Thursday, February 25, 2010

Water Landing

Whenever I fly, I always think to myself, "It's too bad I can't put together a cute outfit that would also be useful in the case of a water landing." Floaties are too cumbersome, and wetsuits aren't particularly comfortable or figure-flattering.

Fortunately, Forever 21 has designed a skirt that, in the event of a water landing, you can keep your valuables - and your sense of style - dry. Yes, this chic plastic skirt, with its practical rope ties, will make you the envy of frequent fliers everywhere.

Forever 21 Petticoat Cargo Skirt - $19.80

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jane, His Wife

You know how sometimes you'll make a visual connection in your head? Maybe it's just my terrible visual memory. I don't know. Either way, before I started writing this post, had you asked me if this dress was identical to Jane Jetson's, I would have said "Absolutely."

Apparently, I was wrong. I don't know if it was the big collar or what, but even now I'm not convinced that this was just some Jetsons-themed hallucination.

It's not just me, right? If Jane never wore it, at the least, it had to have been in her closet.

Forever 21 Tuxedo Belted Sleeveless Coatdress - $44

Secret Agent Amanda

I have a very active imagination. For some reason, it's worse when I'm walking places. If I'm walking somewhere, I will think up this whole other plot line about my life. More often than not, I am a super-spy in it. Because who doesn't have a little bit of Bond in them?

If I owned this trench coat, I'm pretty sure I actually would be a super-spy. If I were on my way to class and a Russian agent jumped out at me, I'd disarm them without even dropping my bookbag.

Essentially: There's no way you can not be a badass in this coat.

ModCloth En-Trenched With Style Coat - $72.99

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bonjour Paris

Alright. Is it just me, or is this the creepiest smiley face ever?

It's the saddest, scariest smiley face I've seen in a long time. It looks like someone gouged out its eyes. This Paris happy face is the Oedipus of happy faces.

I know, I know. That's so like me, seeing Greek tragedies in everything. I was originally going to write more, but I can't actually keep staring at this damn thing. Its vacant, dead eyes keep staring at me, piercing my soul.

Forever 21 Cropped Bonjour Paris Tank - $14.90

Monday, February 22, 2010

And then ...

I spent three hours wandering around a Target, and I didn't get home in time to write a post. Or rather, by the time I got home, I was so exhausted that all I can say is:

Target has some really cute swimsuits and some great tank tops.

Walking Around On Those - What Do You Call Them?

This was sent in by Emily (not to be confused with reader Little Emily). Says Emily:

"I know this is ugly, but the white version it reminds me of the little mermaid - Ariel's dress right after she gets legs, and the shapeless sheet she's wrapped around herself becomes a kind of cute minidress. Magic! Please make fun of it so I don't buy it."

I kind of remembered that Ariel wore a white dress at some point, but did not have nearly the photographic recall that Emily showed. But, once I found the screencaps, it all came flooding back to me.

Ah yes. The white sheet dress. Worn with the kind of pride that screams, "Up until now, the only clothing I've worn was a shell bra."

But damned if this isn't the same dress. Look at how randomly bunched it is! Do you know why it's gathered into a bustle? Because I sure don't. The only thing I can think of is that the designer was aided by his friends, a confused seagull and a smarmy crab.

From the side, I actually like the dress. It's so sculpted that it actually becomes appealing.

But then you get to the back, and it suddenly just is a lot of lumpy volume. Or there's the front, which demands a belt to temper its shapelessness. And while I wear a lot of short skirts, I'd constantly be tugging it down, because it's always harder to tell if you're flashing the world when you're wearing an uneven hem.

On the other hand, if it lands me a hunk like Eric, then I'll throw down the $105 for a couture sheet of my very own. And I wouldn't even need to trade my voice for legs - not a bad deal.

Of course, he seemed to like the fact that she didn't talk, so my feminist sensibilities are incensed. Will they win out over a childhood crush?

Maybe I'll see if the Beast is still available. And if he'll cut that mullet.

