I wish I could do a spin-off of the Fashion Police show (on E) of my own using stylish authorities (albeit less snarky) to ticket people making fashion faux pas.
They would be on the streets (like a makeover show I used to love to watch) and accost people, telling them how horrible they look and offering to make them feel better about themselves. I always thought: “they were feeling just fine about themselves — everyone does at least a little primping before going out in public — BEFORE you people came running at them with cameras judging their appearance and then pointing out their flaws.”
My fashion police would have more tact and instead would come sashaying up to the “offender” — lightly tapping them on the shoulder while muttering an “uh-hm,” to get their attention — and then hand them a slip of paper that says something to the effect: “I’m sorry, but you are in violation of wearing clothing that might induce someone to be physically ill, to walk into oncoming traffic accidentally or purposefully, or otherwise slip into a fugue of hysterics. Please follow these tips and check yourself in a mirror before next stepping from your home or you will be fined.” The tips would offer practical guidelines like:
• Don’t wear black socks with sandals. In fact, don’t wear socks at all with sandals unless your feet are truly so unappealing that they should be hidden from the world.
• Don’t wear clothes too small for you. Yes, that lesser number makes you feel better but you look bigger when parts of you are squeaking out of their confines.
• Don’t mix plaids. Only one item of plaid at a time is acceptable in keeping people from being hypnotized when they see your body in motion.
• Cleavage should show just that — as in Webster’s definition: “the hollow between a woman’s breasts when supported, esp. as exposed by a low-cut garment” — thus we shouldn’t actually see your busty business, just a peek of the space in-between.
• Don’t wear every piece of jewelry you own at one time.
• Put clothes on before walking down the street or getting into a vehicle. Sleepwear is only acceptable in the out-of-doors if you are picking up your newspaper or wrangling in a child or pet.
• If you’re going to wear stilettos, learn to walk in them first. Teetering or stomping in them just makes you look silly.
• Pull your pants up and wear a belt if your pants are larger than your waistline!
• Unless you are bearing washboard abs of steel, or tanning, nobody wants to see your belly area. Hide it.
• Skirts and/or dresses are for women, the Scottish, monks and leprechauns.
• Pantyhose are never appropriate to be worn with a bathing suit.
• Learn the differences between a brassiere, bathing suit and a tank top.
• Similarly, remember that lingerie, underwear (which includes boxers and thongs) are meant to be worn under the main pieces of clothing.
• Don’t wear more than two clothing layers (not including coats) unless you don’t have a coat and temperatures are ice-inducing.
• Don’t wear shorts/skirts that show what should have covered by underwear. If someone wants to see your lowest cheeks they will ask you, pay you to or take you to dinner first.
• Don’t wear clothing that has a phrase or a single word on them unless you are comfortable with people staring at that particular body part.
Somewhere along the line clothing distributors realized that teen girls will buy anything that their parents don’t want them to, and as a result, bottoms (pants, shorts, sweats) started coming out with low waistlines, high leg holes, and large words plastered on the backs. You can’t help but look before looking away like someone may have saw you and thought you were leering. But really you can’t miss reading them, and that is the point, to divert your attention to the derriere or chest areas.
Just once I’d like a clothier to sell clothing with realistic words across the chest or buttock area, like BUTT, or LOOK, THE END or PERV or something that makes sense.
I admit I do own a pair of “word” shorts that I bought at Great America, not knowing they had the word “RIDE” written on the back. While I did (have to) wear them throughout the rest of the day in front of hundreds of people, that was their last day in public. They are now pajama bottoms.
The first time I noticed a pair of shorts with a single word made in large block letters was at a high school and (I assume) the girl was a cheerleader because her bottom read “cheer.” Shortly thereafter I noticed them everywhere and overheard a conversation between two men who admitted they felt guilty, like someone was going to consider them depraved because they had been in the bleachers with several young teens boasting words on their bottoms. — and couldn’t help but look.
Another at a different place and time expressed to his significant other while in her tow — “IT’S WRITTEN IN BIG BLOCK LETTERS! HOW CAN I NOT NOTICE IT SAYS WIN! “ — in his defense. To which she replied snappily: “Well, YOU’RE not gonna WIN it!”
I was invited into another eavesdropping incident discussing more derriere matters. Two men were talking about the skin-tight, short-shorts worn by most every volleyball player nowadays. One admitted he had trouble looking away and that he would never in a million years let his daughter walk out of the house like that.
As an upstanding man within his community that was happily married and in no way interested in having a fling with, or fantasy of, anyone that was too young to vote, he felt guilt and embarrassment in the young ladies’ sporting attire of choice — like he had accidentally walked into the women’s dressing room and didn’t know where to look.
I had thought then as I often do now: “Where are the fashion police when you need them?”