FAQ: WTF?

You know, I was feeling a lot better about understanding fashion particularly with regards to how it relates to me. I felt I had a bit more of a vocabulary and I didn’t seem as lost when surrounded by racks of choices. My eyes would even hone in on some item then the brain would follow critically, assessing my find against its practicality for moi.

It was therefore probably a mistake to click on the Style page of the NY Times today. Barely able to walk, I think they’re asking me to run. I was confronted with this:

21-brown-lapel-tmagSF

My first thought was of course the ubiquitous ‘WTF?” It’s such a perfect catchall, and unrevealing of the nature of one’s confusion/amusement/disdain etc. Such a reactionary response is indicative of curiosity on my part so I read further as to why a designer chose to add a bit of Rocky the Flying Squirrel to an otherwise ordinary suit.

It seems that the designer is attempting to evoke style reminiscent of military sashes. True, lapels did start from military tunics, with the ability to button over to perform the task of Keeping Warm. Trust the military to come up with such practical considerations. As we all know, looking good in high fashion has nothing to do with personal comfort (ask any university club hopper – see also ShpakBlog on the subject). Such is the case here, as the over-lapel buttons onto the jacket somehow.

I don’t want to know how, and I really don’t want, the next time I buy a suit or sport coat, to find extra buttons all over the thing for purposes of attaching hunks of chipmunk fur to me.

Here’s some things I already don’t understand about men’s clothing:

  • Why do they stitch suit pockets shut? If you don’t want to use it as a pocket, don’t use it as a pocket. Do you need stitching to save you from yourself? Really? If the designer wants a pocket flap as a design element, but Godforbid that anyone should use it to carry grapefruit, then why put a pocket behind it?
  • Sort of a corollary: The stitched lapel slot, for a boutonnière, well, they go around it with a buttonhole stitch, but then don’t bother to cut the thing open. You’re going to trust me with this, probably at the last minute when said boutonnière is sprung on me? It’s likely a borrowed pocket knife will do the honours. “Yes, it’s Armani, with Swiss Army Accents,” I might say, explaining away the hatchet job on the left lapel.
  • On the topic of buttonholes: dress shirts, and even a lot of casual shirts are showing up with the bottom hole horizontal, versus the vertical arrangement of the remainder. At first I thought this might be Moron Protection, aha, this must be the bottom button hole so I start here, thus avoiding an embarrassing misalignment, but there’s no guarantee I start with the bottom button, is there? And in fact the extra buttons sewn onto the shirt for replacements are down there so Lowest Button is ambiguous in some cases. In any event, if you can do up an entire shirt and are still oblivious to the fact you’re one buttonhole off, then it is your duty to entertain the rest of us. I, for one, need something to take my mind off wondering what the horizontal hole is for.
  • Lastly, can I just request industry standard agreement on the placement of the inner pocket on any men’s garment? Now, most of them are on the left to facilitate a right handed man. Okay, I get that. Yet every now and then there’s something with a pocket on the inner right. That’s okay, in itself, as I dress. In goes the wallet. Yet hours later, when needing to retrieve said wallet, there’s the moment of panic when I forget about this oddity of nature. Is somebody, 34661_1511927635155_1143301626_1477855_3849623_nsomewhere, laughing at me? No? Then pick a side, people, and stick with it.

And while you’re at it, lose the furry lapel thing. If I want to wear a sash, I’ll become a scout leader. Now, THIS is a man who can wear a sash ————————————->

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In the Freezing Rain

iamtoocoldtoworkWhether or not I’ve recovered from the weekend road trip or not, time to drag myself back into the land of the living. I took The Remade Man on the road with me, resisting urges to wear typical stage apparel and sticking to Kathryn’s guidelines for me. This produced some interesting results.

I was in the city of Timmins, a rather remote mining town of about 44,000 people. It’s very spread out so it has a feel of a smaller place, and though currently it is doing okay economically due to high gold prices, it doesn’t have a pretentious sheen of affluence. People seem to be who they are without apology.

Wandering the streets was a good thing for unfolding my back from the 10 hour drive to the place. I had a good lead on an affordable restaurant with good home cooked food just a few blocks from the bar I was playing, and it was sort of my basis. Breakfasts were a couple hours long as I would eat then work on my laptop. That got more than a couple glances, giving me the impression this was not a common sight. Then I started to notice, wandering through the town, looks and double takes coming at me. Normally it’s the other way, I’m the observer, and I tend to blend into surroundings somewhat. It felt unusual to be spotted, but in the approximate demographic of 30 to 60 year old women, my presence seemed to be notable. Probably opinion was evenly split between “What the hell is THAT?” and “That sure ain’t no miner”.

It’s weird for me, being some sort of eye candy, and of course I got caught up in it, meeting, dating, getting engaged, marrying and leaving town without new wife in about a 60 hour period (I don’t kiss and tell, so don’t even ask), so it was not the usual On The Road With The Band weekend, but it was enjoyable enough.

Oh, and in the minus 20 degree temps, I really did appreciate the warmth that the layered look delivers. Now, onto the annulment on grounds of non-consummation…

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 10:27 am  Comments Off on In the Freezing Rain  
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North to Alas-k-k-k-ka

kenny_south_parkReports of an early spring are gone from Timmins, where I’m heading later this week. Still light on the snow side, but temperatures were down to –20° Celsius (near California-like conditions to some readers), so looks like the tight packing situation of the trip up just got tighter with the addition of  The Parka.

