Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Star Trek: TNG – Devil’s Due

December 30, 2011

I have a new post up at Minnesota Skeptics about a particularly skeptical episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation! Here’s an excerpt:

Upon the away team’s arrival on the surface, Ardra herself appears to the crew and the Ventaxian leader to claim “her planet”. Ardra is able to instantaneously change her appearance, to cause tremors to start and stop at her command, and she even makes the entire Enterprise starship disappear!  But Captain Picard smells a phony. He describes Ardra as being a flim flam artist to his crew, and accuses her of being a fake in front of the Ventaxians.

To read the rest of my article, please go here to the Minnesota Skeptics blog.

Oh, oh! But I also have to share a fabulous website that I found while looking for images of Ardra. It’s called Fashion It So, and it’s written by two people who are watching Star Trek: The Next Generation for the clothes. Well, I’m guessing they’re watching it because they geek on Star Trek: TNG, but the blog is all about the fashion.

They make off-hand horrifyingly blasphemous (to TNG fans) remarks such as the following in bold:

“We never see these aliens not on their ship (they had a name but I realized I don’t care and neither should you) so getting a great look at their outfits is pretty tricky, but I think we can all agree there’s nothing to see here.”

But since they were discussing the Pakleds, you have to agree with the fashion assessment. And really that’s all the writers are making claims about, so why stick it to them on nerd details? And I get the feeling that these guys do have some geek/nerd cred. I spotted one reference to X-Files, they make some horribly punny jokes, and the most recent entry (yesterday) is a repost of three TNG action figures filmed in stop-action to Beyonce Knowles’s Single Ladies.

As an aside, my favorite description of Ardra’s outfit was

“OF COURSE bitch looks amazing. She’s the devil! So she rolls up in a fucking LEATHER JUMPSUIT with some goddamn CHIFFON attached to just the back of her pant legs, like she couldn’t decide if she was racing dirtbikes or going to the ballet.”

Go. Visit their website. Enjoy.

Target on a Sunday at 9:30pm

September 27, 2010

It just isn’t pretty.

I mean…shoes with no socks?  C’mon now!

Nice ad, Macy’s!

September 10, 2010

Yay, Macy’s!  I was flipping through a Macy’s advertisement this morning – which I usually don’t do, but I was waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, plus they had a kick-butt $10 off coupon on the front cover of the ad, so why not?

A few pages in I ran into a page dedicated to the clothing and accessories and saw this:

No, not the shoes – the beautiful, curvy, plus-size model in lingerie.  I thought, “Oh, I must have found the “women’s” section (read: the plus size clothes), but no!  There are no other lingerie or clothing ads in the pamphlet.  Macy’s chose to use a plus-size model as the only lingerie model in the entire ad, which is pretty awesome.

Maybe people are starting to figure out that not only can curves be sexy, but that it’s even okay to admit it!

Men have fragile egos too?

September 8, 2010

Have you heard of vanity sizing?  It’s the gradual increase over time in how we define our clothing sizes.  Vanity sizing is a trick that clothing manufacturers play on consumers to make us feel better about the clothes we’re buying from them.  For example, they might make a size 10 skirt, but label it as size 8.

You’ve heard that Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14?  She was gorgeous and a size 14, so why should today’s size 14 gal worry about her waist?  A blog called True Life covered this topic in 2007:

Marilyn was a size 14…back in 1950.  Kate Dillon is still smokin’ hot (and I like the red hair, so I’d say hotter than Marilyn…and how can you not love that green swimsuit???) but her 14 is not Marilyn’s 14.

Vanity sizing is the reason why you may prefer Old Navy jeans to Gap jeans or Target jeans, or vice versa.  It’s the reason why you may have to buy boutique-style clothing two sizes “bigger” than ready-to-wear off-the rack clothes.

It’s sneaky, and we let them do it, because we’re vain.

And I’ll be honest – I thought it was something they only did to women.

Let’s look at women’s clothing sizes: 00, 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and so on.  Those “sizes” don’t mean anything – a size 10 jean doesn’t mean one has a 10-inch waist.  Then there’s the ridiculous S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL size chart – pretty subjective.  Some plus size clothing manufacturers  have even tried to eliminate the standard prejudices associated with the previous two systems and use vague 1, 2, 3, 4 designations for clothing – especially clothing that would normally fall into the XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL system like shirts and dresses, or other other clothes that can adjust via belts, ties, adjustable straps, or *shudder* elastic.

