Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sins of the Fabric

Kirsten wrote us and asked if we could write about fashions that look bad on anyone, regardless of weight, height, age, etc. I'd be delighted to, and in fact the ideas below (mostly) go for men and women, so don't let yourself drift into fashion hell!

1. Stripper shoes. There is no reason that any self-respecting woman should be caught dead in these shoes. It's not just the boots, either. Any heel that has an unrealistic platform, laces up to the knee or is shiny patent leather, stay away. The only reason I could fathom a woman would wear these is if she was a) a stripper, or b) in a Halloween costume, and even in that situation, it's not something that either party would wear on a date, to a club or walking around the mall. Just don't do it.

2. Anything of this genre. You know the shirts I'm talking about. They have the eagles, the coyotes, the lightning, the inspirational and patriotic sayings, etc. It's not even so much that the shirts themselves are bad (although, believe me, they are), it's the people wearing them that give them a truly bad name. They're mostly a staple of trailer-dwellers, rednecks and other various and sundry unsavory types, and you don't want to be associated with them, do you? No, there are much better shirts out there. Unless you're going to a back-woods bar, in which case you'll fit right in.

3. Plaid flannel. I know, Al Borland is hot - look how he can pull off that tool belt. But he's probably the only one I know who can pull this look off. Unless you're a lumberjack, a carpenter, or just trying to stay warm in the confines of your own home, give this article a pass. Men are not the only breakers of this rule, by the way. I've seen women wearing these at times, usually with a mullet and acid-wash jeans in their local Wal-Mart. It's just so unflattering - it does nothing for the figure, and you automatically look like a woodsman. There's no reason to subject yourself to this kind of fashion torture. Pajamas are a different story, but button-downs are a classic that are meant to be a light, breathable cotton.

4. Knit sweaters with cutesy designs on them. My friend and I used to call these "teacher sweaters" because they're the kind that your third-grade teacher usually paired with a turtleneck to wear to school. Sweaters are best worn fitted (not skin-tight), and/or layered with a button-down shirt. Furthermore, the button-down does not just look good in white anymore. Be adventurous and pair your sweater with a complimentarily-colored button-down, instead. Other offenders to watch out for - apple sweaters, teddy bear sweaters and cat sweaters.

5. This. I don't really have a name for this phenomenon, but there are three things wrong with this. Firstly, jeans that go up to the waist make your rear-end look even bigger than it is, and not in a flattering way, for those of you who may want a bigger behind. Secondly, highwaters are for nerds - you should not expose any sock unless you sit down. Thirdly, untuck your shirt and take off those ridiculous loafers! The person pictured at left has resigned themselves to soccer mom jeans. As a reader astutely pointed out, Old Navy is a great place for jeans. They have four different rises and three different lengths, so you can try them and find out what combination works best for you. It's the only place I ever buy jeans. Additionally, for those of you who have never heard of the company, Apple Bottoms is a line of clothing designed by Nelly for well-endowed women. I can't believe it took a man to come up with the idea, but at least we can enjoy the fruit of his great (albeit somewhat expensive) idea.