Archive for the 'Clothes/Fashion' Category


My eyes!

uglyshirt 1uglyshirt 2

No, please, just, no.

Also, why?



what’s wrong with this picture?

Ann Taylor Loft

Marisa fit — for women who are shaped like women

“Perfect fit if hips are proportionate to your waist.”



I can’t even look at them. It hurts my eyes.


the real cost of that $5 T-shirt

This is a long, (but completely worth the time), documentary about the true cost of cheap clothes.

We tell ourselves that it’s better that these workers have a job making $3/day than their not have a job at all, but I wonder if that’s really the answer. At one point, we’re told that doubling their salaries would add 3 cents to the cost of a T-shirt. That seems more than fair. In fact, let’s raise their salaries x100.

The scenes at 1:20 are shameful; the scene a few moments later — when a garment worker has to leave her young daughter with her extended family, a daughter who she will then see a couple of times a year, because the conditions in the city are not conducive to her health or education — is heartbreaking.

There has to be a better way.

Enter “TakePart” to watch…






what’s wrong with this picture?

Photoshop gone bad? Or a cardboard cutout? You decide.

Photoshop gone bad? Or a cardboard cutout? You decide.



as if Van Gogh’s woolly balls weren’t enough, updated

More of this week’s ridiculousness:

Amber&FitchI will show this to my daughter. And then we will not shop there anymore. Ever. I will buy the A&F stuff she already has from her and burn it in the fire pit in the back yard. WE DON’T NEED MORE OF THIS!

Update: As if this isn’t offensive enough, here’s what the top of  the abc website page hosting a video clip denouncing this offensive statement* looks like:

Yeah, that helps.

Yeah, that helps.

So while the commentators show their support for all of the non-cool by being (appropriately) righteously indignant, the ad next to, and almost as big as, the video screen tells about the show that will teach us how to “live well” be “being and feeling beautiful.”



And then there’s this foolishness:


Wow. Contraception leads to all that. I must have been using the wrong kind FOR 20 YEARS.

This from a website called “One More Soul,” (not linking to it. won’t do it. find it yourself if you must, but I will not be privy to such heinous acts) dedicated to “Fostering God’s Plan for Love, Chastity, Marriage, and Children.

Trying to take a quick glance without looking at it directly, so as to avoid retching, raging, and/or breaking out in hives, I did notice one particularly insightful headline:

Abortion, Contraception Consequences on Display in Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’


Because what EVERY SINGLE FERTILE WOMAN ON THE PLANET, actually, no, what every single person on this planet needs is necessarily AS MANY CHILDREN AS POSSIBLE.

Does anybody else notice that one of the symptoms of “Sexual Chaos” is the implementation of artificial reproductive technologies? So ya’ll listen and listen good — no sex unless you want to make babies, but if God doesn’t think you’re suitable parenting material heinhisinfiniteandunknowablewisdom will deny this blessing, and you are absolutely forbidden from doing anything about it, because, despite the fact that you believe it will bring you great joy, support a strong family life, and contribute to a long, stable marriage, it actually leads to individualism, hedonism, selfishness, and lust.

Oh, and there’s an article discouraging immunizations for children, supported by their step-by-step bastardization of an article published in JAMA.

Ugh. now I’ve looked at it directly, and must go wash my eyes out with oil of newt and kill a couple of kittens or some unsuspecting old person.

*In the abc news clip, they interview a “plus size” model — she’s probably 5’11” and maybe weighs 125 pounds. Puh-lease.


My Letter to Calvin Klein

Dear Calvin-

Can I call you Calvin? It seems that I know you, and you are always smiling in such a kind and generous way, with that flowing mane of white hair. Oh, wait. I think that’s Ralph Lauren. I’m not even sure I know what you look like. Hmmm. Awkward. . .


Well. You make beautiful clothes. I especially love your casual Tshirts and more dressy items like your jersey knit shells, tanks, and dressy shrugs. (Frankly I haven’t tried on a pair of your jeans since college, because they fit me then, and, well, you know.) Where was I? Oh, yes. The tops — the knits are so soft and drapey, the fit is always just right, the colors so richly hued and seem to hold their color through washing after washing.

But there is one problem, Calvin, dear.

The tags.

The tags in your shirts seem to be made of Kevlar. They are stiff, and scratchy, and seem to be attached to the garment with some kind of industrial-strength steel thread.

Victoria’s Secret has solved this problem; American Rag has solved this problem; for crying out loud, Hanes has solved this problem.

It’s called a stamp. Or, perhaps, you could use a fabric as soft as that of the garment. Or maybe, if the tag means so much to you, you could wear it.

Augh! Something's scratchy!

Augh! Something’s scratchy!

Just a suggestion.

Meanwhile, perhaps you could recommend a salve for this rash I now have on the back of my neck? I’d really appreciate it.


what is this man thinking?

tight pants

a) That’s funny — they fit me 16 years ago.

b) I can’t feel my _ _ _ _ _

c) C a n ‘ t .  .   .    .     .      .       b    r     e       a         t          h           e   .      .        .          .         😵


the gift for the man who has everything


Well, except for a pair of front-laced, hard-sole knee-hi boots.



never again

Bought a hooded tunic from what I believed to be a high-quality catalogue, made from what I believed to be a high-quality fabric. Wore it for 10 minutes, found a hole in the shoulder.

Here is me, working with someone in customer service at Blue Canoe, trying to get an exchange: (Warning: Don’t start down this road unless you have a lot of time.)



