Archive for Rag Trade

Handy, but not in a good way

I’m hoping this is not a real product:

The Jerk Shirt from CamSoda

Gadgette explains:

The basic premise is that the shirt includes one fake arm, which disguises the fact that your real arm is under the fabric of the shirt, getting jiggy. Thankfully, the part of the shirt that might come into contact with your “manhood” (if you can still call it that after using this) is splash-proof and wipe-clean. Hooray!

I believe I speak for everyone here when I say “Ewwww.”

The, um, promotional video has about 400,000 views already.

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The name is killing me

But this was a thing in 1947, a thing a guy might not be shown:

Suspants by Blue Swan

Note the “Junior Miss Sizes”: 9 through 17.

Blue Swan Mills operated out of Sayre, Pennsylvania, hard by the New York State border; among other distinctions, Sayre has a newspaper called the Morning Times, which used to be called the Evening Times.

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Sweet and simple

In an era of Rampant Overdecoration, I have to appreciate something like “Amanda” here:

Amanda pump from Shoesinitaly

That heel is 4.1 inches. And there are three non-black colors, should you prefer.

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This much and no lower

Meanwhile in London, they worry over whether you’re wearing shoes of the correct height:

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. The British naturist Lady God1va, from whom I got this report, doesn’t think much of the petition:

After noting that it would be just about as useless to petition for nudity on the job, she added:

I can manage only so much empathy here: I can remember exactly one instance of a woman wearing heels to work on any day after her first, and I remember that only because — well, never mind.

In the meantime, this is the petition in question.

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Taking no chances

I have to admit, I wouldn’t have thought of this as a precautionary measure, but it makes a certain amount of sense:

I wasn’t sure which size to go for with these Valentino Rockstud City Sandals as I’m a 40 in the heels in patent leather, but I know with sandals you always need to size down if there’s an open back and an open toe. I ordered both the 39.5 and the 39 on my credit card and I kept the 39. The 39.5 did fit me, but there was too much gapping at the toe area and the straps weren’t as tight, so they were definitely too big. I recommend you size down if you are buying these as they need to fit securely and will probably stretch a bit from the heat during the hot months.

A 40 on the Continent is about a 9½ in the States, so she ended up with what we would call an 8½. (I’m not about to compare our “hot months” with theirs.)

And I did not know about downsizing for sandals. Maybe it’s something specific to women’s shoes; me, I tend to be grateful for anything that comes close to fitting.

There’s just one potential hangup with this procedure: these shoes were priced at £650 — $940 a pair. Charging two pairs might be beyond some people’s credit lines.

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Put it on your Bucket List

I mean, they still sell KFC by the bucket, don’t they?

There’s a precedent for beauty products inspired by fast food: Last year Burger King Japan released a cologne designed to smell like flame-grilled beef patties. But the new effort from KFC in Hong Kong is arguably more bizarre.

Working with Ogilvy & Mather, KFC launched two edible nail polishes with flavors based on the brand’s best-loved recipes: Original and Hot & Spicy.

As Ogilvy explains in a release: “To use, consumers simply apply and dry like regular nail polish, and then lick — again and again and again.”

And KFC certainly can’t object to your finger-lickin’, can they?

Still, I have to wonder if this sort of thing is making Colonel Sanders rotate at faster-than-rotisserie speeds.

(Via Vandana Puranik.)

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It’s not rocket science

And, well, Dolly Singh is not actually a rocket scientist, though she did work at Elon Musk’s SpaceX for five years as Head of Talent Acquisition, which tells me that she’d know a rocket scientist if she saw one. So I take this quote seriously:

To me, when you’re surrounded by some of the smartest people on the planet, building some of the biggest and most badass machines on this world, the idea that my shoes are such crap became really obnoxiously unbearable.

Women, in case you hadn’t noticed, do have a tendency to take shoes seriously.

Dolly Singh explains it all

Dolly Singh poses on a wing

So Dolly Singh vowed to create some shoes that were not crap. After leaving SpaceX, she did a stint at Oculus VR, the virtual-reality outfit, since acquired by Facebook, before striking out on her own with Thesis Couture. From their current lookbook:

Our mission is to decouple beauty and pain, and show just how sexy smart can be.

Sleek, sophisticated curves on the outside, cutting edge technology on the inside.

