A Crime Against Fashion

Isle of CapriThose aren’t my words…they are Tim Gunn’s, and I love Tim Gunn. “A crime against fashion,”  is how he described Capri pants, but I think he was referring to the modern, and usually unflattering, variants of the original. 

The first cropped trousers were introduced by Prussian designer Sonja DeLennart in 1948.  The original Capris were a casual trouser-like pant with a tapered leg that ended just above the ankle and featured a vertical slit at the bottom edge.  Sonja DeLennart 1949They were named after the Isle of Capri (above) on Italy’s coast which was just emerging as a European tourist destination. Ernest Hemingway and his first wife went there with their friends F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Their crowd of friends followed, and then the movie stars began to come.

Grace Kelly was one of the first movie stars to wear them there. AudreySummerCapri Audrey Hepburn adopted them and made them her signature style in the 1950’s.  

They had become quite popular, but hadn’t been shown on television until the early 1960’s when Mary Tyler Moore caused both a fashion sensation, and a bit of a scandal, by wearing them on her program for a sexy dance number. Until then, women had always been shown wearing dresses, but Mary, playing housewife Laura Petrie, wanted to show a more  realistic view of  women, real housewives, who had adopted this latest style.    Mary Tyler Moore Capris                                     

Back to Tim Gunn…his objection to Capri pants is that most women want to look as long and lean as possible, and current capri styles cut us off at the widest part of the calf making us look shorter, and not flattering our legs in the least!  He points out that to make matters worse, some have cargo pockets on the outer thigh which adds even more visual width. Cuffs and pleats should be avoided since cuffs make your legs look shorter and pleats make your tummy look poochy, and who needs that? Never leave the house These are a “never-leave-the-house-looking-like-this” pair of cropped pants. Well, maybe you could change into these at the gym for your work-out, but change out of them before going back out in public!

 If you choose to wear capri pants, the kindest cut is above the fullest part of the calf, or just below it, where it begins to taper down to the ankle. Just above the ankle, like the originals, is very retro-chic and also very flattering if your legs aren’t what they once were (age and gravity being what they are).  Be mindful of the fabric, be sure it has some body and stretch to it. If you like designs, keep prints small so the scale of it doesn’t overwhelm you. I know Audrey Hepburn popularized ballet-flats with her capris, but I still prefer a pointy-toed flat with capris. Better yet, I love an espadrille with a bit (or a lot) of height to it. Generally speaking, the best choice for cut and length is the one that shows off whatever part of your legs you want to highlight. If you find yourself smiling when you look in the mirror, I’d say that you’re good to go!

XO Donna


The “eyes” have it!

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others.”  Audrey Hepburn

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Anonymous

In your eyes…the light, the heat.”  Peter Gabriel

The eyes are the window to the soul.”  Anonymous

What I actually want to talk about is your eyebrows. They can ‘make or break’ your whole look!  Foundation, check. Blush, check. Eyeshadow, check.  Mascara, check. And a swipe of lipgloss, or lipstick, to finish it all off.

BUT you forgot your eyebrows! That’s like a fine painting without a frame on it. Yes, seriously! I guess I will have to scare you into seeing how important this is:

Eyebrowsmatter

The most common reason eyebrows are thin at our age is over-zealous “plucking” in our youth. Tweezing too much can result in damage to the follicle, and a lack of regrowth. (Teach your daughters, and grand-daughters, to have their brows done professionally, or have a pro teach them how, so they can do it well for the rest of their lives). As for us, now…since eyebrows do thin with age, we need solutions, and here are a few.

If your brows are thin you can buy a good brow-brush, and a brow powder in a shade very close to your hair color, and apply it in a flattering shape. (See illustration).Eyebrow Proportion If you have trouble, you can learn how online, or ask your hair-stylist, or the esthetician, at your salon to teach you. They should be glad to! 

For those of us with almost no brows at the outer corners, (see below, right) there is also the option of using a topically applied product in order to try to grow back some of our brows. I had a dermatologist tell me that “Latisse,” which is used for eyelashes, has had sucess at growing brows. It isThin brows available by prescription. You can order  “Brow Relonge” online for $80.00. It’s clinically tested, has a money-back guarantee, and a 96% customer satisfaction rating on the site I saw. “Revitabrow” is also available online, costs $110.00, but isn’t clinically-tested and had an 88% customer-satisfaction rating.  According to the Livestrong.org site, topical minoxidil (Rogaine) may improve thinning eyebrows. It effectively stimulates hair regrowth in about 84% of users (according to the ISHRS). Applying a 5% solution to the eyebrow area twice daily may promote eyebrow growth within 12 weeks.

For years now, I have been using brow powder and a brush to shape and fill in my brows…but in 4-5 months I hope to be seeing our esthetician, Jessica, for brow tinting and shaping, along with my lash tinting!  I love that she uses natural, vegetable tints that come in a variety of colors for lashes and brows. (Having the lower lashes tinted makes them stand out beautifully, without risk of smearing or smudging under your eyes…which just isn’t sexy at all!)

 “Here’s looking at you, kid!”

XO Donna

**Jessica Timko works at Bella Salon & Spa, (512) 474-5999