Since the scales (hehehe) are subjective, I can understand how there’s some fudge factor room in creating women’s clothing in one size and calling it a smaller size.  You convince a woman that your store’s size 14 fits here, and if she goes to another store (that doesn’t vanity size as much) she’ll have to buy a size 16.  Ugh!  I would rather wear the 14 if given the choice!

Men’s clothing is more standardized.  A 32″ waist means the waist measures 32″ around.  There’s not a lot a room to maneuver here.

Unless they just…lie.

Esquire Magazine’s “The Style Blog” published an article by Adam Sauer yesterday about vanity sizing – or “down-waisting” – of men’s clothing.  On a recent shopping trip he carried along a tailor’s measuring tape and got the skinny (yes! pun-ilicious) on some big (ooops, I did it again! mwah ha ha!) names:

Sorry guys.

Freaked about Fashion

July 15, 2010

…and pickpockets and scam artists and people cutting the bottom out of my backback and crowded trains and…woah, woah, woah.

Ah, the internet!  The leader in unsubstantiated claims, dramatic horror stories, and one-sided viewpoints!

The Hubby and I spent waaaaay too much time last night browsing the interwebs and getting worked up about being American tourists in Italy.  We learned that we wear grubby, unattractive clothing in our day-to-day dress, that we’re going to be pickpocketed by children, mothers with babies and sleazy men, that the Hubby  is going to get drugged and dragged off to a den of prostituzione where he’ll be forced to buy high-priced drinks for women and get conned into sleeping with them, and that I’m going to get groped by every man on the street (Damn, I’m good!). 

So we’ll be on guard for pickpockets and scam artists.  We’ve got our tiny over-the-shoulder bags for the camera and other small semi-valuables, under-the-clothes hidey spots for our passports, credit cards and the bulk of our cash and we’re only packing one backpack each for our clothing.  In Rome we’ll try to avoid highly-packed trains and obvious distractions by potential theives.

All good.

But I really do need to go shopping!

I had planned to bring a couple pairs of jean shorts, several t-shirts and Teva sandals for daily wear, and one simple black dress with cheap but cute strappy black sandals for a nice evening dinner.  The Hubby had planned two pairs of cargo shorts, several t-shirts, Teva sandals and his favorite baseball cap for daily wear, as well as a pair of black slacks, a short sleeve dress shirt and leather dress shoes for dinner. 

No, no, no – what were we thinking!?  All the websites are saying that if we dress like this we’ll be pickpocketed, scammed, and beggars will trail us like rats after the pied piper.  Oh, and the nice, non-scamming Italians will scorn us, sell us crap products at higher prices, or just ignore us.  Le sigh.

I have business casual clothing that could pass, but they’re a little on the business side and are all made of heavier materials appropriate for Minnesota’s four seasons of fall, winter, spring and air-conditioning.  I only own one cute sundress that might qualify as Italian “casual wear”.

I hate spending money on clothing.  Some of my favorite dress pants are from garage sales and second-hand shops.  I just don’t see the point in spending $50 (and higher) on a pair of jeans that I could get at the Salvation Army for $6!  Target’s 30-75% clearance racks rock, and even boutiques and higher-end department stores have kick-ass sales now and then.  I don’t buy used-looking clothing, I just don’t buy this season’s $100 shirts because I can always find something similar for $20. 

It’s not that the Hubby and I dress like slobs – far from it!  Some of our clothing are just American phenomena, I guess.  Like day-to-day donning of baseball caps, tennis shoes, t-shirts with logos/designs and jean shorts.  I also learned that tight pony tails are looked down upon as sloppy and the last resort of someone who slept through her alarm clock.  Makeup isn’t just for special occasions in Italy (but colored fingernail polish is), and almost every website we visited said that I need to have a large scarf that can serve as a shawl – not only for cooler evenings, but because many churches in Italy require covered shoulders for men and women. 

So, our “fancy” outfits still alright for dinners, but we need to rethink our daytime attire.  Aside from my one summer dress, I have a pair of light black pants and a pair of dressy, flowing capri pants which should be fine for most days, but I need one or two lightweight, summery blouses, and a pair of black and/or brown comfy walking shoes that will match all of my outfits.  The Hubby needs a pair of stylish light-weight pants and/or tailored khaki shorts and a pair of loafers.  I guess we’re going with what I would consider preppy/yuppie style for most days. 

