Monday, August 4, 2008

Go under cover, please

Modesty - n. - propriety in dress, speech or conduct

I'm not one to lecture people about the finer points of fashion. Heck, I've spent years trying to perfect the alcoholic vagrant beachcomber look, so asking me whether this blouse goes well with that skirt is about like asking Hitler to plan a bar mitzvah. Wrong guy for the job. So, what I'm going to do here is not complain about the quality of clothing people wear in public, but the quantity. I went to a preseason football game last night in Canton, and I was stunned by some of the ensembles people felt comfortable wearing in public. Even since a group of well-meaning children tried to roll me back into the surf at Myrtle Beach about 20 years ago, I've taken great care to wear a shirt at the beach and elsewhere. In other words, I got the wake-up call. Some people, I'm afraid, have taken that phone off the hook. So, as a public service, here are a few things I'd like to suggest:

Ladies, if you have what you consider to be a lovely piece of art permanently inked onto your body in the region just north of your backside, and that part of your anatomy, over the course of some years, has developed undulations akin to the tracks of the Thunderbolt at Kennywood, please share said artwork only with your closest relatives.

Some women seem to have no idea when they have raced past the point where it is appropriate to go bra-less, or they count on some Spandex-like top to get the job done. You just can't get 20 pounds of stuff into a 10-pound container, and time and gravity are inevitable. A good rule of thumb is that if the protrusions on what traditionally would be considered the front of your breasts are now pointing down like a dowser's rod that has found water, it's time for a high-quality bra.

Short shorts are fine if someone can flick a quarter off your thighs and be at risk of losing an eye when it richochets back. However, if the texture of your thighs is similar to a relief map of Uzbekistan, a knee-length pair of shorts is recommended.

Knee-length shorts are not sufficient, and you'll want to look into a capri pant, if any part of what previously was a thigh now dangles below the knee.

If you have ankle fat that slops down over your shoes, it's time to consider a floor-length trouser or even a flowing gown. That's good for you guys, too. Remember how stylish Chevy Chase looked in "Fletch" while roller skating at the beach? Just one word of caution: Be careful how you accessorize with a long gown if you are heading to the airport and want to avoid a cavity search. Pearls: always a good choice. AK47 and a "Death to America" ballcap: not so good.

These trouser tips apply to men, as well. Also, fellas, there comes a time in some of our lives when silky athletic shorts and skin-tight "wife beaters" no longer get it done. If you can sit your beverage on your beer gut and use your navel for a salsa receptacle, it's time for a less-clingy garment.

I have to admit that there are women, at least in my estimation, who look good in a minimum of clothing, but if you take notice of that, many of them seem to get very offended. (In this day and age, a sideways glance or innocuous comment seems to be grounds for screaming "sexual harassment," but that's a subject for another day, perhaps tomorrow.) There's an old saying about not advertising unless you're trying to sell something, but some ladies pay that no mind. I saw several women at the football game who wore tops that were so insufficient that I thought perhaps they were taking on-demand breast feeding to an extreme and wanted to be able to accommodate a small child with a minimum of clothing adjustment. But they should be aware that while they might attract suckling infants, they also might garner the attention of what are commonly called horny males. (That would be most of us.) And those males just might be moved to quote the immortal Cleavon Little in "Blazing Saddles," who said, "Excuse me while I whip this out." And, of course, they'll then produce a camera phone or some such gadgetry to memorialize the moment in pictures. To summarize: Ladies, if you still have parts of you that are "restaurant quality," feel free to share, but realize that some people will take a long time looking at the menu.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can deal with an overabundance of exposed skin that looks like it's been stretched over cottage cheese, but I don't get why so many women get tattoos these days, or why so many wear toe rings or have their ears pierced more than a couple of times each. I also don't understand why overweight men wear skin tight polo shirts, stuffing a 3XL body into a L shirt, or wear their pants so low in the back that you can see butt cleavage.

I'll go one step further and ask that people stop wearing T shirts with offensive slogans, or at least show some common sense in where they wear them. Not long ago, in church, I saw a family whose teenaged son's T-shirt said, under a picture of a baseball and a football. "You've got to have balls to live in Pittsburgh." Mom was sporting a "Life's A Beach" T shirt. But no tattoos, thank God.

August 4, 2008 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Brant, your rules should be posted inside dressing rooms in every clothing department in America. Just because it's trendy doesn't make it look good.

I work with a 50-year-old mother of four, and while she's not repulsively fat, let's just say that the intensity of the gravitational pull is inversely proportional to the elasticity of her skin. She continually squeezes herself into clothes that are two sizes too small. One guy here often asks her if she's going swimming after work because he noticed her inner tube under her shirt. Hey, I can stuff my ample bulk into a pair of 34-inch waist jeans. I might even get them buttoned and zipped. But it sure as hell ain't gonna look nice. I consider it both my civic duty and a kind gesture to my fellow man to keep the ol' gut under cover.

You'll never see me wear tight clothing of any kind. I hate the way it feels on me, and it puzzles me how anyone else can tolerate it. I often wonder if some of these people even own a mirror.

August 5, 2008 at 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made me LOL at my desk. I saw many offenders at Sunday's Toby Keith concert at the PG pavilion. I saw more muffin top and jelly roll than I ever needed to.

I actually saw one woman roll up her shirt exposing the blob that had formed around her midsection and say to her friend "I look good today, I'm going to show this off some more"


August 5, 2008 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Food for thought: We all should be able to see a video of ourselves wearing tight white shorts and walking away from the camera.

August 5, 2008 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

It's not cool to poke fun at overweight people.....

August 6, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Ummm, Scott, I happen to be among the "calorically challenged" demographic, and no one is poking fun at people for being fat. What they're saying is that people whose bodies have gone to seed should not be wearing skin-tight or exposing garments.

August 7, 2008 at 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skinny people dress just as badly ... and yes,I make fun of them. I know, I know ... do your own thing. Can't we all get along? There should be no accepted norm, we should all be allowed to dress as and weigh what we please and Reubens made plump chicks all the rage at one time. But today it's a question of modesty and common sense and, at the very least, avoiding having yourself made fun of by the skinnies. I suppose on judgment day, there will not be separate fat & skinny lines, and if God turns out to be 5'5" an weigh 350, there'll be a lot of shuffling feet and downcast gazes in line.

August 7, 2008 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

You mean God is Buddha?

August 7, 2008 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adults dress badly. And don't get me started on the teens and kids. Its no secret the teenage girls are the worst offenders of the "TMI" wardrobe... and the amazing thing is that the young girls will wear low-rise jeans and cleavage-showing tanks and then get disgusted when a less than attractive guy is creepin' on them.
Kids are dressing more provocatively younger and younger. A friend made me laugh last year when he called from a high school football game and reported that the middle school "Prostitots" were out in full force.

August 7, 2008 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

That's why guys who are 18 or 19 end up hooking up with girls who are 13 but look like they're 20. Then the guys go to jail. It might kill the romance of the moment, but perhaps everyone, if in doubt, needs to start checking ID.

August 7, 2008 at 11:46 AM  

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