I was interested to read the post "Style--You Must be Kidding" in A Slower Pace.
I picked up a copy of Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body by Clinton Kelly and Stacy London, the duo who does the TLC show, "What Not to Wear." Yes, I admit that I watch that show on occasion and when I saw the book at the local library, I checked it out and have spent some time skimming through it.
Now, Stacy and Clinton, it seems to me, do not seem to fully understand that the metropolitan New York life style and fashion demands do not necessarily translate to life in, say, rural Vermont or retirement living near the beach in Florida. I have never in my life been to an event that required a cocktail dress or anything like a formal, full length gown, so the emphasis on "evening wear" just goes over my head. On the other hand, the styles that they picked out to flatter different body types really did show flattering fit.
I've gotten interested in fit since I have started sewing. Well and also that whole aging process thing where parts of your body shift around. I used to have a nice round butt and a flat stomach. Now I have a nice round stomach and a flat butt. It's not so easy to just buy off the rack and it's discouraging to sew up a garment that looks great on the pattern cover but just doesn't seem right on me when it's done. So I have been paying more attention to fabrics and fit and style since I have been retired and I am actually finding it interesting.
When I was working, teaching, I wore "teacher clothes." Stacy and Clinton disparage "teacher clothes," but I'll bet if they had to teach in a middle school for just one week, they'd get a clue. Comfort, movement and body coverage trump style. I expect to see the car mechanic in coveralls, the nurse in scrubs, and the teacher in a roomy jumper style dress because there are jobs where fancy clothing is just going to get in the way. And when a student slips you a note saying, "I have a crush on you and you have a nice ass," you just know baggy is better from then on.