My love of pageantry first blossomed when I moved to New York, a city of exhibitionists and voyeurs, thin walls and crowded subways. There’s an endless supply of tasteful dressers here, but it’s the people whose outfits teeter on the edge of awful who truly make this city exciting. I always figured that if everyone on the subway car is going to hear about my date, they might as well get a juicy story, and if I’m going to take the time to put together an outfit, I might as well make it a head-turner. Bold outfits, even the tacky ones, make your days more vibrant and your memories more colorful.
Remember Bjork’s swan dress, and all the heat she took for wearing such an outlandish outfit to the 2001 Academy Awards? Now, do you remember any of the other dresses worn that night? While Bjork’s ensemble is still notorious a decade later, all those tasteful gowns have faded into obscurity. In worlds where image means everything, like high school or Hollywood, being labeled a fashion “Don’t” may seem like the worst fate imaginable. But it turns out that the walking fashion Don’ts of the world are the real newsmakers, or at least the ones who make your day. So without further ado, here are some Fashion Don’ts I could go for:
Grateful Dead Tees
If there’s one thing you should learn from your parents’ mistakes, it’s to never, never throw out your rock and roll memorabilia. Sure, dancing bears may cull up memories of the aging hippie couple at the reggae fest parting crowds with their body odor, but any shirt featuring a skeleton playing golf or steering a pirate ship is well worth holding onto.
Ever since I saw Last Tango In Paris, I’ve been obsessed with Maria Schneider’s curly shag. Of course it helps that Schneider was gorgeous, but I’ve long argued that big frizzy perms make people look like rock stars. You just have to back that perm up with a killer wardrobe, is all.
Once, my stockings were so shredded that a man on the street offered to buy me a new pair. “Listen baby,” he said, “they sell them at the corner store for $1.99. You can’t walk around looking like that.” Laddered stockings tend to elicit more scandalized stares than bare legs; while bare legs can represent a girlish freshness, ripped stockings have always been a signpost of women up to no good. Go ahead and be bad. Throw on some Doc Martens, a black mini and an old denim jacket to complete the look.
I’m not talking about those little cotton lederhosen you can buy at American Apparel, I’m talking about real deal denim coveralls. Try cuffing the legs and rocking them with low top sneakers or gladiator sandals for a fun daytime look.
Duct Tape Wallets
I don’t care what they say; we’re still in a recession. Get inspired by this (admittedly nerdy) Tetris wallet made entirely of duct tape, by KMSDesigns.
Images via: fashionindie; ontheracks; hairjunky; trendhunter; modellove; etsy