04 January 2007

Who doesn't love a tulip hemline?

The answer is no one. No one can say they don't love this look. Ultra-feminine but also strong and sophisticated, the tulip is reminiscent of something you'd see Rita Hayworth sashay through the Beverly Hills Hotel lobby in the '40s. This hemline is one of those timeless silhouettes that when it's done right makes us thankful we're women.

The tulip graces skirts and dresses (like the Armani one above), and can easily move from workday to weekend to evening. Some are more bubble-shaped than others, some have a bit of boning that offer a more structured look; some are crafted with the softest knit-cotton (think Ella Moss soft) while others are adorned with rich satin and tulle.

Cinched at the waist, gently billowing at the hips, and tapered at the knees (sometimes with a kick pleat, sometimes not), this hemline is named after the tulip for a reason -- it's supposed to make its wearer look like its namesake.

There's no place, no season and no color that can't work with this hemline. There are, however, restrictions on what body type can make it bloom. I hate to write two consecutive days' worth of bigger-girls-shouldn't-do-this posts, but this is a look that really looks best on a certain type of woman, a woman with height, a gentle waist-to-hips-to-thighs transition, and reasonably thin calves. A tip: when determining your tulip-worthiness, focus less on your weight and more on your proportions.

The woman I saw nibbling on a tuna croissant sandwich at (where else) the ABP on 19th/L streets, had everything - almost everything - down pat. Cute mandarin-collar black and ivory herringbone jacket, ivory cashmere cowlneck shell, closed-toe t-straps with patterned opaque tights, a patent-leather Fendi bag (fake but a *good* fake), and a simple, very fitted, knee-length black tulip skirt.

Sounds like a victory for downtown DC, doesn't it? It was until she stood up.

At best, I'd put her at 5'3" in heels. And her hips were not of the sloping variety but more of the cliffhanging kind. Instead of a delicate tulip, all I saw was the bumpy outline of a cabbage.

Recommendations for outfit improvement to come after work.

No comments: