Time for the annual outlandish 'fashions of summer' show

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It happens nearly every time I wander down to the beach or the sandbar during the summer. I see things I can't un-see, and it always makes me wonder if the person checked the mirror before leaving the condo.

You know what I mean: the women of such an age that they really should not wear leggings - or yoga pants - who wear them anyway. Those two items, in my humble opinion, are strictly for the shapely young things who can also wear strapless sundresses and bikinis.

Speaking of bikinis, why do "they" make these skimpy suits in large sizes? I've never understood that. Fashion designers used to care about us. Why do they create a garment from a yard of fabric when by its very nature it should require only a quarter yard?

It's not just the large gals who wear age-inappropriate attire though. You've seen the aging beauty, the one who has a generally nice face and carefully coiffed (and colored) hair, wearing an entirely inappropriate swimsuit.

I saw a classic example a couple of years ago at a beach bar. I guessed she was about 73, and when I heard her voice, I knew she was or had been a smoker. She was petite - slender and about 5-foot-nothing. She sashayed up to the bar wearing her hat and little else.

Well, her bikini kept her from getting arrested, but her over-exposure was alarming. She was Caucasian, but her deep dark (fake) tan contributed mightily to her overall costume-like appearance. Though she wasn't fat, her wrinkly skin drooped in places that I didn't know could droop.

I'm not quite that old, but I have wrinkles and sags that didn't used to be there. No one needs to see that! But perhaps I'm too modest. Or afraid.

Perhaps this lady was oblivious. Or perhaps she didn't care. Or perhaps, for some reason, she felt lucky to be alive and was celebrating her awesomeness in her own way. And good for her!

Men are not exempt from this curiosity of sharing too much of their personal - um, person.

The most flagrant violators of modesty are generally past their prime by a long shot, have a thick neck strangled by a large gold chain, a watch that could double as a weapon, and a distended but thoroughly tanned beer belly. (This is a symptom of what my mother used to call "Dunlop Disease": That's when a man's belly is so large it has "done lopped" over his belt.)

They usually have runaway eyebrows and look like they must all be named "Luigi," or some other gangster name. Maybe they all come up from those wild retirement communities in Florida.

Certainly, they all shop at the Speedo store. It seems there should be a rule about that, a strict line that can't be crossed. But again, perhaps these guys are simply celebrating life in their own special way.

While I enjoy watching the summer fashion parade in our vacation paradise, I am not really a fashion critic. Quite the opposite: I'm a likely candidate for that TV show "What Not to Wear."

But I've learned two things about fashion: 1. Just because it fits doesn't mean you should wear it. And 2. If you love it, and it makes you feel good, wear it anyway.

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