Dear Customer Service–

 I have a problem with my order. One of the items – the V-Neck Hooded Tunic (Item #M526-LEA) has a hole in the shoulder.

I would like an exchange, but am more than a little concerned about the quality of this item, especially considering its cost.

Can you advise me on whether this is an anomaly, or if I should just return it?



Hello —

I asked the owner Yes, it’s an anomaly.  We do have quality control and try to catch flaws, please send back the item.

Thank you,

Blue Canoe


Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 11:49 AM

To: Blue Canoe
Subject: Re: Order #1—
It’s on its way. I do love the garment — can you reserve a replacement for it?
Thank you.


On Oct 19, 2012, at 5:04 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

Currently, we have M526-LEA Small (1), Medium(1),  Large (1), & XL 3). But, we are suppose to re-stock today, but I don’t see new number in the system yet. No, Blue Canoe can not guarantee that the next V-neck Hooded Tunic will not have a hole.  Here at Customer Service, we do not have access to the Warehouse to eye-ball and check items before they ship. Quality Control does its best to check by batch.  But, you are welcome to return the item if you find another flaw.  Hopefully, if you do re-order there will be no flaw when you receive and view the V-Neck Hooded Tunic
Blue Canoe


Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 2:55 PM
To: Blue Canoe
Subject: Re: Order #1—
I had the Large in the green.
Can you automatically generate an exchange when you receive it from me, or do I need to do something else?


On Oct 19, 2012, at 6:00 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

I can include an exchange when I receive your M526-LEA-L in the mail.
What Size in the exchange do you want?  Another M526-LEA-L?   or a different size?


Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 3:04 PM
To: Blue Canoe
Subject: Re: Order #1—
Large please. 
Thank you.


On Oct 19, 2012, at 6:25 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

Okay,  I’ll make a note M526-LEA-L. when I get your return order in the mail.

Blue Canoe Customer Service


Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:00 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

Hi there-

Just checking to see if you have received my return and/or processed the exchange. (I was hoping to have the top for a trip I’m leaving on tomorrow. . . No sign of it yet.)


On Oct 30, 2012, at 2:13 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

It looks like your CC was credited $99.11 (which includes $4.16 Refund Shipping Cost for Return Flawed Hole In Shoulder of V-Neck Hood) on Oct. 24th 2012.  [it wasn’t] But, I don’t see a order put in for another M526-LEA-L.  I don’t think any delivery package will get to you (even in RUSH order) because of remenance [sic] of Superstorm Sandy.

Inventory shows M526-LEA-L  (3 in-stock). Do you still want that order item put in?

Blue Canoe Customer Service


Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:19 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

I do — from your previous email (cited below) I thought you were going to process an exchange right away.

On Oct 30, 2012, at 3:28 PM, Blue Canoe wrote:

I can explain how it was overlooked.  I did check your order profile and a exchange order was not entered. If you still want the V-Neck Hoody, let me know.

Blue Canoe Customer Service

 [Does this explain anything? It doesn’t seem so , but maybe it’s just me.]


Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:34 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1— 

I do.


On October 31, 2012, Blue Canoe wrote:

I will add M526-LEA-L  as soon as our system is up. Currently, it’s down.  I will let you know when it is reserved.

Blue Canoe Customer Service


Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 3:15 PM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

I am not seeing this credit on my account. Was it cancelled out by the exchange? Or am I missing something?

On Nov 5, 2012, at 11:09 AM, Blue Canoe wrote:

Hello ,

I have sent an email to the person who does the charging out & refund crediting. I see in out order system that it has already credited $99.11 on Oct 24th including your $4.16 for Return Shipping Cost.  Transactions sometimes take time in entering into our payment system depending on who’s charging & crediting (is in the order of) but I have sent the email to the person who handles this and hopeful will her from soon.

Your credit of $99.11 – I see no notes on the credit being applied to your exchange order for the M526-LEA-L V-Neck Hoody.   Did you want it the credit to be applied to your exchange order?   I don’t recall you specifying for it to be applied to your exchange order.  Otherwise, I would have noted.  Please let me know.  Otherwise, my co-worker will credit the $99.11 & $4.16. to your current card and your exchange order will be charged for the exchange order.


Blue Canoe

Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 8:31 AM

To: Blue Canoe

Subject: Re: Order #1—

I would prefer an exchange. I just want to be sure what I get credited equals what I get charged.



Sent: November 5, 2012

$94.95  Is your order Amount for the M526-LEA-M  –  V-Neck Hoody

Our company usually takes the return credit and apply it to the exchange order.

Your Credit is    $99.11  (Credit)

$94.95  (Order Amount)

$ 4.16   (Remaining Credit)   You Don’t have to Use Your Credit Card To Purchase Your Exchange.

Is that okay with you. Or, do you still want us to credit your credit card $94.95 + $4.16(Return Ship Cost) separately from your exchange order. Meaning will we charge your card (without using return credit) for the exchange order. Applying the credit is usually customary.  But, if you want to see the actual credit return to your credit card I can ask for that.  That charge your card for the exchange order.

Blue Canoe Customer Service



SERIOUSLY? Clearly this “customer service” person is in another country — the grammar misusages sound like somewhere Asian.  This doesn’t seem like something that should be this difficult.

Sheesh. And never again.











fed up?

I’m sick of politics and politicians, I’m sick of women being treated like chattel, I’m sick of feeling like no matter how I spend my time or my day or my life or my money I could have/should have spent it better.

