My husband and I went to Lenox Square for lunch after church on Sunday and then stopped by Starbucks for a Chai Latte. Most of my trips to the mall are purpose driven so it was fun to have time for people watching. As an image consultant, I enjoy observing creative ways people are expressing themselves in fashion. This Sunday I discovered the majority of mall goers had neither style or fashion. Maybe it was because it was a holiday weekend, but the majority of shoppers looked more like they were dressed to go shopping at the dollar store or Walmart. Certainly, it was inappropriate attire for this upscale mall of Buckhead, with high fashion stores like Cartier, Saint John, Burbury and Neiman Marcus. My husband, who loves his comfortable clothes, even commented that attire at the mall has really deteriorated from the years when he owned a restaurant there.
One young man walked by with his oversized “T” shirt and pants. The image was ruined by his pants riding so low revealing about 4” of blue-plaid boxers.
Then there was the older gentleman wearing a “T” shirt with shorts, held up by suspenders. He completed the look with high sox and oxford-type shoes.
I noticed three different young girls were wearing what appeared to be net petticoats as skirts. One was embarrassingly short, the others just embarrassing. It must be a new fashion trend for the young.
Half of the mall goers were wearing flip-flops. These were the plastic things that one wears in the shower or at the pool – not the more stylish leather ones. What ever happened to sandals? There are many varieties of attractive yet utilitarian sandals for both men and women.
I could have gotten rich had someone given me a dollar for every pair of cargo shorts that passed by. Two young women were wearing cargo shorts and sloppy “T” shirts topped with baseball caps. It took a moment to realize they were women.
One lady was attractively attired in jeans and an becoming blouse, sporting her platform stilettos. She had obviously not worn heels that high before as she walked with her knees bent so that her body followed her feet by about six inches. It was painful to watch.
On the other hand, I did observe a handful of people appropriately fashionable. There was one couple with a little girl. The dad was well-pressed in his Chinos and blue dress shirt while the mom had on a cute white top with a floral cotton skirt and sandals. It was perfect attire for Sunday at the mall.
I especially noticed one young man who really made a fashion statement. He accented his black pinstriped jacket with a pastel shirt and brightly flowered tie. I would have chosen matching black pinstriped pants instead of the cream colored pinstripes that he wore, but it was so refreshing to see someone who took pride in how he looked.
A few years ago, we had a French exchange student with us for three weeks. One day I asked her what things really stood out to her that were different in the States than in France. She immediately replied that the way people dressed to go out was starkly different. Although young people dress more casually, adults always present themselves in stylish attire with make-up and hair well done.The sloppy, oversized look does not exist.
On your next trip to the mall, you may want to think about the possibility of how you appear to other people. Who knows, you might even be observed by an image consultant watching who will write a blog!