Thursday, August 30, 2007

This week in fashion

And I'm back. I'm finished sifting through all the hate mail from last week's column. (Remember the bow tie critique? Didn't go over so well.)

And, with my self-confidence fully intact (because, yes, you still look like a fool), I'm ready to share with you some of the things I love. It's not nearly as much fun as writing about the stuff I hate, but it's just as important to discuss. It's probably more constructive as well.

First, for girls: shirtdresses. This schpeel is going to sound super redundant (ha?) to my dear friends, who know I own one and know how much I love it. Because I pretty much talk about it all the time. And wear it. Probably too much. See mugshot.

The term "shirtdress" covers a number of different styles; there are knee-length shirtdresses with long sleeves, super-short shirtdresses with short sleeves and pretty much everything in between. I don't love the longer shirtdresses, because they tend to look prudish to me, but I love love love short shirtdresses with long sleeves that you can roll up. It's basically an oversized man's shirt worn by a woman. So hot.

Actually, I love when women wear men's clothes in general and then make it feminine by adding the right accessories (Read: Sky high stilettos). It's. So. Hot. I got mine from H&M, but I have also found them at Gap, Forever 21 and even the Victoria's Secret Web site.

Next, for guys: Manpris. No, not really. Ugh. They bug me. No, honestly, I spent hours thinking about what I wanted to write about for men's fashion. And, considering that, for the most part, my male readers know about fashion from seeing all the stuff their girlfriends buy on the Square, I decided to go with something very, very basic. All guys should wear clothes that fit.

I am a big proponent of tailored clothing for guys. I hate baggy T-shirts. I hate cargo pants, or any of those baggy-ass pants guys seem to love to wear. Tailored clothing is very big for the upcoming Spring season, and for good reason. It looks hot. Now, some will argue that the tailored suits, shirts and jeans you see on the runway only look good on skinny people.

And for the most part, that's true. I'm not particularly skinny, but there is a reason both male and female runway models tend to be ridiculously skinny: the clothes look better on them.

You don't have to be a size two (or a waist 30 for guys), but if you want to try wearing something tailored, please, for the love, try it on and look in the mirror before you buy. If it looks good, it looks good. If it looks just okay, it looks bad. Go for something not so tailored, but still well-fitting. Bottom line: If you are thin, go tailored. If you aren't thin, still go well-fitting. Everyone: Baggy sux.

Something for guys and girls: big ass sunglasses. Now, my fondness for big sunglasses is very situation-specific. The sunglasses have to be right for your face and they have to be fabulous; not some big ole ugly shades from Wal-Mart with colored rhinestones and some (not so) clever adaptation of "Gucci" written on the stems.

Also, being that I walk around campus everyday and see pair after pair of the same DGs, Chanels and Diors (Read: FAKE FAKE FAKE), I am close to disregarding them as an obnoxious and overdone trend that I would rather dismiss than show love to.

And the truth is that most of those sunglasses are fugly - you know, the ones with the big DG in white letters on a black frame, or the ones with the big white interlocking Coco Chanel logo on a black frame with some rhinestones splashed here and there. I'm. So. Over. It. But, big sunglasses that are unique and look super hot? Love it.

And, yes, you will notice that I said I love this trend for guys and girls. And not just gay guys. In fact, if it's true that gay guys are well-known for their fabulous fashion choices, sunglasses and all, then more straight men should dress like them. Don't worry about looking gay. Worry about looking fabulous.

If you're straight, you're straight. We can tell. And by "we," I mean every female on this campus. If you look good, you will just stand out that much more as a not-so-boring straight guy. Really - honestly - most of you have nothing to lose. Sport the big shades.

Next week: The first football game preview, ohmigod! What to wear, what I'm sick of. Until then, majorly yours.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Camouflage? Bowties? Uh, no.

When I told my mother that my dream job is to be an editor at Vogue magazine, she rolled her eyes and said, "You can do so much more."

And when I told her I was going to write this column, she sighed and said, "Just be sure you make it intelligent."
I think that's a step in the right direction.

I love fashion. There, I said it. I can have a discussion with you about Nietzsche's concept of the ubermensch or the effects of the patriarchal nature of American society on college-age females, and probably even hold a decent conversation in Spanish.

But, as a senior here at Ole Miss, as I embark on my final year of schooling that includes writing a thesis, managing a daily student newspaper, taking 16 hours of class a semester, and somehow making time for a social life, I can think of no better time to come out.

Yes, for years, I have been a closeted fashion freak.

So, in the most public way possible in Oxford, I am revealing myself. I will no longer be ashamed. I love fashion.

I also think I have an eye for it. I have no formal training; I have never taken a fashion merchandising class. But I tend to believe that, really, at its very base, fashion isn't that complicated. It's like one of my dance teachers once told me: "If it looks good, it is good." And I can tell when something looks good. Or doesn't. It's not that hard.

For me, fashion should be two things without fail: fun and fabulous. It can be other things. Bold. Classy. Funky. You name it. But, if it's good, it has to be fun. And it has to be fabulous.

I have rarely seen something I consider fabulous without also thinking it was, on some level, fun. But I see fun without fabulous all the time. And it's rarely good.

To my mother, who I love and respect more than anyone in the world, I would say this: Fashion isn't as shallow as you might think. Done right, it is a reflection of who you are - the things you like to do, how you want to represent yourself among the masses, what you think of yourself.

Yes, fashion, I would argue, can be quite an ontological matter. (Look it up.)

When I critique certain "fashions," as I certainly will, it's not just a critique on the way something looks. It reflects my general dislike or disinterest in what that particular fashion statement represents.

Don't get offended. Or do, if you want. It's just my opinion. We can't all like everything; it's impossible. I don't expect everyone to appreciate everything I wear.

As such, I'm going to start by discussing basic things I hate. And why. First on the list: Crocs. Yeah, those rubber shoes with the holes in them. A prime example of why liking and disliking fashion is deeper than just saying, "I don't like them because they're ugly."

I have no intention of wading into a river to possibly catch a fish or a snake or something of the like - ever. Sure, I like nature. I go to the Grove, like, every other weekend. Also, I don't have a garden to tend. And neither do you, overweight middle-aged man in the mall wearing a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, baggy carpenter jeans and Crocs. Neither do you. Also, they're fugly.

Next on the list: camouflage. Another great example. I hate hunting. I have no desire to hunt anything - ever. No turkey, no deer, no doves. Who hunts doves? My ex-boyfriend, that's who.

Camouflaged clothing belongs in the woods, or Iraq or Afghanistan. Maybe Pakistan if Barack Obama gets his way, but not when you are walking around the Square. I have strange pyromaniac urges when I see someone wearing camouflage and then I look around and see no woods. Or sand dunes. Possibly even no trees at all.

Stop it. Stop it with the camouflage. And I can't forget-it, too, is fugly.

Last but not least: bowties. I know, I know. I'm striking at a crucial preppy vein here in Oxford. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a dude wearing a bowtie in the Grove pre-football game, I would be flipping rich. (Thus fitting right in!)

You don't look cool. You look like an ass. Especially the ones with polka-dots or stripes or something equally atrocious. True, it's a time-honored tradition and I'm sure your daddy bought you that bowtie and taught you how to tie it. How sweet. My daddy is in the military; he wears camouflage on a regular basis. I hope I've made my point?

Next week: Stuff I love. It can't all be negative. Until then, majorly yours.
(P.S. Yes, I know how to pronounce "haute.")