Thursday, September 27, 2007

More best and worst: Grove fashion

I feel that I should start my column this week with a disclaimer: I love college football. I really do.

And it's probably true that if it weren't for college football, the tradition of tailgating in the Grove on Saturdays wouldn't exist. However, if football didn't exist, I'm sure Ole Miss students and alumni alike would find other reasons to get together, eat, drink and be merry.

The Grove is not about football. If it were about football and football only, people wouldn't dress up. They wouldn't even attempt to dress up. Just like on nearly every other college campus in the country, people would wear T-shirts and jean shorts and paint their faces red slash blue in obvious support of our team. But they don't.

Instead people wear expensive dresses and deck their tents with elaborate flower arrangements and chandeliers. Why? Because the Grove isn't about football. It's about getting together with people you love and having a good time. Oh, and (gasp) it's about fashion.

If people didn't make any attempt whatsoever to dress up, guess who wouldn't be critiquing them? This girl.

However, because the tradition is to dress up, and because people continue to at least make attempts to do so, I will continue to write about the awful things I see. And this week there's plenty to write about.

First off, last week I talked about ensuring that the clothes you wear fit properly. Not only is it true that no one wants to see all your junk, but also that no one wants to see evidence of your undies.

Quatra boob? No. Panty lines? A big no. Especially in the Grove. I saw numerous silk and satin dresses (often the worst when it comes to showing panty lines) that showed every nook and cranny created by underwear. Either buy seamless underwear or buy a dress that fits better. It's not that hard.

I know you're sick of hearing me rage against Crocs, and I'm uber sick of writing about them. So one more mention of these affronts on fashion and I promise (pinky swear) never to mention them again.

Maybe the reason the football team can't seem to get their ish together has nothing to do with actually coaching or playing football. Maybe the Ole Miss gods are just pissed off because they saw Crocs in the Grove Saturday. Not just Crocs, but red Crocs with a blue strap. Vom. I'm just sayin'.

I don't recall seeing any embroidered Colonel Rebs on khaki pants this Grove. Yay for that. However, I did see embroidered navy blue "M"s on bright red pants. Only slightly better than the aforementioned fad but still offensive.

Here's a good rule: If you bought it in a Rebel bookstore or that section of Wal-Mart where they sell shakers and Ole Miss wall clocks: Do. Not. Wear. It.

I want to instate a ban on backward caps of any kind in the Grove. I saw a dude wearing a backward visor on Saturday. Really? I didn't even notice the rest of his ensemble because I couldn't force myself to look away from the visor. The backward visor.

The whole point of visors is to shade your face from the sun while keeping your head cool. So wearing it backward is totally pointless and looks dumb. Forget frattastic, this guy just looked craptastic.

I was talking to a friend of mine this weekend who goes to Wake Forest, another school notorious for dressing up for football games, and he said that guys always wear a jacket and tie, or at least a tie and a button-up if it's really hot outside.

Having been to numerous Groves in my student career, I have noticed a distinct inconsistency of dress among the men and women who attend.

Women always dress up. I could count on one hand the number of girls I saw wearing something remotely casual on Saturday. However, I would need more digits than my hands and feet can offer to count the number of males I saw dressed casually.

Donning a polo and khaki shorts does not count as dressing up. It just doesn't. Nor does wearing a suit with flip-flops.Wear dress shoes, and wear (at the very least) a button-up. A necktie is preferable.

And when fall arrives, I do expect to see dress jackets.

Next week: fashion police part two. I'm keeping my eyes open bitchez. Until then, majorly yours.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Taking on chunky shoes, Oxford heels and the latest fall fashions

This week, I've decided to combine fashion police and fall fashion trends. Sort of a what-not-to-do followed by a what-to-do list.

The Grove is this weekend, and even though it's going to be 90 degrees outside, you might want to try some of the trends I mention. Especially the shoes. Mmm shoes.

First of all, the other day I was walking to class and saw a girl wearing an Ole Miss T-shirt, a pair of black athletic shorts and black Crocs.

I'm pretty sure my heart stopped for a second when I saw these heinous excuses for "shoes."

What? Crocs are bad enough, but... black Crocs? It looked like she lost her feet to two small black holes. No ma'am. I wish her luck in finding them.