I peruse headlines for something to write about and I just sigh in a combination of resignation and despair.

I’m going to take the dog for a walk, and then we’re going to have tuna steaks and salad for dinner, with an amusing white wine.  Then I’m going to write a list of things my son should do between now and when he graduates from college and moves to Madison, Wisconsin to start his FIRST REAL JOB (yarly! yeah! go First Son!) (get a credit card, buy clothes for work, figure out what furniture/dishes/potsandpans he needs and how many of those things he can get from our basement on his way from Cleveland to Madison, research cars and think about what kind of a car he wants/needs/can afford, etc. etc.) and then I’m going to read my book or knit.

I’m also going to ponder, as I have been for the past two weeks, two really important questions:

Should I quit at least one of my jobs?

Can I afford/justify these boots?

These two questions are, in case you didn’t notice, directly related.

And the boots are $515, ifthatmakesanydifference.

I’m thinking no, no matter what the answer to the first question is.

And I can’t wait for my glow-in-the-dark paint to come so I can make these jars:

That’s all.




Read this, and watch the clips.

Take a good look at the young woman who is faulted for having “too big” of hips.

And then refuse to buy a single magazine with an underage, emaciated, and/or exploited female model in it.

Who knows, it might actually make a difference.


pandering post-Oscar post; Updated

Okay, first of all, I was really curious as to why I had 51 hits in one hour last night when the usual hourly rate is more around 10-20. Then I discovered that J-Lo apparently had a wardrobe malfunction, and I had a post about J-Lo from a couple New Years Eve’s ago. Really? This is all you have to do? Look for a picture of J-Lo’s nipple? I’m betting it looks pretty much like anybody else’s.


ANYway. . .

…I have just wasted 30 minutes I can’t get back looking at pictures from the Red Carpet “ceremony” (seriously? it’s a ceremony now?) so I thought I would waste a few more commenting on them.

But first a question. How much Botox is too much? The bottom half of Billy Crystal’s face looked 60+, but his forehead NEVER moved. Weird.

For the sake of fairness/disclosure, all of the photos below (unless otherwise noted) were taken from

41 going on 60. If she gets any thinner she’s going to look 160.

In her pre-skeleton days she used to be beautiful.

I just don’t get it. Why does this repeatedly happen, where there seems to be no such thing as “thin enough”?

Speaking of skeletons. . .

We all want to know, Angelina. What was up with the leg? Did you lose a bet or something?

How does one write a choking sound?

The top of this gown is at LEAST two sizes too big.


Um, polka dots? Um, no.

Is it just me, or does he actually LOOK like Puss in Boots?

Stand up girl! You’re at the Oscars!

“Princess Charlene and Prince Albert”

Enough of the ridiculous, now for the “Stunning”:






(I am a little curious about the back.)



which is scarier?

The model, the model’s haircut, or the outfit?



is this giving up?


The pajama jean.

And these look better/are more flattering than sweat pants because?



who knew fashion was so important at the age of 10?

Only Daughter went through her daily fashion crisis this morning. I don’t remember it being this big of a deal how I dressed when I was ten, but I guess I was wearing uniforms to school until I was in high school (good Catholic girl that I was), so the only choice in the matter was what color shorts we wore under our skirts so we could play soccer and climb trees and not be made fun of by the boys. Even the color of our socks was regimented.

Anyway, this is obviously a big deal to her, and I would like to be more sympathetic, but the logical part of me wants to point out that 1. she’s only 10 and 2. aren’t there more important things to worry about, like eating breakfast and packing a decent lunch and making sure she put her homework in her backpack and maybe taking the dog out to pee?

I guess not.

The specifics vary, but the crises can usually be categorized into one of two groups:

1. This outfit was made for a 10 year old (and she’d rather look 20).

2. This shirt/jacket is too “baggy.”

The solution to each problem is, in order:

1. Wear big loud flashy jewelry or the sparkliest scarf she can find

2. Rubber band the shirt into a big knot in the back, cinch the waist with a belt, and/or tuck the bottom 1/3 of the jacket up underneath itself so it looks like a shrug, never mind if the jacket is made of denim or filled with down.

When she comes and asks how it looks, and it usually looks either chronologically inappropriate, or ridiculous, I feel the need, out of concern for honesty, to tell her what I think, no matter how hard it may be for her to hear. Inevitably she stomps off in a huff with a toss of her hair over her shoulder and a lot of muttering as she goes off to find something else. Often my suggestion is simple, such as “remove that rubber band from the back of your shirt, you look like you’re growing a tail,” or “you really shouldn’t wear a tank top, a sweater, a jacket, AND a belt, plus you’re going to need a coat. . .”

. . .and yet it requires a complete wardrobe change.

After 25 minutes of trying to look like Tavi

this morning, she came back out in jeans and a tie-dye sweatshirt.


almost a whole day. . .

Had taken a vow of electronic silence, but a couple things have come up today that I just can’t resist posting about.

First: Truth In Labeling










Good to know.

This made me curious, so I looked a little further:










Sheesh. Are we really this stupid?


In an “are we really this stupid”-related story, I ran across this article in last Sunday’s New York Times, about a woman and what she wore day by day as she went through her week. Apparently she’s quite wealthy, and philanthropic, and stylish, so, as my husband posits, we’re supposed to care.

Is this, really, “All the News That’s Fit to Print”? Or maybe, just a little more.


