Men are either stupid or suckers.
Want proof? Just look at men’s fashion.
Every few years, the same basic items--pants, jackets, ties, shirts--are minimally altered by the “fashion industry” to lure men into buying new clothes...which they do not need. Doubt, ego, and desire to attract women--who read fashion magazines--drive purchases, not need. The few hold-outs are classed as old-fashioned, stupid, or insensitive (to the need of companies to make profit).
Neckties change their size like an accordion, from fat to thin. The same is true of jacket lapels. Now, pant legs are getting the same treatment. Shirt collars are another target.
Weird changes do not seem to take hold, such as the leisure suit tried in the 70s or business suits with Bermuda shorts. But, the fashion industry, helped by media that live from their ads, keeps trying to entice men to be “bold” and “with it”, ie. spend money on stupid stuff.
I learned early in life that women dress to look good, while men dress to avoid looking stupid. That explains why subtle changes work best: guys are afraid of looking different from the pack, but also want to appear to be hip.
I try not to be a slave to the fashion industry, but when buying new clothes one must take what’s on offer. My closet is full of clothes with different widths. Sometimes I look in fashion and sometimes out-of-date. I don’t care...even if my wife and children criticize me.
After wandering around shopping malls in Dubai for the past few days, I am now up-to-date on the latest offer of all the major fashion designers.
The worst/dumbest designs are from Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham. Anyone foolish enough to spend the exorbitant amount demanded by these labels falls into the Emperor's-New-Clothes category. I do not know what people see in these "designers". You can add these two to the list of over-rated big names, like Sophie Coppela in films.
How absurd are distressed jeans for kids? (I believe that's the proper term. The pair below is for a mere 18-month member of the human race, purchased new. I needed months to get my clothe
My mother would have been angry at me for ruining my jeans (called dungarees in those days) and embarrassed to have her child loose on the streets in such a condition...which have become high fashion. (Not unlike the case of plastic sandal, which I first saw on dirty feet of women picking through trash at a city dump in Qui Nhon, Vietnam, and are now worn by the Beautiful People at such garden spots as St. Tropez, France). Of course, such garments were not permitted in schools, but even afternoon play required a certain level of decorum. I recall patches being ironed over the normal wear and tear in my pants’ knees caused by an active child. Only poor kids wore clothes with holes or fraying.
In my childhood, there were two brands of blue jeans (Lee and Levi) for two kinds of people (farmers, ie. Eastern US, and cowboys, ie. west of the Mississippi). Sales territories did not overlap (which I only learned later in life, when brands came to mean something). I do not recall children in the suburbs wearing blue jeans. My mother smuggled in a pair into Massachusetts for my brother and for me from Denver. Airport controls were less rigid. I cannot recall wearing them, but must have. Once they reached a distressed condition, such as in the above photo, I’m certain that my mother spirited them away to prevent me embarrassing her more than I usually did. She would be aghast at what her great grandchild wears in broad daylight and to kindergarten.
I’m not a fashion critic nor a fashion historian. My issue is with the production process. Slave labor in Third World countries is destroying the environment with stone washing and dying denim, so that infants can look like older people. There used to be distinct differences by age group. Now, everyone looks the same...or tries to. And, that costs money.
Have you noticed how weird women’s shoes are/have become? An increasing number of styles push form-over-function to an unimaginable extreme. I do not know how a woman can walk...or why they try.
I spent a significant amount of time accompanying my wife on shopping trips, either staring at window displays or inspecting/trying on items in-store. Shoe shops play a large role in any outing, and I spend a large amount of time being bored. A quick survey of all products gives me a good idea of latest trends, and then I move on to daydreaming. Shoe shops have the advantage that most offer somewhere to sit, something rare in a clothing shop.
On top of shop surveys, I cannot help but notice advertising for shoe brands or fashion brands, which often require models to wear weird shoes. Because I read Vanity Fair each month, merely flipping through the pages exposes me to the extremes that fashion goes...and goes.
I assume that the models are extremely talented, as are women that buy the advertised shoes. I could not take a single step or even remain upright without help in such a construction, not that I would ever try. My imagination works well enough and tells me that some forms of physical torture must be less-painful.
Stupid females are easier than usual to identify this summer. Stupidity is defined as the act of blindly following the latest fashion dictate, no matter how idiotic or uncomfortable.
Some jokester has decreed that women wear boots--the kind suitable for winter use--with a mini skirt of shorts. Besides looking ridiculous, the poor dears must have very hot and sweaty feet.
None seem to notice that temperatures approach 40 C/100 F (not an accurate conversion, but you get the idea). Being beautiful always has included suffering, so why should this summer be any different. These girls must sneer at the foolish women wearing sandals and be happy that their feet are hot.
Interesting and, perhaps, disturbing, but this book will change nothing.
Recently, I watched a program on Sicily. In my opinion, the only reason to visit this island is to view ruins (Greek, Roman, Norman, etc.). That is not something I will ever do, because seeing photographs is sufficient for me. I did learn one surprising fact, when the narrator visited the villa of a former Roman emperor. This “house” was built over 2000 years ago and boasts huge mosaics--perhaps the largest in captivity--depicting life at that time. The most interesting was a motif showing bathing women, not because it showed bathing women, but because of what they wore. I would have guessed that attire at that time might have been long robes or nothing. But, to my surprise, the women were clad in bikinis. I was under the misconception that this bit of fashion was “invented” in the 1950s or ‘60s. That just goes to show what a good publicity agent can do for a designer.
_ Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I simply do not want to hear or read about it. Why should I care what others think about some irrelevant subject?
Case in point: dresses worn to entertainment award ceremonies. I like the fact that women dress up, especially in a town where a track suit has become the favored uniform.
In scanning headlines, I noticed a piece in Time about Golden Globe Red Carpet fashion. On a whim, I clicked on the photos to see a selection and noticed how some idiot had selected the “best” and “worst”. Then, because my wife likes such programs and I wanted to keep her company (I can be nice like that!), I watched the E! repeat broadcast of arrivals to the ceremony. I enjoyed seeing the fashion, however hated the inane banter and foolish questions.
Not surprisingly, I did not agree with Time’s “expert” judgment on “worst”. I liked a few, although a few were dodgy. And, anyone can wear whatever they wish, as long as they feel comfortable physically or emotionally. Of course, many wear only what they are told to wear, but I won’t get into that subject. There is no reason for anyone else to have an opinion (beyond human nature). So, shut up...
_ I am not in the business of giving fashion advice, nor do I read much about fashion. (My fashion tastes are mired in a previous—I won’t mention which one—and my closet contains samples from several.) But, I do enjoy reading anything that Hadley writes. Since she writes about fashion for the Guardian, I read about what she has to say/write.
Below is the latest installment for Christmas, with the second part being applicable to both sexes and all ages. (I prefer sweat pants to pajamas).
_ When I was growing up, the greatest embarrassments for a woman/girl (as judged by comments heard from my mother) were,
Judging from what I observe at the gym and on the street, visible undergarment straps seem to be required and are a fashion statement.
I wonder what my mother would say about all this...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.