Funktional Parachute Dress - $105

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kooshy Shoes

It's weird - sometimes, a thought will randomly pop into my head (like, "I wonder what the Green Power Ranger is up to these days?"), and then the question will be answered a day or two later by someone else (my friend posting that he is apparently now an MMA fighter).

Likewise, just the other day, I was wondering to myself, "What did they do with all those koosh balls from the Rosie O'Donnell Show?"

And now, I have my answer. Gwen Stefani's using them on sandals.

ModCloth Harajuku Lovers Holla Slingbacks - $47.99

Hey, F21, Got a Minute?

Hey, Forever 21. Glad you could make it. What's up? How've you been? Thanks for the cute grey denim skirt I got the other day; I've been wearing it constantly. I didn't expect that grey denim could be so versatile, but I actually have to stop myself from wearing it every day. So, thanks for that.

But that's not why I called you here. We have to talk.

Look, I know that sometimes it seems like "couture" is just shorthand from "hideous and unwearable." There are times when you look at a Marc Jacobs dress, and you can't help but think of Marcel Duchamp's urinal exhibition. I get that couture can, at times, seem too ugly to actually be fashionable, so therefore its unwearability must be what makes it couture.

But you're Forever 21. Your job is to bring affordable, disposable clothes to the masses. Your job is not couture. And even ignoring that aspect, you're subscribing to the "couture is unwearable" school of thought, which sort of defeats the purpose of making accessible clothing.

Sometimes, your clothes accidentally add volume around the hips. This is not a case of accidental. You apparently thought it was a good idea to have the hip pockets jut out in front, while complementing them with a giant butt bow. And that is a giant one. It looks like the model is wearing butt padding.*

I've mentioned my rule in the past of, "if it looks bad on the model/mannequin, it won't work on you" (also known as, The Mannequin Rule). This is a prime example.

Don't argue, Forever 21. I'm not done yet.

This is not where a bow is supposed to be positioned! This is where a bow is supposed to be positioned when you're 90, and your bow has been abused by years of gravity's cruel hands. Last I checked, your target demographic is supposed to have high, pert bows. Why would you do this to them? Many of them have worked hard to get their bows looking good, why would you intentionally design a dress that makes it look like they're late to Bingo Night at the home?

I just don't understand it. I don't understand anything about this dress. I don't understand how everyone on the design team okay'ed it. Did no one stop to say, "Hey, let's maybe not make this dress"? There wasn't even a suggestion of, "Let's move the giant ass bow a little higher"? How did so many stand silent when such an abomination against fabric was created?

I know you're capable of so much more, Forever 21. My favorite dresses have all come from you. I wear your scoop-neck t-shirts literally every day - and when I say literally, I mean it in the literal sense, as opposed to the increasingly common slang sense meaning "sometimes." No, really, I dress like a cartoon character, in the same thing every day.

So be better than this, Forever 21. Stop this couture foolishness and go back to making awesomely wearable surplice dresses and astonishingly trashy club clothing. That's what you're best at doing. Embrace it. And please, I'm begging you, burn the pattern for this dress so that no future generations can make the same mistake.

*In my defense, the only reason I knew to look for a still from Date Movie was because I worked for the studio that produced it, and I had to copy the script every time a new revision came in ... and there were many, many revisions.

Forever 21 Cut Off Mini Jean Skirt - $16.90
Forever 21 Pinstripe Couture Dress - $39

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This Looks Familiar

Man, this is a great idea.

It's about time someone took people to task on the ugly clothes that stores try to sell us.

Someone should totally make a website about it or something.

Also, the "Fashion Citation Notepad"? Hey, ModCloth Naming Committee - you're on notice.

ModCloth Fashion Citation Notepad - $4.99

Match Point, Simpson

I have tried very, very hard to hate Jessica Simpson's shoe and clothing line. I've actually made a concerted effort to not buy anything from them, because I hated the idea that a pop star had made a decent clothing line - and worse, that Joe Simpson could stand to profit from it. As a rule of thumb, I do not contribute to Joe Simpson's coffers (by the by, apparently today is his birthday - happy birthday, Captain Creeps-Me-Out!).

And you know where that boycott has left me? Without a lot of cute shoes.