We decided that this was a good day to take Dexter for a walk. He does pretty well with his leash when we take him out to go “potty,” and we took him for a short walk yesterday, and after a little resistance he had trotted along quite happily. Not so today. By the time we realized that he really was quite overwhelmed and was not going to take a step of his own free will he had damaged the bottom of 3 of his 4 little paws, and is limping around all gingerly and pathetic. I feel absolutely terrible, but I’m also a little irritated, because his feet seem to feel fine enough when he wants to sniff the wheelbarrow, chew branches, and chase his purple monkey around the kitchen, but are apparently too sore for him to bear the leaves and stones when we take him out to pee. Does it say something about me that I’m always quite convinced that I’m being manipulated by a 10-week old puppy who looks like a cross between an Ewok and a baby polar bear? (Cynical, party of one.)

Anyway, the guilt is almost more than I can bear. I’m a terrible person.

But I still don’t care what Muffie wore, or to wear she wore it.






Two Questions

1.  Is this decoration stupid or whimsical? Inquiring minds want to know.

2.  Have you ever seen an uglier outfit?

Seems like, if they want you to knit it, it ought not to make the model look like a block of wood.

Just sayin’.


heard, at dinner, Halloween 2011

Only Daughter: So Willow Smith is famous and like totally shouldn’t be because she’s only 10 and wears really stupid clothes.

Me: Well, why do you suppose she’s famous?

OD: Her brother, Jaden, was in that Karate movie.

Me: Oh, so that’s Will Smith’s daughter. She’s famous because her parents are famous, and are apparently willing to allow her to make a spectacle of herself to exploit the publicity opportunities.

OD: Yeah, but she’s famous.

Me: There are better, more important things than being famous.

OD: Like money?

I’m so proud.

(When I harumphed, she said, “candy?”)(It is Halloween after all, and she did give me her [lone, miniature] Babe Ruth and [lone, but super size] Butterfinger. Such a good girl.)

In a related story, what’s up with this hairdo?

This has to fall under the “you don’t have to do it just because you can” category.



so much for that

So, in the past week I have had about a 4-day midlife crisis, followed by the discovery of Amanda Palmer’s “In My Mind” song and video, which triggered 2 days of feeling pretty goddamn good about myself; a feeling which involved various vows and “realizations” such as “If you want to weigh less you just need to exercise more and eat fewer potato chips” and “It’s really all up to you, and what you do or don’t do is actually a choice in any particular direction.”

So I tackled the piles of crap on my table and did all of my grading and cleaned off my dresser (okay, I was looking for an iPod cord that I still haven’t found, but I did clean off the dresser; I’m really tired of being “someone who loses things”) and captured all of the dust bunnies in the living room and dug out my list of topics I’ve wanted to blog about, including:

an NPR report on the adverse effects on children’s attention spans from watching SpongeBob SquarePants (who knew?) and the benefit of watching shows like Sesame Street (which my more-than-the-average-boy-ADD son could not tolerate) and Caillou (whiny bald child; helicopter and apparently-unemployed parents)


there’s some activity in the direction of taxing sugar in sugary drinks and snacks in an effort to turn back the trend which points toward 1 in 3 children being diabetic and 1 in 2 adults being obese by the year 2030 (how about we also get rid of all the excess sugar in even the most minimally-processed foods like yogurt and “healthy” cereals and granola bars, and spaghetti sauce; while we’re at it, how about NO MSG ANYWHERE!!!???!!!)


how great it felt to do yoga this morning, including side planks and a pretty long headstand (against the wall, but still) and a kick-ass Pincha Mayurasana preparation pose that I love, where you’re on your forearms with your heels against the wall and you walk your feet up the wall until your body makes an upside-down L and you stay there feeling abdominal and arm muscles you had forgotten you had

(someday I will do this, just like that, without the wall and everything!)


there’s evidence that, contrary to popular (and my occasional) opinion, adolescent brains aren’t actually “damaged,” they just evaluate risk against benefit differently, and because the “benefits” they are evaluating are relatively elusive and/or unimportant to most adults, this evaluation still ends up leading to what looks an awful lot like risky behavior.

I even have a probably-not-that-profound-or-unusual revelation that I should stop evaluating my successes and/or failures in terms of what I have or have not accomplished, but in the fact that I have never stopped wanting to learn and challenge myself and grow — that life might actually be more in the seeking than it is in the finding (I know, duh, right?)

And then I go try on clothes to wear to a wedding we’re going to this weekend. And not one of my “dressy dresses” fits.

Of course everything in my husband’s closet still fits — he has suits he bought in the 80s, that, if you overlook the excessive shoulder padding and plethora of pleats, (ah, the 80s), still look pretty darn good. And, they fit him. This isn’t fair. Yeah, he eats way more healthfully than I do, and he exercises vigorously and regularly, and drinks gallons of water every day, and all of this only makes me feel worse because I know what I need to do and I still don’t do it. Okay, so maybe it is fair.

I’ll spare you all the saga of weight lost and found again, and a recounting of each outfit tried on and rejected, although maintaining a certain level of stress, or living and working outside in cold climates (fishermen, Norway) can produce “brown fat,” which reputedly increases metabolic rates. Don’t think I haven’t considered it.

"Think we should head back?"

The discussion about the “shapewear” I was hoping would help was amusing, basically Husband asking me “Is this ‘Spanx’?” and me answering (in between gasps as I tried to breathe while being suffocated by my underwear), “Yeah, but it doesn’t seem to be working very well.”

It is interesting to me what a blathering idiot we can turn into when we feel, as I put it, “old and lumpy.”

