Customer Watch: Yet Another Styling Faux Pas (or, Long Sleeves, Part 2)

Especially these days, with spending noticeably dialed back and a corresponding interest in taking care of one’s possessions so that they are usable and attractive longer, I find it mind-boggling that the editorial stylists for some of the premier consumer fashion and celebrity-focused magazines continue to style clothing so that its natural lifespan is at risk.


I recently posted on my blog about the trend toward adding dangerously heavy accessories onto fragile embellished dresses. In this case, since beginning to collect my thoughts for my recent post on long sleeves, and continuing my perusal of the fall fashions in popular magazines, I was surprised to find a faux pas relating to the wearing of long sleeves.


The offender in this case is the October issue of In Style magazine, which features a fashion spread based on the premise that a majority of mothers with teenage daughters share their clothes. I contest neither the scenario nor the statistics. Lucky is the girl who can expand her wardrobe by raiding her mother’s closet!


However, I was surprised to see the styling of a shared Marc Jacobs wool sweater. While “Mom” in her photo wears the sweater over a pencil skirt and tops it with a belt, “Daughter” wears the sweater as a tunic over a chiffon miniskirt and bright tights, and with the sleeves pushed up above her elbow.


The look of pushed-up sleeves can be attractive and flattering, of course (see Long Sleeves, part 1). But wearing a sweater that way stretches out the sleeves. “Mom” probably can’t wear the sweater again in the style to her liking after “Daughter” wears it even once.


This issue was captured perfectly in the episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” where Larry David, visiting his dentist, was asked to pull up the sleeve of his sweater to receive an injection. David warned that pulling up the sleeve above his elbow would stretch it out of shape and cause the cuff to lose its elasticity, noting that there are “very few subjects I’m an expert on, and one of them is elastic.” Nevertheless, David finally relented and, of course, the sleeve was ruined.


Don’t ever ask your customer to push a sleeve up past the elbow to display a wide cuff or a grouping of bracelets. There is wisdom in comedy.

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