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FASHION POLICE

Dress Like Success for a Class Reunion

June 01, 2001|Jeannine Stein

Dear Fashion Police: This summer I will be attending my 20-year class reunion, which takes place in a northern state. It will be held in the evening at a local hotel. I'm wondering what would be appropriate dress, since a dress code was not listed on the invitation. I'm considering wearing a dressy navy blue and white jumpsuit with a light yellow jacket. Would a black dress or a dress meant for a summer wedding be more appropriate? Any help would be appreciated.

--REUNION BOUND

Dear Bound: Help? No problem. Take the jumpsuit and the jacket, place them on a hanger, and leave them in your closet. Don't even think about taking them to the reunion unless you want to look hopelessly dated. In fact, let's take a minute to review why most people attend their reunions:

1. They want everyone to know how successful they are.

2. They want everyone to know how great they look.

3. They want to see that the football captain/head cheerleader/class president have become pathetic losers.

Let's be honest--no one goes to reunions to catch up with old friends. If you wanted to catch up, you'd have done that by now. So let's focus on No. 2.

Looking great doesn't mean breaking the bank buying some designer label or super-trendy outfit. There are plenty of discount stores, department store sales and resale boutiques offering great looks at bargain prices--or you may already have something in your closet. Choose a current style that suits you. If you're not a minimalist Armani-type person, don't wear that look. You want to project an air of self-confidence and sophistication, but you don't want to seem like you're trying too hard. Everyone will pick up on that aura of desperation.

Although there was no dress code on the invitation, we'll guess this is a sport coat/cocktail dress/dressy pantsuit kind of event. The trusty Little Black Dress is always welcome at such occasions, but if that's not your style, there are alternatives.

Looks this summer are body-conscious, but don't panic, we're not talking miniskirts and tube tops. Think sleek--a knee-length or long slipdress with a matching short jacket and sandals, for instance. Or luminous silk wide or slim-leg pants with a coordinating cropped jacket and shell underneath (low-heel sandals or flats work best with this look). Instead of a little black dress, you can opt for a little colorful dress, in linen or silk, enhanced with embroidery or light beading and accessorized with a chiffon scarf and heeled sandals.

If you're opting for sleeveless or short sleeves, bring some kind of a wrap. You may need it for outdoors, and hotels are notorious for cranking up the air conditioning.

*

Dear Fashion Police: Why in ad campaigns and other media are men shown wearing dress shoes or loafers without socks? This "Miami Vice" look seems to have been around even before this current resurgence of the '80s. I don't know how other men can put up with their feet sweating profusely. So what is the deal with the sockless look?

--NO BARE FEET

Dear No: Duuuuuuuuuude! Who has time for socks? They just slow you down! Socks are for wimps!

That's not what we really think, of course. We were just trying to channel the thoughts of some of those sockless gentlemen. Frankly, we haven't seen many real men with the no-sock look, except for the proprietor of our neighborhood Italian restaurant, but he seems to be able to get away with it.

So we'll have to ask you men out there who are putting bare feet directly into your shoes: Why? What about the sweat factor? Are you saving a lot of money by not buying socks? Please hurry with your answers. We'll be up all night until we get answers.

*

Write to Fashion Police, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to socalliving@latimes.com.

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