Okay, screw not offending my pals, I’m gonna do it. I’m posting a list of My Fashion Rules, regardless of whose toes I step on. These are random and I’ll probably keep updating it as time goes on, and I think of new rules. Nevertheless:
1. No ponchos, unless they are the rain kind and you are in a monsoon and it is all function over fashion, baby.
2. No pants that are too short – if your pants aren’t MEANT to be cropped, then they must come to the top of the sole of your shoe if you are wearing flats, or at least halfway down the length of the heel if you are wearing heels. THIS GOES FOR GUYS TOO. I can’t tell you how many men I see wearing sad business high-water suit pants. For shame.
3. No wearing cropped pants with socks of any kind, with the unfortunate but permissible exception of workout wear.
4. No wearing cropped pants with boots. Ever. No, not even Ugg boots. Come to think of it, no wearing Ugg boots if you’re not in danger of getting frostbite otherwise. See #12.
5. Always make sure your accessories match – purse, belt, bag/briefcase – these things must all be the same tone leather/material, or at least close. NO brown shoes with black belt. Also, you should try and match things like sunglasses, at least as much as you can. No, I’m not kidding. I’d even go so far as to say that if you have a gold-tone buckle on your belt but you’re wearing a silver-tone watch, you’re breaking the rule. Again, not kidding. Matching is cool.
6. No super-high stiletto heels. They’re ugly, they destroy your feet and ankles, and frankly, since I find them so damn hard to walk in, I don’t want you other girls putting the idea into guys’ heads that that’s the kind of sexy they can realistically expect from us, because then the expectation spreads across the entire gender and I’m not interested in walking like a pegleg before age 40. Guys have porn to fuel their unrealistic expectations of women (see here for further explanation) and they don’t need us doing it in REAL life – that’l just screw things up. No more spike heels.
7. No miniskirts either. Sorry, girls, but I really do think that skirts which fall above the knee are a) trashy, b) juvenile, c) unflattering, and d) just plain ugly. It’s a very biased opinion, I know, but that’s because it’s on my blog. Skirts should hit at the knee or longer. Final answer. Don’t trust magazines or retail clerks to tell you what hemlines are “in”. They make their money by duping you.
8. No crushed velvet. It’s ugly. Stretch velvet is questionable but at times okay, but should always look as much like real velvet as possible.
9. Don’t go overboard on metallic things. It’s distracting and you look like spare change. Also, sharks attack shiny things (they confuse them with fish). No metallic bathing suits – your bloody mangled corpse is a lot less fashionable than you might imagine, despite the Prada silver bikini. Trust me.
10. No batwing shirts. I know people think the 80s came back, but they shouldn’t have.
11. On that note, here’s a good rule of thumb – if you’re in your 20’s now and you can remember it from your childhood, it’s too young to be vintage yet. Note: this is a dated statement. I’m sure the godforsaken 80’s will come back in a true, real-vintage-revival way at some point, but it hasn’t happened yet, so put that ugly-ass neon green t-shirt slide somewhere hidden for the next 10 years or so.
12. Uggs are uggly. I’d wear them for warmth purposes, sure, but NEVER with a skirt that makes them all visible-like, and never the Mary Kate Olson pink ones. Get a normal color and keep ‘em covered, people.
13. Wear things to flatter your body! My freshman year roommate in college used to wear some scary stuff that would flaunt her assets and disguise her flaws – I’m not kidding. (Sorry if you’re reading this, Amy hon, but it’s true – you had a lovely figure but you’d stuff it into teeny tiny too-small cutoffs and tank tops like sausage into casing, and you’d spill out in all the wrong places – such a shame). Get an honest friend’s opinion if you must. Every female should go read What Not to Wear and dress accordingly. If you have a big ass, don’t buy things with tiny pockets. If you have a big rack, don’t try to cram ‘em where they don’t belong. If you have really wide shoulders, halters make you look like a footballer. If you have a big gut, don’t wear pants that make it bulge over or tops that are too short to cover it or too tight and thus hug it. Flatter your assets, hide your flaws, don’t sweat the medium stuff.
