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Author Archive: "Tim Gunn and Kate Moloney"

The Rights of Spring: An Ode to Seasonal Appropriateness

As warm weather finally makes its appearance in New York City, one can hear a collective sigh of relief as coats and mufflers are shed. One can also hear the slap, slap, slap of seasonally inappropriate sandals begin to make their way up the Avenues.

What happened to dressing for spring? If summer is the most erotic of seasons, with all those bare shoulders and flashing legs, then spring should whisper of the delights to come. If one dons a tank top, gauzy skirt, and flip flops the moment the mercury cracks seventy, what's left to look forward to? Let's be frank, spring is foreplay for the orgiastic delights of the season to come. If the tank top and flip flops are on parade in March, what will August look like? Perhaps hot pants and a bikini top? As far as the New York City subway has come since its grimy nadir of the seventies and eighties, woe betide the woman who attempts THAT get-up on the B train.

Instead of rushing to undress, savor the liminal weeks when one still needs a sweater in the shade. ...

To Close the Door on Closets

We've been musing on chapter three of our book, "Diagnosing the Common Closet," and wanted to relate a few more organizing principles. So, let's establish some closet protocols.

Determine how you want to organize your wardrobe. I believe that organizing by type of item works best — coats and jackets or outerwear, dresses, skirts, etc. — but I leave that entirely up to you. I have never been able to figure out how my mother organizes her closet, nor has she been able to explain it to me. It seems that it's organized by "what I wore last," which means that the item closest to the door is the last, so you can observe the backwards chronology and say to her, "Oh, you played bridge last Thursday?" by evidence of the sweater with the Queen of Hearts embroidery.

Therefore, you must first take inventory. Go through every item in your wardrobe and write it down in a specific category. Believe me, I thought that I could have a successful inventory by simply pulling items and putting them together — white shirts, black pants — but when you review this information in writing, you will ...

What’s In the Bag?

Since we've been traveling quite a lot recently on our book tour, we've been thinking more and more about how to pack. After all, what do you wear when you're meeting hundreds of people who are looking to you for style advice? It's a daunting prospect, being held up as style examples. Of course, in the book, we point out that we're not trying to dictate what anyone should wear, and finding your own style is a matter of personal preference rather than strict rules, but still, when you're meeting someone for the first time you want to look your best — we're no exceptions! Living out of suitcases, our options are limited — but that can be freeing, too, if you've done some planning before packing your bags.

It's all about traveling well. Once you reach your destination, how do you avoid looking out-of-place, either under- or over-dressed, or worse — like a tourist? One easy way to avoid looking out of place is to watch what you're carrying. A backpack will always mark you as a traveler. You'd be surprised how many backpacks we've seen in the past few weeks — and not just ...

All Shapes and Sizes

Let's take a look at the different types of body shapes. There are, of course, many of these. The ones below are worth discussing and some of the most common types that we get questions about.

Tall and thin

This is a high-class problem. The greatest challenge for tall women is finding apparel in appropriate lengths. When it comes to pants, it pays to buy the best you can afford. Often the more expensive a pant, the longer it will be. One lesser-known problem area is the wrist; many sleeves are just too short. Do not assume that no one will notice, because someone will. Being tall is great as long as you don't look like a giantess who has outgrown her clothes. Furthermore, stay away from things that are too long and voluminous. Remember Bea Arthur in Maude? Fabulous for a forty-seven-year-old female sitcom character from Tuckahoe, New York, but not for you!


This shape tends to mean "hippier." First, think dark colors. That's easy. Skirts can be a friend to your figure, but think flat-front, slightly tapered, and to the knee ...

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