An eye for the scary side of fashion

Despite an eye for beauty, it’s hard to miss the less attractive choices out there

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist,

I can obsess about a lot of things when it comes to fashion.

It sounds absurd, I know. However, I have very few vices (many believe this to be untrue) and therefore use that as an excuse to justify my behavior.

My husband (a Human Resources savant) once gave me a test called the “VIA Survey of Character” designed to “scientifically measure a person’s character and strengths.”

I was off the chart for “visual appreciation of art and beauty.”

No duh.

I love to read; but, I REALLY love to look at the pictures in magazines.

I am a clipper, too. I have folders stuffed with ripped out images of fashion and home décor.  I am in LOVE with the website “Pinterest”….have you checked that out? If not, you must. It’s like a virtual scrapbooking site. A-mazing!

I find collecting these images very satisfying. They make me happy.

However, the dark side of my obsession with “pretty” is that I am very sensitive to things that I find “visually disturbing”.
For example:

1. Colors that don’t match (like when my sons want to pair green shorts with a black and red shirt)

2. Chipped fingernail polish or (EVEN WORSE) nail polish on fingers and toes that are not harmonious (please no coral toes with mauve fingernails…and, come to think of it, no mauve fingernails) or (WORST EVER) UNpainted toenails with sandals! Eeeeeeeeeeeek!

3. Rings on every finger.

4. Matchy-matchy outfits. While one may think that I would prefer the harmonious-ness of this selection, I find that it just looks very juvenile, in my opinion.  If the shirt “comes with the pants”, break those puppies up. I swear.

5. Girls with obvious tanning bed time under their belts. Makes me want to save them.

6. Young children wearing discorded outfits because they have parents who let them pick out their own clothing (I still try to “lay out” clothes for my 13 year old…he ignores me, but, that’s for another article) I’m sure to get a few haters with this one.

7. Belly button piercings. Looks painful and is not in the least bit flattering, particularly on middle-aged women.

8. Mixing silver and gold jewelry. It can be done in small doses (a platinum wedding set is obviously fine with a gold watch) BUT, I still find it “visually troublesome” to have on silver earrings and a gold necklace.

9. A french manicure where the white tip is a good two inches thick. It should be a whisper of a white line. Ask the manicurist for that…literally. She will look at you like you are nuts, unless you go to Polished in Hockessin or Annie’s in West Chester, in which case they will assume that you are friends with “that crazy redhead”.

10. Men with highlighted hair. Do I really need to expand on this?

11. Overly aggressive shirt tucker-inners. That literally hurts my eyes. I am not exaggerating.

Lest you think that I can’t find the beauty in my surroundings, I assure you that it brings a tear to my eye to see a lady walking down the street in a beautiful dress with exquisite strappy sandals or a man in a crisp white button down with dark denim jeans and a buttery Italian loafer.

I really can’t help that this particular trait of “visual appreciation of art and beauty” revealed itself as one of my signature character strengths in this test. I like to think that Picasso or Van Gogh would have scored in a similar manner.

Although, chopping off an ear would certainly disrupt a proper haircut…..

Oh well.

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  1. PK says:

    #5. So true!

  2. Kelly says:

    Thanks, Beth 🙂

  3. Beth Erisman says:

    Oh Kelly, thank you for the laugh on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. My favorite is #6:)

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