Speaking of Crocs, it was in the news this week that these abominations don't mix well with escalators, as people keep getting their toes caught in the moving stairs and injuring themselves. Well, duh. The toes on them are large enough to house a small family.

Crocs don't mix well with escalators, true. Let's be honest. They don't mix well with life.

Moving on. I also saw a girl wearing chunk-a-munk shoes, straight out of the 1994 Hot Topic catalog. I'm talking 4-inch platforms in the front, 5-inch heels in the back. Same deal as with the Crocs - your feet look enormous.

I suppose they would have been handy if you needed to knock somebody out with a swift kick to the face or squish a large crustacean.

Otherwise, it's time to put them away. Forever. Forever ever.

Another trend I've noticed on campus for girls and guys both is that of obnoxious screen tees. Everyone's got something to say, and it seems that some people deem it appropriate to put their opinions right there on their T-shirts.

It's hard to have a conversation with someone who has "My boyfriend's better than yours" sprawled across her chest in comic sans. These have got to go.

My personal favorite: "B is for Biatch." It's horrible, but let's be honest: I'd wear it. Because I'm just that much of a B.

Guys - stop it with the camo. I noticed in one of my classes the other day that at least three people were wearing camo somewhere on their person. Why?

Our country may be at war, but you're sitting in a chair in a classroom in Mississippi. Stop it. It doesn't make you invisible - unfortunately.

Moving on to trends. Two of my favorite trends for the upcoming fall season (and two you can start wearing now, even though it's hot as hell outside) are the cape and the two-toned pump.

A cape is just what it sounds like. Not super hero style, but Belle in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" style. She rocked the cape, and now it's coming back. They come in all different varieties - short-sleeve (appropriate for this warm weather), long-sleeve, mid-waist length and mid-thigh length.

For the longer and thicker versions, we'll have to wait another month or so here in Mississippi. For the shorter, lighter versions, I say go for it.

Two-toned pumps have got to be one of my favorite. Things. Ever.

Black and white pumps are quite popular, which is fine with me. Black pumps with white toe caps and vice versa seem to be especially hot right now.

My personal favorites are Oxford lace-up pumps. Yes, yes, yes. They look just like the men's version of the shoe, but typically have high stiletto heels and pointy toes.

They also coincide with the "girl clothes that look like boy clothes" trend I think is also going to be big this fall. So hot.

Next week: Grove recap (for the love of God, the only thing I ask of you is to leave embroidered Colonel Reb at home or, preferably, in the trash) and more fall fashion trends. Until then, majorly yours.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Recap: the good, the bad and the ugly of Grove fashion

Let me start this week by saying that I saw a decent amount of cute women's fashion in the Grove Saturday. I saw pair after pair of metallic platform pumps (yum) and several cute dresses. And very few strands of pearls! Maybe last week I actually reached some people. But you can't reach everyone. Obvi.

Just walking from my car to the Grove at noon, I saw so many guys wearing red polo shirts with khaki pants (or shorts ... behhh) that I wanted to vom. If you want to wear red to support the football team, I'm all about that. But be unique and, for God's sake, make an effort to be at least a little dressy. This is the Grove on game day. Yes, it's hot as hell outside. If I can wear a cocktail dress and four-inch heels, you can wear dress pants and a nice shirt. Don't play.

Remember what I said about stilettos? I wasn't kidding. I saw numerous girls walking around in their four-inch heels like their feet were killing them. But at least they were making an effort, because I saw even more girls walking around barefoot carrying their pumps in their hands. WTF? Barefoot? In the stadium? Really?

It defeats the purpose of wearing cute shoes if you're not going to ... wear them. I have walked the streets of New York City barefoot (another story for another day), and even I would hesitate to prance around in that stadium barefoot. Ew.

Three words: red khaki pants. No. Just no.

Oh. My. God. Those khaki pants with little embroidered Colonel Rebs all over them? Nu-uh. If I were God, I would spontaneously combust every. Last. Pair. In. Existence. I would much rather you wear those plaid shorts I hate than these heinous monstrosities. I iz afraid.

Another thing I discussed in a previous column that I saw quite a lot of this past Saturday: It's so important to wear clothes that fit. I saw one skirt/top combination that fit so poorly I literally think the poor girl would have looked better naked. She wasn't even that overweight - she just needed a lot of help figuring out how to find clothes that aren't too tight.

