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Style Guru Lawrence Zarian Urges Women to 'Have a Box of Wine' And Get Undressed

The frequent style consultant for "Live With Kelly and Michael" and "Rachel Ray" has written a book on how women can feel "confident, successful, covered up and love what they see in the mirror." And by "covered up" he means "remove all the clothing."
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Television style consultant and red-carpet guru Lawrence Zarian has written a fashion makeover tome titled 10 Commandments for a Perfect Wardrobe (Bird Street Books, $24.99), which actually feels more like a bible in its lengthy and meticulous plotting of the many ways in which American women can spruce up their personal style without breaking the bank. Pret-a-Reporter chatted with Zarian to ask about the key steps in following his mantra: "Fashion is supposed to be fun." While Zarian offers many common sense pointers, we rejiggered his advice ever-so-slighty to better fit within our everygirl persona.

To that end, here are five tips from Lawrence Zarian for what women can do to better their style, followed by the reality of what we'll actually do ourselves:

1. Go into the dressing room and look at yourself naked

"Like a contractor looks at the foundation before they build the house, I tell a woman we need to be honest," Zarian says when explaining the first step in his makeover process. (Of course "house" may not be the best metaphor when encouraging a woman to undress.) He suggests women take a good look at what they see so they can ask themselves, "What is my bra size? What is my shape?"

What we will actually do:

After the blinding flash of seeing ourselves unclad has subsided (much like watching the detonation of an atomic bomb, only with longer after-effects), we will swear that this morning's chia seed muffin was the last and proceed to squeeze ourselves into our jean size of yesteryear.

2. Stop comparing yourself to the Angelinas and Anistons of the world

"Celebrities have teams that put them together, and a lot of women don't see that," Zarian points out. "Women should be realistic and accept who they are right now."

What we will actually do:

Stay undyingly loyal to Team Aniston or Team Jolie (as determined by our age when puberty hit and/or the quality of our parents' marriage) and grin smugly in line at the grocery store checkout every time a tabloid shows a Jolie-Pitt spawn misbehaving or Justin Theroux mounting a motorcycle.

3. Upgrading your style starts with cleaning out your closets

"Women only utilize 20 percent of their general wardrobe," Zarian surmises. "If you haven't worn it in three years give it to charity or to a friend."

What we will actually do:

Designate 80 percent of our closet space to billowy Blossom-style dresses, flannel shirts that are too boxy to be hipster, that monogrammed windbreaker from JV tennis, the coat with the shredded pockets and the homecoming dress that we rewore to our weird cousin's wedding, all of which they will one day have to pry out of our cold dead fingers, because nostalgia.

4. Do all of your bathing suit shopping online

Zarian's guide for finding the perfect suit: "Have all your girlfriends go online. You all order at least 10 different styles of swimsuits. Have your friends over to your house, put on some music and have a little fashion show. If you want you can have a box of wine. Your friends will be honest and will see what you don't see."

What we will actually do:

Drink too much wine. Get a little too honest. Wait until 3 p.m. the next day to sheepishly send a group text that reads, "What a night! Did anyone plan on keeping the red thong that's between my cheeks right now? LOL."

5. Look to Sandra Bullock as the perfect example of style and grace

Of last year's best actress Oscar nominee Zarian gushes, "I'm always inspired by the way she makes it look effortless and she takes everyone along for her ride, meaning she's always been so grateful for this career she has. Hands down she was one of the best dressed at the Oscars this year. She doesn't shy away from being 49, from being who she is."

What we will actually do:

Let's be honest. We all love Sandy for the days when style and grace were clearly not in her vocabulary. Love Potion Number 9? While You Were Sleeping?? Hope Floats??? These were high-water marks of lovableness that she tried her best to erase with the quease-inducing and semiracist Blind Side, but salvaged with the return of Awkward Sandy in The Heat. We'd rather that she, and we, stay safely and timelessly adorkable.

Parting words of wisdom from Lawrence Zarian:

"I live in the journey. I never live in the destination."

Parting words of wisdom from Pret-a-Reporter:

Life is a GPS. Just when you think you've arrived, it invariably says, "rerouting."

What do you think?

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