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Fashion Advice

[whitespace] Miss Pinkie Shears

Miss Pinkie Shears

I'm off to Shanghai to do what I can for the Asian Crisis. In my absence, I thought a review of last year's more poignant advice would be judicious. (Never fear--I'll be back soon enough to respond to the stack of your letters mounting on my desk.)

Dear Miss Pinkie Shears,
Since you have a thing about fire, what do you think the best thing to wear to a barbecue is? I just moved to SF and I just don't get this summer weather. Half of me is cold half the time. Is the beach here even worth going to?
--Mr. Whether-or-not

Dear Whether,
Every San Franciscan can tell you, "Wear layers." I'm a little bored with this. Especially for the beach and outdoor parties I say, "Bring blankets." People might scoff at your homeless-cocoon chic, but, trust me, they are just jealous. Make sure the blankets look like blankets. Unless you're stumbling across a moor, capes are best left to those with more experience. And please avoid the temptation to use or make a hole in the blanket in which to insert your head. Ponchos are strictly a work-related garment and should not be used for leisure activities.

Dear Pinkie Shears,
I was wondering what you think about smoking. I don't smoke yet but it seems cool. I could use some advice 'cause both my parents are dead.
--Joseph, age 14

Dear Joseph,
I think that any vice that once spawned a product called Topol (the ingenuous conjunction of the words Tooth and Polish) to rid yourself of nicotine-stained teeth is one to be sternly and carefully considered. Do not be fooled by the present trend in brand-name toothpastes and their new "whitening" formulas.

It's all just Topol. And believe me, dear, when I say that in my experience neither effervescent personality nor well-formed physique can distract a potential paramour from a ghoulish yellow smile. Furthermore, one must remember that "cool" is always a relative term. Envision one of your male friends appearing at school tomorrow wearing a long powdered wig, court shoes ornamented by large silk bows and pretty pink pantaloons, and listening to Couperin harpsichord suites on his Discman. While he might have ruled France in 1716, he would undoubtedly be soundly thrashed in 1998. Or perhaps imagine also thrashing him while he wears a striped boat-necked shirt, black beret, black loafers and a red scarf tied about his neck, snapping his fingers and calling out to you in a husky whisper "Why, daddy-o, why?" A cigarette in your hand and a long lazy exhale of dreamy smoke can impart the air of the suave and rebellious, but it could also one day brand you as a outdated loser hopelessly addicted to tooth polish.

In need of advice? Send all queries and comments to Miss Pinkie Shears at San Francisco Metropolitan, 1776A 18th St, San Francisco, 94107. Miss Shears cannot be reached by phone.

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From the January 18, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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