Unsolicited Fashion Advice #6

I. Just. Don’t. Understand. This.

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Open toed shoes. With footsies. Not socks, in that fashion-y socks-with-heels kind of way. Footsies. As in the mini-socks you wear so that they DON’T show outside from your shoes.

Again. I. Don’t. Understand.

I admit, the photo above is an extreme example of the phenomenon that confounds me every time I encounter it. Most of the time, the women are wearing ballet flats with the footsies peeking out. This is the first time I’ve seen the footsies worn with sandals (thank goodness it’s not a more common occurrence). But even in the ballet flats scenario… I. Don’t. Understand.

I don’t understand why it happens. Yes, I get why the footsies are needed, why they are worn. I just don’t understand why they’re peeking out from the shoes. Isn’t the point of getting these special socks is for them not be seen in the first place? If they’re going to show anyway, you might as well have worn regular socks with them. You’d probably look just as ridiculous, maybe even less, since the socks-with-heels look was (is?) a thing. I’ve seen the tiniest, funniest-looking footsies ever, where it’s basically just an inch of fabric covering the toes, a strip for the sole, then a little fabric again for the heel. Why not get those?

If you can’t find those (I’m sure you can, though, at any department store) then why buy the shoes to begin with anyway? Can’t you test them out with the footsies you own and check if they’ll be visible? Can’t you find any other shoe where they won’t be?

To me, it just seems like a lack of… planning. If you’re going to buy new shoes, then test them out with the footsies. If you’re buying footsies to wear with your existing shoes, then bring the shoes with you to check if they show! If you really can’t find the perfect shoe-footsie match, then can’t you at least get skintoned footsies? All this ugliness is all so preventable, so why I don’t understand why I still see lacy black footsies (really, lace?) peeking out from white ballet flats (really, white?). Uggggh.

Or do the ladies who sport this look really INTEND for the polyester lace to show?!?… That… I. Will. Never. Understand.

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Unsolicited Fashion Advice #5

When did this all start, anyway? One day, we were living in a world where handbag straps were unburdened. The next, they were everywhere.

I’m talking about those hand sanitizers that come with a rubber strap so you can hang them from… anywhere. And it seems that every single woman who purchased one decided to hang theirs from their handbag straps.

It seems like I can’t go anywhere without seeing this hanging from every other woman’s handbag. Speaking as someone who can’t live without my trusty bottle of Alcogel I understand the need to have it handy all the time but I. JUST. DON’T. GET. IT.

As if that bag wasn't bugly enough to begin with

Why hang it from the outside of your handbag? It cheapens even the most expensive/expensive-looking bag (yes, even if it’s a Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM strap that it’s hanging from). Why would you want to do that to your handbag? And while I get that hanging it from outside your bag makes it easier to get to, there are tons of things we’d love to be easier to get to, but you don’t see hairbrushes, coin purses, lip balms or lighters hanging on rubber straps from ladies’ handbags.

And is it really THAT MORE convenient? Does it really take soooooo much effort to stick your hand into your bag to retrieve that bottle of hand sanitizer? Are you really THAT busy/lazy that you can’t spare the additional 3 seconds it takes to rummage through your bag? My guess is no. And even if it did save you a little bit of time, is that time worth uglifying your handbag? Again, my guess is no. As someone with an unhealthy affection for handbags, I daresay NOTHING is worth making your bag look ugly/uglier.

No, no, no, no, nooooooooooo...

In my opinion, there are only two acceptable situations to have hand sanitizer hanging from your bag strap: (1) if you’re younger than 10 years old and have to be constantly reminded to wash your hands before eating via the visual of having the hand sanitizer in your face, all the time and (2) if it’s hanging from a diaper bag because, well, moms dealing with infants get a free pass for almost everything.

So unless you’re in one of the two minorities above then, please, for the love of the handbag gods, pull out that rubber thingy and put that bottle of hand sanitizer INSIDE your bag where it belongs. If you don’t, then I apologize in advance for any dirty looks I might throw your way.

Unsolicited Fashion Advice #4

My love for cold-weather dressing has been well documented in this blog. However, even I draw the line at autumnal dressing in mostly hot and humid Manila. Yes, I’ve worn mid-calf boots to work before, but only if it was raining. Walking in the rain in heels is a pain, but dragging the hem of your pants through the puddles if you were wearing flats (not to mention the risk of getting water inside your shoes. Ewwww.) is horrible as well. Hence flat boots are the way to go for me (defensive, much?).

