Fashion for Dummies

There’s a new internet sensation and her name is Susan Boyle.  Now, I’m a North American but I’ve been hearing a lot about this lady with an amazing voice who was on Britain’s Got Talent.  I logged onto YouTube to see what the fuss was about.

So here’s this lady who is 47, lives with her cat and has never been married, nor has she ever been kissed.  Yes, she’s kind of homely and looks sort of like a coal miner’s daughter.  She comes on stage, the judges chat her up a bit and she’s a bit cheeky.  The audience laughs fully expecting a dreadful performance.  And then she opens her mouth and it’s like an angel is singing!  Truly incredible.

Now obviously, my site is about how to be fashionable.  But you can be as well dressed, groomed and coifed as you can be but still lack confidence.   Obviously, it helps as those are extraneous peripherals that you don’t have to worry about if you just take care of yourself.  However, it also makes me sad that the audience judged her (and so did I) by how she looked.

Let’s face it.  There’s a certain standard that you need to fit in society.  If you don’t follow the “fashion rules”, people wonder what’s wrong with you.  They speculate that perhaps somehow you are backwards.   Is this society’s fault?

Regardless of if she wins this show or not, there’s no doubt that she will get a record deal.  People identify with her in these tough economic times.   Being a cynic, I’d speculate that this is some incredible promotion campaign.   Older homely woman from a small village makes it big.  What a feel good story.   That’s all right with me, because she is truly that talented.  But it makes me wonder what held her back from being discovered all these years?  Her looks?  She certainly has the pipes.

So after this show ends, will Susan Boyle conform to societal expectations of beauty?  Her “people” will probably keep her as she is, as the cheeky songstress who stole the world’s heart.  And good on her for having the confidence for being herself and going for her dreams despite society’s expectations.


Since spring is upon us, the fashion diva went sunglasses shopping and came back with a pair of cool looking Ralph Lauren polarized sunglasses.  I thought this would be a good topic for a post since it’s important to have sun protection for the eyes and take every opportunity to look good at the same time.

First things first.  Despite the fact that you can get anything from oversized sunglasses to small John Lennon sunglasses, the basic principles of picking any type of glasses remain the same.  It is based on the shape of your face.

I have a square face so I try to soften it up by selecting frames that are egg shape oval.  The same thing goes for rectangular faces, as round and oval shapes will work best.

The converse is true for round faces.  You need to offset the curves with angular lines.  Rectangular frames will look good on you.

For diamond faces that are narrow at the eyeline, you’re trying to widen this part of the face.  Oval frames or detailing in the frames should highlight this part of the face.

You have two types of triagular faces.  One that widens at the chin or tapers off at the chin.  For a base-down triangle, just like the diamond faces, you’re trying to draw attention to the eyes.  To add width to the top part of the face, try bold colors.   For a base-up triangle face,   the opposite is true.  You’re trying to de-emphasize the widest part of your face so rimless glasses will work well.

Finally, if you have an oval face, count yourself lucky as anything goes for you!

Another thing you want to consider is the depth of your face.  For a flat face, you want flat sunglasses.   This can become an issue when you have your heart set on a plastic pair of sunglasses that look great for your face shape but just won’t sit on your nose and have no nose pads unlike metal frames.  Do not fear because if people want something, they will always find a solution.  You can glue silicone nose pads yourself to give it some height on your nose.  And if you have a high bridged nose, your options are more varied.  You can get try on those curved frame athletic frames which won’t work for a flatter face at all.  As you can probably tell, I know from experience since I have a flat face.

The last thing that is specific to sunglasses is that you must make sure they will protect you to UV rays.  Look for the sticker and be aware of cheap sunglasses as they just spray some coating on and sell it to you as UV protection.  While it is true, the coating doesn’t last long.  So don’t take chances with your eyes and get good eye protection from a reputable sunglasses place.

As discussed in my previous Fashion for Dummies post, How to Dress for Your Body Type, another fundamental is how to buy the right underwear for your body.  That’s right.  I’m mentioning the unmentionables: bras and panties.

I don’t think it is all that hard to conjure up the image of bulging fat off the stomach from too tight underwear.  Or visible panty lines.   Or back fat from tight bras that make you look like an oven roast tied with string.  Or boobs spilling out of  too small bra cups.  Oh, just the horror all around.

Most people believe that no one but their significant others will see them in their underwear so who cares, right?  (That’s provided they have a SO, being the fashion disaster that they are).  What people don’t realize is that having properly fitted underwear will contour areas they are worried about and lift things that should be lifted.

Have sagging breasts?  Get a good bra.  It saves on the breast augmentation surgery.   What about if you have no boobs at all?  Get a padded or a push up bra.  Go with Wonderbra for example.  There’s a reason why they call it a “wonder”.

