Summer Fashion Tips from Style Guru Luis de Jesus

Summer Fashion Tips from Style Guru Luis de Jesus

by Luiza Oleszczuk
07.21.2008


Sun may glare and sweat may flow, but nothing releases you from the patriotic duty of looking hot during the stifling summer months. Clubplanet chatted with Luis J. de Jesus—a giddy stylist, private shopper for VIP clientele, and the designer of the new vintage collection at Lounge Soho. De Jesus cracked the nitty-gritty of how to remain cool in the sweltering heat, pick the right amount of accessories and make best use of the ubiquitous new wave vintage trends, even on the most infernal days.

If you still don’t believe that the vintage extravaganza now dominates high fashion, turn your skeptical ear to the loud voices of style savants rumbling that old is the new… new, and hit Soho to witness high-end boutiques (like Lounge) featuring thrift store inspired goodies.

De Jesus, who if stranded on a desert island would create an haute couture shirt out of bamboo leaves, divulged a few pro’s tips which prove that fashion is more recyclable than a Pepsi bottle.

VESTS
This little retro gem is far from being past its sell-by date and it adds just the right accent of je ne sais quoi to the total outcome, while being so light you won’t even notice wearing it.

 “I take vintage vests that nobody wanted and re-do them—I attach pieces, stones, and prints and whatever inspires me,” says de Jesus. A few patches transform your grandpa’s relics into high fashion.


DENIMS

Snobbery does not get any worse than a $300 pair of old jeans, but if you want to look like a Greek god while being endowed with an inexcusably mundane bod, there’s not much you can do except squander a Babylonian wad of cash on customized denims.

“A lot of the denims [at Lounge] are designed by young men, so that they can fit the contemporary male body,” says our fashion insider. “Because the male body has changed so much—men work out and so forth. That’s what high-end is about-- the jeans are designed to fit the buttocks well, to fit the leg and not make it look too big.”

We had no idea you needed an architect’s abilities to design a proper pair of jeans but, hey, whatever it takes.


STRONGER GLASSES

If you think that Kanye West invented the visor frames, you’re probably below the drinking age. Shutter-glasses have returned from the 80s, not a rapper’s wardrobe.

If you can’t decide whether you like or hate them, let de Jesus inspire you:
“I think they’re fantastic: they’re a great flashback. I had them in the 80’s. It’s sad that they’re cheesy-looking, but I think they’re fun. Cheesy’s fun. Gory’s fun. Tacky’s so much fun.”


BRIGHT AS A BUTTON

“Nobody looks good in pastels,” de Jesus admonishes. “Pastels wash people out; they’re not fun.”

Mass consumerism agrees with de Jesus. You shouldn’t have problems with getting parrotish apparel, as it already dominates shop windows across the country.


COTTON TOGETHER

Apparently the answer to the sweaty problem is simpler than I thought:

“Cotton, cotton, cotton. And cotton. And a little more cotton on top of that,” says de Jesus.

True, nothing looks sexier than a silk dress, but if you want to survive until fall couture without a heatstroke, you better bow to the master on this one. Besides, 30 minutes on the street in polyester: bonjour sweat stains. Our tip:  keep silk and synthetic textiles for the after-party bedroom fashion shows.



ACCESSORIZE
Behold the new, dazzling update on that old adage: it’s better to wear too much than too little. But only with accessories. “I wear accessories every day, it’s better to be overdone than underdone,” says de Jesus. “Like Coco Chanel said: ‘If you feel over-accessorized, take the last thing off, and you’re put-together.’  I’ve never got caught underdressed.”

Judging from the skull signet rings on his fingers, snazzy pendants, key chain, and chic black leather holsters with thin straps—de Jesus does look pretty awesome.

THRIFT SCORE
Real vintage aficionados browse flea markets. The style-conscious matrons of Luis J. de Jesus’ childhood inculcated in him the ability of picking and bargaining. Remember that you don’t have to hunt down a Dior piece—some really shiny retro gems come straight from no-brands-land.


GLAM NO-NOs

You’d think New York fashion is about freedom of expression. Bzz—wrong. Certain products of your creative sprees should never leave the closet.

Hogs - “Every time I see a girl in shorts and Hogs I want to smack her, “ de Jesus huffs. So remember, if you put on shorts and Hogs, don’t wear glasses. It’s gonna hurt more if you meet him on the streets.

Flashing Thongs— if there’s anything worse than glam-wannabies putting together wrong pieces, it’s when they show that incongruous piece of string peaking above their too-tight jeans. I hate to sound conservative, but men need a little surprise!
Get high-cut pants like Kate Moss did or stop pulling those thongs like an arbalest.

Hot Pants— it’s not about how much you show; it’s about how you show it. The public is not clamoring to see your camel toe.
Don safari shorts a la Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. Curve-concealing pockets are a must.

Wife Beaters— we know it’s hot, but the only statement that piece makes is “I have Papa Jones on speed dial”.

Disco Shirt— look, we know it was never cool. Just making sure you know that.

Trucker Hat—we don’t care that Ashton Kutcher wears them. Unless you actually posses a pick-up, keep that oh-so-passé piece away from the public eye and replace it with a fedora.

Cargo Pants—not only is it too hot, but military apparel just doesn’t translate too well these days.

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