Fashion Friday: Town Gowns and Skinny Jeans

Town gowns and skinny jeans — now THAT’S an interesting combination!

It’s Friday again and you know what that means.  I’ve long been a huge fan of Big Mama‘s Fashion Friday posts, so when she added a Mr. Linky-doo, I knew I had to join in. I am in no way a fashion expert, but I do have opinions. And I’m sure you do too, so please chime in with your 2 cents in the comments.

I’m going to hit a couple of topics today because I’ve had so many questions lately.  I hope you’ll keep ’em coming!

Jenn asks: What is your personal opinion of the town gowns Old Navy is advertising?


Photos by Old Navy

I say: Um.  Mrs. Roper, anyone?

I actually hadn’t seen these until last night when I was watching American Idol, and the ad came up.  First of all, the ad is offensive and I am irritated on that basis alone.  Second of all, the dresses?  Eh.  The maxi dress trend, as a whole, borders on housecoat.  It’s a look only a select few can pull off, and if that’s you, more power to ya!  But I have a feeling I’m going to be seeing a whole lotta them on people who should NOT be wearing them.

The biggest problem I see with Old Navy’s “town gown” — aside from the overall unflattering nature of the silhouette — is that it looks cheap.  It is definitely not a good look for me, or for most anyone over the age of 30.

Now, if you’re young and hip and tall and thin and you want to give the maxi dress a whirl, go for something of quality.  Like this.


Photo by Nordstrom

I’m still not entirely sure where one would wear a floor-length dress such as this, besides out to a trendy restaurant; it’s certainly not practical for running around town chasing kids and unloading groceries (as town gown would suggest).  But if you want to partake in the trend, I’d suggest looking somewhere other than Old Navy.  (And I am generally a fan of Old Navy — just not this time.)

Next, Courtney says: You totally have to address the skinny jeans fad at some point.

I say: Skinny jeans fall into the same category as the town gown / maxi dress.  It’s a look only about 5% of the population can pull off well — and once again, it’s the 5% that is tall and willowy and YOUNG.  I’m not a huge fan of the look, even on people that wear them well.  But it’s treading on thin ice if you don’t have the figure of a super model.

If you like the look of the skinny jean but you don’t think you can quite pull it off, consider the straight jean.

I found this in my inbox a few weeks ago.  It’s from Banana Republic:

Straight Jean most flattering silhouette?

I have a few pair of straight jeans, and it’s a way to get the modern look of the skinny jean without highlighting every lump and bump in your post-child-bearing body.  Oh wait.  Maybe that’s just me.

While I like the straight jean quite well tucked into boots and also with flats, I still feel like I, personally, look better in a jean with a slight boot cut when I wear high heels.  That’s because I tend to be a bit, er, top heavy — that and I have hips.  So having a slight flare in the pant leg helps balance me out.

See, here’s the thing about pants.  It’s all about proportion.  It really depends on YOU — your body shape and type.  Stacy and Clinton are famous for telling their students that a pant should fit well at the hip and then go straight down from there — almost to the floor.  (Never underestimate the importance of the right pant length.)  That’s the ideal fit.  Now, for some, that may be a straight jean.  For some, it may be a boot cut.  For some, it may be a wide leg pant.  It all depends on your body.  And that is why the skinny jean only works for someone with the shape of a toothpick.

What do YOU say about town gowns and the skinny jean? Fashion do or fashion don’t?