Strike a pose
Dressing to impress at school + college

With school here in Manila about to start, I cannot help but wonder about what I'll be seeing other students wear. Will I see the return of last semester's blouson, those flowy, gathered-at-the-waist tops that make thin girls look obese and make big girls look elephantine?

Will hot pants make a return and thereby make the boys happy? Will the clickety-click of stilettos be heard on the tricky slope of stairs? Or will cropped pants brave the mud and rainwater puddles of the June to September rainy season? I have just a few weeks to find out, two to be precise - and I can't wait.

For instance, last school year, the slim and the slimming-down girls took to adventurously cut tops - asymmetrical, super halter, low-cut, cut-here-and-there. Jeans were either cut at the ankles or revealed only the tip of sleek, uber-pointy boots. Pretty toes peeked out of strappy sandals and thongs.

The model-types did a Kylie Minogue in their short shorts and stilettos. Peasant, off-the-shoulder tops were everywhere. Meanwhile, the men took to semi-shiny, dark denims and the very flattering T-shirt and muscle shirt hybrid. And the hair - many a college boy sported the longish, wispy mane reminiscent of Tom Cruise's in MI:2.

For the student, school is now the place to show the world your newest fashion finds and latest image makeovers. Gone are the days when students dressed down for school and dressed up for their social lives. Now, it's dress up all the time and I-hope-to-God-no one-sees-me-in-my-pambahay*.

The school hallways are now runways for the young, fashionable women and men who, God forbid, ever felt the feel of low quality fabric on their skin. Never mind that they're not always stylish or that the clothes don't suit them or that the fit is bad. What matters is that they're young, brave and that they feel like they look good.

What has happened? What has driven the young to dress to the nines at school? Blame it on the cyber age - at the click of a button, anyone can find out what Cameron, Julia or Jennifer is wearing. Blame it on the youth's supposed degeneration - they care no more for tradition and convention.

Blame it on junk food - the young know not what they are doing, thinking or buying at the shops. Blame it on whatever. The thing is, change, especially attitude change - going from timid to brave, conventional to courageous - is almost always a good thing.

*ordinary, stay-at-home clothes

Tina P.

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