I’m somewhat fashionable, but I am by no means a trendsetter. There are plenty of people who are more fashionable then me, AND who know how to accessorize. I know it’s not rocket science, but I suck at accessorizing and therefore don’t bother. My wardrobe consists of work clothes and work-out clothes. Yes, it’s true – my wardrobe knows no middle ground. My work clothes are mainly from Banana Republic because their stuff is classic and it looks good. Also, even if the label says ‘dry-clean only’, I can still dump most of my clothes in the washing machine and avoid the dry-cleaner (please note that I am not encouraging you to ignore BR’s wash instructions!). I’m not the dry-cleaning type, and I don’t believe in ironing so any company that allows me to wash my clothes in the machine, followed by a quick stint in the dryer to un-wrinkle, is a winner. Anyway, my work-out clothes are mainly from Lululemon – their stuff looks great, it’s extremely durable and it’s comfortable. In addition, I wear it to do pretty much anything and everything, including going out. Yes, it is a sad day when your only casual options are either BR or Lululemon. You can see why I don’t consider myself to be the epitome of trendiness.
I also don’t consider myself to be a labels person; sure, I have certain preferences, but I’m not hell bent on shopping at (i.e.) BR or Lulu. I refuse to buy something specifically for the brand. If it’s worth it, it’s one thing, but if it’s not worth it, and I can find the equivalent elsewhere for cheaper, then that’s fine. I am also not too particular on whether or not people see what brand I’m wearing – I don’t like big or obvious logos on my clothing. I recently read comments on a label’s Facebook page where women were complaining about the positioning of the logo on their clothes; they were complaining because they want people to see where they shop – their take on it is that company X should position their logo so that the whole world can see it. Perhaps they should consider tattooing it on their foreheads – that way no can miss it. At the end of the day, are we buying clothing for the brand alone, despite say, the look or the quality, or are we buying it because we like the style/ fit/ quality/ durability etc. of that particular brand? Let’s face it, just because I bought a shirt at Lululemon, doesn’t mean it’s a nice shirt or that it’s fashionable (OK, well maybe it does in this case – I’m a little biased when it comes to Lulu, I’ll admit!). It doesn’t mean that it’s ‘better’ then my $40 dollar shirt from Nike or Reebok. In my opinion, if an item is ugly, looks stupid, or the quality sucks, then it will stay in the store where it belongs. But, labels are a sign of social status, and people want to show off where they stand on the social ladder.
I once met a fellow wearing a pair of sneakers – they were a cross between Converse and old-school Pumas. They were also silver. The entire shoe looked like it was made from tin foil – it was that shiny. My impulse was to comment immediately: “Interesting shoes” I said to the guy. “They’re Dolce & Gabanna’ was his proud reply, as he raised his pant leg for me to get a better look. His shoes were like a pair of high beams on a dark country road – I could see them just fine without the raising of the pant leg (though I did wonder if they glowed in the dark). Based on his reaction, I got the impression that I should do an immediate 360 and love his shoes simply because they were made by D&G. They still looked like something that Michael Jackson would wear to walk on the moon, so my initial POV remained intact. I’ve also seen clothing made by high end labels, that was positively ghastly, yet the people wearing it seemed proud to be sporting a designer label. Personally, I don’t see the appeal in labels like Luis Vuiton, or Coach, but plenty of people are happy to spend their hard-earned cash on them – to each his own. But, this begs the question: Are we willing to pay any price just to fit in or look cool (interpret that as ‘ look rich’)?
Anyway, moving along to the initial purpose of this post – fashion etiquette.
The Muffin Top:
It’s pretty hard to miss, especially if you’re actually looking at yourself in the mirror. If you look like you’re wearing a floatation device around your waist, then I’m guessing it’s because those pants are too tight. I’m thinking you should take them off and try a size up because you can barely walk in them! Helpful tip: wearing a tight shirt to go with those tight pants will not camouflage the muffin top. You will look like the Michelin man, and that’s not a cool look. Why? Well, the shirt is too tight so it pushes the jello down. The pants are too tight so they push the jello up, and we’ve already got a muffin top situation going on that is exacerbated by the overall tightness of said pants and top.
Stuck in the 80s:
I believe that spandex, stone washed jeans and animal prints should have stayed in the 80s. For real people – this look is not good! Women don’t want to look like the Material Girl anymore. Similarly, an over-abundance of jewelry makes you look like Mr./Mrs. T. Here’s an example of someone whose stuck in the eighties: every so often I see a woman on the train whose in her late fifties. This woman is a big fan of the 80s. She wears a tremendous amount of make-up, teases her hair, wears peasant skirts with belts that are about a foot wide, and tops that are tad too tight and expose her boobage. She also wears more jewelry then my friends and I own, combined. Hello? 2010, is that you?
Beer Belly/ Reverse Muffin Top:
What’s worse? Seeing a man sporting a beer gut that’s hanging over his pants, or seeing a woman sporting the same look? Nothing turns me on more then seeing a woman with ‘ a few extra pounds’ wearing a too-short skirt, and a top that is so short I can see her belly hanging out – this is known as the reverse muffin top – instead of the jello being fairly centered (think ‘Muffin top’), gravity has intervened to pushthe jello down (think ‘Reverse Muffin top’). To add to that visual, said gut jiggles as this woman walks down the street, and she’s completely oblivious to how she looks. Or IS she? Good question.
Look at Me!
OK, look – You’re in the middle of downtown Montreal. Can you please wear a shirt? This is not the Jersey Shore, and you are not Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino. Some of you guys are in pretty good shape, but I still don’t need to see you shirtless. Some of you aren’t in such good shape – you need to get that ‘situation’ under control and hit the gym.
Blast from the Past:
Fashion should be ageless, but if you’re in your fifties and up, please stop dressing like you’re in your twenties or early thirties. I understand that some women in their fifties are in excellent shape, and I commend you all for taking care of yourselves, but there comes a time when you just shouldn’t wear the mini skirts, tight pants, stilettos or crop tops. You can still look hot by dressing your age.
I think the title alone is self-explanatory. Wife-beaters are meant to be worn under shirts, not as a fashion statement.
The Skinny Gene:
The Skinny jean or pant look does not suit everyone. This look is intended for skinny people, hence the name ‘Skinny’ jean. Why is this so hard to comprehend? If you’ve got a big round booty, then I’m sorry, that look won’t work for you.
How Low Can You Go?
I thought the days of exposing your ass crack were over, but apparently I’m mistaken. I still see guys walking around wearing pants that fall below their ass cheeks. I wonder, is this because they want us to see what brand of underwear they’ve got on? You people can barely walk and I constantly see you tugging your pants up. Hello! That would be because they’re halfway down your legs – pants up already!
If you are chunky in the thigh department, I don’t recommend wearing short shorts or mini skirts. This look doesn’t slim you down. Similarly, there IS such a thing as shorts or skirts that are too short. Choose wisely.
If I can see your chest hair and your gold chains, you need a makeover. Bet you’ve got your hair greased back too!
I agree that people should feel free to express themselves via fashion any way they see fit; that said, just because something is fashionable or trendy, doesn’t mean that it suits you. We need to make judgment calls when picking our fashion, and if we can’t do that, then we need to call in reinforcements. Hopefully our family and friends will tell us if we look like idiots before we walk out the door!
On that note, I’ll leave you with this: when I was in high school, I had the highest bangs of anyone in my grade – hell, of anyone in my school. Back then I was totally proud of that look and people were always amazed at how I got my bangs to stay put. Of course, I would never sport that look again, no matter how tempted I am 😉
What are some of your fashion faux pas’?