Thursday, July 8th, 2010...12:54 pm

#151: Never Wear Shorts and Socks Together

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How Not To Act Old turned two a few weeks ago, and all this time I’ve been pussy-footing around the issue of clothes. Why? Well, mostly because I didn’t want to step on the toes of my old Glamour colleague Charla Krupp, whose excellent book How Not To Look Old deals with stuff like fashion and beauty ably and thoroughly and oh-so-seriously.

But since it seems as if Charla thinks I’ve stepped on her toes anyway, I figure, WTH?  Or maybe, WTFH?  I’ve been covertly snapping pictures of oldly-dressed people for months now, and my (extremely young and eagle-eyed) intern Sonia Tsuruoka has been doing the same, so now, in the interest of saving you from yourselves, I’ve decided to issue my Summer Fashion Guide. And hey, Charla, let me remind you that I was a fashion editor way back in the Pleistocene Era, when you were covering celebrities, so I kinda have first dibs on this patch.

How Not To Act Old summer fashion advice article number 1: Don’t tie a sweat-garment around your waist in an effort to camouflage bulges.


I know the impulse well, dude, and you might even think you were being cool and modern-mannish by wearing that semi-skirt.  But a bunched-up sweat-garment never did much for anybody’s waistline.  Plus: The long shorts over the tall socks with the heavy shoes seems to be a common summer fashion mistake of the crusty.  Witness:


Sonia snapped this one.  Lady on the right looks great in her flattering long slim shorts and sensible-yet-chic flat sandals.  But oh, those khaki shorts worn with a belt and shirt tucked in, plus white socks and the dreaded white running shoes — he kinda looks like his mommy dressed him.  His 92-year-old mommy.

In fact, the white running shoes are enough all on their own to make you look old.  Also beware the Easy Fit jeans.  Check it:


That’s enough denim to upholster a couch.  But I don’t want to pick only on the fellas.  There are plenty of old woman-y fashion mistakes out there too.  For instance:


On my way to ask the station about the Staten Island ferry times, I snapped these two gals hurrying along the 98 degree Manhattan streets yesterday.  You’ll spot the offending white running shoes on the left, but apart from that what looks old are the square-shaped, short-sleeved, waist-length knit tops (especially in that infernal heat), the capri pants, the too-short haircuts, the dumb (and heavy-looking) fabric bags.

There is only one thing that both looks and feels right in the city in hot weather, and that’s a simple dress and sandals.  I saw them yesterday on women of all ages, shapes, and sizes, and they all looked great.

But of course, it’s also possible to err in the other direction and try to dress too young.  One look that must be avoided by everyone over 27 years old and 103 pounds: short shorts and combat boots.  This girl (and I use that term advisedly) looks fab, but don’t attempt to copy her, unless you spend all you time on shopping websites like Shoes Fella or Boots boots Boots. Point is, you need to be a boot expert to pull this off.


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