(Due to technical issues, BusinessMirror's April 30, 2010 issue wasn't published online. Here's my column from that edition.)
Something Like Life
I’M hardly the fashion plate that will give Carrie Bradshaw a run for her money, but I think I know all about correct proportions and style. This means, I have enough good taste (and common sense) to know whether a piece of clothing looks good on me or not (and for that matter, other women).
As a woman matures and takes on Rubenesque proportions, for instance, there are just some types of clothing or fashion trends that just scream, “HELL NO!”
For instance, there’s nothing more tragic than a 160-pound woman—60 pounds of which rests on her thighs—wearing leggings. I curse the designers that have brought this article of clothing back in fashion again! The last time I wore leggings was about 30 years ago when I was 30 pounds lighter, and I don’t intend to get suckered into this trend again.
But strangely enough, there are some huge women who think if they wear their leggings in black, their gams will look as thin as a walis tingting. Leggings are clingy…it’s still gonna hug your fat thighs hon!
Another pet peeve is seniors who think they can get away with wearing mini-skirts just because they had become recent beneficiaries of scientific breakthroughs. They’ve been freshened up, top up – meaning the boobs have been adjusted to defy gravity, then their faces are line-free and unmoving – and feel they now have a right to show off their spindly legs to the world.
Sure I can understand that a 60-year-old woman who’s just been pinched, pulled and Botoxed can be deluded into believing she is 30 years younger. So she will dare to fit into the skimpy bikini (despite her C-section) or raise her hemline that reflect the inflation rate.
But you know what they say, you can tell a woman’s real age by looking at her knees. So, old dears, next time you get your faces pulled and your lips plumped up, consider having your knees snipped and smoothened over as well. Remember, the knees are covered with skin as well, and as we move into our twilight years, they too will become all wrinkly and saggy just like our faces.
(Have some patience when trying on jeans. Carefully choose the style that will slim down your problem areas or accentuate the positive. From NYT)
You see girlfriends, we just have to be a little more honest with ourselves. When we reach a certain age (or weight), we have to dress and behave more modestly or more appropriately. Sure, we may still have the same bubbly personality as when we were adolescents or when we were just 110 pounds, that doesn’t mean we have to dress the same way as we did then.
I’m not saying we should start wearing granny sweaters any time soon or simply stay at home wearing our dasters. We just need to learn to be more fashionable despite our, uhm…flaws and maturity level. (Also, we ought to be more conscious about how our manner of dressing can affect our friends and family members. As I sometimes tell my 82-year-old mom when I see her try out a dress and the hemline is above her knees, “Ma, bigyan mo ako ng konting kahihiyan!”)
For instance, when I started noticing that I no longer could fit into even the large sizes at the teenage section of my favorite department store, I knew it was time to walk in the foosteps of David Copperfield. See, we women are multi-talented – we can be anything we want to be, even master illusionists! All we need to do is trick everyone’s minds into seeing/believing that we are thinner than we actually are.
So if you have a bit of a paunch, you may consider ditching the two-piece bikini and go for one-piece bathing suits. There are so many colorful and amazing designs for one-piece swimsuits these days, sometimes they’re actually more interesting to wear than the two-piece types. And swimsuit designers have become more creative and imaginative, fabricating pieces that cover up most women’s imperfections – pouchy bellies, teeny boobies, giant boobies, heavy thighs, large waists, etc. You just have to have enough patience to keep trying on those swimsuits until you find the perfect one for you.
If you still want to wear your two-piece swimsuits, go buy yourself a pair of board shorts. So instead of having all those extra layers of blubber spill out over your teensy bikini, the board shorts will keep them all tucked in and well-behaved.
Now if you have love handles, don’t wear a girdle then squash yourself into a pair of tight jeans. Tight jeans around a fleshy middle will push up your abdominal fat and make it bunch up on top of your pants creating that horrible phenomenon called the muffin top! If you must wear jeans, use one that is low cut and sits just below the waist so it will free up your tummy instead of squeezing it.
(There are many swimsuits that are flattering even to the plus-size women.)
Also, if you’re a bit hefty you shouldn’t wear a top made with Lycra. The stretchy fibers will cling to your body and unless you’re wearing Spanx that reaches your boob line, you will look like sausage meat being squeezed out of its casing.
Speaking of Spanx, a number of American women swear by it. For those who don’t know what it is, Spanx is a line of undergarments that shape the body. It’s no longer your run-of-the-mill panty girdles that will flatten the tummy but make you feel asphyxiated and uncomfortable all day. It has tummy tuckers, slimming camisoles that give you some lift up there, power pantyhose that keeps all those extra fats—from your limbs to your tummy—in line, etc. Of course, Spanx became more popular after Oprah Winfrey promoted it on her show. Now it has a line for men as well. (Why men would want to wear Spanx is another story altogether.)
Another pet peeve…seniors who insist on wearing sleeveless shirts or halter-tops. All that saggy skin under the arms makes them look like they’ve grown batwings. Please limit yourself to short sleeved shirts, or if you’ve got the financial resources, have those batwings snipped ASAP!
One last trick…if you have heavy legs but love to wear jeans, consider buying a pair in a solid dark color like black or blue-black. It will create the illusion that you have slim legs, especially if you wear it with heels. See, with just a few magic tricks, we can stay fashionable despite our defects. What’s that song again? “It’s just an illusion…ooh, ooh, ooh, ahah!”
(My column, Something Like Life, is published every Friday in the Life section of the BusinessMirror.)