Oscar Party Fashion Advice – Fashion School Tips on What to Wear to an Oscar Party

How fabulous that you’ve been invited to an Oscar party! Okay, so it might not be an A-List soiree where you share shrimp skewers with Leonardo DiCaprio or Britney Spears, but it’s a fun excuse to get all dressed up, nonetheless. What do you wear, though, if you don’t have a celebrity stylist in your entourage? Fortunately, you’ve got some top fashion school students in your corner with some great ideas for Oscar party fashions.

Dust off the formal wear. If you’ve held on to that bridesmaid or prom dress, now is the time to take it out of the closet. Don’t worry if you find it tacky. Has that ever stopped some of today’s starlets? The thrift shop is a good place to start as well. One way to give your dress a facelift (well, this is Hollywood) is by adding sequins or beading. If you don’t want to bother with sewing them on, you’ll find sequined appliqu├ęs at the fabric store that you can just glue on the dress. Stores also carry rhinestones that have been already laid out in a decorative design, and you just iron them on as is.

Wrap yourself in mink. While you’re at the fabric store, grab a yard of faux fur to make your own mink stole. It will up your elegance factor, and hide any unwanted puffy sleeves. Just cut the fur into a long trapezoid shape. (That means it would look like a long upside down boat.) There’s no need to sew the edges, but be sure to remove the loose hairs from where you’ve cut. A quick vacuum job will do the trick.

Remember the accessories. One of the rules of Oscar fashion design is that the little details matter. For old-fashioned Hollywood glamour, don a pair of formal satin gloves. Carry a glittering clutch, preferably with a folded up acceptance speech peeking out. And don’t forget the sunglasses to escape the glare of flashing cameras.

Bling it on. On Oscar night, the stars shine with jewelry, and so must you. You don’t need to wear a lot, just a few pieces; the bigger and danglier the better. If you don’t have any good costume jewelry of your own, here’s a fun do-it-yourself idea to make a truly showstopping ring. Go to the hardware store and buy a clear plastic faucet handle. This is the type of faucet handle that looks like a humongous faceted diamond. The handle comes with a long screw that sits in an opening at the top. Tie the end of a 10″ piece of wire around the head of the screw, and place the screw back in the opening, along with the rest of the wire. Apply a dab of hot glue to where the screw goes in the opening so it stays secure. Then loop the remainder of the wire around your ring finger. Now you’ve got a piece of jewelry that would make Elizabeth Taylor envious.

Go as the paparazzi. If you don’t want to fuss with a dress, go high concept by dressing as paparazzi. That way, you can wear anything you want, as long as you have a camera at all times. And since paparazzi are always sneaking behind bushes for the perfect shot, take a small potted plant with you to hide behind throughout the party.

Dress like a nominated star. Make a big entrance by going as an Oscar nominee, your favorite star, or a character from a movie. (Hint: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is an easy choice.) If you’re going with friends, you can all dress as the cast of a nominated film.

Go as the red carpet. Here’s an idea that only a fashion college costume design major would dream up: dress as the red carpet. To create the look, start with a red turtleneck or long sleeve t-shirt and red sweatpants. Sew or safety pin the back of the shirt and pants to a rectangular piece of red felt that is as tall as you, and as wide as your arm span. Be sure to sew the sleeves so your arms will be outstretched, holding up the red carpet on both sides. Red mittens, red shoes, and a red cap will complete the look.

Oscar parties are always a lot of fun because we get to play along with the stars. And with these ideas for what to wear, the winner of Best Dressed will be you!

Three Good Reasons NOT to Follow Fashion Advice

You can’t always trust fashion advice, so be careful when considering the source. Here’s why:

1) You think “It looks good on the mannequin. I’ll buy it!”

But, just because it looks good on the mannequin doesn’t mean it’s a winner for you. The retailers are enticing you to buy, by dressing up the mannequin, BUT you probably don’t look like that mannequin! Not many of us do. We have to take into account our own body type, coloring, face shape, facial features skin and hair qualities.

2) “My friend thinks it looks good on me.”

If she can see beyond her own style, coloring and body type, she may be right. Otherwise she could just be imposing her tastes and preferences onto you. Or maybe even unconsciously cloning you into a copy of herself. This is a hard one because, if you can’t see it for yourself, you’ll probably be tempted to follow her blindly. After all, she always looks great, doesn’t she? But you need an objective eye for this. If your own eyes aren’t objective and you don’t know for sure if your friend’s eyes are either, you might want to consider working with a professional who’s been trained to see objectively.

