I am no fashion maven. Some might say that I am a geek (of which I will take that title gleefully and without irony). But I feel that I have been endowed with a keen perception when it comes to people, and most particularly their choice of fashions. (I would also like to add that I am not gay, and have no especial fondness for showtunes, but I do feel perspicacious about the way people dress.) Here are some of the things I’ve noticed. Perhaps it can help you in your quest to be cool. (Though I profess not to have a monopoly nor a particularly adept way of applying my perceptual abilities.)
- People who live in New York City generally do not wear t-shirts that say “New York City.” NYU students who have recently moved to the city from somewhere else in the country recognize this quicker than others. Also, the “I [heart] NY” shirts, though probably okay at the gym, will flag you as a tourist faster than you can sing its catchy jingle. “IIIIIIIIIIIII love New Yoooooork…”
- T-shirts that say “I’m a farmer, I like hoes,” and “Women wanted, inquire within,” will only flag you as a witless moron who substitutes weakly clever t-shirts for a lack of real personality. Seriously, have you ever actually picked anyone up with a t-shirt, and if you did, is she someone you really want to show mom and dad?
- Women with ribbon belts and tie belts need to realize that Abercrombie and Fitch and the Gap are the spawns of Satan, and that wearing one of these pastel ribbons or tying one around your waist like you are a preciously wrapped gift only tells us that a) you are from the Midwest. b) you want to be mindless like everyone else. or c) that you are severely misguided in what men find attractive. I would like to add that most men are not like the uber-tanned, crew-cutted, muscular Aryans you see in your Ralph Lauren catalog. Nor do they own a yacht or have a vacation home in the Connecticut hills. But every girl can dream, I suppose.
- Never, under any circumstances, wear a shirt that says any of the following: “Abercrombie and Fitch,” “The Gap,” “Ralph Lauren,” “Tommy Hilfiger,” etc.
- FCUK is not funny. It never was and never will be.
- Hair: there are a thousand ways to mess up hair. The most popular men’s look going around now is the wake-up-and-go look which I believe I patented in the early 90s when I was home sick for a month with mono and decided not to shower for a week. That look is okay if — and a big if here — you do not try to replicate Pee-Wee Herman or the backstreet boys with the little upturned curl in the front which makes you look more like a military cadet of the 1950s than an ultra-hip urbanite.
- Finally, never, ever, under any circumstances use any of the following words: “‘s’up?” “biatch,” “dawg,” or “playa,” especially if you are white. These words were dead on arrival in the mid 90s, and anyone persisting in their usage is clearly (and desperately, I might add) trying to assert themselves as part of a fictional world created mostly by Hollywood and the music industry whereby people who use these supposedly hip words believe they are somehow privy to an element of reality that the rest of us are lacking. In truth they are just morons.
- There are more, but they slip my mind at the present moment.