What not to wear

For every fashion “do," there is a “don’t."

You’ll see these kinds of negative lists all over the media and on every topic, and though I typically tend toward being positive, I’ve decided to share my style pet peeves.

As we enter the Okanagan summer, I’ve noticed the following transgressions all too frequently. Thus, my personal list of fashion “don’ts."

Visible bra straps: 

If your top has spaghetti straps, wear a strapless bra. If you’re wearing a racerback tank, use a racerback bra.

Maybe those with Victoria’s Secret think their undergarments are worth viewing. But no, just no.

Here’s a trick if you are wearing a top and don’t have an appropriate bra — use a bikini top. At least then people will assume you’re going to the beach instead of just being sloppy. 

And while we’re on the topic of lingerie....

Visible undergarments:

Unless you are Lady Gaga or Rihanna on your way to the Met Gala, the only appropriate undergarment for a sheer top is a nude bra or a bikini/sport bra.

If you are wearing a white T-shirt with a hot-pink bra underneath, we can see it. And we don’t need to.

Over layering your jewelry:

Arm parties, layered necklaces, and stacking rings have become all the rage. But that doesn’t mean that every appendage should be draped in baubles at the same time.

Keep it to one limb at once.

A bag that doesn’t suit your outfit:

A business suit with bedazzled patent pleather purse. A flowy bohemian dress with a structured tote. Using a huge packed hobo when going out for dinner in a nice sleek outfit.

These clashes make me cringe. Every woman should have a simple satchel, a work tote, a casual day bag, and a chic evening purse, and know when to carry what.

Yoga wear outside the studio:

Spandex tights were created specifically so people could practise stretches unencumbered by the limitations of traditional fabric.

Yes, they are incredibly comfortable. But that doesn’t mean you should wear them out and about. Two more demerit points if you wear them without a top that covers your bottom.


(Related to yoga wear above). No matter your size or shape, it is possible to find undergarments and clothes that don’t create unnecessary dents in your body. I’m sorry. Period.

Creatively dyed hair that is unkept:

I love when I see women of all age with funky Technicolor hair.

But I don’t understand why anyone would go through the expense and effort to dye their hair blue, white or pink, and then go out with it tangled, limp, or matted.

A last word:

If you’ve read this far, you may be offended, or you may feel vindicated. 

I’ve recently been watching The Crown on Netflix and understand women showing leg above the knee would have been scandalous 70 years ago. Style trends come and go.

We thankfully deal with fewer fashion dictates than in previous generations, but in my view this doesn’t equate to anything goes.


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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