3)It’s in the fashion magazines.” Fashion magazines have two big limitations. They are:

a) Too generic. They can’t possibly cover all of the variables that make up your unique style or look. General guidelines can be somewhat helpful, but they don’t go far enough. Compare that to understanding exactly why something looks great on you, or not.

b) Too limited. They can only show what’s going to be available for that season which has been dictated by the designers. The designers don’t’ know YOU. They’re just playing out their own fantasies and preferences that don’t have anything to do with you. Well, unless you happen to get lucky on occasion!

Sometimes, it all feels too complicated. You may be tempted to just play it safe. So you stick with basics. You don’t know how to accessorize, so you don’t. But playing it safe often translates into boring.

On the other hand, you may throw caution to the winds and buy your clothes on the whim of the moment. You choose a passing fad, a trend that may be on its way out, a cute little something that doesn’t go with anything else in your closet. But, when you do that, too often you end up with a mishmash in your closet and never know what to wear.

Either way you never feel great in your clothes, and that’s a problem!

What to do?

1) Take the time to understand your style, your personal coloring, and your body type.

2) Learn what works best on you, and don’t buy anything unless you know it’s right.

3) If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of taking on that task and don’t feel you can do it successfully, consider getting professional help. Advice from an expert can keep you on the right track, stop you from making mistakes, and save you money in the long run.

Fashion Advice For Women Abounds in Books and Magazines – Available Free at a Public Library

A trip to the public library may not be our first thought when we want fashion advice for women. Here are some good reasons why the library is a fabulous place to research the latest fashion trends.

The more books about fashion you consult, the more likely you are to realize that your unique style starts with you not what designers trumpet.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, and First Lady Nancy Reagan are known as classy dressers and fashion icons. Yet, as we look at their wardrobe choices over the decades, we see that they updated their fashion style – but did not radically change it.

Body type and face shape will not change much with age. Books with fashion advice for women emphasize creating your look, rather than following the crowd.

Style is about more than wearing the latest fashion. Biographies of fashion icons and designers teach us that glamour and beauty really are an inside job.

Reading about fashion icons introduces us to their lifestyle philosophies. These women not only have fashion style, they have class. Shelly Branch and Sue Callaway report that First Lady Jackie Kennedy used her charm persuasively for donations to refurbish the White House with appropriate antiques. She and second husband Aristotle Onassis famously helped her cousins make livable a dangerously run-down Gray Gardens. She dressed down when she became a book editor, consciously choosing not to flaunt her wealth as she assumed a new role in life. Branch and Callaway share these memorable anecdotes in their entertaining book of much more than fashion advice, What Would Jackie Do?.

The best fashion photography is not available on the Internet.

Absorbing the best fashion photography can be inspiring, unleashing your creativity, as well as offer lessons in fashion cycles. Few of us can afford to purchase these expensive tomes. Take one home and bathe in the visual luxury. By the way, you can find a lot of great books with full-colored photos about home decorating and gardening at your library.

Teach yourself to get creative refurbishing your wardrobe.

Do-it-yourself fashion and craft books abound. The latest fashion may literally be at your fingertips – not at the mall. Get ideas for transforming out-of-style garments into fresh new looks. Crochet or knit yourself a winter muffler and cap. Be more ambitious and tackle a sweater that would cost hundreds of dollars in a specialty store. Add ribbon and buttons to an inexpensive blouse to give it a handmade look. Beading and jewelry-making remain an effective way to create unique accessories. You can even transform old shoes with a glue gun and trim.

Find fashion advice books and magazine articles you cannot get any other way.

Your library will, most likely, be able to order a book that’s not in its collection through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). If you cannot find what you want in the catalog, ask a reference librarian for help.

Articles about the latest fashion and expressing ourselves creatively through style turn up in unusual places. Psychology Today had some articles about fashion and personality in 2008. You can find and read these articles for free on two popular databases that index Psychology Today – EBSCO and ProQuest. A database is an index of articles that have appeared in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and large-circulation newsletters. The bible of the fashion industry, W for Women’s Wear Daily, may be available if you want to keep up with insider industry trends.

Save money.

Fashion and style magazines and books cost a small fortune. We can glut ourselves on as many as we want at the library, instead of toting home just one guilty pleasure from the magazine rack or bookstore. And think of the money we save by spending a few hours at the library instead of at the mall to scout out the latest fashions. Here are some specific reading suggestions.

In conclusion, the next time you’ve simply got to learn about the latest fashion advice for women, skip shopping and prowl the library. Magazines are designed to persuade us to buy. Fashion books, including fashion advice, basic wardrobe planning, fashion photo collections, and biographies of designers and fashion icons, teach us that the more fashion changes, the more unique, personal fashion style remains the same.