I’m also trying to spare myself the 5-year plans, and to remember that not only must we live in the moment (there isn’t really any other option), but that the bitterest irony of all is to look back and realize the person you weren’t happy with being was actually the best version of you you could be at the time.

So, let’s keep it simple: more time on the treadmill, more yoga, more water, fewer potato chips.

A couple of questions, though:

Is it bad to decide to feel good about how you look because the person you love the best loves how you look? Isn’t this supposed to come from yourself first?

Would I look ridiculous if I got a tattoo? I want a little swoosh of stars around my ankle. Maybe something like this.

But I never, ever, want to look ridiculous.

Oh, and tomorrow, I might be shopping for a dress.


the latest fashions

Nowhere on the internets has a selection of absolutely hideous pants quite like shopbop.

I don’t know how they do it.

Here’s a snippet. (You might want to shield your eyes.)

Oh, it burns.

I like to go there every once in a while just so I can feel better about the crap hanging in my closet.

They seem to hit about 50/50 on the dresses, alternating between average, stunning, and whatweretheythinking?

To whit, and which I rank:

Quite stunning           Beautiful                   To-ga To-ga,                    Ugh. . .                  Hmmm. . .maybe?

I can’t help but wonder if they’re actually trying to sell clothes, or just posting random styles for our confusion and/or amusement.

Then there’s the maternity clothes page, modeled by a) women who are clearly not pregnant and b) badly misshapen men.

And let’s not forget anorexia corner the swimwear.

Now I’m just sad.



new category

In honor of this ad:

I’m starting a new category: What’s that got to do with anything?

Most advertising probably fits.

This one, too:



clothing with superpowers

Taking female competitiveness to a new level, and yours for only $198, not only do you appear to be elegantly and effortlessly “put together,” but you will revel in the memories of being a pampered infant where your every needs were met and no one expected more from you than to babble, drool, smile occasionally, and poop on a regular basis.

Oh, and everyone else is, apparently, em-bar-ass-ingly naked, making you, in comparison, not only better dressed, but not evidently “cuckoo.”

What more does a person need from a sweater?

The real problem is, it’s kind of a pretty sweater, and they have some other very lovely, interesting things, but this kind of behavior just can’t be encouraged.


Reed Krakoff

Just read this article about this new “designer” and his newest project.

Here’s a slide show of his newest collection.

IMHO: The clothes are boxy, shapeless, and unappealing. It’s quite clear that his years at Coach have directly influenced his artistic aesthetic, and I can’t help but think he’d be better off sticking to designing utilitarian handbags rather than clothes. He’s apparently quite enamored of his wife, a “gamine French” woman, but I can’t imagine that even she would look good in these outfits.

Some questions for Mr. Krakoff:

Is the point of the gray sheer blouse just that we be grateful for the pockets?

As opposed to this:

Now I’ll be the first to admit that she does have firm, beautiful breasts, and I’m not such a cretin that I don’t understand that fashion is supposed to be as much about “art” as it is about “clothes,”  but aren’t you also supposed to be able to actually wear the clothes without getting arrested?

And what’s up with the blacksmith’s apron?

All she needs is one of those masks.

And how about these for pure fashion hideousness?

It’s a box, it’s a paper-towel tube, it’s _____________________!

These clothes don’t even fit her. The shirt looks like something cut for a 10-year old, the pants fit awkwardly across her “hips,” and the length, especially paired with the clod-hopper shoes, just doesn’t work.  What Mr. Krakoff doesn’t seem to realize is that if the clothes look this bad on a model, noone’s going to buy them, unless, maybe they feel they have something to prove.

I can’t find prices on the website, so I have no idea what Mr. Krakoff is charging for these beauties, but I’m sure I could find a Catholic-school uniform shirt at a Kmart, and a pair of my son’s outgrown dress pants in my basement and let you have them for, say, $150. Is it a deal?

And is there maybe an elusive yet compelling aesthetic reason that the model be generally unattractive AND bowlegged? Just wondering.


shopping with g

Went to the big Macy’s Friends and Family sale with husband today to help him buy jeans that don’t look like they were made in the 1980s. It was quite successful overall: he came home with two pairs of flat-front dockers and two very nice pairs of jeans, dark, acid-wash, nicely fitted. He also bought two shirts, one which looks a little like something Kramer would wear and which will NOT be tucked in.

Also bought second son a Guess plether jacket for his upcoming 18th birthday — marked down from $194 to $67, with nice zippers and perforated styling without looking like it’s trying too hard.


I only bought myself necessities at the Clinique counter, which I then got to carry around the store in a brilliant pink gift-with-purchase beach/tote bag. Perfectly appropriate as a beach/tote bag; not so much as a purse, but what can you do?


Seen on a Dockers sign: Fits like jeans. Feels like manhood. Cool. Just one question: What does it mean?


Despite my husband’s shopping success, there were several trying minutes waiting outside the men’s dressing room. Not, btw, the one with the nice chairs and other women waiting for their husbands/sons who can commiserate about shopping with men and show me how to send a photo as a text on my iPhone; rather, one tucked behind a register, surrounded by tables for sorting and rack upon rack of hideous flourescent pastel madras stripe Ralph Lauren Tommy Hilfiger hideousness. I’m sorry, did I write hideous twice?


In case I wasn’t being clear, these are for MEN. I actually lined the three up to show husband, in case he comes shopping sometime without me, no, no and no.


Seems like if they’re charging $89 a shirt they at least ought to have decent taste.


