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FASHION POLICE

The Bridesmaid Wore an Eye-Catching Tattoo

October 06, 2000|Jeannine Stein

Dear Fashion Police: What do you think of tattoos that show through clothing? I recently went to a wedding where a bridesmaid wore a dress that was sheer enough to see a big tattoo right in the middle of her shoulder blades. It was . . . unsettling.

--UNSETTLED

Dear Un: What we think of tattoos that show through sheer clothes and what we think of tattoos that show through sheer bridesmaid dresses are two different things.

Tattoos are no longer the body art of choice of just prisoners and bikers. Today it's not surprising to see them on everyone from supermodels to librarians to corporate CEOs. To catch a glimpse of them through a sheer blouse is not exactly shocking.

However, a wedding is a different thing altogether. It's very likely that a bride couldn't care a bit if her bridesmaids have head-to-toe tattoos and piercings--she may even have them herself.

But even if the bride isn't bothered by tattoos, she must consider more than her tastes. If the wedding is being held in a church or synagogue and she thinks that tattoos would not be appropriate for the wedding party, it's her call. If she nixes the skin designs, they can be covered up with clothing or a heavy-duty skin blemish concealer.

If a bridesmaid does have impossible-to-hide body art or jewelry that the bride is unaware of, it's her responsibility to let the bride know ASAP. We can think of few more unwelcome wedding day surprises than a bridesmaid with an interpretation of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" on her back, or a barbed-wire design circling her upper arm. Bridesmaids who dare to put up a fuss about covering up their tatts should be sentenced to wear fuchsia taffeta ball gowns for all eternity.

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Dear Fashion Police: The invitation to a dinner affair I'm attending calls for "black tie." Does that mean, strictly, a tuxedo? I don't have one, I don't like them, and I would never rent clothes. What I would wear is a classic Versace two-button black jacket with dark gray pants, a beautiful white shirt and an expensive black tie. Black shoes, of course. Is that proper?

--NIX THE TUX

Dear Nix: No, it's not proper. Black tie is black tie is black tie. Whoever decided the dress code for the evening did it for a reason and gave no other choices (such as the misguided "black tie optional," and please don't get us started on that again).

Even though we have been to black-tie events (and seen them, including major Hollywood award shows) where some men rebel and wear dark suits, we are not advocating that for you.

The fact that you don't like tuxedos is not relevant. Few men like wearing them. But it is the appropriate attire for a formal event, and to wear slacks and a jacket (not even a suit!) because you feel like it is rude and inconsiderate.

There is no shame in renting clothes, but we gather from your objection to it that you'd rather put on a pink tutu and parade through the center of town. If you go to a reputable rental house, no one will know it's not yours. Honest. There won't be a secret sign on your back saying "It's rented, folks!"

If you still find the whole thing objectionable, there is one more option: Stay home.

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From the Fashion Police blotter: We have more tartan resources for "Mad for Plaid," who wrote last week looking for tartans. The venerable Pendleton Woolen Mills offer several authentic wool tartans. There's a South Bay Pendleton in Torrance ([310] 539-2725) and San Gabriel Valley Pendleton in San Marino ([626] 584-6390). Check out Pendleton on the Web, where you can order clothes, bedding and home furnishings (there's a store finder, too). They're at http://www.pendleton-usa.com.

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Write to Fashion Police, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, fax to (213) 237-4888, or e-mail to socalliving@latimes.com.

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