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AS NATTY AS YOU WANNA BE

TV FASHIONS VS. THE REAL WORLD

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New year, new you, n’est-ce pas? Time, perhaps, to get your look in order by consulting the latest guides to sartorial savvy. But mix and match with caution: After all, John T. Molloy’s new revision of the classic Dress for Success isn’t cut from the same cloth as Valerie Frankel and Ellen Tien’s Prime-Time Style: The Ultimate TV Guide to Fashion Hits — And Misses. Should you take fashion cues from corporate focus groups or Nielsen ratings? Suit yourself.

ON HEMLINES:

— Prime-Time Style: ”With her propensity for short and tight, [Melrose Place’s] Amanda…drastically redefined the power suit.”

— Dress for Success: ”[Those] conditioned by a male-dominated business environment…are likely to treat a woman wearing a tight, short, or light- or bright-colored skirt as an inferior.”

ON WHICH SHADES WORK BEST:

— Prime-Time Style: Donna’s ”blend of neutrals and brights [on 90210] — for example, brown showing through chartreuse, or gray under fuchsia — powerfully expresses our favorite party line: ‘Don’t be dull — bedazzle!”’

— Dress for Success: ”If you are looking for power and authority, stay away from vibrant colors and stick to darker ones.”

ON JOB INTERVIEWS:

— Prime-Time Style: ”The most precious little red suit that has a fitted jacket with a bunch of adorable buttons down the front.” Perfect, if you’re the Monica type (from Friends), that is.

— Dress for Success: ”The best look for interviewing is conservative chic….Unless you intend to use your sex appeal as a weapon in the office, a red suit is not effective.”

ON THE CASUAL FRIDAY DILEMMA:

— Prime-Time Style: If you’re like Mad About You’s Jamie Buchman, ”settle on a fitted brown jacket from Barneys with an off-white camisole underneath, and Isaac Mizrahi straight-legged pants.”

— Dress for Success: ”If you want to wear the pants in the office, don’t wear pants to the office.” So, what about the camisole?

ON TRENDINESS:

— Prime-Time Style: ”If you see it on Melrose, you see it on 90210, you see it on Friends, it’s probably fine to wear,” Tien told EW. ”On Caroline in the City? Stop wearing it.”

— Dress for Success: ”People in the fashion industry are more interested in their success than yours….They want you to buy outfits that you wear for one or two seasons, throw out, and replace.”