Rinelda's Diary: ‘Hot and Not’ is booming

20 July 2018
Ever since the introduction of our fashion ‘police’ column What’s hot and what’s not aimed at observing the fashion choices of people attending events or just walking around town,
I have received an avalanche of feedback - some in favour and others against. 
I like receiving comments about my work because it is an indication that the public is taking time to really read and care about what I have to say.   For any journalist, having the public read what you write is a good thing.
In life, I have learned to take all comments as a net positive, because all feedback can provide lessons and advice to me to help improve my work.
Due to the success of the fashion ‘police’ column, at several events, many people have refused to be photographed by me. They allow other journalists to take their photographs, but not me. A few of them jokingly tell me: "I don’t want to be listed as a 'Not' in your column; it is so embarrassing."
Many others are however very positive about my Hot and Not column. I am often personally called on my cell phone by people to enquire whether I will be attending a certain event. If I confirm my presence they say:  "Then, I need to look for a great outfit to look my best. See you there and please don’t forget to take a picture of me for that fashion piece."
For those finding my ‘Hot and Not’ column embarrassing, I would like to emphasise that this is not the aim of the section.  Negative journalism is not my thing.  In the article, our entire entertainment section team discusses the outfits and then, I advise on how to make better fashion choices. With the help of the Windhoek Observer fashion team, I explain why a certain outfit is hot or not.  We talk about fabrics, colours, fabric textures, shoes, bling, hair, nail polish, proper undergarments, and make-up.  We always say something positive about everyone highlighted as all people are beautiful in so many wonderful ways. 
But, know this:  if you mistakenly put on a too-tight blouse with lots of boob showing with a sexy micro mini-skirt and you wear this bar-hopping outfit to a serious business meeting or professional workshop, it is inappropriate.  I will say it is ‘Not Hot’ and urge you to match your clothing to the event you are attending and make sure you buy clothes that fit your body shape and size.  A size 14 butt should never be stuffed into size 10 pants.  A hot woman of distinction wearing a size 22 can be sexy and smooth when the clothing selected is tailored to fit and the colours of the fabrics make her skin glow.  And we go crazy for a sharp dressed man.  Now, that is hot!
I have been thanked plenty of times after some of my fans have read the article. One woman once told me that ever since she was eighteen years old she liked wearing light brown coloured clothes and would buy them all the time.  But she read our Hot and Not reviews and realized that this colour is a big no-no for her because it is very similar to her skin tone. Wearing clothes in this colour makes her look dull; she does not stand out. She has since thanked me for the advice.
It is true that we sometimes we all wear things that may not be fashionable.  And at times, that’s ok!  One cannot live their lives always looking like they belong on the pages of a magazine photo shoot.  Life is too short to be stressed about every little thing.
The fact remains that whether you like it or not, your clothes speak volumes about you.  You wouldn’t wear a bling encrusted party dress to a funeral would you?   Clothing mistakes can affect important things. Therefore, you want to make sure the message delivered is the right one.  People can lose jobs in poor interviews, turn-off potential dating partners, or show disrespect because they are dressed inappropriately. 
With Hot and Not, I urge people to wear their clothes and not let their clothes wear them.
Through my column, I have learned all kinds of things about fashion – though I admit, that the list of things I do not know is still long.  But, I do my homework.  I look things up, follow fashion blogs and magazines, watch the fashion television shows, connect with models, designers and their clients, talk with fashion instructors and students and constantly watch what people are wearing, thinking, and feeling about clothes.
For example, something trendy at the moment is high heels with socks.  At first, I thought this look was more like a costume than a style.  However, seeing many people at events looking great while wearing this look, has made me change my mind.  What is ‘right’ today could be ‘wrong’ tomorrow (and vice versa) in the fashion world.  Keeping current is critical.
So far, I have had an amazing journey writing the Hot and Not column. Continue to help me learn more by telling me what you think and feel and don’t be afraid of me and my camera!

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The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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