A prototype, with the Thesis-designed underpinnings:

Prototype Thesis Couture shoe

“Our patented design,” says Thesis, “is engineered to redistribute load, minimize impact shock, and reduce fatigue.”

Which you have to figure would be the priorities for a woman who is going to wear heels No Matter What.

Dolly Singh not saving lives

The shoes aren’t on sale yet, and they’ll be pricey when they are. But such is the way of technological advance.

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Look what just blew in

A pleasantly pointy pump from Nine West:

Tornaydo pump by Nine West

This shoe is called, um, “Tornaydo,” and here’s the pitch:

Keep your look classic in our Tornaydo pointy toe pumps. It’s an ideal choice for the office or the perfect evening go-to because it complements so many fashion choices. Ultra thin T-strap detail. Adjustable ankle strap closure.

Always did have a thing for the T-strap. (No, I have no idea why.) Heel height is 4.25 inches. Nine West is asking $89; there are a couple of solid-color versions as well.

(Via Fevrie.)

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Pedi concerns

When I was a lad, the very word “pedicure” seemed a mystery to me: women spend actual money on such things? Today, of course, there’s a nail salon or two on every other block, so it may simply be that the time for this product has passed:

Really want to accessorise your sandals with a snazzy pedicure, but just cannot be bothered? These tights were invented for you.

Hosiery with painted-on toenails

I suppose the effect might work if your toes happen to match up with the factory measurements. And I concede that it’s more pleasant than the Dragon Lady scheme, in which the nail can’t possibly be enclosed in any fabric, but then most things are.

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Hence the name “duds”

In this society, we don’t have uniforms — except, of course, for the fact that we do:

In all seriousness, there are only so many ways that someone can dress. Ninety percent of the people I see while eating lunch downtown are wearing the same unhappy combination of Third-World-sewn business casual clothing and square-toed, unpolished black shoes.

Yeah, that’s me when I’m downtown, lunch or otherwise.

Ninety percent of the people I used to play golf with as a kid wore the same outfit.

Ninety percent of the road cyclists out there dress like Lance Armstrong to maintain a rolling average of 12.3mph.

It’s hard enough for people to stand out; it’s more so when they think there’s a competitive advantage to not standing out.


It followed me home

Debra Monroe, Professor of English at the University of Texas at San Marcos, is a Facebook friend in an unexpected manner: she appreciated the reception I gave to her memoir My Unsentimental Education. Now it’s hardly unexpected for a woman on Facebook, even one with serious intellectual heft, to comment on her new shoes, and I, being, well, me, duly said something about them, with a consequence I should have expected: Amazon, having apparently heard from Facebook that I had said something about this shoe, sent me an actual email offering to sell me a pair of my own, and probably will bother me about them for several weeks.

Anyway, this is “Carissa” from Miz Mooz:

Carissa by Miz Mooz

“They make me euphoric,” said Professor Monroe.

“Who puts a price tag on euphoria?” I replied. “Not me, not ever.”

The current Amazon price depends on color and size: might be $82, might be $140. That heel, 2.75 inches high, is described as, um, “moderate.”

I told a friend at lunch that I didn’t know what I’d do if anyone actually started sending me shoes for review. She smiled and said “I wear a 7 wide.”


Vaguely mature

Cristina up in Toronto has been going off about “grandma shoes,” and she’s evidently serious enough to call them “fuddy-duddy-esque.” Some, she conceded, might be wearable, but the others, not so much. I weighed in with faint praise for this Aquazzura shoe, from the more-wearable group, though I was forced to admit: “I can’t envision it, though, on any of the grannies I know.” Then again, I know few grannies who can pony up high-triple-digit sums for a pair of shoes, even these shoes:

Alexa by Aquazzura

I think it’s that feeble-looking strappage that makes “Alexa” here look unreasonably jaunty.

Oddly enough, the same day I came up with that response to Cristina, I got a shoefie dropped into my timeline, yet another Aquazzura shoe:

Wild Thing by Aquazzura

Presumably this one, tagged “Wild Thing,” will not appeal to your grandma. But I could be wrong: actually wearing those shoes in this picture is former Homeland Security Advisor (2004-07) and occasional CNN contributor Frances Townsend, who at sixty is probably old enough to be a grandma, but isn’t one.

