Where life meets style — Mind your style

by Aaron Leth

Last Friday night I went downtown and stopped at the ATM at that skeezy place in between the Gay ’90s and that Dreamgirls joint. This little shanty reminds me of New York because it’s quite the little hole-in-the-wall, so I have no problem patronizing the store. Plus, I’ve got history with it: My roommate used to buy smokes there.

Well, I was minding my own drunken business, getting money out of the ATM for cover charges at my next hangout, and some betch literally falls into me and then down (I’m pretty sure I saw her Britney, too, which only multiplied the horror). Then her gaggle of chirping Teletubbies is in tow to save her. But she looks at me and goes, “You have my glasses!” And I reply, “No, I have Prada glasses, and you have the same pair.” Of course, in her peroxide-infused bob and corset top, she was confused and stunned. But I was elated.

I know this column isn’t a rebroadcast of the MySpace page that, FYI, I don’t even have, but I wanted to share this story to remind you all know to stand up for style. We go to a university that’s been in the top three in terms of student body size since I came here. At one time, I believe we were first. The point is, with nearly 50,000-odd students, chances are someone’s going to be wearing that exact same AE graphic T-shirt with some cutesy campus saying on it the EXACT same time you’re wearing it.

Do I condone shopping at American Eagle for style-right pieces? Not really Ö unless you are going back to your hometown for homecoming and want to fit in Ö or something. That’s why it takes a little effort sometimes to take a drab and make it fab – you know what I’m saying?

Here’s another little story of how this task can be sabotaged really fast: So I was riding the number 16 bus back to mon appartement de Prospect Park, and suddenly BAM (cue Emeril): there is this woman, wearing a fake Burberry scarf (you know … those ones that are practically orange they’re so fake?) around her waist. And I have nothing against unconventional style, but let’s just say she really didn’t have a waist worthy of accentuating with a belt – let alone a felt scarf-as-a-belt. I think she was kind of taken by me, too, because my mouth literally hit the floor when she got on. Then she kept eyeing me and at one point, I saw her wink. Oh the 16: the pride of Metro Transit!

Lesson from scary, trashy woman on bus: Be careful with trends and making them individualistic. She was obviously trying hard, but make sure that when YOU try, it’s not so horrifying.

I think a good way to use a scarf unconventionally is to tie it around a handbag. Never ever use it in a kerchief style. Either you’ll look 80 or you’ll look like you’re going to a hoe down: both equally tragic.

Another great way to own a style is to wear it when it’s least expected. Anna Wintour, perhaps the hardest working fashion maven we have, showed up to a clam bake in an Armani suit (think early ’90s when that soft suit look was in for women). Am I dictating that you should go to clam bakes or buy quadruple-grand Armani suits? No, but think about it. She was wearing the “IT” piece of the season, but at the least “IT” place of the season, knowing all along she was sure to stand out.

That’s the kind of initiative I’m asking for. Go ahead, take a chance – wear the smart, good piece in your own way. Or else, you’ll end up looking dirty, tired and paunchy, like the other half of campus.

That’s all! I know this week was a slight straying from my typical fodder, but too many fashion faux pas were witnessed. EEK! Let’s hope next week brings a better forecast. Or WARNING: I might just have to stoop to a new low and gab about Chris Crocker. Ö (Cue screaming, shuddering and gagging.)