I know. I really don't want it to be true, but the girl's hired some great designers. When in a department store shoe section, I've consistently gravitated toward her shoes, realizing with dismay that the really cute concealed platform heels are Jessica Simpson's, and therefore not allowed to come home with me.

Ultimately, though, I could live with that. I don't wear heels all that often, so it's not like I need that many.

But now, she's making dresses.

And some of them have a retro, Mad Men-esque silhouette. Like this one. Which is covered in tiny flowers. But not in an abrasive way. In a cute, springy, whimsical way. With a boatneck and a full skirt.


This dress could have gone so horribly awry - sea foam with a lime green belt. Who in their right mind would combine these two colors? And yet, it works. It works so hard, I'm already wearing this in my mind, and it is magical. I have no idea what shoes you would wear with this, but in my head, I have hemmed this to a few inches above the knee, and I am wearing a matching patent leather headband, and I might or might not actually be Blair Waldorf in my head.

She's wearing Alice & Olivia in both these pictures, but she could have just as easily been wearing the Jessica Simpson dress (if the JS dress were marked up a couple hundred dollars ... the girl does have standards).

Remember how I mentioned the Mad Men silhouettes? Yeah. That.

It's not quite as springy as the other two - it feels heavier, more appropriate for winter. But I love the sparse polka dots, and for once, the beaded neckline actually works for me.

So, fine, Jessica Simpson. You win. I may or may not be feverishly Googling "Jessica Simpson dresses what stores" right now (I don't Google in coherent sentences). And damned if I won't be trying on these dresses the minute I find out what stores carry them.

Just, please, can you give your dad's 20% to whoever actually designed these? Because they deserve the bonus.

Jessica Simpson Belted Dress - $128
Jessica Simpson Dropping Daisy Dress - $128
Jessica Simpson Tulle Flocked Dress - $138

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Public Service Announcement #6: Small Packages

The Ed Hardy line has expanded into many new avenues over the past few months. I've covered much of it in a series of Public Service Announcements, because I feel it is vitally important that we are aware of the enemy's movements. After last week's thrilling developments, I think it's time to reasses where we stand.

So here are two new fronts that have been opened in the war against Ed Hardy:

I'm impressed that they've managed to squeeze this much douche on such small surfaces. But it actually works out for those of us trying to avoid Ed Hardy-wearers like the plague.

A shirt ends up in the wash, and you're none the wiser until it's clean again. But glasses are worn constantly. Picking a pair of glasses is part of a painstaking process. So when someone is wearing Ed Hardy glasses, that's not just a whim. That's a commitment to douchedom.

As for the lighters - well, the owner chose to forgo the standard cheap Bic lighters in favor of an Ed Hardy tattoo lighter. That just about tells you everything you need to know, doesn't it?

Personally, I'm disappointed that they still haven't branched out to condoms. At least then, they'd be doing the world a service for a change.

These Boots Weren't Made For Walking

I'm not a big fan of the peep-toe bootie. So it's not shocking that I would post these.

I'm sure people will wear these, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. For this post, let's ignore the obvious: these are lace-up, with a buckle, hitting around the ankle. I just want to focus on one thing:

These boots would rub your feet wrong in at least four places. The unleather would give you blisters so epic, Grey's Anatomy would do an entire episode based around them. They would base a character on you, and she would be inoffensively quirky, give impassioned speeches with excessive repetition, and she would teach at least one of the doctors a very important lesson that happens to coincide with the doctor's storyline for the week.

And let's be honest: you, or Fictional You, do not need to get anywhere near the insanity of Seattle Grace. It's with that in mind that I suggest you not buy or wear these shoes.

Unless Fictional You ends up with a multi-episode arc, in which case you stand an equally good chance of: hooking up with a main character, dying after touching the lives of each character, or going balls to the wall crazy. Or some combination of the three. I'd say the odds aren't in your favor, but if you want to take the risk, go for it.

But if it ends up on Grey's, I want a "Story By" credit.

Forever 21 Peep Toe Workman Bootie - $34.80

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wasted Potential in a Romper

You know what makes me really sad about this romper?