But I’m still packing a pair of jean shorts and a t-shirt, just in case everyone is wrong 🙂  We’re Americans, people are going to be able to guess that we’re Americans and we won’t be ashamed to be known as Americans.  But as one site suggested, to lessen our chances of being ripped off, and to avoid unwanted, unflattering attention, maybe we don’t be those Americans – loud, rude, sloppy, expecting the world to conform to our needs and desires.  I bet that a smile and kind voice can go a long way in the fashion capitol of the world.  

Even if I’m dressed like an American. 

~~~~~

Italian language practice:

Tre giorni fino a Italia!

Buon giorno!  Come sta?  Me?  Molto bene, grazie.  E lei?  Buono.  Arrivederci! 

And of course, the most important questions:

Mi scuzi, parli inglese? 

Dov’e il bagno?

Sono allergico al frumento.

This picture from space of Italy at night is way, way too cool.  I found it at an awesome-looking blog called  Dad2059’s Webzine of Science Fiction, Science Fact and Esoterica

Different, just like everyone else!

June 23, 2010

I never went through a punk or goth phase, but I have worn outfits that could be considered punk or goth “style”.   

Me in 2007 all dressed up for a night at an alt dance club. 

I like different styles and I wear what I want to wear.  Clothing is one of the areas in life where we really have a lot of control.  Even in places where clothing has been standardized (uniforms), people show their individuality by adding highlights – colorful socks, headbands, jewelry, shoes, etc.  

Clothing is such a superficial thing – it’s so easily changed!  But it can very much affect how people see us, how we see ourselves, and even how we act.  I’m fascinated that we can seem like different people when we change our clothes.  When I went out wearing my nose ring and this punk-ish hoodie, people definitely treated me differently than when I am in more “normal” (normal – WTF, mate?) clothing.

That’s no big discovery, though – we all know and have experienced that clothing makes the (wo)man.  But I was surprised when I discovered that I could actually regard and treat people differently depending on what I’m wearing.  When I’m being slobbish and lazy and I wear PJ bottoms and an old t-shirt to the grocery store, I tend to have less patience for people – I’m annoyed that they see me dressed like an idiot, and I’m annoyed that they’ve probably thinking that I’m an idiot for dressing like one.

How do you feel about your clothing and style?  Does it affect your attitude?

PS – Don’t I look badass in these photos?  You can’t see it here, but in the bottom photo my Shakespeare magnetic poetry kit is plastered all over the refrigerator to my left.  Verily, a nerd no matter what clothing I wear.

Well, today’s introspection is inspired by NCBI ROFL’s blog post Personalities of punks and perils of their pointy parkas.  I mentioned in an earlier post that NCBI ROFL takes serious studies and presents them humorous ways.  This post was about the uniqueness of punk juvies and non-punk juvies:

“The purpose of this study was to provide some understanding of punk rockers. Although they have received media attention in the depiction of their unusual hair and clothing styles, there is limited information about their personalities. In this study a delinquent group of punk rockers was compared with a delinquent group of nonpunk rockers on self-image, a personality factor related to teenagers’ mental health and adjustment. Each group consisted of 20 subjects, 15 males and 5 females, aged 14 to 17. Subjects were administered a Screening Questionnaire, the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ), and the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) while detained at a Southern California juvenile hall… No significant differences were found between the groups. The importance of these findings is that even though punk rockers may look and act unusual, they may actually be similar to other groups.”

What – you mean we’re all human beings with similar human emotions underneath all of that leather, the hair dye, the spikes and patches?  Ha!  I don’t believe it!  I’m surprised that punks and non-punks can still produce viable offspring!  *shaking head*  Wow.  I make fun, but the larger study is interesting and may help correction professionals have more positive interactions with the youth with whom they’re working.

Photo source

There is a second journal article associated with this NCBI ROFL blog post recounting the dangers of spiky punk jackets:

“Stab wounds to the thorax are seen in the emergency department (ED) and can be caused by a variety of mechanisms. This case highlights an unusual cause of injury: a leather jacket with spikes on the back of it. This type of jacket is often worn by “punks” as a fashion statement. We report that falling onto such a jacket may result in accidental thoracic injury leading to subcutaneous emphysema. A thorough clinical assessment is mandatory to exclude underlying lung injury or pneumothorax.”

Yeowch.

Stay away from this punk mouse.  He’ll pneumothorax your ass!  Well, your lung…you know what I mean.