It’s the question that’s vexed us all summer (and every summer). Now that we’re FOF, should we wear shorts? Or are thigh-revealing garments better left to twenty-somethings? Our FOF style gurus give us the long and short of it.
FOF Sandra Soich: “On my last trip to NYC, I saw lots of young girls wearing short shorts with tasteful tees, thick belts, light scarves and perfect ballet flats. How adorable! If you’re FOF, swap in a wonderfully-safe bermuda short and a thin belt instead of a thick one. The bermuda, after all, is about the same length as a skirt. If you can wear skirts, you can wear shorts.”
FOF Donna Perone: “This summer, I’m loving two short alternatives: a beautiful print skirt, shortened to just above the knee and cropped pants. They can both be casual, worn with flats, or dressed up with a high-heel strappy sandal. But, let’s not rule out shorts entirely — a beautiful knee-length Italian denim short (with no holes or fading, please!) or simple knee-length cotton or linen shorts would work too.”
Donna Perone is the founder of Living Fit with Style, a New York-based personal training and styling company.
FOF Lovey Dash: “Like Peter Pan, I thought I’d never ever grow up. But, shorts gave me a reality check this year. Regardless of how gorgeous your legs look, short shorts should not leave the house when you’re FOF. I fell in love with a pair of cotton shorts from Billy Blues collection. They come in lots of colors, flatten your tummy, and the flare is not too wide. I wear them with ballet slippers but, they would also look good with thongs or a cute sneaker.”
Lovey Dash is a Beverly Hills-based stylist. She was formerly in VIP sales for Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive.
FOF Terry Gibralter: “FOFs can definitely pull off shorts! We’re not talking short shorts or hot pants here, but a nice fitting tailored short can be worn at just about any age. The key is choosing a pair that works with your body type — the right length, the right fabric and also what you pair with them is important. That said, I still feel the best option for hot weather is a lightweight flowy skirt— there’s nothing cooler than that!”
FOF Susan Grant: “I’m definitely of the opinion that short shorts should be left to young, toned women. For FOFs, a loose, lightweight cotton dress or separates care more comfortable in hot weather than binding shorts. Ann DeMeulemeester makes loose, edgy tops, skirts and dresses which are easy to accessorize. Issey Miyake makes cotton knits that are comfortable and hand washable. For full figured women I always recommend pieces by Eskandar which create a very simple, chic, flattering line.”
Susan Grant is merchandise manager for Muse, a full-service jewelry showroom.
FOF Susan Hersh: “There is no reason for women to forgo wearing shorts. They are a staple for many sports such as hiking, golf and trekking. There are also ‘dressy-casual’ options. I like the Vince Silk-Contrast shorts that hit mid-thigh.”
It’s not easy wearing green.
Green is a color that many women struggle with, according to FOF Jill Kirsh, “Hollywood’s guru of hue.” “It’s not in most people’s color comfort zone,” says Jill. “If you’re wearing the wrong green it can really age you, sallow your skin and make you look sick.
Jill believes “everyone can wear every color. It just depends on finding the right hue.” Here, she uses her fool-proof system to help you find the most flattering shade of green.
First, decide which of four hair color categories you fall into: golden browns/redhead, deep brunette, ash blondes/grey or warm blondes. Then, read below to discover Jill’s recommended shade of green for you.
“Look at how olive brings out the warmth of FOF actress Catherine Keener’s hair and evens out her skin tone,” says Jill. “The wrong shade of green, such as a mint green would look like hospital scrubs on Catherine. It would gray her skin and make her hair look brassy.”
“Emerald green is just right for a deep brunette like FOF Oprah Winfrey,” says Jill. “True, clear colors such as emerald against her dark hair make her features pop. The wrong green for a deep brunette such as Kelly green would yellow her skin and fragment her features.”
“Mint green is fabulous choice for someone with ash blonde or gray hair,” says Jill. “It works with FOF actress Helen Mirren’s cool, silver hair. Everything is in sync and vibrant. On the other hand, olive would wash her out, give her an unhealthy glow and give her hair a greenish tint.”
“Kelly green can make a warm blonde look vibrant, fresh and younger. It brings out FOF Kim’s best features. Mint green would make her hair look brassy.”
Jill Kirsh sells her color system through Soft Surroundings including her ultimate makeup kit, lip kits, a patented swatch book and an on-the-go mini compact. For more information, visit Jill’s page at Soft Surroundings.
“To achieve a masculine-inspired evening look today, I’d wear the jacket with as little underneath as possible (a black strapless bustier from Wolford or Agent Provocateur are good choices.) Stella McCartney and Brooks Brothers make great women’s tuxedos that blend satin and cotton. I’d add a fabulous, kick-ass, take-no-prisoners heel by Manolo Blahnik, the female version of a classic men’s patent leather shoe: pointed, closed-toed and shiny.”
Our style expert, Linda Cohen, is an FOF fitness fanatic. A runner who practices yoga and weight training, Linda has sweat through more tanks and track pants than she’d like to admit. Here, she reveals the problem-solving workout wear that stands the test of time–and treadmill.
Problem: I need a yoga pant that won’t highlight my lumps and bumps during downward dog.
Solution: The Groove Pant from Lululemon, $98. “My tried-and-true yoga pant. The fabric never stretches and always holds you in even if you’ve gained a little holiday weight. You can wear them all day and feel dressed and not sloppy.”
Problem: My fitted t-shirts are hugging my belly fat.
