Thursday, July 13, 2006


You ain't got a thing if you ain't got that bling!

I have often wished I had kept a “fashion journal” over the years. Mostly as a reminder to myself that I can have a happy, fulfilled existence without wearing something just because “somebody” “somewhere” decided it was “fashionable”.

I am not obsessed with fashion but I also try not to be a fashion rebel (i.e. wearing something just for shock value). I might be considered completely UN-fashionable by a vast number of people. But I DO try to keep up with current styles and trends, even if I do not wear them myself.

I have a mirror at my house. Sometimes it tells me that a style or item of clothing just is not – um, er… “best” for me. That does not mean I have never been seen in unflattering garments. It might simply mean, on that particular shopping day, given the choices, I preferred a green v-neck knit with ¾ sleeves instead of a gorgeous eggplant silk blouse that was sleeveless and plunged to my navel.

Currently, I am observing that the “must-have” fashion statement seems to be bling. Accessories. Jewelry. Like a department store fell on you, as I once heard it phrased. Some of the jewelry I see on one person would stock 2 or 3 modest jewelry counters. One of my co-workers was recently seen wearing 3 necklaces, a pair of long, dangly earrings, rings on 6 fingers (more than one ring on most of the fingers), 2 ankle bracelets (with nylon stockings), 4 arm bracelets of various descriptions, fake nails, a hair doo-dad, a beaded blouse, and one of those monstrous blue-tooth ear-phones (bright pink, thank you). Yes, all at the same time. Incredibly, no piercings or tats were visible. Whew.

All I could think of was this: I remember back in the 1960’s when I was a young teen and trying very hard to do and be and wear “what was right” (because that was what decent people did back then). One of the fashion magazines (probably Glamour or Seventeen) came out with this point-system for checking yourself before leaving the house. Every garment or accessory counted a certain number of points and you were under-accessorized if you did not have on at least – let’s say – 15 points. But you should remove a piece or a few if you went over 20 points. The details are pretty foggy in my memory now, but it has been a rough bench-mark for me all these years. Funny how something so minor can color your thinking for a lifetime. True of many things, I am sure.

For your amusement I shall try to recapture what I remember. BTW, this has nothing to do with white shoes only between Easter and Labor Day.

Casual blouse or shirt in solid color – 1 point
Blouse or shirt with pattern (plaid, print, texture like corduroy, etc.) – 2 points
Dressy blouse or shirt with extra detail (like cut-outs, ruffles, sequins, etc.) – 3 points
Jacket, vest, shawl (or other layered effect) – 2 points
Casual skirt (solid color) – 1 point
Patterned skirt – 2 points
Dressy skirt with detail – 3 points
Plain shoes (solid color) – 1 point
Shoes with detail or contrast color top-stitching – 2 points
Solid color heels – 3 points
Heels with extra detail – 4 points
Purse (solid color) – 1 point
Purse (with detail or contrast stitching) – 2 points
Ring (simple bands) – 1 point
Ring with stones or jewels – 2 points
Simple necklace (something conservative like a strand of pearls or gold) – 1 point
Necklace with jewels – 2 points
Earrings – 1-2 points (depending on elaborateness)
Bracelets – 1-2 points (as above)
Socks or anklets (plain) – 1 point
Socks with pattern – 2 points
Nylon stockings – 3 points
Glasses (plain) – 1 point
Glasses (decorated or “fancy”) – 2 points
Belt (plain, solid color) – 1 point
Belt with detail – 2 points
Hair accessories – 1-2 points (depending on elaborateness)
Pins, brooches or other jewelry – 1-2 points (depending on elaborateness)
Any garment with decorated buttons counted 1 point extra (or 2 points if buttons were rhinestones)

Of course, nobody but men wore pants back then (jeans the only exception). And the top piece was a “blouse” not a “shirt”. A dress counted as a top and bottom piece, so a 2-point minimum for a basic dress.

Today, I don’t know how the "official" point-system would handle such things as sequined tee-shirts and flip-flops. High-heeled flip-flops. Body art – piercings, tattoos, lacquered and jeweled 2” fake nails. Layered tee-shirts – just count ‘em all, I guess. Bare bellies. There should be like a 5-point penalty for wearing anything that looks just plain stupid. Goucho pants on most people (IMHO). The mobile phone ear thingy. How anyone can think that looks cool is beyond me – considering how self-conscious people have always been about wearing hearing aids! There is a multitude of things I could list here, but I am sure you could easily make your own list of “favorite fashions to hate”.

Go! Make your list!

P.S. Send your list to my comments!

1 comment:

whitney said...

marilyn monroe had a tendency to over accessorize, so after she got dressed, she would turn away from the mirror and turn back to look at her self and the first thing that caught her eye she would take off.