Ralph Lauren and the incredible shrinking woman

From the spring 2011 collection:

One question, about the outfit on the right.


And then there’s this one:

My caption for the outfit on the left: Ado Annie meets Laura Ashley.

In my quest, I found these:

Apparently the version on the left isn’t thin enough, so they had to remove all evidence that she had internal organs or a ribcage.

And then we have Filipa Hamilton, before:

and after:

According to the site from which I obtained the above picture, when enough people complained to Ralph Lauren about how flipping deformed this woman looks, they claimed responsibility for their manipulation of her image, and apologized. Is it actually possible that no one noticed that she looks like a bobble-head doll until people complained? And look !!! at the first picture of her. Why are they manipulating her image? Is there supposedly something wrong with how she looks? Actually, the first image is from Ralph Lauren, also, so maybe nobody really knows what her body looks like. Has anyone seen her in person, taken a picture of her, and not photoshopped it?

Oh, look what I found:

Which one do YOU think is more attractive?



fashion assignment: fur

I’m sure this is protected somehow and I won’t be allowed to upload all of the pictures, so if you want to see the slide show, click here.

I get the sense that Ms. Giannini was given an assignment: use fur in any color, but it must involve draping over the shoulders, and be in excessive proportion to the rest of the outfit. Jewel tones and an off-center slit in the skirt will earn extra credit points. And maybe I’m a prude, but necklines cut wide and to my waist or sheer tops worn without a bra just aren’t going to “fit” into my life. I guess it might get those college boys to pay attention in class, but probably not to what I’m talking about.

I get it that certain things are in style (and then they aren’t, but that’s a topic for another day). But do we really need this many versions of: trousers, gauchos, fur capes or trim, sheer “skirts,” and double-breasted dress/coats?

p.s. That skinny Calvin Klein girl shows up on the ads to the right of the Gucci slide show. This woman is not attractive, and the clothes are worse. Is this supposed to be the ideal we all aspire to?


my letter to Calvin Klein

What are you trying to say when you design clothes to hang on women-as-hangers rather than women-as-women?

Never mind the clothes, this girl needs someone to make her a sandwich.


Just Sayin’s first anniversary

Started this blog a year ago, plus a few days. (sorry, I was distracted)

Enjoying it so far; hope you are too.

Just looked back at a few of the early posts. Check them out if you haven’t — I’m particularly fond of the one re: Ms. Capuccine, and the handsome guy doing dishes.

Another favorite, although not quite so far back, was the one about Spanx for Men.

Thanks for reading!


a flattering cut?

Do you suppose these guys stand around in the locker room and ask each other if their butts look big in their pants?



Got a catalog in the mail the other day — no surprise there. But it’s for bras. And the name of the company is “Bounce.”

This doesn’t stop making me smile.


Versace II

I don’t get it.

I don’t get this either.

Maybe it’s just me.

This, on the other hand, makes perfect sense.



I was reading the New York Times after a particularly long day and I encountered a Versace ad that I wanted to post — 2 vacant-eyed women, apparently starving. Lacking even the strength to hold their mouths closed.

Alas, the ad is not to be found online, and I’m afraid if I try to scan it it won’t show up well, as it is in black and white.

(October 10: found it!):

I did find myself on a trip through the strangely-thematic surreal. Let me share some of the landmarks along the way.

Firstly, we have women disguising the fact that they are naked by hiding behind their voluminous handbags:

I think her handbag may weigh more than she does; she also looks as if she may be inside the handbag; then again, I may be wrong.

There also seems to be a theme where we are apparently supposed to be noticing the woman’s shoe as she is stepping into her clothing. This photo spread kills the proverbial two birds, by having her hide one of her (naked) legs behind her purse while stepping into her dress with the other leg. And look! she’s managed to accomplish her task, and is now fully clothed in the picture on the right. Good for her.

Now I don’t know about how models do it, but I tend to put my shoes on last, and have not usually picked up my purse until after the belt is on. Maybe it’s just me.

Then we have the group shots.

I’m not even going to presume what the women on the left are doing, but the one in the middle looks like she’s trying to work in her workout during the shoot, (poor lunging form, btw), Stephanie has longer legs than I am tall, and Claudia really needs to pee. Maybe we could take 5?

Now how about the men.

My son plays a game with pictures of his band on facebook called “what is ____ looking at?” Maybe there’s a giant spider on the floor or something. But do any of us know any men who would do this willingly? I guess they’re pretty well paid, but does that make them “prostitutes”? I can’t really figure out what market Versace is trying to reach with this one, but I guess that’s their marketing department’s problem.

Nothing wrong with this one; at least not as far as I can tell, although I’m not sure what we’re supposed to make of the hands in underwear/handcuffs. Hmmm. . .

Quite fine.

So what are we supposed to make of this?

This just makes me want to cry.

Men get to be strong, muscular, virile; women are wisps, hiding behind our handbags, not allowed to go to the bathroom.



Not Fat!!!

It’s getting a little colder around here, so I was pulling some “regular” (meaning full-length) pants out of my closet this morning to get dressed for work. They’re all too small. Now some of you may remember my “fat pants” post from last spring — the problem is those were all capris and shorts for the summer; despite my 7-week running program in July and August (until school started and I had to get up at 6 a.m. to do it and it was still pitch black outside) I haven’t lost any weight since.