Solution: “Underarmour’s Shortsleeve t-shirts ($24.99) have a flattering, looser fit that won’t cling to rolls or bulges. Plus, it keeps it’s shape after many washes and the patented material prevents odor.”
Problem: I need a jacket that zips over my sweaty workout wear so I look pulled together when I run to Starbucks.
Solution: “Lululemon’s Stride Jacket is sophisticated, cool and, perhaps most importantly, long enough to cover your butt. I wear mine with a t-shirt and jeans when I travel. The black stretch fabric never fades.”
Problem: I need workout pants that are comfortable, but aren’t ratty college sweatpants.
Solution: “Nike has designed great fits for three different body types.The BE BOLD pant ($60) has a slim cut and a low rise if you’re ready to flaunt that toned bod. The BE STRONG pant ($60) is relaxed to the knee to balance out your hips and the mid-rise helps shape your butt and prevent ‘muffin top.’ The BE TRUE pant ($60) has a looser fit but is still flattering and slimming–never sloppy.”
Problem: I want to run with abandon, but my flapping underarms make me want to run and hide.
Solution: “The Athleta Long Sleeve Wickit Workit T ($44) keeps your arms covered and cool with breathable, wicking fabric in five pretty colors.”
Problem: I need workout clothes that hold up to wear and wash but don’t cost a fortune.
Solution: “Workout clothes do take a beating, so there is value in spending a bit more on items that will last. Gap Body has a wonderful line at a fair price–the quality is good and the fabric doesn’t fade. I’ve also bought the Champion products at Target which are lighter weight and fit well. Pants are just $19.99 and they have plus sizes up to 3X. My one suggestion: Wash them in cold water or they will fade. Finally, the accessories at Old Navy are bright fun and cheap. Love this Crossbody workout bag for $12.50!”
Problem: I need need body-shaping sneakers that don’t look like orthopedic old-lady shoes.
Solution: “I just started wearing Reebok’s Easy Tone ($79.98) sneakers to the gym in October, and I feel a difference. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and they’re helping me tone my thighs, calves and butt. It is like having twice the workout. I recommend trying them on in the store because they seem to run a bit small.”
We’d love to get your recommendations. What’s your tried-and-true workout gear?
Rub-a-dub-dub…Here are three bathrobes that won’t make you look like a schlub! FOF style experts Linda Cohen and Gail Garramone share comfy coverings for every FOF:
For the cuddle-bunny FOF:
In your life, comfort comes first, but style is a close second.
Left: Josie ‘Dream’ Robe from Nordstrom, $78. “This one is a favorite,” says Linda. “I love the soft faux shearling texture of the collar and cuffs and the cozy feeling of a menswear-styled, belted robe.”
Right: Bellissima Robe from Soft Surroundings, $79.95. “This robe is a work of art,” says Gail. “It’s both elegant and comfortable.”
Bottom: Ugg Cable Knit Slippers from Garnett Hill, $100. “Ugg slippers are my favorite,” says Gail. “Warm fur on cold feet is a heavenly combo. Because they have rubber soles, I would even wear them outside.”
For the glam, not-gram, FOF:
You’re a Hollywood bombshell meets bath-belle.
Top left: Oscar de la Renta ‘Such a Flirt’ Robe from Nordstrom, $74. “This is very Hollywood diva,” says Linda. “The ruffle detailing brings home something dressy enough to wear out at night.”
Top right: Mary Green Sleeping Silk Eye Mask from Linda’s Online, $15. “The ultimate glam get-away-from-it all,” says Gail. “Shut your eyes in style!”
Bottom left: AE Sequin Ballet Flat from American Eagle Outfitters, $29.50. “You could wear these fur-lined flats with your robe, or pull on jeans and head to the store. No one needs to know they’re slippers.”
Bottom right: Silk Velvet Robe from Soft Surroundings, $148.95. “It’s a decadent dream,” says Gail. “You can channel Ava Gardner.”
For the fashionista FOF:
You want something stylish enough to wear out, but so comfy you won’t leave the house.
Top left: Ruffle Trim Robe from Garnett Hill, $198. “This looks like something a prima ballerina would wear in her dressing room before the show,” says Linda.
Top right: Bedhead Circa 1960’s White Cotton Kimono Robe from Sleepyheads.com, $128. “The print on this one reminds me of wallpaper I had in high school!” says Linda.
Bottom left: Burberry Check Print Robe from Nordstrom, $175. “Comfortable and classic. You’ll wear this for 50 more years.”
Bottom right: Cashmere Slippers from White + Warren, $160. “Cashmere slippers are a 10 on a scale of deliciousness,” says Gail. “They’re like wafting on wisps of clouds.”
For the FOF purist:
You need a robe where form and function go hand-in-hand.
Top left: St. Tropez Signature Spa Robe, from Luxor Linens, $126.”Spa robes are perfect for post-shower drying off or pre-bed cuddling up and they actually get softer each time you wash them,” says Gail.
Top right: Tattersall Flannel Robe from Brooks Brothers, $95. “Brooks Brothers’ flannel robes are super warm and soft but also very light and thin so they won’t make you look bulky,” says Linda.
Bottom: Charter Club Slippers, Velour Scuff from Macy’s, $15.98. “Velour is like a less expensive cousin to cashmere…classic, comfy and soft,” says Linda.
Gail Garramone is a veteran V.P. of Liz Claiborne Inc. where she traveled around the country with Tim Gunn producing fashion workshops.
Linda Cohen is head buyer for the FOF shop, has her own fashion consulting, merchandising and closet organizing business and owned a New York clothing store for 27 years.