Finding Common Sense in Fashion

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“Skinny jeans. If I can see the sperm swimming in your balls…it is waaaay too tight.”

My friend Tanya made this proclamation the instant I asked her what was wrong with fashion today, and I am not a fashion Nazi, but I completely agree with her. Sperm gazing should never be a public event, and when it is forced on me as one, then I know that fashion has gone too far.

In my opinion, fashion, when done well, is an art form. I have seen many things that sound outlandish, but were brilliantly executed, for example leopard print from head to toe, multi-coloured mohawks, even avant garde cuts and colours, which were unusual, but still made sense and were pleasing to the eye.

These days, though, there are too few runway styles…

These days, though, there are too few runway styles, and much (too much) run-a-way outfits roaming the pavements. (As in outfits that make you WANT to run…away!)

Let us start with the most obvious concept that every single person on the planet should have grasped by now. To quote Lieutenant Stitchie: “Young gyuls wear yuh sizeeeee! ‘Cause if you don’t take Stitchie advice gyul yuh nuh gonna get blooooood!” (10 points for everyone who remembers the song; 15 if you sang along.)

Granted the Lieutenant was specifically speaking about shoes, but this advice should be taken for every stitch of clothing worn by men and women. And Tanya agrees. According to her, “No matter what the sales clerk says…if it’s too tight don’t buy it”.

“No matter what the sales clerk says…if it’s too tight don’t buy it”.

Before people claim that we’re biased, I solicited some opinions from my fun-filled pool of friends to see what other people thought.

Nigel agreed with Tanya. He said, “No woman looks good in tight jeans that cannot fit over her arse, especially when every time she bends is crack in your eye!”

Ferdinand had a small dissertation: “You know those black, stretchy pants that every Trini woman seems to own? The ones that conform to the ass, and are particularly popular among fast food workers, and low-level office staff? Burn ’em. Burn ‘em all. T&T is a highly sexualized society, and we tend to have slightly lower standards of decency than other countries, but, I do not need to see all the contours of your vagina while you fetch my fries”.

Lower standards of decency? I was a bit unsure about that, especially when you think about our daily wear outside of Carnival, simply because as free as we think we are here, Soho in the Summer time will make the most jammetty Trini swallow their tongue.

However, even demure Lisbeth ardently insisted, “Wear your size. In EVERYTHING! Including underwear.”

See how big of a problem this is?

I know that there are many societal pressures with respect to size, but here is the funny part, when you wear clothes that are too small for you, you actually LOOK bigger. So you stuff your size 6 frame into a size 4 outfit, and end up looking like a size 8.

Those leopard-print skinny jeans were actually made for women.

If only women alone were guilty of this. Sadly no. We touched on skinny jeans on men before, but really…this is so serious, we need to delve into it a bit further.

Firstly, Lil Wayne is NOT a fashion icon. Do NOT try to be like him. Those leopard-print skinny jeans were actually made for women.

Menfolk, you all have me confused. First it was overly baggy jeans, with no belt…and underwear showing. Now it is skinny jeans with bright belts, and still…your underwear is showing. Are all of you aspiring underwear models? Stop it. Stop it now.

From the mouth of Lisbeth, “It’s not gay to wear proper fitting clothes”.

What’s a male take on this trend?

“The whole skinny pants, small t-shirt look has gotten out of hand,” Ferdinand said. “There’s a difference between wearing clothes that fit, and something that’s just too small or cut wrong. Besides, skinny jeans are for skinny boys. If you’re a 200-pound heifer with knock-knees, you have no right squeezing your body into low rise, skinny jeans. You look uncomfortable, and the potential danger of being struck by your flying button makes me uncomfortable.”

If the look you are going for is to look like a fool, you are nailing it. 

Nigel also added his two cents: “Tight jeans and tight jeans that sag? If the look you are going for is to look like a fool, you are nailing it. But the real question here is why do women let their men, boy child, friend or lover rock this look, or let these men talk to them in public.”

Amazing how they always find a way to blame women eh!

Let’s move on to another issue. Those colours! My eyes.

Maybe this is why people wear shades at night, and in clubs, for protection against those very bright, insane colours that clash with EVERYTHING. We are a vibrant people. We are surrounded by lively, radiant colours everywhere we look, so I understand the inspiration. However, the tones and colours you wear should complement your natural skin tone.

With literally thousands of shades to choose from, spend the effort and time to find the shades that make you glow, and stand out like a luminous firefly flitting in a garden, and not like a garish neon sign along the Vegas strip.

It very easy to sit with a few friends, and just criticize all of the no’s, hell no’s, and the please save me’s of the average person’s fashion, but to be even handed, I also enquired as to what makes the human form look stunning.

For Nigel, that meant the classy look. From head to toe, men and women wearing colours that match and fit their particular form flatteringly. Lisbeth agreed, but thought every woman should own and wear a pair of F-me pumps just to add that special flair in her wardrobe, while she thought each man should own one custom-made (if possible) suit. According to her, “a man in a well-made business suit is always a wonderful sight to behold”.

Not surprisingly, Ferdinand also thought tailored suits, with crisp, white shirts for men, should be a must-have for everyone, but also suggested that women keep a strand of pearls handy to add that ultra feminine touch.

Small disclosure here, I do own a pair of boots that say, “AHEM!” The idea of adding a slice of spice is not something I could ever disagree with. And, even if you cannot afford a strand of exquisite pearls, getting some decent fakes, or at least ensuring you have a few well-made jewellery accents, to me, is a must.

The very interesting thing about these discussions with my friends about fashion is the fact that quality tends to confidently stand out more than the following of the latest fad. They all agreed that fads should be ignored, and traded for basic common sense about your body shape and type.

At the end of the day, however, no one can do you as well as you.

The trick seems to be finding the real you, and being honest about what you actually look like. When that happens, you gain a sense of comfort, which builds the kind of self-confidence that shines from the inside out, and truly makes you the most gorgeous you possible.

And who could say no to that?


Image credit:

Mystie Thongs

Mystie Thongs is a Cornell-trained engineer turned writer/ PR/ video/ get it done entertainment person, who is fastidiously discovering that her life is not going to turn out the way she planned. She is easily distracted by steamy words and sultry melodies, and is currently peeping around the next hidden corner, even though she knows she shouldn't ;).


  1. Liks

    April 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Personally for me, as a fashion article this lacked substance. I agree on wearing one’s size but really is that all to fashion.

    I highly recommend you consult with an expert in the field of fashion. We have many locally, fashion editors, professional stylists, designers, hey we have Anya.

    Seriously though, this is 2012 who matches clothing really? And oh neons and bright brights are on trend.

    An In Style magazine is easy to find, we have evolved way too much to be subjected to such dormant fashion advice or being the average Joe.

    Many of the world’s most famous fashion designers, stylist etc would even argue if true fashion has any common sense at all. It is about personal style after all.

  2. Alisa

    December 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    The worst current fashion flaw comes via those men who don’t wear underwear at all, and their jeans aren’t covering their behinds sufficiently. I’ve seen crack from a newbie soca singer clambering onto stage and from a huge guy sitting in a café. Truly distasteful.

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