Bad Fashion Knows No Color

It's one of the greatest things about America: you can go to work in jeans, hit the club in a ballgown, visit a tractor pull in a tux. While some may bat an eye, no one's gonna stop you.

Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses in their burkahs, cheongsams, dashikis, and saris. It's a "Come As You Are" party, so dress to impress. Our ethnically diverse melting pot has gained so much of its strength by letting people settle here with their individuality and eccentricities intact. There is no fashion police at the border stopping fashion disasters from coming in.

However, in the mix of this "Koom-baya" vibe there are several fashion statements, that come with particular ethnic and cultural groups, that I personally think are grounds for deportation. My judgment has nothing to do with anyone's ethnicity or religion or sexual preference — it's simply based on taste. These people just need to stop dressing so bad.

Why must the gay kids with clearly flamboyant personalities dress in the loudest, most attention-grabbing fabrics and design elements? Why scream when you can whisper? If you whisper, people come closer. But if your personality and your outfit are competing in a screaming queen match, I'm stepping back.

Why must some of the biggest, finest brothas insist on disrespecting any form of respectful dressing with this millennium's adaptation of the Zoot Suit? We had come so far from Jheri curls and M.C. Hammer's parachute pants! But when I recently passed a poster of the sexy Dion Sanders and his picante wife Pilar, I saw his suit and lost track while trying to count the number of buttons on his jacket (at least five).

And then there are those who take this look farther — among them, comedians Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, and Sinbad. Think matching gator shoes and belts with faux gold trimmings. What are they thinking? And all you athletically/genetically blessed brothas — how many pleats do you really need in your pants? Once you pass the three-pleat mark, when the wind blows, you begin to look like a sail!

Homeboyz, you wanna be all hard? Why is your backside always hanging out of your pants? And while we are on the subject, if you want to be fresh and individual, why wear a look that hasn't worked for two decades, and what do you think cartoon character boxers say about your maturity level?

It's not just the men. Take all the little ol' white ladies who have and give those themed sweaters — the ones embellished with candy canes, pumpkins, and worst of all, turkeys. In these times of over-exploited, ultra-commercial holidays, kitschy reminders of the season are wholly unnecessary.

And all you oversexified sistas — it doesn't flatter your assets to wear extra tight stretch jeans that expose your muffin top. You've got to leave some things to the imagination (and realize that other things are better left unseen). And if those skin-tight jeans are faded vertically down the front and back of your leg, they're only enhancing the size of your thighs. Bigger is not always better.

Old dudes have the opposite problem of homeboyz. Loosen up that belt one or two more holes and let your pants down an inch or two! They don't have to hug your too-high waist.

Let me state once more: I'm not trying to dredge up racial stereotypes or promote political incorrectness. By no means is my criticism intended to insult or make fun of anyone. Just man or woman up and take it for what it is.

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