14. Check for dandruff on dark shirts. Check for pit stains on light shirts. Check for annoying sweaterballs on all sweaters. If you own a hair-shedding animal, invest in a lint roller, keep it by the front door, and USE it. I’m not claiming I always infallibly do all these things, but one should try to do them all.
15. Don’t paint your fingernails scary colors, especially for things like job interviews. Don’t grow frighteningly long fingernails. Don’t get fake nails, or if you do, keep them short and as natural-looking as possible. Do keep your fingernails clean and well-kempt. Don’t scratch anyone’s eye out. Don’t ever, EVER paint a reverse-French manicure (i.e. dark/colored tips and lighter/natural nail bed). TACKY.
16. Don’t wear grossly mismatched hat/scarf/gloves combos. At least *try* to make them go together well.
17. Tapered pants are bad unless you are working out.
18. I think tights are ugly. Only sheer nylons look cute. My opinion, yes.
19. Don’t wear nylons that are the wrong color for you – pick a sheer black, or a nude that somewhat accurately reflects your natural skin tone. Don’t go seven shades too dark like my fair-skinned mother used to do. ‘Suntan’ is not ever appropriate if you are of fair British coloring, sorry Mom.
20. Make sure the lines of your necklace work okay with the line of your shirt. Likewise, when layering shirts, consider the lines.
21. Don’t wear black and brown together. Or black and navy together.
22. If you wear a ton of makeup, make sure it doesn’t end up anywhere it’s not supposed to – like racoon eyes and/or black eye goobers from mascara, foundationl/lipstick on the necklines of lighter shirts, etc.
23. Also watch out for getting white deodorant stains on your darker shirts.
24. For the love of God, ladies, wear the right bra with the white shirt. Invest in something seamless and nude. Nothing lace unless it’s covered by a bulky sweater or plenty of concealing layers. Black top, black bra. These sorts of things seem so instinctual, but I see enough poorly-brassiered women to confirm otherwise.
25. Never ever EVER have visible panties – especially if it’s a thong hanging out of your ass. VPL (visible panty line) is FAR more acceptable than skank-thong-visibility. Sure, wear a thong if the outfit calls for it, but keep it covered!
26. If you go commando to avoid panty lines, make sure your outfit can handle it – i.e. not in a short skirt, please. And careful on those escalators. Trust me. Also, I’ve heard mirrored dance floors are dangerous. Something to keep in mind.
27. A good rule of thumb – if Paris Hilton would wear it, you probably shouldn’t. This also works with verbs like ‘do’, ‘eat’, and ‘post on the Internet’ – try it!
28. Don’t mismatch levels of casual-ness – if you’re wearing really dressy pants, it looks weird to have a casual baseball jersey on. Scruffy hole-ridden jeans look equally weird with a nice sleek sweater. And don’t wear a really nice purse/briefcase/coat but then have scruffy tennis shoes on. I know TONS of women do this when commuting to work, and I probably should have back when I walked two miles to work and another two back, but I just COULDN’T bring myself to do so. Buy some Danskos already.
29. Don’t wear those little not-socky things with shoes that don’t fully cover them! It looks SO TACKY to have them hanging out, you have no idea. Please stop.
30. Easy on the rhinestones. See #9.
31. No socks or nylons with open-toed shoes.
32. No gauchos. Sorry, I hate them.
33. No plaids mixed with stripes. Easy on mixing patterns of any kind. And I have a friend who thinks all patterned pants look awful on people, and I think I concur. While there may be an exception or two out there, chances are it was made for Kate Moss and not you. No offense.
34. If you (or other people) think you look like Carrie Bradshaw, think twice about what this might mean: a) cute poofy Cinderella dress – a good thing; or b) thigh-high argyle socks, stilletos, sequined skirt, plaid leather jacket – a bad thing. There are two sides to every coin. This is true for any celebrity or trendsetter.
35. Read Glamour magazine ‘Don’t’s. Then think about whether you could possibly be construed as a ‘Glamour Don’t’.
36. Few girls can pull off the following things without looking ridiculous: glitter makeup, bright red lipstick, feather boas or trim, fishnets, hats of any kind (except the warm-keeping winter kind), anything thigh-high. Think hard about whether YOU can pull something off before you attempt to.
