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Faux Pas Report : Tank Tops Are Meant to Show a Little Skin, Not a Little Strap

April 16, 1993|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Strap happy: This time of year signals the return of cool, attractive tank tops that go with virtually any casual outfit. However, it's also the time when those annoying bra straps poke their way into view beyond the tank's narrow shoulders.

"This will occur when the tank or the bra don't fit right," says Rachel Coogan of Mixit in Brea. "If either isn't fitting well, the strap will be all over the place, except under the tank where it belongs."

Unless you're trying to look like a Guess model, visible straps are an annoyance.

After about a year of wearing and washing, the elastic in a bra stretches out and gives the straps a life of their own. The only reason you don't notice it otherwise is they're usually covered by a blouse or dress.

Check to make sure you're getting the correct bra size, as well as the right tank top. One that's too small may not do the best hiding job.

My little pony: Who could've guessed that the hippest hairstyle for mature guys in the late 20th Century would be derived from a look originated by girls under 12?

Maybe it's the result of mid-life crisis, but if you look around you'll see a growing number of men aged 40 and up pulling their hair back and tying their strands into ponytails that can be long and flowing or as short and stubby as a pit bull's tail. The big question is can a man have a tail that's too long?

"A ponytail that's between three and four inches is what's in style now," says hairstylist Jason Stevens of Dana Point. "Guys who are in creative professions can get away with them more than anybody else. You're not going to see many mortgage bankers with ponytails."

If your tail is beyond the half-foot mark, you should probably think about trimming it. Keep it tied with a rubber band (not your daughter's scrunchie!) and don't be afraid to go beyond the Jeff Bridges/grubby look. A well-dressed man of any age with a ponytail always looks more acceptable when he's shaved and groomed.

Light up my life: You've spent the money on expensive clothing and an hour or two getting ready, then you're out to a chic club for a night of dancing and fun.

But once you get on the crowded dance floor, you look down and find your blouse or shirt, dress or slacks have taken on an iridescent quality of their own because of the effects of black light.

"You'll find whites and light colors will make you glow in the dark," says clothing designer Carole Steele of Newport Beach. "It's annoying because if you've really gone out of your way to look great, you find everyone is staring at your $20 glowing T-shirt, not your $500 Armani jacket."

Avoid that Three Mile Island look by going with darker hues that won't react with black light. Unless, of course, you're interested in becoming the center of attention and you want to go with the "Saturday Night Fever"/John Travolta white suit.

But you might want to try a look that's been spotted in some local clubs--an all-black outfit with your face coated in white grease paint. Those in the club who've had a little more than the two-drink minimum will probably be a little startled by the sight of a bodyless face dancing to En Vogue.

The big bang: If you've noticed a number of women with large, curving bangs that cover their foreheads, don't worry, they're not beginning a new hair trend.

"Women in Southern California are moving their hair away from their face," says Tony Rousa of Anthony Michaels Salon in Costa Mesa. "Large bangs may be something that's trendy in some circles, but I don't think it's something that will last."

While bangs have been in and out since Cleopatra's day, if you want to wear them without looking like you just walked off Melrose, thin the hair around your forehead. This keeps you from looking like you're hiding something under there.

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