Fashion Faux Pas

There are days that simply confound me. Days where I’m walking in a mall, checking out what’s new, or out at a party having cocktails with friends, and then Bam! Walking fashion roadkill. I mean, okay—I’m not expecting everyone to dress like they just stepped out of the pages of Vogue magazine. And normally, people dress to suit their function, so if they are wearing a simple, sensible outfit to run errands, that’s fine. But there are just some I come across that cause me to have sleepless nights wondering what they were thinking when they stepped out of the house in such an outfit. Really? Do you have to be decked out like a Christmas tree waiting to be lit? The sad part is when these girls actually think they look all high fashion when in reality, they look like they escaped from the set of a kitschy noontime show. So here’s a list of the most common symptoms of an impossibly ‘baduy’ outfit. Someone call the fashion police!

1. Overaccessorizing– This is unmistakable. The clothes themselves might be all right, but then they wear it with Large hoop or chandelier earrings plus chunky bracelets or cuffs, plus a neckpiece, plus an embellished/metallic bag, plus embellished/metallic shoes. Finish with heavy makeup, and voila! Cheapness galore. Remember this: when it comes to elegant dressing, less is always more. If you’ve got a pretty dress on, limit the accessorizing to delicate (real) jewelry as much as possible, or just one focal point. If you’ve got heavy earrings on, ditch the necklace and cuff, and vice versa. Use eye catching accessories only if you’re wearing something plain or neutral. Also, anything metallic like a clutch or shoes are also considered accessories and should therefore be kept to a minimum. Only wear them one at a time, not all together like city lights.

A human Christmas tree!

A human Christmas tree!

2. Hair extensions and over processed hair– Unless you’re joining a pageant or local showbiz, these are not necessary at all. Even if you are attending a wedding or some evening event, I cannot think of a possible reason why hair extensions would be necessary. It just looks too fake and there’s something trashy about sporting hair that’s so long it almost reaches your waist. Long hair is great but keep it real and keep it sleek. As for coloring, I’m all for enhancing one’s skin tone with deep browns, even with small highlights of gold or mahogany. But when your hair color is much too light, it seems like you’re desperately trying to be ‘mestiza’ and it just looks awful. Stick with shades close to your real hair color, or for a change, keep it jet black. You’d be surprised at how classy it looks.

The thought of these split ends and discoloration will keep me up all night...

The thought of these split ends and discoloration will keep me up all night…

3. Clothes made of cheap fabrics and cuts– The trick here is that there can be cute styles replicated using cheap fabrics that simply aren’t flattering, and that just negates the entire effort altogether. If you’re going to buy clothes, make it a firm resolve to buy only a few classic pieces made with high quality. Yes, they are pricier but they will last much longer and you’ll look so much better in them than forcing yourself into those China-made department store outfits, especially those that bleed or shrink after washing. I’m not saying you should only buy branded clothes—just make the effort to choose better and not get tempted by the cheap price tags. It will be a waste of money to have a truckload of clothes you can’t even use more than a couple of times.

Can anyone spell t-a-c-k-y?

Can anyone spell t-a-c-k-y?

4. Wrong fit or length– If anything clings more than it should, shows off bulges and muffin tops instead of flattering curves, peeks out in between buttons, or is too short you are in danger of maximum exposure just by sitting down, then it doesn’t belong in your closet. You should wear clothes that are stylish but also comfortable, don’t make you feel self- conscious or don’t require frequent tugging and adjusting every 5 minutes. It’s either it’s the wrong size and you’re dressing to fit yourself five years and twenty pounds ago, or the fabric/construction of the item is all wrong. Do yourself a favour and get rid of them. If you love it that much then get it in the right size and quality.

See that muffin top?  Woman, your skirt is too tight.

See that muffin top? Woman, your skirt is too tight.

5. Logo queen– People who dress like walking billboards of branded apparel give me a migraine. Maybe one is ok, but everything all at once is kind of pathetic—Tory Burch flats, Ferragamo belt, LV monogram bag, Chanel earrings, Gucci shades. Seriously? Wear the brands sparingly, my dears. Especially if they’re fake—the saddest thing is seeing women carrying ‘Hermes’ and ‘Chanel’ bags without any idea what the original price tags of their bags are supposed to be or how obviously counterfeit they are.

Think twice...

Think twice…

6. Long nails– The long red talons of yesteryear are gone, darlings. So if you’re still sporting long nails, you’re stuck in an 80s time warp. Cut your nails short and square, and color them either beige, dark red, or light pink. If you must try out an algae shade, save it for the weekend. Acrylics can be avoided as well, unless you were born with small nails and have no other way to improve how they look but to use falsies.

Long nails are so yesterday.

Long nails are so yesterday.

7. Exposed underwear or VPL– Please, please invest in good underwear. I have lost count of nice outfits ruined by the wrong color of underwear (white bra under black blouse or black panty under beige pants), or the thong peeking out from above your waistband, or visible panty lines (VPL) digging into your belly and thighs. The horror!!! Stick to seamless undies that stay smooth even under jersey dresses or slim pants. And to be safe, wear beige most of the time during the day and blacks at night.

Gaah!! The horror!!!

Gaah!!!!!

8. Over the top clothes– Here’s another common waterloo: the penchant for excessive sequins, or lace, ruffles, cutouts, applique’, studs. It’s so tacky, really! Save the sequin dresses for New Year’s eve or dressy events. Lace, ruffles, applique’ and cutouts are ok as long as they are done tastefully. Also, avoid too much skin exposure. If something is plunging, then keep the hemline decent. If something is backless, then make sure the front is cut quite high. If something is very short, then the top should be pretty covered. Yes you may have a great body but you’ve got to leave something to the imagination, you know! Restrain yourself!

9. Boots, leather and fur in the tropics. Enough said. I cannot believe people can’t get that right.

10. Frump galore. Then there are the women who look like they’ve given up any and all hope of ever looking chic, and stuff themselves into unflattering mommy jeans, batwing blouses (the ones with so much draping you look like a walking mound of cloth), ugly clogs or bulky flats that look like they were made for 80 year old grannies (and even my own granny would never have worn them if she were alive!). Some effort, people! Even if you were full bodied or built heavy, it wouldn’t kill you to wear slim jeans in dark rinse, or tailored/fitted blouses, or moderate heels and wedges. There is no excuse to look like a world class doormat.

I can't see how these tops can be beneficial to anyone.

I can’t see how these tops can be beneficial to anyone.

11. Matchy-matchy. This was in when our moms were teeners, but not anymore. It is totally considered kitschy to show up with eyeshadow matching your dress matching your nail polish matching your bag matching your belt matching your shoes. Learn the art of mixing things up a little—neutrals with a pop of color in just one place, like a belt or shoes or bag. Or a somber outfit jazzed up with blue eyeliner or cute nail art. Don’t wear everything in the same color all at once. There’s a way to do monochromatic without looking like the human incarnation of a Crayola.

I love your sense of humor, Lady Gaga.

I love your sense of humor, Lady Gaga.

Hopefully this article will help you girls avoid all the fashion no-nos! Let the glossies be your guide and may 2013 be your best dressed year yet.

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