But I digress. Footwear is one thing. But leatherette jackets, two weeks from MARCH, in the polluted and humid concrete jungle of Makati is another.

There wasn't even a BREEZE that night.

I mean, come on! I’m all for wearing things just for the sake of it, not everything has to be functional and necessarily practical (hello, high heels). But there still has to be a context to clothing and a pleather jacket obviously has no context in Manila. And, no, it wasn’t one of those nights with a soft cool breeze that make you go, “I wish that Manila weather was at least like this.” I wouldn’t even consider it cardigan-wearing weather. Heck, it wasn’t even long-sleeved T-SHIRT-wearing weather! But, no, this guy was wearing a leatherette biker jacket, zipped to the top. I wanted to go up to him, tap him on the shoulder and say “You think you look cool, but you actually stupid.” But I’m not THAT big of a bitch. Yet.

But there is still another contender for “Biggest Idiot in Cold Weather Clothing in a Tropical Country” prize (and no, it’s not me). So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, contestant number 2:

Is he suffering from an ailment where only his neck is cold?

Shorts. Vans. A t-shirt. And a scarf?!?! So it’s warm enough for shorts but cold enough for a scarf? I’ve been exposed to both extremes of stifling heat and freezing weather enough to know that shorts-weather and scarf-weather are MUTUALLY exclusive. So what other reason could there be for this ghastly get-up? Is there a special draft that only somehow hits his neck? Is he a tenor with a concert tonight that he needs to keep his throat warm? The only acceptable explanation will be the latter, and since that is unlikely then the probable conclusion is that this guy’s friends don’t like him enough to tell him he looks stupid.

So who wins the prize? Fortunately for these two , none of them. I wasn’t able to take a picture of him, but contestant #2 had a friend whose outfit varied ever so slightly from his. The friend wore a t-shirt, shorts, a SCARF and FLIP-friggin’-FLOPS. Ugggggggghh.

However, I’ll stop ranting. This post was supposed to be about giving out advice, not about being mean and bashing people even if they so very clearly deserve it. So here goes:

  1. We live in a tropical country. Except if you were in Baguio (and even that’s debatable), there is no excuse whatsoever to wear a leather/ette moto jacket anywhere. Much less zipped up to the top. It doesn’t look cool at all. Actually, it looks hot, sweaty and body-odor inducing.
  2. You would never wear gloves with just jeans and a t-shirt. You would never wear rain boots with a bikini. Some things are just not meant to be worn together. Like scarves and shorts AND FLIP-FLOPS. Make up your mind if it’s warm or cold, please. Or you risk scarf strangulation, care of me.

Capiche?

Unsolicited Fashion Advice #3

Now, this topic is serious enough that Oprah Winfrey dedicated an entire episode to it. Such is the magnitude of the problem that she staged various “interventions” during the episode. What could be so important that the Queen of Talk deemed it worthy of an episode?

Well, bras.

You may well laugh, but the statistics speak for themselves: 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. While some may argue that it’s not really a big deal, I have two words for you: back fat.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are other reasons, completely unrelated to layers of fat, you should pay more attention to your bra. For one, there’s the comfort of not having your bra ride up your back or the straps digging in to your shoulders. For another, there’s the risk of having your boobs look like the deer-in-the-headlight’s eyes in a photo taken with flash. And, if that’s still not enough to convince you, then well, here’s the simple truth: you will look nicer, your clothes will fit better and look more put-together if your bra fit you (and the situation) well.

If that didn’t appeal to your sense of logic (and good taste) or if you’re just averse to wearing any sort of upper body undergarment (*cough* Blake Lively *cough*), then there’s not much I can do about that. But if you’re willing to join me in my war against back fat and bacon-straps, then here go my tips for buying, choosing and wearing your bras:

1: Get yourself measured

This would seem like a no-brainer, but I have a friend who doesn’t even know her own bra size (you know who you are, my dear). It would be best if you get yourself measured professionally, (the salesladies in the lingerie section of the department section should be able to do this for you), but if you can’t be bothered, ask your mom/sister/roommate to help you out. Doing it yourself won’t be the best approach, since as you raise your arms to measure, you’re affecting the measurements.

If you’re body has gone through any major changes, then re-measure. Weight gain/loss, pregnancy and plain and simple aging time changes a woman’s body. Even Cameron Diaz has accepted that.

Take note of the hint, though...

