Monday, August 13, 2007

You've Got the Look

Do you have a Look? I saw someone in the hall at work today with one. He was wearing a Western-style denim shirt, boot-cut jeans, a leather belt with silver studs and a big silver buckle, turquoise jewelry, a bolo tie, and cowboy boots. I even noticed that his wallet, poking out from the top of a back pocket, was embossed with a silver medallion.

But no spurs. Maybe they violate the edged-weapons prohibition at work.

Most of us, I think, prefer not to have a preset Themed Look, though it does at least take the guesswork out of what to wear every day. The major drawback is that it’s inflexible. That guy couldn’t possibly swap out the boots for a pair of flip-flops. He’d look ridiculous!

Well – you know what I mean.

So it occurred to me that what we need is a mix-and-match matrix to tell you what sort of Look you should have. Determine your basic personal style, then figure in the setting and the level of formality, and you’re ready to go!

Personal Style
Strictly Business
Let Yourself Go
Don't give a damn

At work
Running errands
Around the house
Date/evening out

Formality Level
Trying to look like you don’t give a damn

Note that “trying to look like you don’t give a damn” falls under the formality column, whereas “don't give a damn” is a personal style. “Trying” implies defiance, and means that you care about making an impression based on the setting in which you find yourself. So you might opt to wear cutoffs to a formal occasion, or - if you’re really hardcore - white tie and tails to a pool party. Actually not giving a damn probably just means you have hygiene issues.

Okay, so what’s your personal style? If you have bleached-blond hair, a fake tan, and would wear a thong to a public pool, you are skanky. Daisy Dukes or their male equivalent, Magnums, may also be a regular part of your wardrobe. You’ll show your midriff at a funeral, and you might get drunk and try to make out with the groom at a wedding. Hey, it works for you. Go for it!

I don’t have to tell you what alternative means. It's a bit of a catchall category. You’re emo or goth, and have tats, and/or multiple piercings, and/or a brightly colored hairstyle, or dreads, or some such thing. The cool thing about this style is that you can wear fishnets on any occasion without actually looking skanky.

Sexy/sophisticated: Without belaboring the obvious, you tend to have one thing on your mind most of the time, and it isn't necessarily fashion. So you dress to show off your, um, assets, but subtly. Skirts are above the knee but below mid-thigh, if you’re a woman; if you’re a man, clothes are very well tailored and expensive. The word "metrosexual" was coined for the likes of you. But be careful, because if your nipples are visible through the fabric of your top, you’re teetering on the brink of skankdom. That's right, I said teetering. You heard me!

Strictly business: This is the default setting for straight men, cute or not. Your clothes don’t generally inspire any remarks, even if the body inside them might. If you’re a woman, you lean towards pantsuits on the more formal end of the scale, Bermuda shorts for casual wear. You shop at L.L. Bean. Your hair is neat and practical, and if you wear jewelry, it’s kind of boring, sorry.

You’ve let yourself go if you own two or more muumuus. (The first one might be a mistake.) Guys, if you wear big shorts with knee socks, you’re gone. Have you ever gone to the grocery store in bedroom slippers, ladies? Don’t think I haven’t seen you. In a wife-beater, guys? Those are sold as undershirts for a reason. Oh, you’ll vary your dress according to the situation, so it’s not that you just don’t give a damn. But you really should give a little bit more of one.

Whatever your Look, you should do something a little bit different every once in a while – partly to keep yourself from falling into a rut, and partly just to keep your friends on their toes.

I think I might get me a nice shiny pair of spurs.



At August 13, 2007 6:20 PM, Anonymous debutaunt said...

I sloth a style? Slob. Not fitting in clothes anymore? I have turned into one. I can't remember the last time I wore mascara. Or blush. I really wish someone would nominate me for What Not to Wear. I need some new duds!

At August 14, 2007 9:11 PM, Anonymous b.r. said...

I love themed looks. I do the cowboy thing, head to toe sometimes. It's fun. The people at work really love my dinner plate sized belt buckle with the Texas seal on it.

At August 16, 2007 10:15 PM, Blogger Cheryl's BITCH! said...

Wait a minute..the night we went out, I think my nipples were pertruding out.
OMG!! Does that really make me border on Skankdom?!? :-o

At August 16, 2007 10:16 PM, Blogger Cheryl's BITCH! said...

in response to BR... I am EYE ROLLING


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