Fashion: So long, thong. Take a walk, Crocs.

  • Article by: CHRISTY DESMITH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 18, 2007 - 2:29 PM

Farewell to the fashion faux pas of summer.

Exposed bra straps are one thing. But the past few summers have ushered in a whole new league of unsheltered underthings; namely, that strip of thong panty that shows when women wear hip riders (the phenomenon known as "whale tail") and, of course, all those boxer shorts parading about town. Did you know that young men nowadays so enjoy the sight of underpants that they even wear their running shorts down low? Mine eyes won't soon recover from the sight of the droopy, sweat-soaked drawers I spied earlier this summer while running a 5K.

Needless to say, once the weather cools and the backsides of teens and twentysomethings get covered back up again, I won't miss the sight of their skivvies.

Nor am I a fan of sporty folk who favor Dri-Fit as everyday attire. If I attend one more barbecue for which the hard-bodied friends of friends have donned polypro singlets, or perhaps those brightly colored athletic "skorts" that are all the rage, I'm apt to send skewers through mesh inlays. Please, gym rats, oh, please, when dressing for parties, wear clothes -- not "gear."

Oh, but that's not all. There have been other summer fashion faux pas.

Footwear's big flop: The fashions in summer footwear have reached a point of crisis. But it's the fashion industry itself that's to blame. Did they really think women would wear extreme-platform espadrilles, which now overflow upon Macy's clearance racks? Naturally the masses would go on lumbering in cheaply made flip-flops.

And, because of the ensuing problems with plantar fasciitis, it was only a matter of time until they picked up those Orthotic, but nevertheless ghastly, Crocs (above). These shoes turn people into Smurfs. The worst of it: Croc wearers, being indifferent to matters of good taste, will simply pull on tube socks and continue wearing their perforated flippers through fall. I suspect we'll be suffering these eyesores 'til Christmas. Bah, humbug!

Madras men's shorts: wrinkled, slovenly, ridiculous. They're breathable, yes; but I'm afraid they don't go so nicely with Everyman's closet of polo shirts. Any fellow deluded into thinking the gaudy plaids lend a jaunty air of trust-fund-wielding playboy -- or big-time lawyer on holiday -- is sorely mistaken, my friends. As a matter of fact, the gauzy madras fabric looks rather pajama-like, and is anything but masculine. You might as well have worn seersucker.

Strapless and unforgiving: At the risk of prodding many soft spots, neither tube tops nor strapless dresses do much for most women's figures. It takes a special set of shoulders and clavicle -- not to mention a flat chest -- to pull it off; and I'm afraid most wearers don't pass muster. Along these lines, the one-piece terrycloth romper, which was but a micro-trend this summer (and therefore likely to reappear next year), is even less unforgiving and should be avoided, almost universally, post pubescence. Or by anyone with everyday distributions of female-pattern body fat.

Baby babble: Speaking of infantilizing adult women, a review of summer '07 fashions isn't complete before dispensing with the season's baby-doll and potato-sack dresses. If I'm not mistaken (or rather, if the message hasn't been adequately pounded into my skull by a disapproving boyfriend), these looks weren't exactly a hit with the Y-chromosome set. Hey, Edie Sedgwick, your girlie frocks were awfully comfortable this summer; but I do suppose men with commitment issues prefer to see some definition around the waist.

Christy DeSmith is an editor and blogger for the Rake. She covers fashion and theater.

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