37. If you wear trashy lingerie, be it for kicks, to surprise your beau, because you lost a bet, whatever, make sure it doesn’t show. Seriously. This is especially true for garters, garter belts, stockings, etc. Keep it covered or wear normal hose, as much as you might hate ’em.
38. Don’t wear a slip that shows below the hemline of your skirt. Even if they do it in the Urban Outfitters catalog. Just because their models can pull it off on paper doesn’t mean you can in real life.
39. UNDO the little crisscross of thread that shuts the vents or pleats on your skirts/jackets/etc.
40. Don’t wear shoes in which you are likely to fall. Fashion over function does not ALWAYS apply. On that note, just don’t be one of those people who always has to look good and thus shows up in pink tafetta for a Habitat for Humanity project. Sometimes, it’s NOT about fashion. This goes more for girls than guys, though I can think of a few males who would do well to commit this tip to heart.
41. Your iPod does not have to match your outfit. Neither does your cEll pHone. Or your pAlm pIlot.
42. Your dog does not belong in a purse. See #27.
43. Don’t clash shades of red/black/obvious colors that don’t quite go together.
44. Don’t wear anything see-through unless you have an appropriate event to attend, or you’re being tipped in your g-string, or you have a nice conservative nude thing to wear underneath it. Inappropriate sheerness is not sexy, it’s trashy.
45. False eyelashes are only okay if you are singing drag, going to a Halloween party, or some other set of extravagant circumstances. They are not okay for everyday. And yes, people CAN tell you’re wearing them, and no, it doesn’t look good.
46. Don’t instantly try to copy any trend you see in magazines/etc. Stop for a sec and and see if you actually LIKE it before you imitate it.
47. Splurge to invest in classic and durable things like a nice purse, comfy classy shoes, and a timeless coat in a neutral color or a non-neutral that’s your ‘signature’ and that you know you’ll always wear. Skimp on trendy-trends that are a hot-for-now color or style that may go out of style tomorrow. Wait and see if a trend will stick before investing a ton of money in something fashionally unstable.
47. Kitten heels are evil, and look dated, and ridiculous, and like they can’t support the weight put upon them, and should not be purchased or worn under any circumstances. (That said, I’ll admit it, I have ONE pair of kittenish-heeled sandals that I love – but I hate the heel part, the rest was just cute enough to make up for it. Shut up).
48. Don’t put big lumpy things in your pockets if you’re wearing something fitted. It makes you look as though you have tumors in strange places.
49. Fleece is not appropriate attire for a place that has a Cosmopolitan on their drinks menu. (Seattle, this one’s for you).
50. Bainbridge High, this one’s for you – no need to carry your books around in a North Face Polar Expedition v4600 Elite – a regular Jansport, a messenger bag, or a motherf*cking paper sack will do just fine. We’re not ALWAYS summiting Everest, people.
51. Another Bainbridge one – it may have been trendy in our weird granola-yuppie bubble to wear wool ragg socks with Birkenstocks (rhyming unintended), but it is not okay anywhere off The Rock. I’m serious. See #31.
52. My dad wears tie clips. I think perhaps he should reconsider. Sorry, Dad.
53. Men with overdone gel-heads are unappealing. Women with spray-heads are unappealing. If your body moves but your hair doesn’t, it’s creepy. Crew cuts and short afros exempt from this rule. And men get more leeway than women in this department, and of course some girly hairstyles require hold – but go easy on the helmet-head, is all I’m sayin’.
54. Slouch socks are over. (This one’s for my mother).
55. Personally, and I realize this is biased (but that’s because it’s my list), I hate camoflauge. War is not a fashion statement. I don’t dig vintage army gear of any kind. And I don’t think army green is that pretty of a color.
56. I just broke this rule last night, so I’m adding it from personal experience – DON’T pick a first-time-meeting with anyone to debut a new article of clothing, if said article is at all questionable in how it fits and/or stays put. Nuff said, I hope. Sorry if you got a sneek peek of anything you shouldn’t have, Gloddy. My bad, I broke my own rule. Stupid J. Crew.
57. If you wear a hat, be mindful of ‘hat hair’.