Wednesday Fashion's Former Faux Pas

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Welcome to Ask Brini! 

Our question today comes from Elaine Hill, and she asks:

"Does the shoe have to match the handbag? And is the "no white" until Memorial Day still apply for clothing?"

Dear Elaine:

You don't have to be a slave to fashion's antiquated rules. The new rules, which were forged in the cauldron of the hippie movement of the 60's and 70's are much looser, more forgiving. Here are a few you can eschew.

- Wearing white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day used to be a faux pas. Not any more! You can don white at most any time of the year now, though do use common sense - don't wear white strappy sandals in a snow storm.

- Matching your shoes to your bag was de riguer when tyranny held sway in fashion. Now you can mix and match to your heart's content. Just make sure that they work well together!

Discarding the old rules is liberating, but nothing replaces a sense of style and a feel for what's appropriate. Cultivate both and you'll be sitting pretty!


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Ask Brini Anything at! Problems with soap dish jelly? Recalcitrant egg-whites? Cranky spouse? Should your carpet match your drapes? Proper etiquette while eating a corn-dog with Republicans? What else can you do with that stripper pole in your bedroom? When is an ice-cube in your mouth a good thing? Whatever it may be, Brini is here for your every need and ready to serve you.


Described as part Donna Reed, part Mary Tyler Moore, Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy through her unparalleled personal flair for home design, entertaining and savvy household tips. Inspired by a divine thrift shop purchase of 1950's nesting bowls, she first began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites in 1998 through her self-titled cable access television show. With an emphasis on uncompromising fabulousness, Brini quickly garnered a devoted fan base and established herself as the go-to-girl on vintage fashion and mid-century modern treasures. After five years on the local airwaves her show was picked up by the Style Network. The subsequent series has been called a delightful success and has attracted a diverse audience thorough its national platform.

Brini was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised there and the Midwest. She was a child prodigy in the area of domestic science, piping perfect mashed potatoes at the age of five and redesigning the rumpus room in her family home by age 10. At the Fashion Institute of Technology, between spontaneous bouts of cleaning and organizing the student union she achieved a bachelor's degree in Fashion Design. She worked in the fashion industry for 5 years, never finding fulfillment until she started developing her television show.

Brini still lives in the same tiny intricately apportioned New York City apartment used as the set for the original television show. She spends her time between shooting the television show and making personal appearances, doing needlepoint, shopping for inspiration in thrift shops and vintage stores and spending time with friends. She's currently shopping for a second home in Palm Springs California and looking wistfully at vintage 1960's convertibles on eBay Motors.

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