Thursday, August 10, 2006


Hello darlings!

I want you to take a deep breath with me and have faith that you will be your most beautiful, polished, gorgeous self as soon as it cools off a bit and you're not simply trying to avoid becoming one big ball of perspiration by noon!

You CAN!

First, you have to buy a lot of fashion magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Lucky ("The Magazine About Shopping") and spend some time with them while you sit and get a pedicure.

As soon as you've intently studied the photos, I want you to throw those fashion magazines across the room with all the force you've got in your dominant arm and cry gaily, "What a pile of sheer crap they're showing this year!! I looked like hell in that garbage in the early 1980's when it was the early 1980's! Why on God's earth would I repeat those mistakes, so much older and wiser am I!"

And you are, sweetpeas, you are!! You ARE so much older and wiser!

So PeaceBang is going to tell you what not to even CONSIDER purchasing this coming season.

PeaceBang's Top Ten Incredibly Fashionable Items From the Fall 2006 Season That You Do Not Have To Own:

1. Super cropped jackets that cut you off at the bazoom.
2. Anything even remotely resembling knickers.
3. Leggings to wear under dresses. No. Do not fight me on this. We are religious leaders. We are not elementary school art teachers who can get away with baby doll dresses and leggings and slouchy boots. We can wear them on vacation.
4. Huge, dolman sleeve tops with a waistband around the posterior region.
5. Sleeveless, slope-shoulder sweaters. Let the youngsters try to look cute in that mess.
6. Cuffed jeans. Very chic. Not for you. Weekends only, and even then only with an insouciant air and cute shoes.
7. Socks with heels. My god, I get the heebie jeebies just saying it.
8. Extremely tapered "skinny jeans" or pants. Unless you're incredibly tall and leggy and incredibly slim and chic. If not, no tapered trousers.
9. Anything a sickly canary yellow or bloody dead mahogany that gives you the complexion of a zombie and highlights every wrinkle and jowl.
10. Bulky knit turtlenecks. Unless you have the neck of a swan and the torso of a ballerina. If not, you're just going to look like an upright mud turtle with no discernible bosom.
11. (Bonus!) White pumps.

PeaceBang's Ten Incredibly Fashionable and Classic Items You SHOULD Have For the Fall:

1. A smart, classic bag for papers and your computer. Note that faux leather bags can be cleaned with Mr. Clean Erasers. Clean them. Toss old, raggedy items that aren't leather. Dirty totes are OUT. Give them away. Knapsacks are OUT. Get a shoulder bag already. You're not a student anymore. People shouldn't want to pet you on the head and feed you a bologna sandwich when they see you.

2. One fabulous suit that has been purchased within the past decade and tailored to the body you're in today, not twenty pounds ago. This is your "ret-to-go" suit for weddings, funerals, ordinations, special appearances, etc.
PeaceBang likes to pair hers with a big silk flower and a triple strand of pearls or, if she's funking it up, a triple strand of turquoise.

3. A few accessories purchased with an eye to the latest fashion. Ex: delicious beads that you've tried on in the store to assure that they look good together (find a great looking young salesclerk and ask her to help you get "the look"), or for guys, an updated watch or cufflinks. Look in magazines for ideas. You should not be wearing accessories from thirty years ago. This is one certain way to date yourself and appear frumpy and out of it. Classic cameos from grandma don't count, of course, as they're always in fashion. Funk up the cameo with something more current, though, or risk looking too schoolmarmish.

4. Women, if you have nice legs, consider adding a pair of elegantly patterned hose to your wardrobe. Nothing too snazzy, but something beautiful to go under a tailored knee-length skirt. They are all the rage right now and one fun way to add a bit of high fashion to your look without making a big investment.

5. A good trench that we discussed earlier. No anoraks or pullover fleece at professional appearances!

6. A delicious scarf in a color that looks great on you. Long enough to wrap around your throat and tuck into the trench. If you live in a warmer climate, it can be silk, and warmer clime guys, you don't need one.

7. A fantastic haircut, received after a serious consultation with a good stylist and a serious consideration of the pros and cons of your current 'do. Men, this goes for you, too. Prepare to own a few hair products to maintain the 'do, and don't tell me you can't manage it. You can. Tell the stylist what your life is like and he or she will style you according to the time you have to mess with it in the morning.

8. Women: a pair of beautiful pumps. Even a 1" heel if you can possibly manage it. If you do nothing else this season to polish your professional image than to get yourself out of the permanent Bierkenstock look, do this. That goes for you, too, gents. Toss the Crocs! They're hideous and inappropriate!

9. A perfect white blouse in some material that has shape and style to it. Men, you should have one or two pristine dress shirts in your closet, ironed and ready to go with a tie and slacks when you need them. Women, you should have at least one absolutely perfect, fitted white blouse (with a WAIST) to wear with elegant black trousers and interesting accessories. This outfit will save you again and again. Make sure it fits you well, that you can sit comfortably in it and not spill out anywhere, and that you check the rear view for "puppies."
Have the sleeves altered if they're too long, or find a 3/4 length sleeve.

