Summer Style Faux Pas

By Jocelyn Voo and Lisa Kovalovich
Ladies’ Home Journal online

You’re stylish, you’re chic, and you probably pride yourself on looking pulled-together. But admit it: There are times when you just miss the fashion mark. And in the summer, when the rules of good style become a lot looser, those style faux pas are even easier to commit. Here, top summer fashion mistakes — and how to correct them.

Faux Pas: You pull on a dark tank, forgetting about the deodorant you just applied, and get white streaks down the front of your shirt.
Fix: Try Gal Pal ($10, www.gal-pal.com), a sponge-like product that literally erases deodorant from almost any fabric, except silk. Or, in a pinch, remove the white spots by rubbing the deodorant-laced sections of your top with the clean hem of the shirt — by rubbing the like materials together, you’ll remove much of the white stain. Tip for next time: Flip the hem of your shirt up when you pull it over your head; any deodorant residue will settle on the inside of your top.

Faux Pas: You wear your favorite mules for a week straight, sans socks. By Friday, they’re downright smelly.
Fix: The best way to remedy the situation: Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Your feet contain countless sweat glands and produce bacteria which, when combined with sweat, begin to stink. By giving shoes a day to dry out in between wearings, you’ll cut down on residual odor on your soles. You can also swipe antiperspirant on your feet to cut down on the sweatiness. If you absolutely can’t bear to part from your new espadrilles for a few days, try Summer Soles ($7.95 a pair, www.summersoles.com), a peel-and-stick fabric shoe liner that can be inserted in both closed-toe shoes and sandals. Available in a variety of colors and fabrics, Summer Soles absorb foot sweat, and also cuts down on any shoe slippage that slick leather or synthetic soles are known for.

Faux Pas: Your white blouses and tees have acquired yellow sweat rings around the underarms.
Fix: The first rule of wearing white: Don’t expect your whites to last for more than two seasons. That’s because they inevitably succumb to sweat stains, no matter how careful you are. If you’ve got yellow rings under the arms of your tops, try a round of bleach, but be prepared to replace them eventually. To avoid these rings, be sure to shave, which helps cut down on bacteria in the underarm area, which in turn helps minimize stains. Use a good, clear antiperspirant daily, and rinse whites in mild detergent after every wearing.

Faux Pas: You love your new white bottoms, but as you walk past a sunny window, you realize your coworkers can see everything going on underneath the sheer fabric.
Fix: If you’re wearing a white skirt, wear a slip underneath. Once a staple for women, the slip has been all but forgotten these days. But it’s an essential that should be revisited, since summer’s sun and sheer skirt fabrics can combine to create a see-through mess. Pull a slip on under any flimsy-fabric skirt, but be sure it is at least half an inch shorter than your skirt to avoid the frumpy schoolmarm look. If you’re modeling your new white capris, be sure to wear a nude-colored thong to avoid VPLs– visible panty lines. If the ubiquitous “nude” shade is far from your skintone, try mocha or salmon-colored underwear. Hanky Panky offers a great line of original-rise and low-cut thongs and g-strings in every shade you can imagine ($18 and up, www.hankypanky.com for locations), and are also available in plus-sizes.

Faux Pas: Your body-hugging summer tops show an unsightly bra bulge that winter’s sweaters covered up.
Fix: You have several options. The first and most effective: Push-ups, pronto! Doing these killer exercises will help firm up the muscles under the bra strap, making the bulge less noticeable. Another fix: Loosen your bra band one notch, and tighten your straps to keep the support. Finally, consider switching to a soft T-shirt bra, where elastic is covered by stretchy tee material. By covering the elastic, you get less skin dig.

Faux Pas : Your bra straps are playing peek-a-boo underneath sleeveless tops.
Fix : You should always wear a bra that suits your outfit, so if you’re wearing a racerback tank or tube top, wear a convertible bra or strapless bra so straps don’t show. If you like the added support of a regular bra, try Strap Tamers ($9 for three pairs, www.straptamers.com), a device that pins securely onto your shirt and clips errant bra straps in place.

Faux Pas: As much as you love your new open-toed sandals, the stiff material is cutting into your toes and giving you blisters on your heel.
Fix : If you know your feet are prone to chafing, apply lubricant to the blister-prone areas before you head out. Vaseline petroleum jelly is a cheap, convenient fix, but you might also want to try a specialty anti-friction product like BodyGlide Sun Formula (www.bodyglide.com), a hypoallergenic formula that’s water and sweat resistant, and contains SPF 25 sunscreen, which is perfect for everything from your leisurely walks to outdoor marathon training. Already have blisters forming? Wrap the sores with sports tape or lambswool.

Faux Pas: The flattening effect of your strapless bra or flimsy bikini top makes your breasts appear less-than-perky.
Fix: First, make sure that you’re wearing the correct size top. Women’s chest sizes fluctuate constantly, so get measured by a bra expert every six months or so. If you know your bra size isn’t to blame, a quick pick-me-up can be achieved with gel bra inserts like Takeouts ($48/pair, www.thebetterboobjob.com), a clear silicone gel bra insert that feels remarkably natural and adds a full cup size to your bust. Already happy with your cup-size but still want a little extra oomph? Cleavage Cupcakes ($44/pair) are smaller gel bra inserts meant to add more lift than size, and can be strategically placed to create volume and cleavage.

Faux Pas: Your sweat glands are going into overtime from the heat, causing embarrassing pit stains on your shirt.
Fix: Wearing antiperspirant is the easiest solution. Make sure you buy an antiperspirant rather than simply a deodorant, which masks any offensive odors but doesn’t offer sweat protection. Look for an antiperspirant that contains aluminum-based compound (such as aluminum chloride or aluminum chlorohydrate), an ingredient known for its sweat-blocking properties. If excessive sweating is a serious problem for you, Certain Dri ($5.99) may be a viable option, as clinical tests have shown it to be more than twice as effective as other antiperspirants.

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