Witness Sophia Hyatt. Google tells me that she is a "British Pakistani celebrity," and a "sexy Indian hottie." I am not exactly sure WHY she is a celebrity in the UK, but she is very pretty.
It may take you by surprise, however, to discover that I am not crazy about her outfit:
One of my basic rules of thumb is that, whatever you wear, you should make sure that it a) fits and b) covers your bits. And I mean that in the most fundamental way: this is not a screed against halter tops or mini-skirts or even (for once) shorts. I just mean that a mantilla is not a gown, and no one really wants to see your panties. This dress does not look alluring, nor does it make our Sexy Indian Hottie look like a mysterious flamenco dancer, or even like a contender for a role in Zorro 3: Zeta-Jones Doesn't Do Straight To Video. It makes her look like she forgot part of her outfit.
In fact, it reminds me of something I once read on the subject of etiquette, which was that rules for social behavior don't exist to control people, but rather to make everyone feel comfortable. I think we've all been in a situation where, say, you're eating a cheeseburger at Hamburger Habit and the sun is shining and the birds are singing and the boy you like called you and your skinny jeans fit and all is right in the world. And you look at the table across from you, and a woman is sitting there in too tight low-rise jeans and SERIOUSLY? You can see her entire butt and thong. And I guarantee you what happens next: every girl at your table reaches back to make sure that her own derriere hasn't made a break for it, everyone then quietly wonders if she can't feel the draft, and then everyone can't stop looking at her thong, but not in a hot way. In, like, a "should I TELL her that her thong is hanging out, or is she doing that on purpose?" kind of way. And then she leaves and everyone is relived.
So save us some social angst, ladies who like to flash your panties on purpose, and cut it out. Because of you, none of us know whether or not the girl at Hamburger Habit is thonging it up on purpose or not, and therefore, we are unable to decide if it would be sisterly to hand her a sweater to tie around her waist, or if that would insult her. And all we really wanted was a cheeseburger.