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Normal violations listed by online fashion police

We all have at least one friend who loves to wax eloquent — and often, hilarious — on social media about all things fashionable.

Never singling anyone out, this friend offers advice about the proper way to dress, accessorize and undergird our outfits. This is the friend who becomes a self-appointed fashion commentator for all the show-biz awards ceremonies, and who has us rolling on the floor, amen-ing her every word. This is the friend who’s so dead-on in her wardrobe wisdom, we just know she missed her calling. And yes, this is the friend who, sooner or later, hits on a sartorial sin or two that we’ve committed … and all we can do is hit the Like button and silently slink away.

Several of my friends fitting this description have agreed to share here, in what may be a recurring feature, some of the fashionable observations they’ve shared on Facebook and such. We will start off with the fashion pet peeves of one Martie Hamilton and one Kristi Smith.

• Leggings worn as pants, which tops Hamilton‘s list. “Leggings should be treated like footless tights,” she says. “If you wouldn’t wear tights as if they are pants, then don’t treat leggings as if they are pants.”

• Overly-tight clothing. “If you can see [the outline of] your belly button, we can, too,” Smith says. She’s not fat-shaming, she assures. “I could see a belly button on a skinny person through her dress, so it can happen to anyone.”

• Household clothes worn in public. “There are very few instances in which wearing pajamas and other clothes meant for the privacy of your home should be worn in public,” Hamilton says. “I am struggling to think of such instances.”

• Statement necklaces with statement/dangling earrings. “The eye cannot tell which one is the focal point,” Hamilton continues. “If you are wearing a statement necklace, wear simple earrings that do not dangle. If you are wearing statement earrings … either avoid a necklace or wear a really simple, understated one.”

• Size obsession. “What matters is the fit,” Smith says. “Get the fact that you always wear a size 10 out of your head. If the 12 looks better, that’s the dress you need.”

• European-cut [extra slim fit] pants on men who have hips or a behind … something Hamilton finds “frankly disturbing looking.”

• Sagging skinny jeans. Hamilton sees the two features as mutually exclusive. “Pick a struggle!” she implores. “I do not know who came up with this ridiculous design.”

• Lack of appropriate foundation garments. “We all need a little help to make our dresses/skirts/pants flow nicely, so take the time to make sure what’s underneath improves what’s on top,” Smith admonishes. Hamilton concurs — “I do not know what happened in the era of [proudly plus-size singer] Lizzo, but Spanx and other undergarments are still in style.”

• Men pairing high-water pants with socklessness. “You simply look silly,” Hamilton quips. “That is all.”

• Being more concerned about what’s in style than what looks good on you. “Not everyone can wear the hottest trends and that’s OK,” Smith says. “It is all about owning your look and loving the skin you’re in. When you fully embrace that, you will be unstoppable.”

And if you’re ever in doubt about how you look, Smith adds, take a picture of yourself … photos don’t lie. “If you’re still wondering how you look, share it with a friend who has some fashion sense who will provide you with constructive criticism.”

Fashion with spice

Brunch bites and a lecture with Paprika Southern, a publication that focuses on the arts and culture of the South, await attendees of “Paprika Southern — The Art of Visual Storytelling.” The Arkansas Arts Center Art of Fashion event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 8 at B. Barnett, 8201 Cantrell Road, No. 280. The editors of the magazine will share insights on what it takes to style a photoshoot and select imagery that enhances a story. Afterward, B. Barnett will present a fashion show organized by the store and the magazine officials. And, of course, guests are then welcome to shop. Admission is $25; $20 for members of the Arts Center. For more information, call the museum at (501) 372-4000.

Backstage fashion

Introduction to Backstage Production, a workshop hosted by the Arkansas Arts Fashion Forum and Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week, will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Arkansas Arts Fashion Forum, 203 E. Emma Ave, Suite A, Springdale. It’s free and open to anyone who has ever wanted to know more about what happens behind the scenes, or has wanted to volunteer backstage, at Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week. Christopher Smith, owner and operator of Rumwolf Video Productions, will share everything attendees need to know about an event’s backstage and how to run it. For more information, call (479) 422-7305 or email

Product reviews

A few fashion and beauty items, recently sampled:

• A layering tank in my shade of “nude”, compliments of

“In the world of fashion, ‘nude’ once meant simply white, black or various tones of beige. This limited spectrum left much to be desired,” according to the promotional copy for the five “inclusive” skin tones Skinnytees has added to its basic tank and camisole line. The Skin by Skinnytees collection targets women of all shades, with tops ($28-$38) in Dark Brown, Taupe, Stone, Toasted Almond and Ivory. These come in a Missy and Plus size to fit all within those two categories and come in a longer length. The tops are also billed as panty hiders that smooth out bumps and lumps and offer enough stretch to accommodate expectant mothers. I tried the dark brown cami in Plus ($36). Being medium brown, I would like to have seen an additional shade that falls between it and Taupe. But the softness of the piece, along with evidence of the aforementioned advantages outlined, have me sold.

• A bag from

“Browse the shop, buy a bag, educate a girl.” That’s what’s up with Olori. The company, whose name means “queen,” was begun by Nigeria native Tomide Awe. She’s working to turn around a UNESCO statistic stating that, in Nigeria, a girl has a 73% chance of not going to school. Olori inventory is dominated by compact, eye-pleasing, satchel-style shoulder bags of various colors leather ($68-$198), featuring tassel accents, inner pockets made of Nigerian aso-oke (“top cloth”) fabric, and the company logo of an African queen’s headdress. Some bags feature African textiles accenting their exteriors. Each product sold provides school tuition for an underprivileged girl.

I was given a sample of one of the company’s pouches, the beige aso-oke Tilly Pouch. All pouches are made using recycled materials from Olori’s production line. They’re more utilitarian but still pretty. So far, my Tilly has benefited me as an on-the-go cosmetics carrier. (Note: All but one pouch style, the $45 blue Tilly, was sold-out as of Tuesday. Keep checking the site for restocking.)

• Some, ahem, “lifters up of the girls” from

Yes, the holidays — when you ladies really needed Bring It Up’s line of breast lifts, breast shapers and apparel tape for strapless, backless, neckline-plunging fashions — are over, but spring balls and prom season await. The Breast Lift, Bring It Up’s original product, offers support while providing instant lift and “desired re-positioning,” according to the website. “Medical-grade tape gently lifts loose skin for a natural, more youthful appearance.” The ones that fit cups A-E can be worn by themselves, and there’s eight in a pack. The lifts fitting DD+ simply “give added lift and support when worn with a bra” and come three to a pack. The reusable Breast Shapers go from A/C to DDD and have no such restrictions. They can be used up to 25 times each. Now if you’re nearly 60 and plus-size, well, let’s say those shapers don’t work total miracles, but I was impressed with both products.

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High Profile on 01/19/2020