You know Dear Abby? Well, I am now in full Dear Vanessa mode. I have a monthly column with 944 Magazine that answers men's and women's fashion questions each month. Continue reading to see what April brought 944 readers and feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any fashion questions of your own.
I just got a boyfriend blazer, but need tips on how and where I can wear it. Can I wear it to work? I am in an admin/marketing type of job.
— Celeste, Hillcrest
I love a blazer on a woman. The sexy masculinity of a boyfriend blazer works in numerous avenues of your life. Assuming your company is not a conservative arena, a boyfriend blazer will do nicely. Wear it as you would any other blazer by pairing it with slacks or a pencil skirt and a fitted top. You can also pair it with a lean shift dress for another stylish work-appropriate look, but be wary of wrap dresses (á la Diane Von Furstenberg). The stretchy fabric of this dress along with the swinging hem of the boyfriend blazer will look messy and unflattering to any figure.
If you want to wear a blazer for a night out on the town, throw it over any slim fitting cocktail attire, or wear it over a breezy top tucked into a mini skirt. Other great combos that can be topped off by your new piece include leather leggings, cigarette pants, sequined frocks and playful party dresses.
For casual wear, pair blazers with skinny jeans, chic shorts or cotton leggings and call it a day. As long as you skip billowy tunics and stick to trim tops like a plain tee or silk racer back tank, you can't go wrong with this '90s-inspired trend.
I am finally able to grow some sweet facial hair but need some advice on how to groom it. Is a beard too ridiculous? Is a mustache too hipster? What about the goatee? Is that completely out of style? Help! I have dark hair on my head and on my face. I am 6 feet tall and 190 pounds.
— Chad, Golden Hill
First things first: Is this “sweet facial hair” you speak of growing all over your face or in splotches? Is it thin and soft? If you have answered yes to either of those questions, any fur on your face is ruefully discouraged. If you can grow even half the glory of Tom Selleck, then let’s move forward.
First, I want you to grow a beard … a good quarter-inch. Be sure to continue shaving your neck, stopping your razor where your head starts or at your chin, whichever you feel looks more appropriate for your face structure. Once you have seen yourself with a beard, take a picture. At this point, I want you to shave in a goatee. This look tends to be a bit dated (even sleazy), but on the right man can be very sexy. Again, take a picture of yourself and keep the goatee for a week. Next, shave off the chin portion of the goatee to create a mustache and take another picture of yourself. Now, compare all the pictures … which do you like the most?
This exercise is a way to see what works best with your sense of style and face. Don’t dismiss any of the looks right away. Often times, when men grow any kind of “stylish” facial hair for the first time, they feel like they have a foreign object on their face. Prepare yourself for this awkwardness to avoid shaving off all your hard work. Once you get used to the feel of facial hair, you can accurately judge whether you like it or not.
Some styles that should NEVER be worn: chinstraps, muttonchops and grizzly, overly long anything. No 5-inch goatees. No Santa beards. No mustaches that travel all the way down to your chin. No. No. No. Also, avoid dyeing facial hair an unnatural color as it should always remain the same shade as your scalp.
Use these tips as a guide and enjoy your masculine ability to grow hearty facial hair!
Not everyone can afford to have a personal stylist in his or her life, but now every 944 reader can have access to one. Please send questions concerning fashion to email@example.com. Each month one men’s and one women’s question will be answered in Vanessa’s “Fashion Fix” column. For a wardrobe consultation with a personal stylist, visit www.vanessavaliente.com.