That it's a romper. If these were separates, it'd kind of be a cute outfit. But no, apparently Wet Seal doesn't think that we're capable of making our own outfits. They think they have to hold our hand and create outfits for us. Because that's what this is. It's a ready-made outfit that they could have just styled on a mannequin and then put the separates next to it. We would have figured it out, Wet Seal. Really.

Wet Seal Plaid Denim Romper - $30.50

A Sack of Potatoes

I realize that sometimes, I just don't understand a style or an attempted look.

I don't think this is one of those times. No, I think that I am rightly mystified by this dress. It's so ill-fitting, it actually makes the model look like her head was Photoshopped onto another, much larger, model's body. It is so shapeless that it actually fails at being stylishly shapeless. It's just unflattering.

Where is the logic in this dress? It bunches around the mid-thigh area, tapering down into an asymmetrical hemline. It's hard to make a satin, formless dress more unwearable, but somehow, they manage.

So, hat's off to them, I suppose?

Kimberly Ovitz "Myron" Silk Charmeuse Dress - $385

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Positive Coat

Occasionally, I see something I like so much, I have to post it.

This is one of those times. I would wear this coat so hard, my other jackets would get jealous. I might or might not make it the background of my computer, I love it so much. My only regret is that it's a coat, and not a sleeveless minidress, because if I could remove the sleeves and make it in a cotton fabric, I would cuddle with it at night and carry it around like a security blanket.

That's how much I love this coat.

ModCloth Heartfelt Coat - $79.99

Pi Phi Why?

Several weeks ago, I had at least three people independently send me the Pi Phi Rush Week clothing manual. It was alternately the most flattering thing that's happened in a while, and the most horrifying - on the one hand, they apparently wanted to watch me mock the sisters.

On the other hand, I'm now apparently the go-to person for, "Hey, this is an ugly top." It's the sartorial equivalent of taking a swig of milk, saying "I think this is spoiled," then handing it to your roommate.

That's my totally gracious way of saying, thanks for reading and immediately thinking of the blog when you see something hideous. Please keep sending me stuff ... I will post them eventually, unless I can't figure out how to properly mock it.

Anyway, moving on. In the end, Ivy Gate posted four Pi Phi memos detailing what sorority members can and cannot wear to different functions during Rush Week.

Having read them all, they're pretty much what you would expect if someone a little controlling were running a house full of girls, and they were competing with other houses full of girls for the prettiest/smartest/best freshmen. Basically, "Look like everything a freshman girl would imagine a sorority sister to be, if her only exposure to sororities is movies or television."

In truth, I can't actually mock most of the list, because a lot of it makes sense for their world - don't wear hooker shoes to a daytime function, don't wear ripped pants. It also embodies why I would never, ever, ever be allowed into a sorority.

However, there is one thing that jumped out at me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Public Service Announcement #5: The People v. Edward Hardy

A few days ago, I said that sometimes, I think Marc Jacobs is playing a joke on the fashion industry.

I take it back. Little did I know the truth: Marc Jacobs is a fervent crusader for the fashion industry.

He's suing Ed Hardy for copyright infringement.

According to my top legal sources, there is not yet a law allowing a person to sue a designer for marketing and selling ugly or tacky clothing and accessories. As such, Jacobs probably stood the best chance of winning his case by suing for copyright infringement, rather than the not yet legally recognized "fugliness."

Junk in the Trunks

Ah, spring. The flowers bloom, the temperatures rise, and, if you work at American Apparel, your boss starts growing his summer mutton chops.

What's wrong, Random American Apparel model Who Is Also Probably A Personal Assistant Or Something, Because That's How They Roll Over In Creepyville? Why so glum? I mean, yeah, those are really shiny and plastic-looking. So I do understand being less than thrilled with that.

And I'm not really sure the circumstances under which you'd wear them. Yes, they're for swimming, but they're awfully high-rise for swimming shorts. Actually, they look like they'd be kind of uncomfortable.

Well, let's see them from the back to be sure.

To all you observant readers who have noticed that something is off about this picture, yes, you are correct. These are, as far as I can tell, not the model's legs. Because these swim trunks are unisex.

