Turnback Sunday: Confessions of a fashion addict

After four years, the fashion essential principles are the same

Editor’s Note: Four years ago, Kelly Hockenberry debuted her column in what was then only The Unionville Times. As we’ve grown, Kelly has become a popular columnist around Chester County. As a salute to her timeless wisdom, we celebrate her fourth anniversary as a columnist by re-running her first-ever column. Congratulations and thanks for all of the wonderful and entertaining words of wisdom.

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

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Kelly now….

My name is Kelly.

I am addicted to fashion. It’s somewhat of a problem.  I have an overwhelming urge to style those around me. I offer my opinions and tips to friends and family, regardless of whether or not they are interested. But, it’s not enough. I crave a larger audience.

This column is the answer. Each week, I will be able to voice my obsessive thoughts about the latest nail polish trend or whether anyone around Unionville would look normal wearing those fantastic Prada super thick wedge oxfords (the answer to that is “no,” fyi) But, I want to answer YOUR fashion questions, too. So, please write to me at Kelly@unionvilletimes.com!

I promise that I will NEVER include pictures in my column of local residents with a black bar covering their faces.

However, I cannot promise that I won’t stare at you at Starbucks and take feverish notes if I see you in “Pajama Jeans.” When I told my husband that I was going to do this column and that I would try to do it in the most positive light, he said “Kelly, you are nothing if not brutally honest when it comes to your fashion commentary…why try to be something you’re not?”  Ummm, touché.

However, in the spirit of my excitement over the prospect of this new feature, I am going to list MY Top 10 “Must haves” for the Fashionable Woman:

The PERFECT denim. Skinny jeans were all the rage and now the high-waisted flare is making a come-back. The bottom line? Choose a dark denim (because it’s slimming) in the cut and style that flatters your figure. You may need to try on 100 pairs before you find “the one”, but, it’s out there. They need to make you feel like a million bucks.


…and Kelly then.

The tailored black blazer. This is such a must-have because it can be used in so many ways. It is perfect with a button down blouse & jeans, over a dress for work, or as a light jacket with a great scarf. Make sure that it is not boxy and that the sleeve length hits right at the middle of your hand when your arm is straight.

A signature. OK, this one is esoteric, I know! But, Gwen Stefani’s red lipstick, Snooki’s pouf, your Grandmother’s perfume…how do you want people to identify you?

An animal print accessory. A scarf, handbag, shirt….aaaah, just nothing in a Lycra pant, please.

A beautiful handbag. Spend money on a good quality leather bag. It doesn’t have to be a designer bag (although, it doesn’t hurt, I won’t lie). Scour the consignment shops, go to Marshalls or TJMaxx. A classic bag is an investment.  I just don’t understand the expensive fabric handbag. They look very childish, especially in the backpack style…they give me angina…and nobody wants that.

Great undereye concealer. OK, perhaps this one is becoming more important to me because I am knocking on the door of a very significant birthday…but, all the same, a stylish woman does NOT have dark circles. Nor does she have that tell-tale glow in the dark, too bright white undereye business going on. Invest in the best formulation that you can find! Hit those department store counters. Those ladies are DYING to help you. Trust me.

Short, well-manicured nails. I am not a fan of the artificial nail, but, I understand that some women have difficulty growing their own. However, the days of the “Falcon Crest inspired” long spiky talons are gone. They are scary. I love to experiment with different polish colors…but, the classic must-have is a beautiful sheer pink.

A good stud. Ha! Preferably a diamond or pearl. They don’t have to be real, just believable. Leave the 10 carat size bling to Alan Iverson. And, if your 10 carat diamond studs ARE real… take them off, sell them and give that money to charity. My public service announcement.

A fantastic coat. Let’s face it…we are cold for too many months here in Unionville, PA. We may as well have winter outerwear that makes us happy. Donate the long car coat (saw a woman in one the other day….I thought that they were an urban legend in 2011, but, I was wrong). The coat should NOT hit mid shin and have a shoulder pad. That is BAD.

A great watch. This is an accessory that most people wear every day. If you do, make it a good one. People see your watch. They judge you on your watch. Don’t blame me for saying it, it’s true. It’s been the subject of research.  Here’s my twisted, shopaholic logic: “price per wear”. You can justify spending more money on something that you wear every day…because the “price per wear” pays for itself. A weak argument, perhaps…but, it helps me sleep at night.

Well, there you have it! My Top 10! I am so looking forward to the opportunity to discuss fashion with all of you! You can “Read My Lip-Gloss” Every Sunday!!!

Woo hoo!

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