The Parka is an addition to my wardrobe that dates back to my time in Winnipeg, where Men are Men and testicles are retracted to prevent Brass Monkey incidents. Minus 40° is the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit, an interesting bit of trivia that so fascinates Mother Nature that she leaves the thermostat there frequently in Manitoba. Apologies to Johnny Horton and the title of the blog, but Winnipeg’s average temperature in winter is quite a bit lower than Alaska. It just seems colder with all that extra dark to stumble around in.

The Parka is a very efficient warming device, so much so that it has seen use in Ontario only when skiing, and even that was a mistake as the exertion to get myself up off my ass had me sweating before I could say “bunny hill”. I don’t know that it remained zipped that day. I seriously doubt it. It has not been zipped since, and we are talking about 9 years. I recall shoveling snow in The Parka in Winnipeg, unzipped, no mitts, no hat, then coming in and realizing it was –15°C.

The garment itself, despite its 12+ years of tenure with me, is in great shape, two tone blue, very little wear and tear, mostly just from being shoved around in the closet around other less insulating garments. I thought briefly of consulting with Kathryn about how to incorporate The Parka with the rest of my wardrobe, but then it occurred to me.

At –20, everything goes with everything. Preferably at once.

Update Friday

The lethargy of the holidays has created a backlog of Things That Need Doing and new work has jumped on top of that resulting in fewer posts this past week. A couple of updates today to tide you over until either a) I have something relevant to say or more likely b) I spout off irrelevantly in greater detail.

The Impartial Wardrobe Evaluation Project has come to an end, as I have closed down my photo profile on a popular dating site, disappointing thousands of single women, I’m sure, if only they knew. However, I still have the electric blanket on my bed to simulate Other Body warmth, so it remains a research project only. As you may recall, the earlier profile, pre-wardrobe consultation, produced responses from a group whose average age was about 60, a high percentage of whom were interested in and/or owned motorcycles. As I am a decade younger and gave no indication of bikerly tendencies except inadvertently through my photos, this was somewhat shocking.

Conducted under more stringent scientific method, with results audited by the firm of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, the follow up research produced well in excess of 400 views of my profile, about 100 a week. Of those who responded to the profile the median age dropped startlingly to 46.4 years and not a one mentioned “Harley” anywhere. Officially, Kathryn’s Makeover of Me can be declared a success.

venus-embrace-canada1This blog first came about after a post I made on my other blog, the one about the Venus Embrace razor. To read that one, go here. I have been using the original cartridge on my face since the start of November, an unheard of life for any razor. As I received a 4 pack of replacement cartridges as a gag gift (ha!) for Christmas (more or less) I decided to change to a new blade, though I was still quite happy with results from the original cartridge. There was Very Little Difference, if any at all, from this new cartridge.

AN OPEN LETTER TO GILLETTE, A DIVISION OF P&G:

I may have become your worst nightmare. I have discovered that the Venus Embrace is the ultimate whisker removing tool for men on the planet, and probably in the universe, though I am wary of speaking beyond the scope of my experience.

There is no similarly constructed instrument available and marketed to men. I believe you know this. I believe also that you know that the 4 cartridges I received will last me all of calendar year 2011 and it scares the shit out of you due to losses in sales if it becomes known that this blade configuration is not designed to clog with whiskers on first pass like all other men’s razors.

Like too many greedy corporations you are more concerned with selling at all costs rather than engaging in the more ethically sound practice of giving people a quality product without misleading them or building in planned obsolescence.

There is only one thing to be done: Hire me. $40K annually with benefits will guarantee my silence about the wonders of the Venus Embrace as a Men’s Grooming Device. I may even throw in a little writing for you at that price. But I’m not giving my razor back. Once my inner Goddess got out, she decided she liked it.

And that is all for Friday.

Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 10:17 am  Comments (7)  
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Red Carpet Bound

All right, back into the swing. I have to say that getting dressed was pretty easy over the holiday season. Not only were things Kathryn advised me on very mix-and-match, I even remembered enough to spot some things that work in the rotation. You might have picked up here and there that I’m a bit skeptical in nature (no! really??) and so suspicious of how long the silk purse will last after the makeover shows release the sow’s ears they’ve transformed. Since I rate pretty much everyone’s shopping abilities above mine, I suppose there is hope for the world, if I can retain anything.

This is kind of an open challenge now, as we move forward (oh, Kathryn, are you listening?). As it happens I am up for a couple of awards and as such I have two awards galas coming up before the end of the month. Early in February, there is an opening night pending also. All three events are theatre related, therefore artsy and offbeat. As it happens I have Lovely Accomplices scheduled for two of these three events, and even an outside chance at a PAIR of Lovely Accomplices for the third event. Call me greedy, eva-green-and-daniel-craigbut Mr. Bond and Mr. Hefner would both approve, I think.

Now, despite the sophistication of these events, I’m likely a long shot to win an award as I am new on the scene, not an established name like my co-nominees, and I am just rather amused by the awards thing anyway, tickled to be involved. However, if I am going to go, Go Big, right? I recall a scene from Casino Royale where Eva Green says to Daniel Craig, “There are dinner jackets and there are Dinner Jackets. This is the latter.”

While I would swoon if Eva Green so much as called me a drop of donkey spittle, not even for her would I go out and buy more clothes. Come ON. I have my limits. However, Going Big requires an entrance (for which I have been tutored in a networking sense) and no longer happy with simply fitting in, I have the urge to make a Grand Statement, if only to improve my chances for next year.

So, the challenge is thus: a) Lovely Accomplices deserve a more streamlined me. What can we accomplish in a month? And b) how can I make three Grand Statements at three separate events within a three week period, where many of the same people will attend each? And no, I have NO BUDGET.

Of all the times to be caught without a tuxedo.

Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 9:20 am  Comments Off on Red Carpet Bound  
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