Queer Eye's Carson Kressley dishes out fashion advice for Minnesotans
Fashion expert Carson Kressley has traveled across the nation helping men and women improve their wardrobes. From Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to Carson-Nation to How to Look Good Naked, Kressley has focused on making fashion fun. His next project is a women's clothing collection, Love, Carson, available exclusively at the Eden Prairie-based ShopNBC.
"I've done so many makeover shows, and I always go back to the same key pieces -- a great wrap dress or tunic. We'd go to these beautiful stores like Nordstrom and high-end places, but they'd always be quite expensive," Kressley says. "For my last show, Carson- Nation, I'd travel to small cities across the United States, and there weren't stores there that had merchandise that worked well. When we'd go to bigger cities, things were expensive and not really accessible for most women."
So Kressley set out to create his own collection.
"I wanted to keep everything at a price point of around $50," he says. "In addition to being easy to afford, it was also really important that everything be easy to wear and easy to care for."
It was also essential that Kressley's collection be versatile.
"Whether you're 18 or 80, or you're a size extra-small or extra-large, the silhouette of Love, Carson will be really flattering," he says.
When City Pages sat down with Kressley this weekend he offered these tips for spring/summer dressing:
Layer your clothing
"Don't pack anything away too early," he says. "Even though it's 80 degrees in March in Minnesota, it will be 42 degrees again." Kressley recommends wearing a cardigan or a shrug over a great maxi dress this spring, and then wearing just the maxi dress in the summer when the weather is warmer. "Every woman should have a great maxi dress for summer," he
says. "And even if you're petite. Throw on a chunky four-inch wedge -- you're not petite anymore!"
Wear breathable fabrics
For example, Kressley's collection includes a five-pocket jean in a stretch cotton twill. The stretch allows for a great fit, and the light-weight cotton twill (as opposed to the traditional denim) is more breathable for hot Minnesota summers.
"Color is such a strong trend right now that you can wear it all year," he says. "I think color has such a great effect on your mood. It brings new life and energy to your look."
In addition to bright colors, Kressley also recommends pastels.
"A great way to segue into a new season is to try a new bag or a new heel," he says.
Adding colorful accessories to the staples in your wardrobe is an easy way to freshen up your look. "Wear a skinny yellow belt over a grey dress. It's going to look really current, but it's not going to look too young," he says. Hot colors for accessories right now include mango, aqua, and fuchsia.
Kressley also shared his top fashion advice:
Wear the right size
"That sounds really simplistic, but people often wear clothes that are way too loose when trying to camouflage, or they wear clothes that are way too tight trying to be overly sexy," he says. "As my grandma said, 'Nobody likes 10 pounds of sugar in a five-pound bag.'"
Invest in classics and accent with trend pieces
"Invest in the best you can afford for the classics that you're going to have forever -- the little black dress, a business suit -- and then update with fun trend accessories and great color," he suggests.
Love, Carson twisted rope neckline charmeuse tank
Have a fashion secret weapon
"There might be a great resale store in your neighborhood, or a great Target capsule collection, or it might be ShopNBC," he says. "There are so many resources now that allow you to personalize your look, which I think is key."
"The number one thing is to enjoy it," he says. "There are so many bigger problems in the world that people shouldn't agonize over what they're wearing. They should really celebrate fashion and see it as a way to reinvent themselves every morning."
Taking chances is important in fashion too. "I think the biggest fashion mistake people can make is not being daring enough," he says. "Both men and women fall into a trap where they wear what's comfortable, or they wear what they did in high school when they thought they were their youngest and hottest. Guess what? That was 1986. It's time for an update."
Kressley strongly believes that people also shouldn't take fashion too seriously.
"It's just fashion," he says. "As long as you don't spend too much money on it, no biggie. If you make a mistake, the fashion police are not going to take you away. They might put you in a magazine, but they're not going to take you away."
Carson Kressley has a variety of projects coming up this year, including Dancing with the Stars Live in Las Vegas, a role in the play Damn Yankees this summer, a handbag collection to be released in June, a few television projects this fall, and a style guide late this year/early next year. Shop Carson's collection at ShopNBC.
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