By Martin J. Kidston
Even where the wind blows and the cattle roam freely across the high Plains, fashion has its place never mind the glitz and glamour of Rodeo Drive or the erotic allure of ritzy urban studios. Dress is dress, and though the Hi-Line may not be ablaze with fashion parades and naughty negligees worn as outerwear, it is trendy sort of.
When rolling through the years of style one thing is certain: Whats in is out and whats out is in. The sixties are hip, the eighties are well they arent. Its Spandex tube tops and V-neck tees, sleek shrug sweaters and sheer coverings that reveal more than conceal.
For those with their eyes on fashion, like Havres biggest importer of consignment clothing Noni Baker, changes in the world of style are as obvious as a pitching change in the bottom of the ninth. Keeping up with whats hot and whats not can be as easy as opening the Victoria Secrets latest catalog. But if youre not on their mailing list, just ask Noni and company what should I wear?
Styles are repeating themselves, back to the 60s and 70s, Noni said. Theyre wearing those flower prints daisies and butterflies they still love butterflies.
Noni said butterflies were in for this seasons prom, along with full party skirts with lots of slink. But prom is gone and summer stands around the corner, ready to spring forth with new fashions of its own.
Dainty camisoles stay cool on those hot summer days while giving the ever-hip look of athletic prowess. Try a tight-fitting tee with hip-hugging, wide leg jeans short enough to show the midriff, Noni insists. Cotton is comfy, and colors like watermelon, ice turquoise and lemon are in. Anything brighter, forgetaboutit!
Finally, the evening cools. Need to cover up? Try a shrug sweater, easy on the shoulders. And when those cool nights heat back up, sheer sensibility can be a good thing but lets face it thats a whole different ball game.
Singer and part-time model Lissa Overlie walks the fashion walk and pays attention to more than clothes. Shoes, hair, accessories your choice all, she says, come into fashion consideration. And even though she admits Montana is laid back when it comes to style, the retro look and all the craze is slowly simmering, ready to explode with cool trends, including tattoos, piercings and yes even leather.
Its the whole package, head to toe, she said. Piercings are in, hugely. Its finally starting to hit Havre. And leather, ultra shiny.
Lissa recommends scented tattoo bracelets to accent the bravest trends, and platform heels the thicker the better.
But when it comes to hair, she said f-u-n-k-y is the rule.
Cheryl Darlington agrees its in the hair.
Trendier hairdos are catching on, said Cheryl.
Crazy hair, Lissa insists. No helmet heads.
Less structured, replied Cheryl. Thats for sure.
But no matter the hair where jazz and sass are the rule, and fun is required, hand-me-down clothing stores, such as Havres Second Chance and the Salvation Army, are the in-places to shop. Forget about those $50 raglan camisoles by Fredericks and those $90 surf tops by Letarte. Instead, try your luck with yesterdays best the do-anything look for a quarter no kidding. It makes the hair that much easier.
I like to shop at the Salvation Army and other thrift shops, said Beth Martin, who works as a tour director with a Montana theater company. Its cheap, its fun, you can add your own personal look. Its not like you have to pay $30 for a shirt. You can pay a quarter and have fun with what you buy.
Tired of cookie-cutter fashion, looking like everybody else? Thrift shops and second-hand stores offer a smorgasbord of variety. Never the same thing twice or youre quarter back.
Still, where fun falters, styles can go a long way. And if all play and no work leaves the checkbook empty, what gives for the professional woman, where the slip camisole, however comfortable, is quite inappropriate?
Deputy Hill County Attorney Aileen Miller and Law Clerk Cyndee Faus know the ins and outs of professional wear. They also know that duty decides whats appropriate.
The courtroom dictates a lot of what we wear, Cyndee said, looking debonair in her suit ensemble. But even where rigid dress codes hamper free expression, there is room for fashion awareness of a more personal nature.
I think colors are important for different people, Cyndee said. I think, as you get older, you learn what cuts and what styles work the best according to your body type.
Aileen made several annotations to proper color selection.
Conservative, she said. Neutral colors, earth tones, navy blues, browns and blacks.
Yes, Cyndee said. As for shoes, very important. Looks not comfort.
And height, Aileen motions.
If clothes command respect and encourage attitude, and if, as Noni says, they are a reflection of modern culture, then the times they are a changing, not so much in the clothes themselves, but for the women who wear them.
Skinny is out and figures are back in, Noni said. Were talking about women who look like women women with curves, not sticks.
Noni said the majority of women are size 14 or above, not size three, sporting the latest garb from Calvin Kline. Expectations are lifting and women, she says, can relax when it comes to maintaining the impossible figure.