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Fashion Police Report

| May 19, 2008
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TGF Managing Editor Angela GardnerAs many may remember from my Diva of Dish days here at TGF I am in showbiz. I work on films and television shows in the Philadelphia/New York area and I was just working as a background actor (that’s an extra) on a film in Philly. While I was on the set in downtown Philadelphia I spent a lot of time watching the crowd and thinking. When you’re doing background work there’s a lot of time for thinking since it’s a lot like the military where you hurry up and wait.

Among the things I observed was the diversity of fashion and style of the women on the street. I found myself acting as the fashion police and grading every outfit I saw, issuing mental citations for those that broke my idea of the fashion rules. Disclaimer: The following observations are only my personal opinion and while I’m most often right about everything if you don’t agree that’s okay. Rules were made to be broken and if your can make an outfit work when all evidence says it will not then more power to you.

Here’s my Fashion Police Report for Philly.

Many women seem to prefer casual over dressed up. Not enough for a citation in itself but a gateway style that can lead to serious violations. On a warm, sunny day, the Philadelphia ladies were mostly in jeans or capri length pants with flip flops. I’m not going to issue a citation for flip flops — they can even be useful if you are very tall (and wearing a sandal with a heel is not an option) and you want to be as short as possible to increase you chances of blending in. But, you have to have pretty feet to wear them and you have to be careful not to start plodding along with an unfeminine walk as you concentrate on keeping the flops in place. Plodding will always get a citation.

Angela Gardner at her Laptop Lounge party.Flip flops are not the best footwear for good foot health, either. I think girls who are wearing flip flops everyday now are going to generate a boom in the podiatry business of the future.

The Philly ladies were wearing a variety of tops with their jeans and capris, ranging from simple tank tops to ruffled blouses. The only Fashion Citations issued were related to fit; if your tank top is tight and it clearly reveals your roll of flab hanging over your belt be prepared for a citation. If your top is cut high to reveal your slim waist and belly button piercing but it also reveals your hanging flab this is a certain citation.

I’m happy to report an up tick (as stock reporters say) in the number of casually dressed women who opted for sundresses. It’s ironic that to wear a sundress and let it do what it’s supposed to do — expose a lot of your skin to the sun — you have to slather on sun block to avoid skin damage. But, that’s life in the 21st century.

The biggest violation I saw regarding sundresses was the combination of a strapless sun dress with a bra. One young lady was showing the whole back of her bra because her strapless dress was pulling down in the back. If it hadn’t slid south you might have conluded that the straps were part of the dress but that was clearly the back of her bra (beige at least) showing above the dress. With a little care you can pick a sundress with straps that will conceal your bra, or you can go braless in strapless dresses as the fashion gods intended. (TG girls can glue their synthetic mammaries in place for strapless looks. If their shoulders and upper arms can stand the scrutiny.)

There were several fashion violations to be found in the footwear area. Aside from the previously mentioned flip flop I saw a few things that I consider just wrong.

Many women were wearing more dressy outfits (those working in offices and some of the women working on the film as glamorus extras) and many were going bare legged with their nice dresses and pumps. Violation One: Without hose their legs were white and tanless. In the Middle Ages a tan meant you were a peasant. In the 20th century it came to mean you were a lady of leisure and the glamorus connotation of being well tanned has persisted. A white leg, possibly with some stubble and a few blue veins showing, is just not as sexy as a tanned calf with a moisturized shine. If you must go without stockings while wearing a skirt or dress — tan those legs.

The closed pumps without stocking were worrisome to me because I just don’t find a closed shoe that comfortable without hose. I (big revelation) have sweaty feet and without hose my foot will move around in my shoe and develop blisters. Sometimes the back of the shoe will cut in too much and I will get a blister there. So, I have a prejudice against hoseless pump wear. But, it could be due to the mess I call my feet and if it works for you — and your leg is tanned and sexy then go ahead.

Some girls exposed themselves to my Fashion Citations by wearing shoes that were too high. Even dressy outfits with coordinated footware — whether closed pumps or high heeled sandals — will get you a citation if you can’t walk gracefully. There were too many ladies walking as if their shoes had become the focal point of their attention. Rather than contribute to their well dressed, stylish aura the too high shoe was causing them to constantly concentrate on just getting one foot in front of the other. Whether for fear of falling down or because of foot pain those in shoes that were too high for them might as well have worn a sign saying, “My feet are killing me! I can’t walk in these shoes!”

A four or five inch heel can be a very empowering thing if you can walk in it lightly and gracefully, looking as if every step is an effort is not sexy. Ankle wobble will not be tolerated! Citation!

Overall, as I said, the ladies of Philadelphia gave a good showing of fashion diversity. Some were wearing more kooky combinations like red lace stockings with boots, flouncy floral skirt and punk t-shirt, but I gave them points for trying to be young and hip rather than wearing clothing totally inappropriate for the daytime. No doubt the University of The Arts, which was just a block or two down Broad Street, was the origin of that particular outfit. Since she pulled it off with aplomb it worked and she stood out in a good way from the rest of the crowd.

Those are my Fashion Citations and I invite you to comment on the things you would issue a citation for, or if you vehemently disagree with me let us know.


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Category: Blogroll, Style, Transgender Opinion

angela_g

About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

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  1. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    Ain’t springtime great? I too love walking around downtown Cincinnati on a weekday, looking at the pretty girls, and their outfits. And one of these days, I’m gonna get up the nerve to join ’em. (And you’ve given me plenty of thought on what I’ll wear!)

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