I’m disgusted with myself. I want to be a size 8, I’m not even always a size 10. I look in the mirror and see fat. (The average woman my age is a size 14, but that doesn’t matter, because I don’t really want to be “my age” either. I still feel like I’m 35, just a hell of a lot smarter. Can’t I still LOOK 35, too?)


I write my husband an email. (He’s already gone for the day – he gets up at 4 a.m. on Tuesdays so he can spend an hour and a half on the ice chasing a little black disc around and trying to hit it with a stick while trying not to get run over by other guys with sticks. He does it on Fridays too. I think this may indicate some kind of mental imbalance, but it keeps him happy and he has a fantastic ass. Hmmm. His mother reads this. . . .ANYwhoo. . .)

I’m asking him if he will help me. Namely: stop buying me potato chips, don’t offer me any ice cream, don’t pour me a 2nd glass of wine with dinner (notice I’m not cutting out wine entirely; I may be fat, but I’m not unreasonable), keep the “sauce” separate from the pasta so I can put the “sauce” on 4 noodles, etc. I tell him this despite the fact that, while he is perfectly happy with what I weigh, he wants me to be happy with what I weigh as well. I tell him that I want to be his hot sexy wife not a matronly housefrau in a . . . and that’s it. I can’t think of the word. I write “dashiki” but I know that’s not right, and when I find on Google that it’s a tunic-top of African influence worn by men, I know I need to look further. I try to think of a way to google “word for dress that fat women wear” but I just get a bunch of pictures of super skinny models and a few really large women in bathing suits. (The little mean voice says “at least I’m not that fat.”)  I add “housecoat” to the end of the sentence, but it doesn’t have that poetic ring I’m looking for. So I persist. And I encounter this:

Wow. These women are beautiful. Now granted, my face doesn’t look anything like any of theirs, but maybe my body does — (the little mean voice points out that I might even be smaller than a few of them) — and look — they’re beautiful. They’re voluptuous and curvy and have gorgeous skin, and they’re obviously comfortable with their bodies because they’re all draped all over each other like that.

Now when I copied this off of the website I found it from I noticed that it was labeled “Glamour_plus-size-models” and that bothers me a little because they’re not “Plus size” — they’re normal size. But anyway. . .


I’ve decided to stop eating potato chips, and no more blue cheese dressing on my pretzel crisps, and definitely less pasta and bread and potatoes. I’ve also decided to try to stop being so hard on myself. And I think I might end up buying at least a couple pairs of pants.



It doesn’t matter if you stand with one leg bent and the other hip out to the side. The pants are all still ugly. Don’t even get me started on the shoes.

Is anyone buying this stuff? Is anyone wearing it?

How about these? Can it get any worse? 

Click here if you want to see more.


The Latest in Fashion

No. Please, really, no.

How about this instead?


Would you Rather. . .?

Husband is putting on new pair of shorts for the first time.

Husband: Wow, there ARE a lot of pockets!

Me: Yup; you look like you’re ready to go on safari.

Husband: Well it’s important to have all of these. Think I’ll latch up these back ones and use the side ones for my wallet. You know how men end up with all of those misalignment and back problems from sitting on their wallets for years.

Me: Yeah, it’s really tough on you guys. Women only have to deal with pregnancy; men with the havoc wreaked on their bodies by their wallets. Could you give me a moment? I’m all verklemt.


The New Gaunt

I’m looking and looking online to post a picture of Jamie Bochert in Marc Jacobs sunglasses in the newest edition of Vogue. No luck.

Needless to say, I just don’t get it.

She looks okay here:

but in almost every other picture I find of her she looks like a man

or like she wants to be in Kiss

or like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Forget about looking for women with normal bodies, shouldn’t models at least be attractive? She frightens me.

Maybe it’s just me.



I HATE stretch jeans. I accidentally purchased a pair about a month ago, and didn’t realize it until after I had cut the tags off and worn them for an hour or so.

They fit so perfectly when you put them on, and an hour later they’re sagging like the skin around an elephant’s ankles.

I think we should start a movement where clothing manufacturers are required, if selling clothing one would not automatically assume contained lycra (i.e. yoga wear and bathing suits), to have a tag, at least 8″ long and 3″ wide and prominently displayed, that says WARNING: CONTAINS LYCRA on it.

One can only imagine that these women feel equally betrayed.

Please comment below if you would like to “sign” this petition.


Is it just me? or are men in better shape than ever?

There is now apparently a garment, labeled “Shapewear,” available to help men “streamline their appearance.” At first I thought this was some kind of a joke, a theory which wasn’t threatened in any way by the fact that one of the spokesman for the item is named Nickelson Wooster and that much of the article sounded like an advertisement “[Although Mr. Viscusi is 39, he wears Spanx* T-shirts routinely. He recently wore them to see executives from Bravo and VH1. ‘It gave me pecs, gave me definition, it gave me confidence,’ he said. . .”].

And maybe it could only be a good thing for the world if men felt a little bit more of the pressure women feel to look a particular way. A little shared pain in the interests of empathy and all that.

One problem is that the men who really need this particular item are most likely the men who are walking around without any shirt on at all.

The other is that I think most women would just appreciate a little less pressure.

Instead we have created yet another market to appease yet another set of insecurities people feel about their bodies. Instead of learning more about how to eat healthfully, taking actions against the salts, sugars, and chemicals hidden in our foods, getting more exercise, and developing self-esteem which includes acceptance of ourselves and our imperfections, we have managed to devise yet another way to improve our “appearance” without actually changing anything.

