March 26, 2009

Unlikely Style Icon: Betty Suarez

On TV’s Ugly Betty, the main character, Betty Suarez, is constantly mocked by her co-workers at Mode (a fictional fashion magazine) for her lack of style. Ironically, Betty is arguably the most fashion forward of the show’s characters. She whimsically pairs pieces together with a disregard for conventional style rules or clashing patterns. Betty takes risks, and yet there is something adorably traditional about her vintage-inspired dresses and bow-bedecked blouses.

Inspiration Board:


Embracing Your Inner Betty:
(Is it just me, or does that heading totally sound like the title of a self-help book written by Cher Horowitz ?)

1) Dare to mix patterns
Admittedly, it can be hard for a pattern-mixing virgin to wear florals and argyle together. Yet Betty mixes bold, brash patterns together and it looks amazing. Try pairing different patterns together and shock yourself with how great you look!

2) Add a bit of geek-chic to your life
While Betty is not a stereotypical geek (an abundance of cute purses and a lack of pocket protectors save her from Screech Powers territory), her look is definitely geek-influenced. Try stealing a few signature Betty looks, like a sweater vest over a puffy-sleeved blouse, or a pair of huge (possibly non-prescription) glasses.

3) Resurrect those forgotten souvenirs
In the show’s first episode, Betty is waiting for her job interview at Mode and chats with another candidate , a bitchy model-type in an expensive cream coloured poncho. When Betty gets the job, at a loss for something fashionable to wear to work, she decides to wear a bright red poncho with “Guadalahara” embroidered across it, a souvenir from a vacation that her parents took.
While I’m not advising you to try to bring ponchos back, try putting all of those “Hawaii” or “Camp Pinelake” T-shirts to use. Yes, they looked dorky on your eleven year old self when you wore them with floral leggings, but with the neckline slightly altered (all you need is scissors!) and a cute mini skirt, they could become great.

4) Buy some statement-making dresses
Though Betty wears dresses in nearly every episode, it is rare that you would find her in a navy shift, or a simple T-shirt dress. Her dresses are all bold, whether polka-dotted and retro or sweet and floral. On their own, they are an instant outfit, while, when accessorized with equally bold jewellery, they become part of an attention-getting ensemble.

5) Be nice to your feet.
While the other employees at Mode clomp around in sky-high heels, Betty favours cute flats, or comfortable platform Mary Janes. You don’t need to give up stilettos forever, but make sure that you give your feet a break every now and then. A night out in flats can be fun, especially at the end of the evening when your friends are complaining about their heels and you’re still dancing the night away.


FashionSqueah! said...

I usually prefer Amanda's outfits, but Betty's are definitely more fun! Char x

Laura said...

So true! Good pick, and I like your suggestions.