Garish make-up. Tacky dress. Ill-fitting inners. Chipped nail polish. Six-inch skirt to office. The panty line showing. Wrong colours. Bad hair day. Crumpled, dirty, scruffy. Look around. Women make so many dressing up mistakes that you’d want to call the fashion police. Ma’am does your slip show?
1. Oh! Not OTT. Never OTT, please:
When she walks into the room, you wonder whether she is a clothes store or a walking-talking gold souk. Before stepping out for the evening, she probably hangs everything from her closet on her not-so lithe frame. Tacky neck pieces, a few bangles, chandelier earrings, boots with tassels, a chunky watch, a sequinned dress, garish make-up … She is OTT (over-the-top) personified. The rule is simple, silly. Team up loud/shiny dresses with minimal accessories, perhaps just one statement accessory; if you are in a mood for bling, wear something simple. A little black dress (LBD) could look fab with a string of pearls. Throw it too much jewellery and you’d look like a scary ghost buster in stylish LBD.
2. Ill-fitting inners/clothes:
“70% of women wear wrong-sized bra”. A snazzy store once wrote this large in an ad. And guess what they did. The store hired “bra-fitters” who’d counsel women about the correct size (And you thought counsellors were only for manic depressives!). Well, look around and you’d figure out the common malaise called Ill-fitting inners. Miss A’s frayed inners peep from behind her transparent tee. Not just that she is oblivious of the panty line that marks her derriere. Miss B wears such tight clothes that you think the seams would burst and the buttons fly off as cannons. Miss C is the Miss Baggy Buttons. She is petite, yet her clothes are XXXL that makes her look like a dressed up sack.
If you do not have the fit, you do not have style. It is time to call the fashion police.
3. Right dress, Wrong place:
Miss A has tonnes of beautiful stuff in her wardrobe. But she always makes wrong choices: she wears the right dress at the wrong place. Heading to work, she wriggles into a 6-inch skirt and a flashy tee. She walks into a party in blue jeans and white shirt, while everyone is dressy. During summer, she picks up a fuchsia for the hot afternoon and a pale beige for the night. You might have all the right dresses, but wearing them at the wrong places is a major flub. The trick is to dress up for the occasion, the place.
4. Caught in the wrong colours:
“Colour, colour in the closet. Which one do I look prettiest in?” Ask that question before picking the shirt that your fave celebrity wore for the television show. She is dusky, under arc lights and topped with a layer of grease paint. She sure can pull it off the bright purple. Don’t try it on yourself. Your skin is pale yellow and the bright purple might make it look more sallow. Colours choices can make or mar your style statement. The same holds true for the colour of your lipstick, eye-shadow, nail polish… Just about anything. Do not wear a dreaded blue eye shadow with a red dress. Go warmer, chestnutty, bronzy. No old school overdrawn lips, please. That’s Stone Age style… Get the drift!
5. Forever a bad hair day:
Is hair your nemesis? Do you ever include that in your dressing up schedule? Are you forever caught in a bad hair day syndrome? If you think people would only notice your dress, your shoes, you are wrong. Your hairstyle creates a first impression. Long tresses might not look seductive, if they are tangled and scruffy. Even a short hair style can look awful if the hair is limp. Split-ends, white hair roots (if you colour your hair, that is), limp hair can be the spoilsport. If you REALLY have a bad hair day, hide it with a stylish scarf, hair band hat, bandana… But you do not step out with limp hair. And yes, do not use henna to hide the grey hair. A mop of red hair looks ludicrous. Avoid it like plague.
6. Are you the fashion trend slave?
Call Miss A a fashion trend slave. She picks up all fashion magazines and diligently scours them for the latest fashion dos and don’ts. She watches all fashion shows on the television to keep her style statement updated. Fine. So, is Miss A the flawless fashionista? No, you ain’t heard it all. She keeps pace with the trends but commits one huge mistake: She never deciphers whether the latest fashion trend would work for her. She is the blind copycat and a sartorial disaster.
Remember the rule: Do not be a trend victim. Check whether you can carry it off. And wear only one trend at a time.
7. Too Under-dressed?
If OTT belongs to the Fashion Wall of Shame, Miss A’s “under-dressed” style often calls for snide remarks. While everyone troops to the party in chiffon or velvet, she walks in in jeans and blazer. She loathes the idea of being “dressy”. Not being dressy is no major vice, but too under-dressed is not necessarily the best option. If the invitation says: Dress: Casual. Do not walk in in pyjamas (unless it is a pyjama party). If you are confused about these dress definitions, play it safe. A LBD could save the day (or night) for you.
8. Matching. Matching:
Red dress. Red mules. Red purse. Red lipstick. Red clip. (You are no Little Red Riding Hood).
Jeans. Denim shirt. Blue canvas shoes. Blue bag. (You do not intend to denimize the world. Do you?)
Black saree. Black nail polish. Black neckpiece. Black bangles. (It is too Goth. You are not heading to a mourning meet).To make a fashion statement, do not play the Matching game. It looked good when you were in pigtails and pinafore. Now, do not go monochrome. Mix and match. Be careful though: No purple trousers and yellow shirt, please.
9. Do you look like a cosmetics store?
Make-up. That’s the hardest to get right. Look at Miss A. She wears a fuchsia blush that probably looks the best on a clown. Her blue eye shadow is so 60s. She wears a greyish-mauve lipstick that looks odd with her brown skin. She wears so much powder that you’d think the painter has just white-washed her. She knows no difference between day-time and night-time make-up.
Do not be a make-up disaster like Miss A. If you are not sure what works for you, ask an expert.
10. Scruffy. Crumpled. Dirty:
Miss B makes a bohemian style statement with crumpled clothes. She wears the same shirt for five days in a row. She knows not there is something called a deodorant. Boho is okay, but wearing clean clothes and ironed shirt is not fashion, it is basic hygiene. Scruffy cowboys look good in spaghetti westerns. In real life, no one loves a scruffy, crumpled, dirty lass.
Preeti Verma Lal
Visual Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anythingbutstill/