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Laws of the Fashion Police this Party Season

Ethel Da Costa


So, mind you think you’re a haute cash strutting chick, price flashing a wardrobe that cost your old man a fortune, search huh? Well, chill down sis, take a hard look at yourself in the mirror. Like what you see? Money can’t buy you style, if your fashion barometer is nose-diving.

An `It’ girl knows the fashion rules (and it has nothing to do with brands), says ETHEL DA COSTA, creator, curator of Fashion Fridays Club Nite Series, a unique fashion event going into 2nd edition this season.

Know Yourself. Then Get Dressed

Sounds simple, isn’t it? But don’t get over enthusiastic. It isn’t.  It is the rare woman who really understands what looks best on her, and what does not. Rarer still is the woman who keeps pace with the changes in her circumstances, without morphing into an overdone clotheshorse. Rule No. 1: Look in the mirror. Think. Repeat as necessary.

Give A `High Five’ For Fit. Not Brand Label

Don’t believe us? Well, too bad if you rob a bank to buy that earth-shattering Gucci number, but instead of Kate Moss you end up looking like something the cat dragged in three days ago. No matter what the glossies tell you, the right cut and fit reigns supreme. Always. So, ask around for a good tailor. If his name gets mentioned twice in your party circuit, run to this man. RUN girl!


Er…ok, so quality matters too, because cheap won’t last you long. Get the best dress you can afford, even if you can’t quite afford it. Remember, it’s an investment. Because no matter what all you’ve stuffed in your closet, you’ll always reach for the same two or three dresses that draw wolf whistles every time you sashay in it. Grab it, even if you have to over-extend yourself to buy.


Hitting 50 and you’re thinking Naomi Campbell? Burst that bubble. Unless you have a body like Naomi Campbell.  It’s tacky to wear a mini dress, sport a belly button that has seen better days and teeter on six inches in a bouffant, the sight of which would give designer Valentino a six-second fit …unless, of course, you’re Goldie Hawn. You’re not, so get real.

Groom, Groom, Groom!

Chip, file, wax, buff. Take a second look, buff again. A woman must – and we really, really mean MUST — always have perfectly turned neat hands and feet. Chipped nails, peeling nail polish and dirty feet are hugely, grossly, and unforgivably ugh!


Ok, so you paid a bomb for a Rina Dhaka bustier and going blue in the face trying to suck your breath in to keep the tummy in shape?  At the end of the day, you want to look and feel comfortable, right? Pants that you can’t breathe in and threaten to burst or shoes you can’t walk in, ain’t doing your image any favours.


A good classic leather shoe rotated throughout the year, should last for two years or more. For blister free breaking-in: Wear them for brief, gradually increasing periods, removing them as soon as they begin to bother you.


Red may be hot, but perhaps not on your cheeks! Technique is `in’ so learn how to enhance your features with the right make-up and cosmetic partner. Tarts die with the Carnival.


Ok, you can add tiny chains around your throat, a cute thin bracelet on your wrist, a generous splash of Chanel 5 (don’t forget a dab down your cleavage) to create a sense of mystery around your aura. Body piercing, and the jingle of bangles on a cocktail dress is downright crass. Lose it.


Think Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Sushmita Sen, Angelina Jolie (my favourite women). The world loves these women for their immense sense of style, supreme grace, beauty, and a quiet intelligence that make them icons of femininity. Cultivate your own style statement. And be consistent with what is `you.’ Let your style, body language, your voice reflect it.

However, despite what Moses the Prophet said, Laws were made to be broken. When you’re ready, you’ll know. Cheers!


One of my favourite and ageless, Supermodel Nina Manuel shared these Fashion Mantras!

A little Black Dress. A must have. Black is the safest colour and will always save the day.

At most times, the rules of dressing are determined by your surroundings. So be sure to check the weather before you wear something shimmery in winter.

Be bold, be different, be unique. Style is a personal statement as long as you can carry it off and if you are comfortable wearing it.

Try to mix colours. Black does not always have to go with white. Green can go with yellow and red can go with grey.

Don’t think twice about dressing your head. It’s the first thing that catches the eye. A well-worn hat or scarf can perfectly compliment jeans or even a short skirt.

Open toe shoes or slippers for summer and closed shoes or boots for the winter. But if the occasion calls for it, you can wear whatever and whenever. Comfort is of importance.

It never hurts to get a second opinion is the seventh law of dressing.