Fashion Tips For 2010

By Joseph Keenan and Mark Sconce


fashionLet’s begin with a few observations by Joseph J. Keenan in his seminal work “Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish,” University of Texas Press, Austin.

“Far be it from me to tell you how to dress on vacation or when prowling the barrio, but do remember the Spanish dicho: Como te ven, te tratan (‘How they see you, they treat you’). Dressing down has not yet caught on in most Latin cultures, perhaps because millions of people dress that way for reasons not related to fashion. You don’t have to dress to the nines to go buy a Coke, but you should at least be in the low sevens. Otherwise, your clothes will be saying things about you that your mouth never would.

“What gringos often do, since we seem to be talking about them, is to covert their Sunday barbecue outfits back home into all-purpose wear for their introduction to Latin culture. What they would never wear to church they don’t think twice about wearing to a Colombian cathedral or Guatemalan village church.

If you intend to show the local people that you respect their culture, the best way to start is by letting your clothes speak for you. And the clothes that speak best are the ones that cover knees and shoulders, at least away from coastal cities. You don’t have to care about any of this, of course, but if you do, remind yourself that sin and skin are still closely linked in many minds.”

With this good advice in mind, I present below some fashion tips from some surprising sources.

“It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”-Oscar Wilde

“A good exterior is a silent recommendation.”-Publilius Syrus

“Looking good is not an end in itself. It’s a metaphor for our inner being. Ponder this. Society doesn’t applaud people’s looking bad. Looking bad means we feel bad about ourselves. It also suggests that things aren’t right with our character.”-Charles Hix

“Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity.”-William Hazlitt

Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.”-Edith Head

“Never underestimate the power of what your wear…After all, there’s a small bit of yourself sticking out, at the cuff and at the neck. The rest of what the world sees is what you hang on the frame.” Oscar E. Schoeffler

“The way to go from rags to riches is to start by getting a decent set of rags.”-Leonard and Thelma Spinrad

“Never offend the eyes of other people. If you don’t make yourself attractive as possible, you are very egoistic.”-Erte

“Always buy one good dress instead of three cheap ones.”-A mother’s advice quoted by Michele Slung

“Beware of gaudy exterior. The wise will infer a lean interior,”-Charles Simmons

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