All you have to do is look in the mirror, and be honest with yourself. If it doesn't look good, that's OK, just go find something else to put on. That's what the rest of us do; surely it's not beyond your capabilities as well.

Things were pretty non-offensive in the Grove, aside from all the stuff I just mentioned, and I was pleasantly surprised. Then I went to the game.

Sitting (rather, standing) in the student section, you see a bunch of things you'd rather not see, fashion and otherwise. I saw four girls in a row wearing white dresses. Um, it's Sept. 8, which is precisely five days after Labor Day. White = no.

I also saw way too many floral patterns. I actually liked some of them, but literally every other girl who walked by seemed to be donning flowers. Some of them were pretty, but by the end of the game (or halftime, when I chunked a deuce), I was over it. Wear floral prints in spring, not late Summer.

As far as guys were concerned, I probably saw one really well-dressed male in the stadium, other than IDK my BFF. Other than that, eh. Guys, come on. Go back and read my column from last week and avoid the things I mentioned in this one.

Recap: no red cotton polos, no red khaki pants and no Colonel Reb embroideries. If I never saw any of these transgressions again, it would be too soon.

Next week: pre-Grove No. 2 and the first week of campus fashion police. Until then, majorly yours.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A guide to Grove fashion

It's Grove time, bitchez.

In terms of fashion, that means hordes of freshwomen (and some upperclasswomen) will descend upon the Square in hopes of spending lots of mummy and daddy's money to find that perfect dress.

And for what? To sit around in the heat in a tent eating crustless cucumber sandwiches and drinking any number of alcoholic beverages from anything but alcoholic beverage containers (as per the new alcohol policy).

I used to think this whole charade was so stupid. Getting all dressed up to sit around, sweat a lot and get drunko. But that was when I was still the sad, closeted fashionista I used to be.

Now I look forward to the Grove on game days for several reasons. The band. The Rebelettes (my fave!). The food. The G&T. But most of all I can't wait to write about all the foolish things I see people wearing.

Whenever I'm in a large crowd of people who are supposed to be dressed well, my fashioney sense goes into hyperdrive. It's like spidey sense, only bitchier.

But before I open up a can on Saturday (of whoop ass, not beer -calm down UPD), I feel it's only fair to give you all some preemptive Grove advice.

Guys, you already know what I'm going to say. Ditch the bowtie. If you must wear a tie, which is an effort I fully support, go with a full-length necktie. A skinny one if you're really bold.

Pair it with a nice long-sleeved button-up (sleeves rolled up for comfort), a pair of well-fitting dress pants and some dress shoes, and you're good to go. Mmmm.

Oh, and stay away from pastel plaids, or any patterns for that matter, especially on the lower half of your body. Do not wear shorts. Do not wear plaid shorts. You know the ones I'm referring to - it looks like Ralph Lauren vomed on your crotch. Not cute.

Girls, there are several rules of thumb for Grove style. First of all, you're going to be walking around in a large muddy pit of grass. As far as I'm willing to go for a pair of fabulous stilettos, I hate to see girls hobbling around in the mud because their heels are getting stuck in the moist (ew) ground.

I've been there. You look so awkward just trying to walk that it detracts from the hotness of the heels you are wearing. Unless you're sure you will be sitting during the whole Grove experience, opt for some lower or chunkier heels, or just wear flats.

Don't wear anything too expensive. Lolz! Yeah, right. Spend as much money as you want to, but you should know that you are likely to get a nice big vodka-cranberry stain on your dress or a grass stain from that drunken tumble you took over a tree root. So go ahead and wear that $800 dress - just don't expect to wear it again. Ever.

I'm over pearls. Everyone knows you have money. Unless there is something remarkably different about your strand of pearls, leave them at home and opt for something that will set you apart.

I touched on this in my first column, but I think it's important enough to reiterate: be expressive. Wear what you want to wear and don't worry about what everyone else in the Grove is going to think of you.

Most everyone is going to be dressed similarly (read: BORING); escape the herd mentality. Be a boss, and do what you want. If I want to wear my ghetto gold "M" necklace to the Grove, I'm gonna. Just do it. But remember: Be fab always. And have fun!

Next week: the Grove in review. Until then, majorly yours.

P.S. Girls, as far as the dress is concerned, just be cute. Avoid anything too formal and stay away from tacky prom. I'll be watching you.