What’s going on good people? As you all are well aware, the New Year is upon us. But enough of the small talk. Time is money, so let’s get straight to business. Last year was full of misguided foolishness that I would like to help some of you avoid this year. In the past twelve months, I have personally witnessed no less than 15,739 people make utter and complete asses of themselves. How you ask? Simply by leaving the house. See, apparently 2011 was the year of the “Tastemaker” with no taste, the “fashionista” with no fashion, and the “Lifestyle Specialist” with no life, or style. As a result, I have been asked to bless you all with a little bit of game.
So lets call this, “Ten Fashion Tips To Take Into The New Year”. Ready? Cool, lets get started.
Tip #1 – Dress For Success
A wise man once told me, “Dress for the job you want… Not the job you have”. First impressions are everything. In a time when everyone is a self-proclaimed SOMETHING, it’s extremely important that you look the part! I really and truly have not the least bit of interest in your sneaker blog if every time I see you, it looks like you’ve been leisurely jogging down dirt and gravel trails. I’m not saying that you have to dress for paparazzi every time you leave the house… But if you want me to believe that you’re a “star”, you better damn well look like one whenever we cross paths.
Tip #2 – Be Comfortable
Historically, this is actually the first rule of fashion. If you’re not comfortable, then your look won’t translate properly. Ladies, this one is especially for you. Trust me when I say… There is NOTHING more hilarious than seeing a female in heels she can’t walk in. How in the world are you supposed to exude sexiness looking like my dopefiend Uncle Johnny walking down the street? I’ll tell you how. You can’t.
Tip #3 – Dress With Confidence
This is directly affected by Tip #2. If you aren’t comfortable, then you can’t possibly be confident. One of the most important ingredients to pulling off a fashionable look, is to walk with your head held high and a certain pep in your step. If YOU don’t think you look good… why the hell should I think you look good? Which takes us perfectly into our next gem…
Tip #4 – Dress For You, Not For “The Public”
Now at first glance, this may seem to conflict with Tip #1, but follow me. Buy and wear pieces that YOU want. Mix and match colors the way YOU want. When you are dressed from head to toe in pieces that you genuinely like, it gives you the confidence to not care what people say. Believe it or not, that confident nonchalance is a magnet. It attracts people of the opposite sex, money, and last but not least, success.
Tip #5 – Do NOT Be A Label Whore
Answer this for me. You know the guy in the club? The one with the Gucci monogram jacket and matching pants? And the Gucci monogram hat? With the Gucci monogram belt? And the Gucci monogram loafers? With the Gucci monogram phone case? Yea, that guy. Remember how hard you laughed on the inside when he slithered up next to you at the bar? Yea? Well don’t be THAT guy.
Tip #6 – No More Bootleg “Designer” Pieces
2011 was the year of men copping their first pair of Louboutin's and ladies lusting after Michael Kors. Which is fine… IF that’s whats in your budget. The problem occurs when people concern themselves with “keeping up with the Jones’s”. See, one thing you have to realize, is that the damn Jones’s don’t live in your neighborhood. The people on television that you look up to so much, are usually in a different tax bracket. They have personal stylists and have free clothes sent to them all the time. So when you buy that Louis Vuitton bag from the table outside the train station, you’re not really impressing anyone. In fact, you’re doing the exact opposite.
You’re making a damn fool of yourself, because the people who are really and truly into fashion enough to have been impressed, will also be the ones who know that bag is fake. Rule of thumb: If you ever, at ANY point, wonder whether or not the piece you are looking at is fake… IT IS!
Tip #7 – Don’t Try To Be Someone You’re Not
This is slightly related to Tip #6, but this touches on a deeper, more serious problem. This rule is for those of you who DO indeed buy authentic designer goods… although you can’t really afford it. Let’s be real… $2300 boots were just NOT made for people who work the overnight shift at Target. Don’t let Nicki Minaj convince you that you need a pair of heels that cost more than two months rent. The money you spend overextending yourself on a single pair of shoes could have filled your closet with signature pieces that actually do fit you. Remember, the fastest route from point A to point B is a straight line. You’ll get to where you’re trying to get faster if you stay in your lane.
Tip #8 – Classic, Not Trendy
Red Monkey. Evisu. BAPE. Need I say more?
Tip #9 – Don’t Take Celebrity
Fashion Out Of Context
Don’t get me wrong. Even I can appreciate the originality in Lady Gaga’s wardrobe choices. I love to see Beyonce dance and jiggle in those little skimpy onesies. But what the hell exactly does that have to do with you? Not a damn thing. Just because it looked good on the red carpet at the MTV Awards does NOT mean it will look good at the raggedy ass club you frequent on Tuesday nights. Fellas, this goes for you too. If I see one of you impressionable bastards coming out of my favorite lounge with sheepskin leggings and a yellow fur hat, I promise to kick you down the first flight of stairs we come across. Remember… before your favorite artist became a pop sensation, they used to look like THIS!
Tip #10 – Do What Feels Right
If you’ve been paying the slightest bit of attention to Tips 1-9, then you know that fashion is about YOU. If your favorite outfit goes against any of the rules laid out before you, then ask yourself this question: Do I like it? If the answer is a resounding “YES”, then wear it anyway. Who cares what I think? I’m just a guy with more clothes than closet space and a beaming Check Engine light. Do what you wanna do. Just don’t get caught slippin' and find yourself kicked down a flight of steps.
Ron O'Neal is on Twitter at @RonOnealDC and you can hear more of his unique brand of comedy along with his co-hosts Eezy E and Chlo Chlo on Thursday's from 8pm-10pm on Elite DC Radio's Show About Nothing http://www.m.elitedcradio.com/