Tita Fashionistah


By Kathy Collins

Listen to this column read aloud in pidgin:

Kathy Collins as TitaSo I bet you stay reading dis only aftah you wen’ check out da big beachwear fashion spread. I bet dass da firs’ t’ing you wen open dis magazine to. Dass cool, I unnastand. Aftah all, dis da MNKO fashion issue, an’ I no blame you if you raddah go spock da gorgeous models in their beach clothes befo’ you read what one tita get fo’ say.

But you know, us titas get da kine fashion sense too. Jus’ like da guys in Paris an’ New York; only ting, our clothes mo’ comf’taboh. An’ mo’ cheap. We can buy our whole wardrobe at da supah-market or Longs Drugs. We no need da designah label on top. 
Da numbah one tita fashion rule is: Gotta be comf’taboh. If da clothes no exack fit, nevah mind. If no match, nevah mind. So long as all da impo’tant parts stay cover up, an’ nottin’ stay pokin’ or pullin’ at you. Dass why even da small peetot titas wit’ da skinny-minny bodies wear size extra-large. Da extra-large titas wear size tripoh-X. 

Da classic tita uniform is one tank top wit’ da sports bra or bikini top unda-neat’ an’ da baggy surf shorts. Dass yo’ basic everyday look. Comf’taboh an’ practicoh. You can go grind pancakes fo’ breakfas’ at Tasty Crust, bodysurf down Big Beach, go home pull weeds or wash clothes, an’ den go out eat dinnah at Zippy’s—an’ you no need change clothes da whole day! 

I know what you t’inking. “But Tita, how I going accessorize one tank top and surf shorts?”  
I going tell you. Rubbah slippahs. Nowadays, plenny titas make their own inda-vidual fashion statements wit’ da kine gold bracelets or tattoos, but da mandatory tita accessory is slippahs. Daytime, nighttime, rubbah slippahs only. An’ not da fancy-pants kine, wit’ da high heels. Although kamaboko slippahs, da kine wit’ da two-inch platforms, dass okay, so long as da whole bottom is flat. So long as you can strut like one tita, wit’ da slap-heel shuffle. 

Of course, when you grow from one tita to one tutu, you gotta make da kine age-appropriate adjustments. When yo’ uppah arms start fo’ flap in da wind, mo’ bettah you trade in da tank tops fo’ aloha shirt. 

Or you can be like my tutu, my gramma—she still feel like one young tita, so dass how she ack. One time, Pops came home an’ Tutu was waitin’ fo’ him in her birt’day suit. Pops go,

“Eh, how come you stay all nekkid li’ dat?” 

Tutu tell, “I not nekkid. I stay wearin’ da Dress of Love.”

“What,” Pops said, “you no could iron ‘em first?” 

So dass all you gotta know about tita fashion.  In fack, dass all you gotta know about bein’ one tita. Gotta be comf’taboh not jus’ in yo’ baggies, but in yo’ own skin. ‘Cause when you feel good, you look good.  Even if yo’ “dress of love” stay all wrinkle . . . at least you get one custom-made, one-of-a-kine design!


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