There was a time when a run in your stocking or a bra strap showing was a fashion disaster.  Black bras under white blouses and ripped fishnet stockings seem commonplace today.  Mother Angelica of EWTN, my go-to-gal for all things Catholic, used to think that mirrors on street corners would alert people to how awful they look.  I’m not sure anything would help at this point.

Joe Queenan, in his recent column, “Hey, Buddy, Keep Your Shirt On!”, describes the summer’s overexposure to bare skin in NYC where the temperature and humidity are sky high and he takes no prisoners when he assails all those overweight middle-aged joggers, sunbathers, and ordinary pedestrians who walk around with just about everything exposed.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t write about women’s fashion faux pas.

I live in the Pacific Northwest in a temperate climate so our temps never get too low or too high and we, thank God, are not experiencing the suffocating humidity much of the country is having.  So, I don’t see a lot of people around here wearing too little.  As a matter of fact, up until July 25th (when we actually hit temperatures over 80 degrees), we had only 78 minutes of such weather this summer.

But it must have gotten a bit too hot down in Oregon for Sandy McMillan when she was allegedly asked to leave Walmart because she was wearing only the top of a string bikini with shorts.  Well, I can see why the people at Walmart were a little upset by her wardrobe choice, but Walmart should acknowledge that part of this spectacle was its own fault.  After all, the bikini was bought at Walmart last year.  Actually, most of the blame should be placed on the manufacturer of this outfit.  Any clothier who makes a bikini with strings long enough to tie around a baby manatee should be shot.  Plain and simple.

I go to the gym five days a week.  I’m in decent shape for an almost 60-year old gal but always wear long athletic pants and short-sleeved shirts.  I don’t think the gym is the place for anyone to show as much skin as I see sometimes.  First of all, it’s never the toned and tanned people but always the “far-too-old-for-that-outfit” crowd who are guilty of over-exposure.  Unfortunately, far too many gals my age don’t cover up their bat-wings (aka flabby arms) or their ridiculous late-in-life tattoos that only others can see.

There’s a guy, probably my age, who shows up trying to cover up his man boobs with a not very clean looking stretched out wife beater shirt, wears a bandanna over his bald head, no socks or shoes and short shorts.  Whenever I have the misfortune to encounter this guy, I avoid facing him when he’s doing his clam shells because I’m sure I’ll have to be treated for PTSD.

I saw a gal one time wearing a pastel-colored two-piece skin-tight outfit from top to bottom.  She definitely did not have a mirror in her home when she left that morning.  If a spout and handle were attached to her, she could’ve easily auditioned to be the Miss Lime Kool-Aid spokesperson.

And, finally, there’s the septuagenarian who wore what could only be described as a see-through nylon sleeveless camisole who should’ve tucked her 36 longs into her waistband before getting on the stationary bicycle and flailing her arms in some sort of bizarre exercise routine which was truly not a pretty sight.

Look, I’m really not a mean person.  A lot of Americans suffer from poor self-image and do their best to be happy in their own skin.  I get that and I don’t regularly comment on people’s weight, height, make-up or hair.  I’m not a stick woman myself, so I’m painfully aware of what I should and shouldn’t wear in addition to having a wonderfully honest husband who will actually tell me when something does or doesn’t look good on me.

In other words, I try to dress appropriately in public.  I have the same attitude as Judge Judy (I want to be Judge Judy when I grow up) and don’t wear a bathing suit because I don’t want anyone to lose their dinner.   So, it’s just horrifying for me to see people so outrageously attired and completely clueless about it.  I have to wonder whether the person only owns a fun house mirror, doesn’t care, has no one at home willing to be honest, or is just plain oblivious.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.


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