Star advice

No baggy jeans for celebrities

Fairfield Daily Republic ©

From the heart of movie deals and crash diets, Hollywood is spawning a new breed of future actors and actresses right before our eyes.

It's a generation of Hollybabes, born to actresses who have made headlines one way or another, and has become the nouveau fad of the 21st century.

They include Julia Roberts, Geena Davis, Brooke Shields, Mariska Hargitay, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Garner, Lucy Lawless, Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, Liv Tyler, Tori Spelling and Maggie Gyllenhaal, just to name a few. And of course, Angelina Jolie, who is currently introducing the simplicities of having a baby while adopting more from other countries. Yes, even Madonna has followed suit.

What does this has to do with style? Everything. As consumers of gossip and trends, we tend to look at celebrities for the latest styles in fashion.

We did it during the '80s with Madonna's lace and layered look followed by the hip-hop culture of P Diddy mixed with the belly-button phase inspired by Britney Spears.

And with this latest baby boom in Hollywood, women are taking cues from celebrities on what to wear.

"There certainly seems to be escalated numbers in terms of woman having babies," said Harriette Cole, life coach, author and nationally syndicated advice columnist who also gives fashion tips for women.
Harriette formally headed the fashion department for Essence Magazine and worked with the likes of Queen Latifah, Angela Bassett, Tyra Banks and Halle Barry. She has a clear understanding of how style identifies a person and has targeted pregnant women and recent moms for providing style advice.

"Women who are at home wonder how celebrities pull it together and they look for clues from these celebrity moms," she said.

The style for women who recently had a baby, she said, is casual, nothing fancy unless you're going out to a formal affair. And please, no baggy jeans.

"Mom jeans need to be outlawed," she said. "She's not paying close attention to herself with her loose jeans."

Instead, Harriette suggests jeans that fit with a little bit of stretch, the kind Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler and Angelina Jolie would wear.

"Angelina looked gorgeous pre-, during and after her pregnancy. You see her wearing a tunic with a defined line under the bustline that falls loosely over jeans," she said. "The look is hip and relaxed and that is what we want to get across."

The fitted jeans will make you look pulled together and contemporary, she said, and a looser top will help camouflage any bumps while showcasing your assets.

As for a formal affair, many celebs are wearing dresses with an empire waist, or a seam right below the bustline, and a low square neck line. This way, the dress is creating a silhouette while showcasing the bustline in a positive way, such as Britney Spears at the American Music Awards weeks after giving birth to her second child.

Harriette warns women not to wear anything form-fitting from the bustline to the thigh, such as leggings or any spandex kind of dress.

"I don't recommend it for women who are still doing crunches. It draws too much attention to the body. You will feel uncomfortable," she said, then adds, "There are celebs who can pull it off because they're probably at the gym for three hours a day, three straight months. We don't have lives like theirs."

As much as some of us would like to dress with the latest trends as our favorite celebrities, Harriette cautions women to not spend exorbitant amounts of money on clothes.

"Don't make the mistake of buying designer dresses, jeans or T-shirts that you see a celebrity wearing," she said. "It doesn't make sense to break the bank for a celebrity who has more money than you. And half the time, they don't even pay for it. They usually borrow from designers."

Instead, shop at places like T.J. Maxx and Ross Dress for Less for outfits similar to what the celebrities are wearing. That is, if you have the patience.

"You have to go with a discriminating eye and you have to try a lot of things on," she said. "Otherwise, shop at Macy's and pick things that look good on you."

For the best pricing at Macy's, select the items you want and place them on hold if you know they're going on sale. This means establishing a close rapport with your salesperson.

Other tips include making a budget before you go shopping, taking pictures inspired by a celebrity and making a list of the things you intend to buy so that you don't veer off your budget.

"At the end of your shopping, you will have what you went to get, did not spent a lot of money and you will feel better when you wear it," she said.

So, go shop!