Life example #1: When I was six and my friend and I were struck by the urge to perform a “Jem and the Holograms” routine in the yard, never would we simply walk out into the sun in whatever Kool-Aid-stained Care Bear tees and bike shorts we happened to be mucking around in that day. No, sir. When we were performing, our stage persona was a key element to a great show.
Grab your mom’s high heels, some heart-shaped sunglasses, ball your t-shirt tails into a topknot at your midriff, tie a scarf up in your hair and- one of my signatures- reimagine your baby blanket into a flouncy miniskirt/ tube dress/hooded capelet/sassy wrap sarong. Whatever. Just get ready to rock. As a girl in our society, it was easy to get dolled up and feel fantastic. Even now, women’s costumes get all the glory. Under crystal-laden dresses reminiscent of disco balls, sexy skin-baring cutaways and spinny leapy flexy moves, the focus goes directly to the ladies.
The men often get relegated to a background piece for the women, as if men don’t care to shine. Utter nonsense! Men, if your choreographer tossed you your sweaty warmups and pushed you out from the wings whisper-shouting, “break a leg!” would you feel like putting your all into that performance? No way.
There’s something to be said for wearing a well-designed piece of clothing. It’s made to flatter, it feels good- in short, it looks like a garment for a wearer who knows how to wear it. With costumes, they may not reflect our personal style- especially if you’re in an ensemble group or a theatrical performance- but, knowing that you’re wearing a costume that someone put a lot of effort into makes you feel like you’re worth the weight of it. Men, it’s okay to say you’re not satisfied with a half-hearted black pants/colored button down combo for the stage. Add some personality! According to my own recipe, this requires three simple ingredients, combined in this order:
Life example #2: When I was working toward my fashion design degree, my Collections Development class had us conceptualizing sometimes 20 unified pieces of clothing at a time- but we were limited to only three croqui drawings in which to communicate our entire collection. Solution? Present as many pieces in our illustrations as possible- meaning, we’d draw a leggy model walking the runway in a gauzy dress worn over slim pants and an overly-designed camisole, which was under a vest which was under an oversized sweater, worn with a scarf, killer heels and a mystery-shrouding hat for the cherry on top. Busy, yes. Gaudy, at times- but never boring. You may not go to such extremes in your everyday looks. But, consider how the built-up textures of layers, accessories and embellishments- dare I say, rhinestones- can really amp up the interest in your stage look. When the pieces have a central theme, the recipe just works.
So, here we go: First, add another layer. Is it a colored tank worn under a button down, is it a vest over a tee shirt, is it a linen sportcoat, a biker jacket or a peekaboo pair of boxers adding color above a waistband? Then, add an accessory. Hat, tie, pocket square, leather cuff bracelet, colored socks, sleek belt, Converse Chucks. And finally, embellishments. Oh yeah. Add some mother-flashin’ rhinestones. Where, you might ask? Allow me to present some places to glitz up on your mighty men’s performance looks:
So, let your men shine! The confidence that comes from a well-thought out costume that makes him look good from every angle is irreplaceable (and believe me, they’re doing the fly check, pretending they’re not scoping themselves out in the mirror, too). When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you perform better. Let your men in on the secret of sparkle. They’re strong enough to handle the attention.
Rhinestones Unlimited blog author Jemm Stone is a multifaceted girl navigating our sparkly world with on-point insights. Visit RhinestonesU.com/blog to follow her thoughts as she highlights design trends, turns the spotlight on industry influencers and breaks down how-to tips like light through a crystal prism.