Rose Richard:Spring style: Barely there

I am no fashion plate. Much of my wardrobe is black, or denim or khaki. Why? Because it all matches. And black is slimming. My mother used to complain that I’d never wear colors. She preferred jewel tones, purple being her favorite.

That being said, spring and warm weather brings out the worst in people. I see Portland businessmen in paper-thin, loose running shorts and nothing else jogging through the Park Blocks at lunch, and it makes me sick. Good for you, exercising and being healthy, but I for one, am not interested in viewing any of your goodies.

This being the Northwest, and rainy, I also see a lot of pale, ghostly skin.

And I’m not talking about emo boys who’ve ditched their cardigans with the tear-soaked sleeves in favor of faded, vintage T-shirts. I’m talking about you and me, the folks who didn’t get around to fake bake during the cloud-filled months.

Another thing I’ve noticed are the girls who wear halter-tops and tube tops to class. First of all, I don’t think it’s appropriate to wear tube tops anywhere. They were wrong in the ’80s, and they are wrong now. The only place I should be seeing tube tops is on “ChiPs” re-runs.

All the wrong people wear tube tops. And if the trend persists, I’ll start wearing tube tops in public, and trust me, you just don’t want that.

Wearing such tops is a risky proposition. Not just from disapproving, cranky seniors, but from the physics of the tops. Especially with tube tops, there is precious little room for error. First of all, is the top the right size?

No, really the right size. Not just the size you want to be, but a size that retains a modicum of taste and decency. Is your soft tummy showing? Is your back fat rolling out of the sides?

A second consideration, and by far the most overlooked, are you wearing the proper foundation garment? That is to say, are you wearing one at all?

Some lucky ladies, for reasons surgical or otherwise, can get away with not wearing a bra. But there are those, like me, who have saggly tiggles. Or they point in different directions. Or your top is white and if you don’t wear a bra, the entire student body will see your nipples.

Be brutally honest with yourself. Do your boobs hang low? Can you tie them in a knot? Whatever the reason, you should wear a strapless or long-line bra. Sometimes, I feel like I’m walking around in National Geographic’s Girls Gone Wild, starring PSU’s freshman class.

If, despite warnings from your mother and threats from your dad, you still persist in wearing a tube top to class, there are a few more points of etiquette you should follow as well.

For instance, when talking to a male professor, do not repeatedly adjust your top because you subconsciously fear that it is sliding down, down, down to the ground? The poor bastard has to try hard not to look. So do the rest of your classmates. If you’re so afraid of the stupid thing coming off, why did you wear one in the first place?

Also, tying and untying your halter strap in public is risky. You run the risk of giving someone like Preacher Dan more than an eyeful and something to preach about.

Speaking of exposed flesh, halters and tubes shouldn’t be paired with those Abercrombie micro-minis. This isn’t Banana Joe’s, you know. The cover here is much more expensive and the music is better.