what age you are . . . I like funky after 50 and I like anyone with their own sense of style. (But) if funky means trendy, that’s something different. Trendy gets a bit tricky after 40; you don’t want to look like you’re competing with the 20-year-olds.
Q. Can you really wear white after Labour Day?
A. You really can. Fashion is never about a date on the calendar, it’s about the weather. Everybody forgets about winter white. But you want to do a heavier weight white (as the weather gets cooler) — stay away from linen, for example. Take your cue from Mother Na-
ture, not Father Time.
Q. How can a short girl pull off high-waisted pants? Is it possible without looking like your pants touch your bra?
A. Yes, if the pants are bought from the petite department; otherwise, the proportions will be off. It’s essential to find a good petite line; your pants should never touch your boobs. You need to define a waist and, to be completely honest, it works better if you’re petite and slim, because highwaisted pants really emphasize your waist.
Q. When did you know that style was your passion?
A. It was about two or three years into What Not to Wear . . . I was keeping in touch with some of the women who had been on the show. Their lives really do change: we were hearing about them getting better jobs, better boyfriends . . . It’s not about the clothing . . . style is really a tool to help you get what you want out of life. Style does matter — you have to believe that you’re worth something. This is really about helping people feel better about themselves.