Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fashionable People at Hillside

Here are the promised photos of the fashionable men and women of Hillside! Note the eclectic mix of rock and roll and bohemian style featured, these aren't your parents' hippies.

Although the photo may not show it, she was in bare feet,
which seemed to be a style statement in itself. Something about the
earthy colours of her floral printed dress just makes this very 1970's for me.
These two men were so well dressed for the festival,
I wish I has asked where they were from.
Straight tapered jeans, long sleek dress shoes, and slicked
back hair that was a little John Travolta in Grease.
It just simply worked for me.

I loved that this 50's era dress just randomly showed up at
a heavily hippie dominated festival. From the curled
hair to the white shoe, 50's housewife was the siren call.

A Guide on How to Dress Your Boyfriend

When I worked at a unisex clothing boutique I often would get a lot of questions from women asking how to dress their boyfriend, or update his style. I think many of us have been in this situation, having a cute boyfriend who has no style. I'll admit myself that I've turned down men because of the way they dress, or tried to change it to no avail. Here's a step-by-step process to employ to turn your boyfriend into a style maven.

One. Buy him something you like. Anything at all, a belt, hat, jeans, shirt, anything! A gift is the best way to win a man over. He'll be so impressed by your good natured gift giving that he'll automatically be more open to anything else you suggest.

Two. Ask your friends, or even one of your friend's boyfriends, to compliment the new item you bought (although, often this comes without even asking). This cements the idea that what you bought suits him, and automatically makes him feel more confident. Now, he'll be putty in your hands.

Three. While flipping through magazines ask him which male celebs he thinks look cool, make a mental note of what they're wearing, and then next time you're out suggest similar clothes to him.

Four. After buying four of five articles of clothing, analyze the style you think you're man is developing and try to encourage it, whether it be prep, hipster, athletic, business casual, etc. If he has been into graphic tees, maybe suggest a nice blazer or vest for him to pair it with. Next time he's out, he'll remember your thoughts and possibly gravitate towards those items. Brand loyalty is also a sign to look out for. Is your man shopping a lot at the GAP? Try introducing him to Banana Republic and Club Monaco which are similar clothes but a little higher end. By keeping him in his comfort zone, he'll be more likely to wear the clothes you suggest to him.

Five. If all else fails, sit him down and play an episode of What Not to Wear. I promise, he will realize he is breaking rules and feel ashamed. Clinton and Stacy can really make a person feel guilty.

A very stylish friend of mine recently had a discussion with me about how to dress boyfriends and he pointed out this how-to style look book on GQ. It features Penn Badgley, one of the cast on the show Gossip Girl, and some other great photos, including how to get the look for less. It's a great gallery to share with your boyfriend, or even to get ideas on how to update your man's look. See the photo gallery here.

Just looking for some fresh new ideas on how to dress your boyfriend? Here's a couple:

Blazers, especially navy are coming back into style for fall.
Aviators and Ray Bans are hotter than ever.
Dress shoes worn with cuffed jeans and no socks are huge in Europe (and will hopefully be here soon too).
Watches, especially with a large face, can really add to your man's look. A watch is always a classic accessory.
Brands I love to see my boyfriend wear include Lacoste, Kenneth Cole, Buffalo by David Bilton, Banana Republic and Mexx. Other brands I recommend include Calvin Klein, Levi's, Club Monaco, and Fred Perry.

Hillside '09

For those of you who have never heard of Hillside in Guelph, you must go! It’s a wonderful event full of independent artists, craftsmen, and musical performers, all with an environmentally friendly twist. All food vendors served drinks and food in plastic cups and plates, which then were rewashed at several dishwashing stations and reused. Garbage was non-existent, for a large part so were shoes, but fashion had evolved into something much more organic and relaxed at this festival.

Flowing skirts, paisley and floral prints, braided hair and dreads were all very much alive, giving a throwback to the hippie 70’s fashion our parents once wore. I myself wore a tunic, tights and ballet flats, and was completely out of the style loop at this festival. Much more deconstructed pieces seemed to reign supreme here, even a few odd rock and roll homage’s were thrown in, like cuffed jeans, dress shoes worn with no socks, and motorcycle jackets.

The fashion seemed to me to be reminiscent of Woodstock, of Forest Gump (the scene at the Washington monument), and of John Travolta in the film Grease. The fashion invoked a feeling in me that was of days gone by, was anything but mundane. It left me feeling a little too pretentious in my outfit. For once, I didn’t quite fit in when it came to fashion and it was okay. I saw a lot of outfits and pieces I loved at the festival and really feel like I stepped out of my comfort zone of accepted fashion ideals. Outfits (and bare feet) that I would normally balk at I took time to reconsider. I think experiences like this are needed to create new ideas and fresh feelings in fashion and I’m grateful I was able to realize this. Photos from the event and a ‘Fashion at Hillside’ will be coming later today, so check back soon!