NOTE: One must read Summer Fashion Theology in order to preface the following Summer Fashion Preview.
So one of the things I love about being a girl is fashion. I guess it's my sports, although I enjoy some sports too and find it strategic to be able to discuss them in ever present attempts to shatter glass ceilings.
Anyway, summer sometimes brings about fashion dilemmas and faux paus that I'd like to address before we get into the full swing of "how many weddings are booking up my weekends this summer?" season. Remember, ladies, if you have several local weddings to attend, you need more than one dress to wear to them all. Also, keep in mind if they are indoor or outdoor, because air conditioning will make you want a wrap or cardigan, and humidity will make you desire as much coolness as possible, especially where slips are concerned. I hate slips, but it is often NOT modest to go without.
Without further ado, Bitty's Summer Fashion Pointers:
1. Pantyhose: pantyhose are no longer considered a must for formal occasions. Business attire, perhaps, but not formal attire, which means, NO pantyhose with open toed shoes. Seriously, if it's warm enough to wear open toed shoes, it's warm enough that nylons are very uncomfortable anyway. And yes, if you're wondering whether people can tell that you're wearing toeless nylons with open toed shoes...yes, we can.
2. Tanorexic: everyone has a tan level they're comfortable with. My skin is comfortable staying "albino monk from DaVinci Code" white. That's fine. My best bet for adding a little color is a gradual tint adding lotion, but buyer beware: lotion lines are as tacky as a thong sticking out above your pant line, and those of us with sensitive skin may have difficulty finding a color adding lotion that doesn't make us itch. As biased as I am, I don't think that lack of tan is unfashionable (see Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger as examples), but I do know this: wrinkled cleavage is never fashionable, and the more you tan now, the wrinklier it is going to get, and soon. Give your skin a break and don't become a tanorexic who looks 65 at the age of 35.
3.Clubbing: disturbing is the trend that young women go to weddings looking like they're going clubbing. Ladies, we know you have cleavage. We don't need to see it in all it's padded, pushed up, tanned lack of glory. We know you have legs. See above. Weddings vary in level of formality, that's understandable - it can be difficult choosing how dressed up to be, given whether it's afternoon/evening, indoor/outdoor, etc. But dressing as a Hollister model from the mall is not attractive or a wise fashion decision. Know why? You look like ALL THE OTHERS.
4.Gentlemen: jeans to a wedding is not okay. enough said. don't be lazy. shave. put on a tie, a button up shirt at the least, and khakis, for crying out loud. No Hawaiian prints allowed unless it's a beach wedding and the invitation said so. And guys, realize that pleated front pants are rarely flattering on any man. They accentuate guts, they don't hide them. Especially when the pleats are accordian-ing out. Also, pants pockets should not be gaping open when standing still. If they are, go up a size or go running. Belt and shoes should match color. Avoid tasseled shoes unless you're one of the FEW people who can pull them off, which most can't.
5. Wear sunscreen: one of you will either be one of these people or see one of these people, please let me save you some pain: swimsuit tan lines on your back when you have to wear a sleeveless dress. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but think about it now, at the beginning of wedding promenade season. If worse comes to worst, try painting on color adding tanning lotion into the lines to blend, but beware: it's still visible, so in some ways don't waste your time. If you're a bridesmaid, there's nothing you can do about the sleeveless necessity, but if you have a choice in your closet and you've got swimsuit tan lines, wear something that'll cover them up.
6. Drips of sweat: hair is done, makeup is done, and then you step outside and feel like screaming "I'm melting...meellttiingg!!!" Save frustration and work with nature: if your hair curls in humidity, don't waste time trying to straighten it unless you're going to a salon with uberhot straightners. Makeup: try blotting tissues (least favorite option), Mary Kay oil mattifier (works wonders - blocks shine for up to eight hours), and loose powder. If you sweat a lot in the summer and your pores tend to clog, try Mary Kay blemish control toner in addition to the normal-to-oily cleanser and moisturizer. CONTRARY to popular belief, oily skin DOES need moisturized - in fact, it's oily because it's trying so hard! MK oil-free moisturizing gel can help with this process.While we're on summer skin, you may enjoy bronzing powder for a "sunkissed" look that contours your face, but the must-have for every woman I know this summer is CELLUSHAPE. Ladies, hold your hats: it smooths cellulite, and it works. The biggest worry on the beach can now be what to drink out of the cooler. Eighty percent of women - including athletes and models- have cellulite. There are three theories as to why, and MK CelluShape addresses all three. It firms, smooths, and stimulates cellular activity.
7. Shorts: Thank goodness long shorts are back in. 15 year olds flashing the world makes me feel irritable and old. Best piece of advice on shorts I've heard was from a British woman on Oprah: American women, don't think you have to wear shorts in summer. They're RARELY flattering on most women. Capris and skirts are cute alternatives. Also, as a side note, ladies: beware Madras. It's cute, yes, but plaid? Plaid is stripes going both ways! Yikes! Be...lissome, if you're going to try it.
8. Favorites: Favorite fashion items include espadrilles, retro prints, internationally inspired styles, especially the shimmers and beads of India, and dresses. I love that dresses, long flowy cotton dresses are in. They're cool, flattering, and feminine. They can be dressed up or down.
Have a cool summer, and ponder this statement about Nicole Kidman's style: She has wonderful fashion sense shown by the fact that she wears the clothes, the clothes do not wear her. Ladies, that's the difference between garnering compliments and being fashion roadkill. Not everything in style is right for you. See what you like, see how it looks on you, and pick and choose. Don't assume that because it's on the rack, it's the right choice. Balloon skirts are rarely the right choice. Leggings are rarely the right choice. Philosophy put it best: know thyself. Know who you are, develop your own likes and dislikes, taste and preferences, and in this process, develop a blend of creativity and wisdom. I am a mood dresser, which is why I have to pack so much. If I throw on an outfit because I'm in a hurry, I get disgruntled for no reason because all day I feel uncomfortable. Know yourself. Watch "What Not to Wear". Update your makeup colors. And at the end of the day, you are wearing the clothes, the clothes are not wearing you.