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Avoid These Five Teen Fashion Faux Pas … Please!

I am a fan of being comfortable. And of self-expression. And of the belief that clothes, make-up, hairstyles and accessories do not make the man … or woman. Really, I am!

But unfortunately, not everyone is with me on those things. Truth tea here: People judge other people – sometimes just on appearance alone, especially when it comes to teenage girls. And most of the time, those judgments are based on the basics such as personal cleanliness and neatness; and clothing cleanliness, neatness and overall appearance.

Let’s face it … most people would not continue to pursue the possibility of dating or hiring someone who looks disheveled and dirty, or who is wearing clothes that appears out of place for the occasion. I’m not one of their officers, but I’m telling you: The Fashion Police is out there.

To heck with the Fashion Police! What’s inside of a person does count! But if you are a great person inside, what’s wrong with making your outside match your inside?

Here are five fashion faux-pas to avoid so that the terrific person you are is not overshadowed:

1. Pajamas, lingerie and house slippers at the mall. I’m not sure what people are shopping for when they go into stores wearing clothing generally meant to be worn in the home … usually when you’re sleeping, lounging around the house, or going to slumber parties.

I’ve seen adults wearing one-piece, footed pajamas. I’ve seen women and teens (and yes, a couple of men) wearing lingerie the food store. Basically, I’ve seen something things that I really wish I could un-see. I’m certain that I’m not alone on this.

True: Your PJs and bedroom slippers are probably more comfortable to wear than most other items – or there may be a medical issue that makes changing into other clothing a painful experience.

But if you can change into something else, please do.

2. Baggy or Overly Tight Clothing. Whatever you are wearing, make sure it fits your body properly. Not the body you hope to have later. The body you have now.

Fitted does not mean tight. It means that your outfit fits your body without being baggy or overly tight. It is also about proportion. Your pants waistline should not look as if it is about to touch your arm pits. And, depending on the length of your torso, low-rise jeans may not be the best look.

Sometimes, fit can be addressed by trying on your clothing at the store before you buy items and looking at yourself from different angles in the mirrors. Having someone with you who will give you an honest, helpful opinion is another suggestion.

After you’ve done all of that, occasionally try on your outfits to see if they still fit. Our bodies change. And if outfits don’t fit anymore, it’s better to find out prior to that day you are getting ready for work or for an event.

3. Excessive Layering of Large, Chunky Jewelry. Layering necklaces, bracelets and rings can be a cool and attractive look. But when every piece is a big, statement piece of jewelry. You look becomes, well … overstated. Layering very large pieces is a look that works for very few people, except for actor Mr. T back in the 1980s (I know, it was before your time. Look it up).

Go ahead, layer your jewelry. It’s a terrific trend. But consider saving your layered look you’re your lighter-weighted jewelry pieces. Your neck, back and wrist will thank you – as will I.

Nice, affordable jewelry that looks good layered or worn alone can be found at In Season Jewelry.

4. Make-up Miscues. A touch of color on your face is fine. Emphasis on the “touch” part.

If you decide to have a bright lip color, be a bit more subtle with your eyeshadow shade – and go easy on the mascara and brow pencil. If you are going to use bright color and a heavier eyeliner outline on the eyes or put on an extra coat of mascara, go for a softer shade of lip color. Even better: Pick a pale pink, a nude shade, or light lip gloss.

Another make-up miscue is overdoing the dewy, glowing skin look. If your foundation has highlight and shimmer to it, don’t add highlight on top of that or use a setting powder that has shimmer elements in it.

5. Take Care of Your Hair. At this point, I’m sure I’ve seen hair of nearly every color represented in the biggest box of crayons sold. I live and let live on hair color, twists and braids, beehive styles, wigs, weaves – whatever you’ve got going on up there. I only ask that hair is kept clean and neat.

Even the messy, tousled styles look carefully coiffed. No time for careful coiffing? Neatly brush it back into a high or low pony tail or braid. Or, wear a hairband to tame some of those flyaway hairs that won’t lie flat. Just do something to your hair.

Just don’t allow yourself to look like a hot mess!

You don’t have to spend a fortune on your hair, own expensive jewelry or clothing, or take extra time to pair accessories with an outfit to look presentable. And by the way: Expensive doesn’t always equal quality, and affordable does not have to mean cheap and gaudy.

Just please make an effort to look and smell (yes, I said “smell”) your best each time you leave your home to do anything more than take out the garbage. Make sure you are wearing clean clothes, have a neat appearance, keep up on your personal hygiene and grooming – and the fashion police can’t charge you with any crimes against decency.