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Ajit Berg, Published July 12 2012

Berg: Take a high-fashion look and make it work for you

Have you ever picked up a high-fashion magazine and strummed through the pages only to find outfits that made you think, “Uh, I definitely don’t see myself picking up my kids from school in that.”

Let’s be honest: Many of the runway looks put together for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle don’t exactly seem wearable for real life, especially if you don’t live in L.A., New York or Paris.

Designers often do bizarre, theatrical looks in runway shows to grab your attention. A more wearable version of the garment might be made for actual production. Tops that are sheer on the runway are made with a lining for production, deep plunging necklines do not drop as low when made, and skirts aren’t cut quite as short.

Even with these adjustments, unless you have the lifestyle and finances to justify wearing the types of outfits shown in the magazines, some of them just don’t make sense for everyday life. Here’s how you can take the fashion you see in the magazines and apply those looks to your own wardrobe:

• Fashion is like art: Be inspired by what you see. Focus on one aspect of the look and add it into your own style. It’s not about the whole look but the trends they represent.

Believe it or not, there is a fashion trend you can take away in the outlandish Alexander McQueen pink fur dress with futuristic silver goggles for the fall 2012 ready-to-wear collection.

The look may inspire you to find a great dress, top or scarf in a beautiful, soft shade of pink. And the futuristic goggles could nudge you to accessorize with silver jewelry, which complements this pink shade.

• Dressing in head-to-toe white is a new trend for summer and fall. You can take the avant-garde look Vogue showed of a woman in white walking with her kids and make it work for your lifestyle.

I went shopping at Laurie’s boutique here in Fargo and found a more wearable version of a white dress. Instead of the crocheted, skin-baring look Vogue shows, I picked out a gorgeous cotton dress in a figure-flattering shape.

I also found a Parisian-style metal and silver statement necklace, which is another important look for the year. It mimics the style of necklace shown in the picture but looks less chunky and bulky.

The flamboyant ponytail she is wearing can be toned down for real life. Instead do a sleek, soft ponytail for day or night.

A pop of a neon or bright-colored heel is also a great addition to an all-white outfit.

• Geometric and floral prints are a trend worth emulating this summer and fall.

The Pucci dress shown here is too extravagant for everyday wear, but I found a flowy blouse at Laurie’s in a similarly striking print that is a more wearable version of the dress. Pair it with white cropped jeans and wedges for a bohemian-meets-feminine look for summer.

• The flash of the ’20s has been romanticized for decades, and this year “Great Gatsby” style is seen all over the runways.

This heavily embellished flapper dress may make you think this trend is only applicable if you are headed somewhere super dressy. Not the case.

Take the idea of the ’20s-style beading, and find a piece that embodies this trend in a more wearable and dressed-down way. Add just a simple, beaded bag into your outfit and watch it transform. Don’t think glitz and sequins are only for a fancy event.

Pair this silver beaded clutch from Laurie’s with a white silk blouse tucked into blue jeans and some sexy heels for a dinner at the HoDo.

So the next time you open a fashion magazine, try looking at what’s being shown with a different eye.

Remember fashion is art and see the creative ways they are showing the best trends of the season.

And keep in mind: Just because it is a trend doesn’t mean you should wear it. Wear what is most flattering for your own look, lifestyle and personality, but don’t be afraid to take some chances.

Ajit Berg is a former personal shopper for Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. She and her husband, Chris, live in Fargo with their daughter.