Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Bust Belt

Ladies, you know who you are. I've seen you all around the grocery store and around the JHU medical campus lo these past many days. You were raised to believe that untucked shirts look sloppy. You have a collection of absolutely adorable belts. You genuinely believe that wearing one of those darling belts will highlight, define or enhance your waist, thereby making you look slimmer.

I'm sorry to be the rookie officer in the Fashion Police Department who has to cite you for the misdemeanor known as "Cinch & Pinch an Inch," or "36-32-38" as its call numbers go. ("Yeah, 10-4, we have an APB out on a 36-32-38. Mid-forties, otherwise attractive, but belt pulled as tight as a tourniquet just below her boobs. Last spotted wearing light blue/chambray "mom jeans" in the vicinity of FashionBug/Sears/DressBarn").

You know who you are. Or maybe you don't, you poor dear. Here's the breakdown: Don't do it. There are only a few occasions when you should ever need to wear a belt. Karate competitions are one of them. The others don't immediately come to mind. Instead of cutting yourself off visually in the middle, making yourself look like a big ol' package of sausage links, may we recommend purchasing quality shirts that hit just below the belt line on your pants? This way, your belt loops are covered, you can rest easy that you don't look unkempt, and you can look at least 5 pounds lighter, or in other words you can look like yourself.

Take it from someone who knows. When I look back on my fat kid photos (118 pounds at 4'11" in 7th grade, baby!), I was clearly under the delusion that wrapping a belt around me was the key to looking thinner. You don't need me to tell you (if you've seen the photos) that the odds of making myself look thinner by squeezing a belt around my tummy chub are slim and none. Or, more accurately, fat chance.

So from one sausage link to another: give all of your belts to charity, buy some length-appropriate shirts, and stop creating an empire-waisted outfit by belting your pants just 'neath your bust. Set your ribcage and your waistline free, sisters! After all, it's not only good fashion; it's the law.

Next up: Men. Chino shorts. No socks. Maroon penny loafers. The crime: Relaxation with Intent to Be Hirsute.

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