A few rules for grads to live (and shop) by

Detroit Free PressMay 22, 2013 

There’s no shortage of advice during this commencement season, as half the world seems to be giving speeches.

Which made me think: What would I say if someone asked me to deliver such an address, because sooner or later colleges are going to run out of celebrities (and people who think they’re celebrities) and seek out regular people.

Would I say: Unless it’s an emergency or something you truly love, don’t pay full price?

The only person who benefits from cheaply made shoes is your podiatrist?

Even skinny women need Spanx?

Of course I’d say that!

And after the applause and standing ovation – I’d look modest and beg the graduates to stop clapping and sit down because that’s what speakers always do even though you know they’re basking in the attention – I’d continue …

When it comes to dresses and skirts, the A-line silhouette is universally flattering.

A pair of white capri pants or white cropped jeans is essential for summer. With sneakers and a T-shirt, they’re great for casual days. With metallic sandals and a festive tunic or blazer, they’re equally great for a dressier occasion.

Wearing a blazer will make you look dressed up even if you aren’t.

V-necks are slenderizing because they elongate the torso.

Women are wrong if they think black swimsuits are slenderizing. They’re not. In fact, the color contrast between a black suit and pale skin can be especially jarring. If you’re interested in slenderizing, look for a suit with strategic ruching to disguise flab.

And speaking of swimsuits, the only person who is worried about how you look at the beach or by the pool is you. Most people are too worried about their own appearance to be concerned about your appearance.

Coral looks good

As a color, coral is flattering for all skin tones. Red, pinks and oranges are in vogue right now. So are various shades of blue and turquoise. But none of those hues do the trick like coral.

Gold accessories look great with bright colors.

Shoes with platform heels are easier to walk in than shoes without platforms. And when it comes to summer shoes, you need to have a pair of flat sandals that aren’t sports sandals. You also need to have a pair of sneakers such as Keds or Converse that you don’t wear to the gym.

Always spend more on clothing items that will be wearable for a long time. Trendy pieces – neon jeans, pants embroidered with tiny whales or captain’s wheels – might be worthy of a summer flirtation or brief affair. But they’re not going to be in fashion forever. A pair of classic jeans, on the other hand, will always be in style. That’s where you want to spend your money. They’re what you want to settle down with.

Leggings are not pants. Ever.

Pantyhose are a waste of money.

Hang up your clothes

Hanging up your clothes every night in a closet that isn’t overly packed will extend the life of your wardrobe. Leaving it on the floor or over a chair or piled up on the dresser in your bedroom between your perfume collection and that lamp you got years ago at IKEA encourages wrinkles and is hard on the fabric.

For stains on clothing, use OxiClean. It’s magical.

More important than any piece of clothing you wear is your hair and skin. Everything will look better on you if you exfoliate and use moisturizer. Your skin will be brighter and you’ll look healthy.

You will never feel better than you do after a good haircut.

There are certain things you should always pay a professional to do. Among them: hair coloring and bikini waxing.

And with that advice, dear graduates and distinguished guests, I’m sending you into the world.

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