Making the menswear look look good on you

March 26, 1992|By Vida Roberts

It takes a woman with a strong sense of style to knock off a men's look. A touch too much and the look screams bookie. Not enough won't play. It takes practice, just like tying a Windsor knot. Here are some ways to go:

* No need to do the whole navy pinstripe drag, but if you do, soften the neckline with lots of gold chains, pearls or a fragile camisole. Wear the jacket alone, with a fresh gardenia on the lapel. That will wake them up. Keep legs pale and sheer with plenty of heel.

* Softer suits can gain an extra edge with the addition of a crisp white shirt. Show the cuffs and turn up the collar. Think about a thin trouser belt or run gold chains through the belt loops.

* Remember pants proportions. A good guide is the wider the pants, the higher the heel. A slim pant looks great with a harness loafer or soft oxford.

* As days warm up, consider replacing the suit jacket with a tailored vest.

* Ask the man in your life to teach you how to tie a tie. You can use this skill to knot ties or oblong silk scarves. Always leave the knot loose and slipped to avoid that up-tight look.

* Use a button cover at the wrist to simulate a cuff link.

* It's coming on to the season of flea markets and yard sales. Think about vintage men's furnishings. How about a fancy tie clip to keep a scarf in place? Ugly Father's Day ties and cuff links could be snazzy touches to dress up a shirtwaist. A mannish watch with a leather strap could be worth refurbishing.

* Thrift shops are festooned with dated men's leather belts. Middle-age spread, you know. Some saddle soap and brass polish can bring them around.

* Stores are showing tailored suits with short skirts. Think about buying coordinated trousers. We're heading for a long, lean year.

That's the bottom line.

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