Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Case Against The Less Than Super Fantastic

Inspired by the Carnivale of Couture on Manolo's Shoe Blog.

Honolulu! You'd think that a city that has consistent summery weather, the most beautiful people in the United States, and a generous helping of designer boutiques would have minimal incidences of fashion dont's, right? Depends on how you define “don't” - we're talking about a city where flip-flops are welcome at church, aloha shirts are considered professional, and wearing a single Hawaiian gold bracelet with a is considered “underdressed” in certain quarters.

In my case, I can take practically anything on anyone, but that does not mean that I can't draw a line somewhere when it comes to the fashion trends that drive me crazy. Consider:

- The unsupportive bikini. The only thing that drives me crazier than bralessness is bad taste in swimwear, especially if you're talking about walking around Waikiki and staring at flapjack boobies - of any size - in badly constructed bikinis. Trust me on this one, ladies: If your cup size is greater than a C, you really are much better off with more chestal support. And unless you are (a) a model or actress, (b) a stripper, or (c) a bodybuilder, you have no business running around in public in nothing but a string bikini, ever. Remember, even the hottest female surfers and canoe paddlers know better to put on a rash guard before hitting the water.

- Badly done layering. Okay, so letting the halter straps of your bikini peek out of your tank looks cool. Wearing a plunging halter top over the thick beige straps of your 18 Hour Bra, on the other hand, is not. And as for those “fake layer” tops that were in vogue not too long ago... it's over, folks, and not a moment too soon.

- Out-of-season footwear. I only know of one person who can carry off wearing Uggs here in Hawaii. She was wearing it because it was cold outside and we were hanging out past our bedtime in pajamas. Everywhere else? Don't get me started.

- Hooker/fetishist shoes. Again, I only know of one person who got away with platfom lucite heels, and she wore them because it gave her height under her wedding gown. (And, uh, check out the younger version of Julia Roberts in the poster on your right.) The rest of us in any combination of platforms, stilettos, rubber, patent leather and/or Lucite will inevitably look like runaway cast members from a “sensual” revue on the Las Vegas Strip. (And, yes, the Rick James episode of Chappelle's Show has turned me off platform boots indefinitely.)

- Gut overhang. Guys, it's OK to layer your most awesome T-shirt over another shirt, even a thin undershirt like your grandpa used to wear. Otherwise, that extra inch of bare midriff that peeks out between your shirt hem and your waistband runs the risk of ruining the sexy, as Diddy would say. (And if you think you can be excused from this rule because of your “killer” abs... think again, brah.)

- The matching set. The one thing that's unsavory about shopping at Ross involves those cheesy, printed blouse-with-matching-skirt (or pants, or jacket) outfits. Yes, it can save you money, but wearing the whole set all at once can be unflattering at worst and costumey at best. The only solution is to break the set up; in most cases, you can wear the bottoms with another shirt in the same color family and the tops over a camisole or tank with neutral pants. (Unless the top is "fake-layered" with a shirt-like panel, in which case... no.)

- Head to toe leather. Need I explain more? Plus, if you're wearing fake leather, it's double the don't.

Now, to be fair, this doesn't even cover the exceptionally heinous crimes against taste by way of hair and makeup - and trust me, we'll be here all night if we went there. But the point is this: We're already lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Dressing badly only makes you stand out in a very obnoxious way.


Tiabla said...

Hey, I love your blog! I totally agree with your Don'ts. Badly done layering drives me nuts, especially when someone wears an open-backed top with the entire bra showing.

My biggest pet peeve, and I believe the Manolo addressed this once, is when women wear shoes that are too small for their feet, so that half of their heel (or toes, or side foot fat) is hanging off of the shoe. Since everyone here wears sandals/slippers, I see this all the time. My girlfriends and I just refer to these people as "offenders". People, buy a bigger shoe!

meimei said...

Thanks for stopping by, tiabla! Oh, how could I have forgotten about the too-small shoes? Up until recently I have been guilty of buying shoes that were too small for me - and, seriously, it hurts the feet as much as the eyes! After having to suffer one blister too many (not to mention the bleeding from where the straps would cut and create foot fat - ouch - and mornings where I have to take Tylenol after spending the night in tight shoes) I realized that my feet were short and wide - problematic for "designer" shoes (Prada and Manolo Blahnik shoes are cut narrow) but not too bad for less expensive, non-hoochie shoes. Still and all, though, I do find it sad when people give all sorts of excuses to buy and force themselves into shoes that obviously don't fit their feet - it's going to hurt one way or another anyway! :(