Fashion foodward

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Hot attire for outdoor dining at the Taste and beyond

1 Grace Lehto

8, student and birthday celebrator, Lansing, Mich.

Tell me about your outfit: “My grandma (Grandma Rose) got a dress for me for my birthday.”

Do you feel comfortable? (shyly) “Yeah.”

Pretty? “Yeah.”

How else do you feel? “Happy.”

And the pink backpack? “My grandma (Grandma Lehto) made it to hold my (American Girl) doll.”

The back story: It’s a family tradition. Ken and Kelly Lehto have taken each of their three daughters — Grace is the youngest — to Chicago for their 8th birthdays and a shopping trip to the American Girl store.

Why it works: A little girl in a sundress always rocks.

2 Joyce Tam

21, graduate student, Chicago

Opening statement: “I just prefer skirts in the summer. It’s a fun season for clothing. … When spring and summer roll around, my wardrobe gets a lot more comfortable.” (She sewed the skirt herself!)

Why it works: Cute flats are comfy. (Target, bought two years ago.) A denim vest is a nice finishing touch. (From a friend “digging through her closet; she said it didn’t fit anymore.”)

3 Duncan Hall

62, on a grand tour of the U.S. with his wife (Joan, 57) and mother (Fiona, 83), from Staindrop, County Durham, England

Your hat … : “The best part is it just folds up and you can put it in your pocket.”

Why it works: Jaunty, distinctive, packable, and it keeps the rain and sun off.

4 Ellis Cowart

15, Jones College Prep student, Chicago

Do you feel as if you look good? (smiling) “Yeah.”

What he’s wearing: A loose linen shirt (Banana Republic, bought by his mom for a trip to Egypt); a wood bead necklace (“a rosary I got at Navy Pier, but the cross fell off”).

Smart accessory: If sun gets intense, there’s a baseball cap clipped to his shorts with a carabiner.

Why it works: A button-down beats a T-shirt any time, and linen is a nice fashion touch.

5 Terry Thielen

61, mayor of Upper Brookville, N.Y.

Describe your traveling style: “This is just low-maintenance, throw-it-together.”

But there’s great color in the necklace, and the green sweater matches your watchband: “With gray hair, you need color. Jewel tones and white, not cream. This lime green is a favorite color of mine.”

It’s not really lime: Husband Jeff interjects, “chartreusey-olive.”

Why it works: Crisp black and white classics are slimming and offer good coverage (unlike capris, which cut off the leg and are unflattering). Colorful accessories give punch.

6 Dawn Robinson

28, recent M.A. grad from the University of Chicago

What were you thinking when you got dressed today? “Just dressing for the weather. It’s been kind of unpredictable. A hoodie, cotton tank, shorts and my sneakers.”

Her aunt Pamela Todd, visiting from Detroit, chimes in: “But they’re silver shoes, and they pull together your silver earrings and silver hat!”

Why it works: Aunt Pamela is right. Silver touches add polish. A lightweight cross-body bag leaves hands free. Layering.


not to wear:

High heels:

Are you kidding? Sore feet can wreck your good time.

Too-short shorts:

If your body from waist to knees is not your best asset, try longer shorts. Patch pockets draw the eye to the posterior — not always a good thing.

Heavy backpack: Don’t be burdened with a donkey load of stuff.

Taste tips:

  • BYO water, and you’ll have more cash for food.
  • An umbrella can keep the sun off.
  • Bring something to sit on; a large garbage bag will do.
  • Look in the mirror before leaving home.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen.

Some Fashion Crimes In The Simpson Courtroom

Poor Marcia Clark.

It’s bad enough that she’s prosecuting the most mediagenic murder trial of the century.

As the chief woman on the O.J. Simpson murder case, she has faced relentless scrutiny, not for her prosecutorial prowess, but for her rather, shall we say, questionable taste in fashion.

They talked about her poodle ‘do. They talked about her mole. They talked about her legs. Mr. Blackwell of Worst Dressed List fame skewered her. Even Judge Lance Ito commented on her short skirts.

In frustration, Clark went out and got a makeover.

Still, while I applaud her right to look as bad as any male attorney, I must say this: Even with a makeover, Marcia Clark needs making over.

On Monday, Clark apparently decided to impersonate a waiter, donning a white Nehru jacket and black pleated skirt. On Tuesday, the day the trial really began, Clark did a turn as an ’80s Dress for Success career woman with a prim and lacy bow-tied blouse and navy power suit. And her hair is, well, now a shorter poodle ‘do.

But turnabout is fair play. The boys didn’t fare so well on the fashion front, either.

Prosecutor Christopher Darden (clad in black pinstripes) began the trial by announcing that he had the “toughest job in town”-leading the opening statements. That may be true, but his task wasn’t made easier by his monotone delivery and the 5 o’clock shadow crawling over his face and head.

