OUR CORNER: Fashion mishaps can be prevented

Nothing qualifies a person to be the final arbiter of good taste like youth – tinged with just a bit of sarcasm, an early taste of higher education and an ever-expanding view of the world and everyone’s place in it.

That’s my way of introducing my daughter, now a week into her 19th year, who feels compelled occasionally to suggest topics for this corner of Page A4 of The Courier-Herald.

Her recent suggestion was something along the lines of, “do these people not own a mirror? Do they not look at themselves before going outside?”

It’s not a bad idea, actually, considering the streak of summer weather we’ve experienced lately and the fashion faux pas that have accompanied the heat.

I have to agree with my opinionated offspring – there are people wandering about, seemingly oblivious to the fact that no one shares their fashion sense.

This cultural phenomenon, which seemingly has existed for more generations than can be counted but only gets more noticeable as I grow older – was on near-constant display during the recent three-day run of Enumclaw’s King County Fair. But tacky, trashy and downright embarrassing isn’t limited to the higher ends of this newspaper’s readership area. Examples can just as easily be found whether one is visiting Tunes On Tapps, Bonney Lake Days or any of Sumner’s downtown events.

In fact, at Sumner’s recent Mutts Off Main, nearly all the participants walked around town stark naked. Someone needs to tell those bulldogs to cover up.

The only gratifying observation is that a lack of fashion sense knows no boundaries when it comes to age, gender or race. Tastelessness, if that’s even a word, is an equal-opportunity employer.

Prime examples are the 30-something ladies who desperately scratch and claw to retain their youth, only to head out the door looking like a trashy teen. On the flip side, we have the teens – following poor role models – who stretch for a look that goes way beyond their years.

In this latter case, the better question is, what are their parents thinking?

This isn’t a question of body shape or size, or some artificial standard for what looks “good.” Everyone should feel content with their body, as long as it’s reasonably healthy.

But common sense comes into play somewhere along the line. And common sense says, if you own a mirror, take a peek before heading outside.