To paraphrase the woman who has looked in a mirror after having removed her Spanx “foundation garment” (now THERE’S a eumphemism), “I look like a blob, an amoeba.” Or how about the man realizing that the “shapewear” garment he wears routinely has only served to mislead his date, and can only cause her to wonder how he has managed to gain 45 lbs between the restaurant and the bedroom.

The thing that really cracks me up is the myriad ways men justify wearing these garments. Rather than just admitting that they weigh a little bit more than they should, they emphasize the fact that it improves their posture, eases their back pain, and/or masks their man boobs nipples. One man complains about the tendency of undershirts to bunch up, causing it to look like you are wearing “. . .a tire around your waist.” It’s not the shirt, dear, it’s the tire around your waist. They don’t even call it what it is — a girdle foundation garment — it’s “Shapewear.” But no, actually: it’s spandex and rubber made into a garment that’s one-to-two sizes too small for you and hides the fact that you eat ice cream every night when you really shouldn’t.

Apparently there is also such a thing as “profile-enhancing underwear,”

which seems to act as, and I quote, “the equivalent of a ‘push-up bra’ for men.” Seriously? Do we really want need to see more of That?

Supposedly these garments have not been designed to “take off” pounds. The woman who designed them points out that stars as lean as Gwyneth Paltrow wear Spanx, and that she herself designed them when she was a size 2. Maybe it’s just me, but what exactly is the spanx holding in if you’re a size 2? Your kneecaps? Your spine? And if Gwyneth feels the need to wear it

I’m thinking that maybe the rest of us should just stop going out in public altogether.

Maybe we should all just wear Spanx/Shapewear and never take them off.

*Why “Spanx”? Why?


A Note to New York Times Style Magazine.

Now, I’m no fashion expert. I’m writing this in a pair of gray sweatpants that I bought at Target and a CW washable-silk/linen sweatshirt that is older than my oldest child and has more holes in it than swiss cheese, but some of this stuff I just don’t get.

This (click on the link, then on “view print magazine,”), pg. 8 —  looks like a lampshade.

I didn’t like the girls on pg 18 in high school and I don’t like them now.

I find it hard to believe that the man is more in love with the handbag than the woman is (pg. 26).

The woman on pg 32 has a very cute face and nice smile, but is one rice cake away from needing an IV.

I’m quite frightened of the woman on pg 39, and wonder how much ozone was damaged in the styling for pg 46.

I like the dress on pg 48, and the leather jacket in the Banana ad. The Hermes ad on pg 10 is just stunning, and has caused me to consider growing my hair.

I really like the idea of “Not My Daughter’s Jeans” but wonder why it’s automatically assumed that we WANT to look a full size smaller. Couldn’t they just fit?


Fat Pants

I give in on Saturday, and bought three (3) pairs of pants one (1) size bigger than I want to wear.  First of all, it’s important to differentiate that from buying 1 pair of pants 3 sizes bigger; and okay, they’re actually 2 sizes bigger than I want to wear, but there have been 3 times in my life that I’ve worn a size 8: for ~ 6 months following brain surgery; after 6 months of the South Beach diet when not a bite of white sugar, bread, pasta, potatoes or rice passed my lips; and when I was in the process of being divorced from my husband of 21 years.

Anyway, I’ve realized something very important. A person looks a lot less fat when their pants aren’t too small. I’m trying not to see this as an act of giving up, but as acceptance. I will eat healthfully, I will be more active, I will be able to sit without my waistband cutting off my circulation, I will not beat myself up for not looking like mass-media’s version of the ideal female form.

I will also try very hard not to hope that by adopting this healthier mindset I will miraculously lose, and be unable to find again, fifteen pounds.

p.s. One of the funniest New Yorker cartoons I’ve ever seen:  Some fat globules are standing around mid-mingle at a party (Labeled: Your Lost Weight). One of them looks at his watch and says “Guess we better head back.”


Dressing for Success

Is this what a woman should wear to her next important business meeting? One problem I see is that professional women want nothing more than to be taken seriously, and I just can’t see how a business suit over a midriff-baring bandeau top contributes.

Maybe I’m missing something.



I wish everyone would stop picking on Jessica Simpson for being fat. Yes, she’s gained some weight, no, she doesn’t look like the stick-shaped ideal held by everyone in the entertainment industry (and apparently practically everyone else). But she just looks like a woman, and not that badly-shaped of one at that. Before she looked like Barbie, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Of course, she’s dumb as a sack of hair, and we’d all be grateful if she could just find a way to keep that to herself.

Kristie Alley, on the other hand, is fat. But rather than make fun of her, I feel sorry for her. Obviously there are some serious emotional issues involved, and she has to have them all played out in front of everyone.

I, on the other other hand, am free to gain and lose and gain and lose the same 20 lbs over and over again, and hardly anyone even seems to notice. (Except probably for my bff’s husband Paul, but he’s usually nice enough not to say anything. My grandma used to feel inclined to comment on such things, but she died a few years ago, and it’s really hard to find that kind of honesty in anyone else.)

In any case, let’s stop picking on the fat girls, and talk about things that really matter, like health care reform, what to do about terrorism and violence in countries around the world, and what Anne Hathaway was thinking when she decided to wear this.


J Lo, Oscars 2010

I don’t get this dress. It looks like a cross between a shower curtain from the 70s and bubble wrap. I do love that it shows off her curves. Real women of the world, unite!

(I didn’t get the catsuit NYEve either — where was her butt that night, not to mention a friend to say, umm, J? got anything else?)

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