Of course they are. It's American Apparel. Why wouldn't these be unisex? Then again, I'm pretty sure all garbage bags are unisex, even the fancy tri-colored ones.

You can all blame Reader Ronnie for this one.

American Apparel Unisex Tri-Color Swim Trunk - $36

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pleasant Pheasant

Recently, The Hardest Working Model at ModCloth found her way to the blog. This was very exciting, if for no other reason than because it meant she was a real person, and not some hallucination I'd willed up to entertain myself while looking at some of ModCloth's more unusual offerings.

I also worried, though, that any subsequent posts I made about her and her superheroic abilities to wear strange headgear might seem like pandering. It has, at times, been harder to post about ModCloth, knowing that they read all blogs that mention their site. After all, it's one thing when you're shouting bitchery into the e-byss, it's a whole other bag of nuts* when you know it's actually being read.

Then I saw this picture, and any concerns I had were assuaged. Because the Hardest Working Model at ModCloth is wearing a feathered headband, like a little demi-tribal headdress.

This should be total and utter madness. This headband should be one of those "Wait, really?" moments, where you wonder if the design team is playing a trick on us. But she is so calm, so composed while wearing it, I'm lulled into submission. I accept that of course one would wear a headband covered in feathers. Why not? That seems perfectly reasonable, now that you mention it.

After all, are feathers really so much stranger than anything else we put in our hair? Sometimes, I'll put a fabric-covered rubber band in. A rubber band! By comparison, a feathered headdress seems downright normal, doesn't it?

Dammit. Her serene smile and easy confidence have lured me in once again.

*Yeah, I don't think "bag of nuts" is an expression, but I really like it, so I'm going to start using it in day to day conversation.

ModCloth Pleasant Pheasant Headband - $17.99


I can think of only one situation in which this present would be an appropriate gift.

If you know a man who is related to, or a fan of, Colonel Sanders.

Of course, that's a very, very small niche, so I guess the makers of this tie expect other people to buy it. Which is absurd, because seriously, when is this an appropriate accessory? When has anyone, other than the Colonel, ever looked at their shirt and thought, "What I'm missing is a Western Tie"? Even the model looks unhappy to be wearing it, and he's getting paid.

Timo Western Tie in Black & White Polka Dots - $60

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Brief Musing on Marc Jacobs

Sometimes, I think Marc Jacobs is actually playing a joke on the fashion industry.

This is one of those times.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Jacquetta Striped Dress - $528

Not Taylor-Made

I can't help it: I love Taylor Swift. Her music is ridiculously catchy, she's got pretty hair, she's eleven feet tall but wears high heels anyway, and she loves sparkley dresses. I might or might not have had a dream the other night that I was performing at a "We Are The World" kind of concert, and before going onstage, I told her to check out my blog because I've written about her.

Upon looking back, it turns out I've only mentioned her once, but whenever I write about sequins, I have her in mind.

Anyway, back on topic.

So, as I was saying, I can't help but like Taylor Swift. I've tried, because my heart is a cold, dark wasteland.

I appreciate that ModCloth has named a dress after Taylor Swift (although, seriously, where's the dress named after my blog? I'm waiting ...). And I can sort of understand their thought process: she is a country/pop singer, so it's not totally illogical that they went with plaid for the name. I'm not a fan of the dress itself, but had they used this fabric for a pair of shorts or a button-down, I would have really liked the fabric and ignored it completely.

However, it's a travesty - that's right, a travesty - that they would give give Taylor Swift's name to a dress so lacking in all things sparkley and shiny.

And on that note:

ModCloth The Taylor Dress - $59.99

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Et Tu, Black Halo?

Friends, Romans, Readership, lend me your ears.

I come to mock clothing, not to praise it;
The ugly that designers do go to the sales rack,
the good is oft sold out before I can buy it.

So let it be with this top.

Black Halo One Shoulder Jane Top - $105

A Correction

Last week, I posted an indignant rant about the differences between an herbivore and a vegetarian, and why dinosaurs are not vegetarians. I also said that, had they made a matching shirt with "Carnivore" written on it, I would not have objected to the shirt.