On the Dream Team side, Robert Shapiro was inappropriately flashy in a denim-blue shirt, brown suit and zingy diamond-patterned tie. The Juice looked haggard in a slate gray get-up that washed out his complexion.

For Johnnie Cochran Jr., getting rid of the gold-rimmed glasses and pinkie ring would help. A lot. And F. Lee Bailey’s brown suit appeared to be festooned with dandruff flakes.

From the neck up, Judge Ito was a fashion “don’t,” with his ’70s aviator frame glasses, wimpy beard and Only-the-Hair-Club-for-Men-knows-for-sure hairdo. From the neck down, Ito was a “do.”

Then again, he was wearing fashion-forward black.

The Case of the Missing Nose

On the February issue of Mademoiselle, Kate Moss peers out from the cover, minus a nose.

Just what happened to the former waif’s schnoz? Was she the victim, perhaps, of an overzealous airbrusher? Did Johnny Depp bite it off during a hotel rampage?

“It’s there,” says Elizabeth Crow, Mademoiselle editor-in-chief, who insists that no airbrushing was used in any of their photos. “If you cover up the shadow that her hair makes, you can see that her nose is perfectly well there.”

Wow blouses four shirt styles to buy this spring

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Simple shirt? Forget it. This season’s button-ups are bold, blinging and bound to get you noticed.

Ruffle up

Let busy frills sit against a simple denim canvas. We love the contrast of boyfriend jeans with ladylike accessories, such as a top handle bag and low-block pumps.

Granny chic

For a maximalist SS16 look mix and match contrasting prints on blouses and pencil skirts. Choose one base note to co-ordinate accessories with.


Tuck a patterned pussy-bow blouse into high-waisted flared jeans for a classic retro vibe. Accompany with a suede shoulder bag and platforms.

Pop a collar

Embellished collars are an easy way to translate the trend into workwear. Wear with wide-legged trousers, and let the collars peep out over crew-neck knits in the cold.

How to wear the challenging colour that is cream

Hard to believe I know, but there’s an omerta observed by fashion editors (well, the newspaper-we’re-too-busy-filing-copy-to-care ones at any rate) that you should never try too hard at the shows. Why? Because nothing looks more row 5, than rocking up, head to toe in the season’s latest trends. Architectural ruffles or this spring’s off the shoulder top? As if.  More like, which of my many, many navy sweaters will I be digging out today?

But change is afoot: cream, once associated with bad British teeth, bad Kim Kardashian or the sort of Russian limo dressing suggestive of a life of wall to wall gophers and a devil may care attitude to your dry-cleaning bill is out in force on the frow.

If I’m being truthful, it’s the decadence of wearing cream that makes it so very appealing: it’s a two finger salute to my three year old’s grubby hands.  I know that my Harris Wharf coat is constantly dicing with a chocolate smeared fate but it’s worth it for the ‘ta-dah’ factor that wearing cream – even on pale, pasty complexions bestows.

For yes, cream is a challenge:  when wearing the aforementioned coat, I do not actually take a seat on the tube, and for obvious reasons it never comes with me to the playground. It is for meetings, dinners and the odd fashion show. If all this sounds neurotic, it is mostly worth it. In my layered up cream ensemble, I feel snappy, fresh and effortless – no matter that I may have have rolled out of bed five minutes before hand. My favourite  roll neck in cream (rather than navy versions) elicits three times the number of compliments at the school gates.On a drab February morning, nothing zings as subtly without you resorting to an overload of print, embroidery or Anna Dello Russo excess. It makes a welcome alternative to draining black, ‘groutfits’ or other somber neutrals. It is also more forgiving, less stark than head to toe white. By all means layer it up with white though – in fact, that is exactly how Rachael Proud, creative director at Raey whose spring/ summer collection is peppered with cream agrees that it looks most modern and impactful.Ivory, white and what fashion folk like to call ‘linen’ (as in the shade rather than the fabric) looks particularly fresh with its nod to a minimal 90s, New York aesthetic when it is layered all together. Steph Stevens, a fashion stylist with flawless taste, believes it can look fresh and expensive especially when combining cashmere, wool and silks but counsels against chiffon and cotton.Try a crisp Victoriana blouse (we’re waiting for Alexa Chung’s M&S collaboration, out on the 10th April) worn under Mulberry’s Carrick Aran sweater or one of & daughter’s assortment of  ‘linen’ coloured sweaters. Shoulder robe with a white Crombie-style coat and team with mannish navy, grey or black trousers or Vetements-style cropped jeans. Should you happen to be in the eye line of a Paris fashion pap, you will stand out among a sea of black. Simply perfect your middle distance stare. Another favourite is a shearling coat from J&M Davidson, which is all I’ve worn for the past four winters. When wearing something this shaggy though, there are certain things to remember: round necks and cropped sleeves are the way to go if you don’t want to look engulfed. The rest of your outfit should ideally include trousers and flats. Do not even think about a miniskirt or a pair of thigh-high boots. You’ll look like a prostitute. Or worse still, a civilian.