It’s amazing how many women wear the wrong bra size.  It is estimated as high as 80% of women are wearing an ill fitted bra.   How hard is it to go into an underwear store and ask them to measure your breasts and chest size?  Geez, 1 minute and you’re done.   Now, make sure that the bra size actually is what you were measured for.  Sometimes, the manufacturers get it wrong. Globalization, I swear…  But let’s make the girls happy and clothe them right.

Now, what happens if you have got a flabby stomach?  Get a pair of Spanx underwear to hold everything in.  Lots of women swear by these magic knickers and it is instantly slimming.  Shapes the ass and thighs.  No one would ever know that you have cellulite.

The point is underwear makes a whole heck of a lot difference in how your clothes hang on the outside.  We’ve all seen the effects of bad underwear on the outside, right?  Think bulges of fat.  Think Stay Puff Marshmellow Man.  Now imagine what good slimming underwear can do.    Invest in good underwear because it makes the clothes on the outside more fabulous.    Don’t skimp when buying bras and panties!

I’d like to relate something about yours truly before I go into my Fashion for Dummies lesson on how to dress  for your body shape.  Before I was the fashion savvy, confident (but anonymous) blogger that I am now, I used to be quite nerdy as a kid.  I had the owl glasses and I wore hand me downs.  In fact, I had two sweaters that I rotated per week.   The glasses I paid for myself from my paper route because I didn’t come from a rich family.  Why oh why did I buy those when I had the choice since I was paying for them myself?  And they weren’t cheap either.  We’re talking about $240 for the glasses and this was like 15 years ago.  Because they were plastic and durable and they had spring hinges.  They were practical and I was thinking long-term.

Here’s the lesson.  Even though I had the money to invest in something worthwhile for the long-term, it didn’t fit me at all.  So many times I’ve seen people invest in clothing because of a brand name or because it’s the fashion trend.  Honey, if it doesn’t fit your body shape, it isn’t doing you any favors.  And then these fashion victims compound the disaster by wearing it over and over again thinking, “I’m wearing *insert name of designer* so therefore, I must be cool”.  Bzzt!  Wrong!   There’s so much more to fashion than throwing on a brand name – especially if you don’t know how to put an outfit together.  There’s also such a thing as trying too hard, you know.  It makes you seem desperate.

So the moral of the story is, dress for your body type.   Oh wait, do you even know what your body type is?  How many times have you tried to put on something and found out that they don’t fit anymore?  Our bodies change throughout our lives and it’s important to evaluate ourselves through each major milestone:  teenage growth spurt,  filling out of maturity,  aftermath of pregnancy, menopause.  In order to dress to impress, we need to know how to deemphasize our flaws and highlight our assets.  My advice before you even go out to buy more clothes is to take a good look at yourself in the mirror – naked and review your body shape.  Be honest, but not overly critical.  People often have a better body than they realize.   It’s just the way they were dressing before that made them look in an unflattering manner.  You’d be surprised how buying the appropriate clothes for your body shape can take pounds off your body.

Hello, and welcome to Fashion for Dummies.  As you can probably tell, this blog is to help with all the fashion disasters in the world.  And I know there are a lot among you because I see you every day wherever I go.  I see you at work, malls, and restaurants.  There’s no respite for the visual assault.  I guess that’s why I’m starting this blog – so I can save my own sanity and eyesight.

Despite my online nickname, I’m really not fashion’s diva.  In fact, I come from the geeky side of the tracks.  I never knew how to dress myself either, or put on makeup and such.  But there comes a day when everyone of the XX chromosome variety needs to learn and just be girly and feminine in order to fit in to everyday society.  And we do live on Earth, folks.

I know, I know.  You’re probably cringing as you recall those vapid and insidiously vain individuals who don’t have two brain cells together but boy, can they coordinate!  But as this post is entitled, it’s “How to Dress Like a Normal Person”.   Because other than those really put together people who stand out, guess who else stands out?  The hideously dressed as well!  Therefore, you are put on the spotlight just for being known as someone who can’t dress.  You know the show “What Not to Wear?”  They don’t makeover the average.  They only makeover the true fashion disasters.  So why don’t we aim for something modest and go for just dressing like a normal person.

Oh by the way, this blog is mainly aimed towards females – hence, the girl on the right.  I have some fashion faux-pas for guys too but this blog will be geared towards the ladies (unless you’re a drag queen or a transvestite).  Because let’s face it, we all know that it’s your girlfriend, wife, momma who dresses you.  And if they can’t dress for themselves, they probably suck at dressing you too. But what the heck, guys can read the blog and learn something or two as well concerning the ladies.  Next time she asks if the pants make her ass look big, you can mumble something along the lines of yes, but actually give her a reason why.

So welcome folks, one and all.  Welcome to Fashion for Dummies.  Thanks for dropping by and come back soon.  In the future, I hope I can increase your fashion IQ points along the way.

et cetera