In my residence as Statement fashion guru, I’ve receive e-mails from the fashion forlorn, looking for guidance. Here are some of the important ones. Remember, some fashion victims wish to remain anonymous.

Angela Cesere

Dear Faria,

I love your column, and I really wanted your opinion about something. I love polo shirts, but Lacoste seems so expensive … I don’t really have $80 to drop on one shirt, but I really like the logos. Le Tigre seems like a great low-cost option. They’re stylish and more in my price range. What do you think?

Sincerely,

A Fashion Enthusiast

Dear Enthusiast: Oh hell no. I think you’re painfully misguided when it comes to the difference between Le Tigre and Lacoste. Listen carefully: You never want to be caught dead in Le Tigre, for several reasons. First of all, Le Tigre is a blatant rip-off. The brand was established in 1977 as a cheap American imitation of the higher-end European Lacoste. Why would you ever want to wear some off brand wanna-be high-class copy of anything? The worst part is the brilliant makers of Le Tigre didn’t even try to pretend like they weren’t emulating Lacoste – just look at the names. In addition, choosing another animal, the tiger, as the face of the brand was a blatant display of idiocy and non-creativity. On top of it all, the real brand name isn’t even “Le Tigre.” It’s “Le TIGRE.” BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS BETTER WHEN YOU CAPITALIZE IT.

It seems your main reason for wanting Le Tigre over Lacoste is the price point. A Le Tigre short sleeve polo retails for around $50, while a Lacoste short-sleeved polo costs usually around $75. That’s really not too big of a difference – you might as well spring for the Lacoste anyway. It’s a small price to pay for not looking foolish.

It may seem like my opinion on this Lacoste issue is elitist, but it really is not. Just because Lacoste is more expensive does not necessarily make it better. The problem here is you are trying to achieve a Lacoste look with a clearly off-brand substitute. If you want to save money, go to the Salvation Army and buy something cute for a dollar. Don’t try to spend even more on something that sucks.

Faria,

What types of shorts are going to be fashionable for spring? Is it better to opt for a shorter length, or for solids instead of patterned styles such as stripes and plaid?

Breonna Arder

Dear Breonna: I’m glad you asked this question, because shorts are an emerging trend this season. For spring, I am a fan of the new formal short. Formal shorts are usually made of silk and are worn for evening. It takes confidence to pull off the formal short, especially if you are going to make people believe it is something dressy. For daily wear, looser, flowing shorts that hit mid-calf are very chic – like those seen at Dries Van Noten and Celine. I’m also becoming fonder of the fitted short that hits above the knee. But be careful when wearing these; they don’t look good on everyone, so make sure you have the right body type. As far as making the decision between solids and patterns, anything goes.

But when it comes to shorts, always remember to be tasteful. Just because spring brings warm weather does not mean you have to show off every possible square inch of your legs and half of each butt cheek. Also, steer clear of shorts so tight they make your crotch look like it’s eating the cloth off your body. And always make sure when purchasing shorts that they don’t hang off your butt when you sit down. Exposed butt-crack is nasty as hell.

Faria,

I am in desperate need of your fashion help. I have a horrible sense of fashion! I don’t know how to dress at all, where do I start?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: I’m glad you’ve come clean with your problem and are now seeking help. The first thing you should do is figure out your personal style is. What kinds of clothes do you like? Next, try to figure out what cuts and shapes look good on your body. Go to a clothing store you like and trying on different fits of pants, shirts, skirts or anything else you like. Whatever you feel looks best on you is what you should be aiming for. Once you’ve found a good balance of your style and your fit, start adding pieces to your wardrobe slowly. If you go on an all-out fashion binge, chances are you will come back from your clothing spree and find you’ve bought stuff you don’t feel comfortable in or don’t really like too much. By going slow, you can develop your own personal taste over time. After this, be sure not to let yourself revert back to your old tasteless self. Take a little time every day to look in the mirror and make sure you don’t look like shit!

Got questions of your own?
Faria can be reached at fjabbar@umich.edu.

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