Tuesday, August 26, 2008

5 Fashion Trends Men Hate the Most In Women

We all know that men are no longer those poor, lost souls when it comes to fashion or, as a matter of fact, to most things that have been, until now, deemed "feminine" par excellence. Which is why, since they do make the best cooks, hair and makeup stylists, and designers, we should probably also listen to what they have to say when it comes to some of the fashion trends that are sweeping the world (and dragging along millions of women in the process) like crazy.

Now, some of what follows are probably items that many women would not even consider donning in the first place – so don’t expect something new, or anything close to some sort of epiphany. However, having these five items together in the same place and, even more, with their many cons described by a man who certainly does know one or two things about fashion, like Simon writing for the Fashion Victims website is, could serve as a lesson for many girls/women out there who follow trends indiscriminately and, most often than not, completely sheepishly. On a side note, for at least three out of the five worst accessories this year, we can thank celebutante extraordinaire Paris Hilton and the likes.

Monroe piercing
Also known as cheek or upper lip piercing. Although its name clearly refers to one of the most emblematic women of modern times, Marilyn Monroe, and to her equally famous beauty spot, it seems that this piercing is no longer the "accidental" fashion statement it used to be, like, five years ago. This is all the more true in a time when unique rebelliousness no longer translates into anything that might make those around you picture you walking around the house with a nail gun, looking for potentially surprising places where to put an earring into.

Because today you can go a bit emo-ish for that dash at rebelliousness that you occasionally experience. Men clearly see it that way. Or, as Simon puts it, "When you’ve run out of original places to stud your head, don’t go random. That’s like a musician saying ‘wehhh, all melodies have been done before. I’m gonna play random notes wherever and I’ll be so different I’ll be cool.’ You’re not cool." Full stop.

Giant / bugeyed sunglasses
Nothing seems to ruin a wonderfully put together outfit or a perfectly shaped face like shades that look so heavy as if one’s head is this close to crumbling down under their sheer weight. As a general rule in the "science" of accessorizing, larger sunglasses can be perfect for certain occasions, when they can actually make you look twice as good as you actually do. But this is never the case with those black shades that cover two thirds of your face, leaving you looking not like the siren that you probably picture yourself but more like some alien type of creature come to feed off the blood of the innocent.

Simon has yet another description for women who are overtly fond of giant sunglasses, especially if they are also excessively skinny and wear quirky clothes – praying mantises he calls them. "You may be proud that not the smallest beam in the slightest crack of space will get in your deflector shield eye booth, but you look like a bug on hind legs. A bug! The stick thin skin-and-bones body type completes the preying mantis fashion statement." he writes.

Excessive makeup / foundation

This should have probably come first because if it’s a condition that is met, it can ruin everything else as well. We all know just how much trouble women go through in order to look as "natural" as possible, just like we’re way too familiar with the now legendary phrase of "give me 15 minutes to freshen up." However, when you take that timeframe and multiply it by, say, four, what you get is not a prettily made-up face on which some of the imperfections are barely visible, but a mask. And, for those girls/women out there who still think that men can’t tell the difference unless you’re standing in bright sunlight – they can, and they do.

"Here’s the problem: lots of cover up is actually worth covering up. You may think that a pimple mount of height X necessitates a layer of foundation of X + 1 thickness, but really you’ve managed to expand the ‘problem area’ to your entire face. You don’t look like porcelain, you look crusty. If you can’t tan, don’t manufacture a layer of grainy fakeskin. Some guys like pale chicks." Simon writes.

Pet accessories
Paris Hilton is hot, as she herself always says. So much so that, even if most would disagree with this statement, there still are plenty of women willing (dying) to follow in her footsteps by emulating whatever she does. Naturally, first thing on the list is her pet pooch, the fabulous Chihuahua Tinkerbell. So, faster than you can say "That’s hot!" the dog is no longer a companion but a genuine accessory which, as a rule, you must use wisely in order to make the best of your outfits. Aside from the PETA-ish implications of such a decision, this trend is almost always frowned upon. Because it’s simply not cool, just in case you were still wondering.

Cue to Simon: "Living. Creatures. Are. Not. Accessories. While I appreciate, on some level, the pimping out of an otherwise evolutionary abomination into some kind of social use, this is a problem. You have no idea of the statements you make when you walk around with these fashion rats, or the thoughts that go through every guy’s mind." We’ll just have to take his word on that.

High belts

This is arguably the weakest item on Simon’s list, unless we also mention that it’s a wrong trend to follow only in the case of certain body types. When used randomly or just for the sake of keeping up with what your friends are wearing, high belts can do more damage than good because, instead of emphasizing your torso and waistline, they make you look all bulky and, why not say it outright, fat. Disproportionate. Eager to hide those very flaws that you ironically make more obvious with that belt.

"There’s beauty in proportion, and nothing messes with that more than a blatant misplacing of a standard item. If you’re willing to constrict your ribs, do us all a favor and wear a corset." Simon writes, stressing that sometimes more is definitely… well, more.

Of course you can all disagree with all of the above, especially since, like all other worst/best tops, this one too comes with a high degree of subjectivity. Even more, in good circumstances, these five items can actually prove to be like the cherry on the cake instead of the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In the end, it’s all a matter of perspective and, most important, of taste. So don’t flaunt it if you ain’t got it, and choose what trends you follow wisely, always keeping your personality and what’s suitable for it in mind.

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