Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Oh No She Didn't" by Clinton Kelly

The subtitle of this very small book is "The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them". Much as I love Clinton and his co-hort from "What Not to Wear", I have to take this book to task a bit. First, it's incredibly thin - literally. At just barely 200 pages, the retail price is still $25.99, and we all know how I feel about finding bargains when it comes to books. Second, the content is a bit on the thin side as well, meaning that the author and/or the publishers have relied on a full page of pictures for each of the 100 "fashion sins" that we're guilty of. Really? Pictures on every other page? Back in my school days we'd call that padding the paper!

Having told you what's wrong with the basics of the book, let me tell you what's right - Clinton's wonderfully snarky tone. I will admit that I laughed out loud quite a bit while reading this, and it's all due to Clinton's wit. He seems like the kind of person I'd like to hang out with, albeit he'd have to dress me first so that I wouldn't offend him. Yes, yours truly is guilty of some of this fashion faux pas. Not that I really care, though, as I've never tried to be a fashion plate in the first place. Not to mention that I don't have the money to be one, either.

Some of the mistakes are so obvious you wonder why anyone needs to point them out to us again (and again and again, as Clinton claims), things like muffin tops (sooooooo tired of seeing them!), "low boobies", tramp stamps at work (or anywhere but a club, IMHO), "camel toe", etc. One of the mistakes that I used to be guilty of was the "double bubble", a phenomenon that occurs when one with ample cleavage wears a bra with a too-small cup. I've seen this a lot, and I totally agree with the author on this one point: GET A PROFESSIONAL FIT. Wearing the right size makes a huge difference when it comes to the girls; I looked like I lost 5 pounds just by getting a good bra in the right size. And now I realize that the band should be good and snug (not to the point of pinching or causing bleeding or anything), as the band is what does the majority of the support work - not the straps.

But I beg to differ with him on other points, such as cross-trainers (which I can't readily identify when I see someone walking up to me), hoodies, and other "comfortable" clothing. According to our fashionista, we should only wear such things if working out or hiding out at home; they should never be seen in public. Well, sorry, but I have worn hoodies/sweatshirts, tennies of all kinds, and even velour yoga pants out into the world. Look, I get that he wants us to look our best, and that often these may not do the trick. But he's not me, and he's not doing the job I do, and he's not going to tell me how to live my fashion life. I appreciate the advice and will pay attention to some of it, but I'm not going to take it all to heart, running out to replace most of my wardrobe. The biggest thing Clinton advocates over and over again is the help of a good tailor, and I'll agree: clothing looks better when it fits your body. A tailor can take things in where needed, hem pants, etc - but who can afford one these days, a "good" one? And if you live in a small town (or smaller, I should say), good luck finding one. This is why I look for petite pants and am even preparing to order more expensive pairs from Land's End; they'll hem them at exactly the length I need (don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but I am a shortie, barely standing 5 feet!)

My opinion is this: find this book at your local library and check it out. It won't take you more than an hour or so to read it, so I think spending full retail for it is crazy. But don't beat yourself up if you realize you're "guilty" of some of these fashion violations; wear what you feel you look good in. And do take a trusted friend shopping with you, one that will either confirm or gently debunk your opinions.

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