2: Try it on

Again, this seems like a no-brainer. But just because something is your size, it doesn’t mean it’ll fit you. With jeans, a size 27 bootcut will fit you differently from a size 27 straight leg. The same is true with bras. Cups could be cut differently, molded differently. Straps could be closer together or wider apart. Not all bras are created equal. Even within the same brand, different styles will fit differently. Not all 34As are created equal. Even women with the same size won’t necessarily fit the same bra. So when I say “try it on” I don’t just mean wear it. I mean look at it from the side, from the back, from the front. Scoop the girls in. Adjust the straps. Jump around in it a bit to see if it offers ample support and coverage.

3: Wear it right

Always try a bra on the loosest clasp. If a strapless if falling off at the loosest clasp, try a smaller band size.

The back of your bra should be level with the front of your bra. If you’re wearing it too high on your back, the cups will spill forward (and who wants THAT?). If you’re wearing it too low on your back (or on your waist, in the case of someone I know *ehem!*), you’re pulling on your shoulders or you’ve mistaken your tummy for your boobs.

And no matter how top-heavy you are, a bra that fits you well will not result in the dreaded bunches of back-fat. Either the size is wrong, the straps are too tight or you’re wearing it at the tightest clasp. If the size is correct and the layers are still there, do not lodge a complaint to Wacoal’s customer service department just yet. Either they size the bra smaller than they should (in which it is perfectly acceptable to move either up or down your usual size) or it’s just not the right bra style for you.

A good (but expensive) bra: Spanx Bra-llelujah

4: Choose the right one

Sure, you chose the right one for your body and your breasts, but it’s not always the right for your outfit. There isn’t one bra that will fit every single situation. My initial thought was that a seamless, skin-tone strapless bra would be perfect for anything. But a strapless, let’s face it, no matter how well made, is not the most comfortable thing in the world.

Again, you would think this was a no-brainer, but one walk through any random mall will prove this otherwise. Some of it is glaringly obvious: strapless bras with spaghetti strapped or strapless tops, never wear a black bra under a white top. Other rules are not as straightforward. Tight t-shirts must always be worn with t-shirt bras (duh) or, at the very least, bras with smooth, molded cups. Never wear an ornamented bra (with rosettes, bulky lace) with a top that clings to your body, unless you want to look like the tissues you stuffed your bra with were overflowing. Always, always wear a nude/skin toned bra under a white shirt. If you wear any other color undergarment (I swear the “cool girls” in high school wore bright pink under their blouses, with no sando. Ha!), you risk looking like you’re about to break into a rendition of “Hit Me Baby, One More Time”. But, hey, if that’s the look you’re going for, more power to ‘ya.

With a black top, always, always wear a skin-tone bra. Even if you don’t think there’ll be flash photography. You don’t want to be that girl who unintentionally flashed all her friend’s Facebook friends by just wearing the wrong bra.

5: Take care of them

They take care of your “girls” and they need the care back. There’s a reason they’re called delicates. It’s because they are. Don’t just stash them in a drawer, lay them out neatly, especially the ones with molded cups. Never push the cups in, it ruins the shape of the cups and will give you that Tara Reid pre-reconstruction surgery look.

Wash them in one of those net bags for delicates. If you’re too lazy to find one of those, then wash them separately by hand.

Wearing them on the loosest clasp first conserves the elasticity on the bands, making them last longer, and giving you more room to adjust when they do get loose. Some really good bras cost quite a bit of money (i.e. Spanx) , so the more mileage you get out of them, the better.

Now if this post stops even one girl from wearing a neon pink and yellow striped bra under her white uniform blouse, then I’ve done my job. Come to think of it, it’s high time I drag my dear “my mom buys my bras” friend brassiere shopping.

Photos from Spanx.com and VictoriasSecret.com.

Unsolicited Fashion Advice #2

Kelsey: (sobbing) I didn’t know!

Blair: (practically shrieking) That TIGHTS are NOT PANTS?!?

From Chuck in Real Life : Gossip Girl Season 2, Episode 7

As usual, Blair is right. And her words of wisdom extend to leggings, as well. Whether they’re a cheap pair from Greenhills or jeggings (eeeewwww.) from Topshop or “liquid” leggings straight from Paris Hilton’s closet, one truth prevails: They are NOT pants. To be more precise, they are meant to be worn under something: a dress, a tunic, a sweater dress… Ok, wait. This is not conveying the message I want to get across. Time to be more blunt. So, here goes…

When wearing leggings, ladies, please cover up your lady-bits.

Even SHE can't pull this look off

I don’t give a rat’s tush if you’re as hot as Megan Fox or if your boo-tay is as bodacious as Kim Kardashian’s. The bottom line is, no one, not your friends, your colleagues and definitely not the unfortunate, innocent strangers who pass you in the mall deserve the visual assault brought about by the visible outline of your lady-business against your leggings. I mean, think about it, you’re just Britney Spears with fabric.