10. Fabulous boots, if you can afford them. Or shine and re-sole the ones you have.
(For a fun, rubber-sole classic boot, I like the "Roby" style at, $99. Bennetton is showing a lovely leather boot at $179, and Anne Klein has a gorgeous brown boot called "Culhane" with gold hardware detail for $189. For fans of Aerosole, they've got a really neat looking rubber soled black boot, "Ride Line" for $160. Boots are a major investment. If you obtain a classic pair and take care of them, you'll have them for years.) Ladies, if you must wear flats, try to make it a boot. The flats they're showing lately strike me as far too girlish and twee.

11. (Bonus!) A pair of totally flattering, perfectly tailored black trousers with a bit of stretch to them to help keep shape.


Blogger Teri said...

i don't know PB's take on shopping at such places as the GAP when we are clearly to old (or too colle) for 90% of the stuff in there....but they have some really great white button-up shirts, with great shape, in various sleeve lengths....right now. I was there yesterday with a teenage cousin--and I wanted this shirt, I tell you. It was beautiful. put aside sweatshop concerns for a moment, perhaps. (I decided to think about it.) Those are my two cents for today.

11:44 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

PeaceBang is about fashion recommendations. She leaves the social justice issues to her readers' private discernment.

I'm sure I would shop at the Gap if they had my size. As it is, I dream of the day they actually start manufacturing garments for GAP FAT. (Remember that wonderful "Saturday Night Live" faux commercial for Gap Fat? I loved it!! I wanted to wear Gap Fat and do the jitterbug!

11:48 AM  
Blogger LisaBe said...

such excellent guidelines, as always. a few amendments, if i might be so bold as to offer them?
beware the double-breasted trench if you're not rail-thin. double-breasted lines draw the eye wider, making you look wider. if you're looking to look, well, narrower (or taller, or both), go for a single line of buttons, or no visible buttons at all. and please, no belts unless you're looking to add bulk at the waist. just look for something that fits well--nipped in at your narrowest point and flaring out from there hides all your flaws.

on pumps: the chunkiness of the heel and the shape of the toe matter. a pointy toe doesn't have to be uncomfortable if the shoe is properly sized and well made, and adds length to the leg, slimming you in the process. fabulous shoes make you walk like a confident, feminine woman. i used to be a comfortable-shoes addict until i bought my first pair of amazing shoes that got me wow compliments every time someone laid eyes on them. now i'm a fabulous-shoes addict. thank goodness for dsw and zappos! (p.s. thanks for reminding me about aerosoles--they have some great new styles! i'm loving the 1940s throwback pumps.)

p.p.s. remember: i'm not a minister, but i've just bought this dress and am not sure what shoes or accessories to wear with it. wise peacebang, can you provide some counsel? :)

6:17 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Okay Lisa, I'll let you slide through with free advice for non-clergy just this once, but you have to drop a big bill in the collection plate on Sunday wherever you are. Deal?

I would wear that dress with the latest 1940's stack heel peep-toes by Payless, in black suede. They will ROCK. Wear a wide polka-dot band in your hair, and keep earrings small or don't wear any. You don't want anything competing with that neckline.

Since the dress is heavy brocade, I think black stockings with ankle strap pumps would also be adorable, with big sparkly button earrings of some kind and a funny little hat or hair band. I think you need something on the head or a really whimsical up-do to offset the great vintage cut. Or throw a big silk flower in your hair, but it should be in a fun topknot, and you HAVE to have big lipstick, very 50's.

What you cannot do with this dress is treat it like a normal frock, because it's not. It's practically a costume, and you have to rock it with tons of attitude.

You really can't wear brocade in the summer but if you do, a white stacked heel pump would be okay, but not really right.

Another real option would be to pair it with big lace-up granny boots, a sweater vest (very fashionable right now, although I think they're hideous) and two buns on the top of your head.

You can't wear this to work. This is strictly a party or going out dress. It's damn cute!

7:23 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Lisa? Another thing: make sure this dress isn't too long on you. It should be cocktail length, not tea length. If it's too long it will make you look like a mess rather than an adorable little vintage babe.
I love it more and more as I look at it! You MUST carry it with the perfect little clutch bag and wear a big cocktail ring. But as far as other jewelry goes, t's all in the shoes, hair and make-up for this one.

7:29 PM  
Blogger LisaBe said...

deal. thanks. i'm a quaker, and we all minister equally, if that helps you feel better about giving me advice. and since no day is any holier to quakers than any other, i donated today, since i was thinking about it, rather than wait until tomorrow. hope that was all right.
since i can't wear peep toes, i did go searching for another suitable style in a similar vein. i found a few of which you might approve: is gorgeous in any color, though i'm not sure i can handle a three-inch heel, and and both seem to fit the vintage-look-in-suede bill you recommended. thanks!
my hair is plenty whimsical already--getting to chin-length and loosely curly all over--so hardly a need for added whimsy there ;) but i can do vintage makeup with red lips like nobody's business. got fair skin and blue eyes and i loves to pop the lips with a great red whenever i'm given license. :) i've got a little beaded vintage clutch to carry, and i tend to wear little jewelry other than my engagement and wedding rings. i will make sure the hemline falls at the cocktail length, though--great advice.
i have a small collection of vintage party dresses and a few suits and day dresses, most of which are easy to accessorize and wear, but the color of this one is what really tripped me up. i'm looking forward to wearing this to a couple of fall weddings and now feel ready :) thanks!

10:00 AM  

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