That being the case, it seems the "Vegetarian" t-shirt previously written about is not a dinosaur-themed article of propaganda, but instead, it's just inaccurate. I stand corrected.

And, true to my word, I bought the carnivore t-shirt. Because come on - dinosaurs are awesome.

Forever 21 T-Rex Carnivore Tee - $14.90

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bow Out

When I first saw this, I thought to myself, "Hm. That's a weird dress." Then I realized, to my horror, that no - the giant floppy bow isn't part of the dress at all.

It's an accessory that you can buy separately, then choose to pair with what would otherwise be a perfectly lovely outfit. The giant bow would drive me nuts because I'd feel it under my chin, or my hair would get caught on it all the time.

Why would you throw a heavy black bow onto this? It looks like a cute, light dress. That black bow is the sartorial equivalent of a giant anchor. How come women's magazines always advise you not to wear heels with an ankle strap, but they never warn you about wearing giant black bows with white lacy dresses? Oh, right, because it goes without saying.

But what really kills me is that they could have given the model a perfect Blair Waldorf look by accessorizing with this silver bow pendant, rather than an actual giant bow.

Right? All it's missing is a headband, brightly colored tights, and an awesome eastern European housekeeper/sidekick.

Timo Bowtie Bib in Copper Brown Satin - $65
Timo Bowtie Bib in Black Satin - $71
In God We Trust Cutout Bow - $101

Joust Kidding

My friend Sarah is the writer of the incredibly smart entertainment/media blog But They Didn't Ask Me. I suggest you go read her post on kids shows immediately, especially if you grew up watching old school Nickelodeon.

She somehow found time to send along this delightfully pointless dress.

I've never thought of chainmail as an embellishment, but apparently, it's more widespread than just Ren Faires.

I think what gets me about this, other than the general impracticality of it (when what is the purpose of a minidress with chainmail on it? What purpose does it serve?) is the fact that there is no way this can not look cheap. It's Forever 21 using metal embellishments. When has that ever ended well?

I guess you can buy this if you're big into Ren Faires and want to look like a slutty knight ... they have those, right?

Forever 21 Chainmail Bust Mini Dress - $15.99

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wait, what?

It's Friday? No, I totally didn't forget that it was Friday and therefore didn't remember to put together any posts.

So, uh .... look, a pretty dress!

DIANE von FURSTENBERG Iridescent Chiffon "Erosa" Dress - $385

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Top With a View

I don't have any tattoos, but I would venture to guess that the most difficult thing about having a tramp stamp is finding new and exciting ways to display it. After a while, wearing low-rise jeans with a short t-shirt must get kind of boring.

With this top, you can show off that circle of leaping dolphins, framing it like the work of art that it is.

Unless you've decided to have one of the ten commandments tattooed across your lower back. In that case, you might want to keep it as covered as possible and hope it flies under God's radar, because I can't imagine he'd be thrilled with that development.

Wait, I take that back. If you've got a tramp stamp that says "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass," display it proudly. At least it's a little more contextually appropriate than a warning against false idols.

Left Coast Draped Keyhole Back Tee - $44

The Plaid Hatter

I love how deadpan the model looks in this picture.

I imagine that they didn't warn her beforehand what she would be modelling in this shoot. She got all made up, they checked the lights, and then wardrobe ran out at the last minute and put the hat on her head.

"Seriously?" she said. "I have to wear this? It's a plaid baseball hat. This is ridiculous. No one is going to buy this. Yes, I know I'm getting paid to wear it. Whatever, fine. Just take the damn picture."

RVCA Ranger Plaid Hat - $19

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Harry Escape

Come one, come all, to see the great Shopbop Magical Model escape from this skirt!

She scoffs at the challenge.

Houdini's straight jacket trick is no match for her! She'll do him one better - escape from the skirt in heels. But how does she do it? What is her trick? Dare she reveal it?

Of course. The old "full-length zipper in the back" trick. I should have guessed.

Madison Marcus Resist Skirt - $325