No one who isn’t in the pornography industry wants to be that exposed, right? And to be that exposed when you’re actually fully clothed is just totally ridiculous and completely avoidable. Unintentional as it may be, there really is no excuse for this camel toe catastrophe. For one thing, mirrors exist for precisely this reason:  that we don’t leave the house offending every person who meets us on the street with what we’re wearing/showing. For another, the indecent exposure could be remedied by just a few extra inches of fabric on your top.

Take a cue from the lovely Nicole Richie. The top under her blazer is still, for all intents and purposes, a shirt, but it’s long enough to cover what should be covered. Even when she’s preggers and her belly understandably pulls up her top, she still doesn’t expose anything that’s ObGyn territory.

And, bottom line is, camel toe or not, it’s just classier not to expose your constricted nether regions to the world. Besides, with the whole sausage-casing look, you risk not only camel toe, but butt and thigh cellulite exposure as well. And even if you’re as toned as Gisele Bündchen, the look isn’t a particularly good one, unless post-Samantha-Ronson Lyndsay Lohan is your idea of a fashion icon.

So, ladies, please, always wear a top that covers up your, errrrm, lovely lady lumps (I am officially out of euphemisms for that area of the female anatomy), with your leggings. For your sake and the general public’s. However, if you cannot resist the urge to let out your little Jenny Humphrey and MUST wear your leggings as pants, at the very least, please consider this.

 

Unsolicited Fashion Advice #1

When I was a little girl, going to church every Sunday was a bit of a sartorial to-do. “Sunday Best” really meant something during those days. My sister and I would wear our best dresses, the ones with puffed sleeves and sometimes even light petticoats underneath. We would wear ribbons on our hair and our white fancy shoes with white socks. My mom and aunt would wear dresses, skirts or slacks, NEVER jeans. They would make an effort when doing their hair and would put on some makeup.

But those days are long gone. And while I’m happy that going to mass no longer requires wearing heels and (horrors!) makeup, I can’t help but feel that some people have taken the casual-ness to a whole new and completely inappropriate level.  I know I run the risk of sounding preachy, but, I don’t really care. So here goes your first dose of unsolicited fashion advice: what NOT to wear to Church.

Flipflops

20 Spartans = 1 Havaianas = Tsinelas

 

I don’t give a rat’s tush if you’re wearing Swarovski crystal encrusted, limited edition Havaianas. No matter how expensive or “designer” they are, they are still tsinelas. I blame the Brazilian brand for this, because, pre-Havainas, who would’ve ever attempted going to mass in their Beachwalks? But the bottom line is the fact that they cost the equivalent of 20 pairs of Spartans doesn’t mean they are suitable for Church.

 

 

Shorts

Double offense: Shorts AND flip-flops

Guys wearing cargo shorts: bad. Girls wearing short shorts: let’s put it this way: Paris Hilton may be, well, Paris Hilton, but even she will not be caught dead in shorts in church (assuming she doesn’t spontaneously combust the moment she crosses the threshold). Take heed.

The only excuse to wear shorts is if you’re below 5 years old and shorts were chosen because it’s easier to change your diaper with them than if you were wearing pants.

 

 

Message Shirts

Granted, there are some message shirts that spread peace, joy and would generally bring a smile to people’s faces. But that doesn’t make them any less distracting when you’re deep in thought and reflection. Those ginormous block letters make me feel that I’m being silently yelled at with multiple exclamation points. And Church is the last place anyone should feel that.

There is, however, a special Anna Wintour-supervised torture facility for those who wear gallingly inappropriate message shirts to church (or anywhere outside their own home, for that matter), like the man I shared a pew with last week. His shirt said: “Make it legal. Do it with a Lawyer.” (excuse me while I throw up my lunch)

The Beach rule

This is pretty straightforward: if it was intended to be worn on the beach then it belongs nowhere within a mile’s radius of a place of worship. This includes the aforementioned flipflops and shorts, plus sando/wife-beater (helloooo, even the name of the shirt is wildly inappropriate) tops worn alone and shoulder and back-baring maxi dresses (again, worn alone). If you can’t bear the heat in your church long enough to keep your shoulders and legs covered for an hour, find a new church.

Do you have anything to add to the list?

*photos found through Google Images. I would’ve taken my own pics, but only thing worse than inappropriately dressed people in church is someone taking pictures of them for her blog.