By Nahed Kazziha
Fashion faux pas can be seen all over the world, and while all citizens of the globe can be found guilty of major style misdemeanors, we in Egypt can lay claim to our very own special brand of fashion blunders. That’s not to take away from our unique trendsetting skills, but really, if we cannot laugh at ourselves then how can we laugh at anybody else? We have rounded up some of our most dreaded pet peeves right here.
All designer everything
I’ll be the first to admit to being a brand whore (excuse my French) on occasion- my tender high school and college years were plagued with fashion malfunctions that would make you shudder today with lots of in your face logos (think LV monograms, EVERYWHERE). But as youth and fashion society have evolved and matured, the art of subtlety is one sometimes lost on us Egyptians.
The compulsion and sometimes necessity to supplement bare arms with a colorful undergarment is on occasion quite abhorrent. Let us look at things from a different perspective- enter skillful layering! Layers need to be well contemplated and coordinated, not just in terms of color, but texture and style genre. Try it out instead of reaching for your safety blanket (or safety Carina).
Boob Tube Abuse
It is understandable that some of us get uncomfortable with plunging necklines and sheer garments. Too much skin can be considered “3eeb” and inappropriate. The solution? Boob tube for the win! WRONG…so very wrong. The outrageous tube pairing more often than not creates cleavage calamities of a superior order, like the uniboob phenomenon, or simply destroying cleavage with that harsh horizontal slash across the chest. If you must, try to follow the neckline of your garment, or really, just find something more suitable that you feel comfortable wearing.
Yet another feature of an arm-shy society. Once trendy, today’s boleros are only appropriate for matadors or ballerinas warming up in the winter. And yes, there was a brief shining moment in time when the bolero was an acceptable form of cover up, but like many things in Egypt, it has been subject to “avwara” and overstayed its welcome. A cardigan, jacket or shawl would do just as well and lessen the sausage effect a tight bolero has on your arms.
There is a solid case that can be made against using your leggings as a daily outfit crutch, but the real appeal needs to be made to jegging abuse. Yes, we get it, the elusive versatility that only a good pair of jeans can possess with the lounge-worthy comfort of a spandex infused poly-cotton-blend. Parting may be such sweet sorrow, but it is time to take a stand and seek solace in real jeans.
Have you ever stepped out of the house feeling like you just had too much going on? Ever catch a glimpse of someone on the street and felt you had been visually assaulted? The mantra “less is more” really applies here- repeat it. Over, and over, if you must. Stick to one trend at a time that way you can lengthen the lifespan of your closet and really commit to that style.
Somewhere north of trendy there is a realm of uber-coordination. Yes, being over-coordinated is a thing and a very dangerous one at that. So avoid matching your shoes, handbag, accessories and make-up to your outfit and bypass the Pepto Bismol look. Use contrasting and complimenting sparingly to put together a complete outfit without the stomach churning overkill.
Who doesn’t love a good statement necklace? Or a beautifully crafted arm guard? Or ornate earcuffs? Now, piling them on all at once is cringe worthy. If you are guilty of this fashion pet peeve, then recall Coco Chanel’s wise words and remember to “look in the mirror and remove one accessory” before leaving your house.
Glitter in the Air (and Everywhere)
Glitter is the stuff of fairies and dress up and has no business on your face or clothes for that matter. Sure a little metallic sheen or delicate sequins never hurt anyone. But the real travesty strikes when you have a full-fledged heavily pigmented sequin gown betraying your aspirations to be more of a disco ball than a style icon.