Summer Fashion 2010: Not so hot

By Ellie Rulon-Miller

Awful fashions are everywhere, and they exist at all times of year. They thrive in malls, amusement parks, in parking lots before concerts and at music festivals. They send chills down your spine and draw tears from your eyes. Some are so bad that you may even feel personally offended. It doesn’t matter where you live. People dress badly everywhere. They just dress worse during the summer months.

The common factor in every disturbing summertime look is exposure. It seems that every other person is letting even more hang out as soon as the temperature reaches 75 degrees. It doesn’t matter what size a person is. Whether they’re larger than life or a could-be supermodel, too much skin is just that – too much. Going out of the way to display as much skin as possible is always unattractive. It’s as if neither men nor women care to leave any piece of their body to the imaginations of onlookers.

People choose to display themselves in myriad ways. Among the tackiest of these ways is through the use of fishnet clothing. Anything made from the material, such as dresses, shirts, and leggings, are wholly impractical – they are not covering anything, and they are not insulating. If a person was looking for such extreme “air conditioning” in their clothing, they may as well go nude.

The most common fashion faux pas among teenage girls has been made all the more common by Katy Perry. The look, “Daisy Dukes with a bikini on top,” can be taken to absurd lengths. Girls go the extra mile in order to expose even more skin by leaving their button and fly undone, showing a small fraction of their bikini bottom. There is no other discernible reason for leaving their shorts unbuttoned. They just want you to look.

The “California Girls” look can be made more ridiculous with one small variation: the length of the denim shorts. Oftentimes, Daisy Dukes will be so short that the white fabric that makes up the inside pockets sticks out from beneath the denim. The worst part of this look is when the pockets are full, leading to a lumpy bulge protruding from a girl’s hidden thighs.

But that isn’t the only thing that can make “California Girls” across the country look awful. Many a fashion moron will wear their Ugg boots to finish off the look, making the boot even more impractical than they were to begin with. Just as they are useless during the winter months when it snows (they may be warm, but they are not waterproof), they are just so during the summertime, when it is just too hot for any kind of thick boot.

Regardless of a person’s size, it is guaranteed that they will look awful in a cutout one-piece bathing suit. No matter what, there are pieces of body sticking out in unattractive ways. Even stick-thin girls have their pelvic bones sticking out, threatening to cut the limbs of anyone in their path. Most of the time, the chest portion of the swimsuit is ill-fitting. On smaller women, the top is too lose; on larger women, too tight, leading one to wonder who the original cut-out bathing suit was designed for, and what her dimensions were.

Among the trashiest looks out there is one so odd and so unattractive, and yet so common. Platform sandals have probably reached such heights in popularity due to their price. The footwear is dirt cheap, and often comes with a plastic flower attached, forcing its way out from between toes. No doubt it is growing from the fungus formed when Ugg boots locked in every ounce of moisture the day before. The purpose of platform shoes is to be subtle, an idea which can be achieved in a shoe. The added height is hidden amidst the sole of the shoe and the fabric comprising the rest of it. In sandals, there is no way to hide such a trick.

Finally, there is one style faux pas that is not indigenous to the summer months, but which is accentuated by the amount of skin shown: bad tattoos. Whether the tattoo was cheap, poorly drawn, poorly thought out, or etched onto the skin during a 21st birthday gone horribly awry, it comes way out of hiding in the summer heat. The male “tramp stamp,” the majestic and shoddily-drawn lion’s head on a middle-aged man’s left pectoral, the “titty tat” of a woman’s ex-boyfriend over her breast. The problem with this look is that there’s no way to correct it without expensive medical treatment.

We can rest easy, though, for summer is coming to a rapid end. Soon it will be the season of covering up with multiple layers, a season of fewer offensive fashion mistakes. Until the temperatures begin to drop, though – courage.

Ellie Rulon-Miller can be reached at [email protected]