Should you wish to own either of these two styles, you will get some insignificant change back from a $700 bill — if you live somewhere where there’s no sales tax, anyway.


Hang them on the fridge

Not often do I see a dismissal of a new shoe quite this absolute:

Mabu by Maria BKLet’s take a closer look, shall we? Please note that this particular style is EXCLUSIVE AT NET-A-PORTER.COM.

Each pair of Mabu by Maria BK’s sandals is unique and has been made by hand in Greece. This sand leather style winds high up your calf and is woven with playful pompoms, glossy beads and coins. They’re reinforced at the sides with geometric embroidered canvas straps.

The price, $200, does not (to me anyway) seem inordinately high, unless you’re inclined to price these things by the pound; it does seem awfully insubstantial, even compared to my standards for inchoateness. I said something about “a six-year-old playing gladiator,” which brought this response: “It does look like a 1st grade art project gone awry.”

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They don’t look fast

Lee Ann — you remember Lee Ann, don’t you? — sent me a link to these, presumably because she thought I’d hurl:

MLP Rainbow Shoes

The source of this image assures us that they have “no clue where this picture came from.” And I wonder how old it is, since that’s clearly a Generation Three Rainbow Dash, who wasn’t particularly fast; for that matter, she wasn’t even a pegasus in G3.

And pulling the fabric over the back of the heel like that? What’s that all about?

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You can look, but you better not touch

New York-based designer Monika Chiang has said that she only creates clothing that she would wear herself, and judging by her Instagram, I figure that (1) she’s not wearing these at the moment but (2) she almost certainly would, given an appropriate ensemble.

Model wearing Monika Chiang Barros sandals

“Barros” is not really barbed wire, of course:

This “barbed wire” lace thong sandal is carefully hand crafted with soft tan leather and fine burnished brass chains that effortlessly tie-up the leg. The “barbed wire” laces are entirely made out of leather and are soft to the touch. Gold zip along the back makes for easy fastening and removing. The 15mm inset heel is the perfect height for when you want to give your feet a break from your heels. Wear with a long flowing skirt or with shorts.

Still, it’s darn near impossible not to look at. Is that worth $575 to you?

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Lesson from antiquity

It’s been just about four years since the last time we got around to “Should you wear socks with sandals?” Apparently there is historical evidence to consider:

The oldest socks that have been discovered date to between 250 and 420 CE and feature split toes — meaning they were likely worn with sandals. Researchers found a red pair of woolen ancient slip-ons near the Nile River in Egypt, at the site of a long-gone Greek colony. What sets these ancient socks apart though is their knit-like construction, from a technique called nålbindning that predated knitting. Nålbindning used only one needle (instead of two) and took much longer than modern knitting.

I was curious enough about this technique to go hunting, and there are lots of videos on the subject. Here’s a short one:

Looks, um, tedious.

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Welcome to New York, sort of

Popsugar writer (and Taylor Swift fan) Samantha Sutton had a brainstorm the other day:

[A]nother thing I admire about this leader of the fiercest girl group ever? Her ability to pull off a plethora of different styles, from cutout jumpsuits to feminine day dresses.

So when I realized that my own wardrobe was filled with similar pieces, I put myself to the test. Would I be able to re-create a few of Ms. Swift’s best looks on my own 5’0″ body then rock them for a week? Well, I tried my best and later snapped some photos in Taylor’s TriBeCa ‘hood in New York for the full effect.

The striped shirt/black shorts look worked pretty well for her, I thought, though this was the most immediate feedback she got:

If there was ever an outfit that screamed Taylor Swift, it would be a black pair of overalls and a white crop top — because that’s exactly what happened when I stepped out wearing them. A random guy on the street jokingly yelled her name at me, which made me blush — and also beam with pride.

Then again, random guys on the street in New York might not always be joking.


Down at the heels

It’s probably a safe bet that we are never, ever going out together. If we did, I would of course take a look at your shoes, but otherwise they play no role other than transportation appliance and/or cultural artifact.

There are, inevitably, people with more prurient interests in that realm, and Cristina, who writes a shoe blog, is weary of them:

I have some amazingly engaged & supportive followers on Twitter that possibly sway towards a quasi-unwholesome shoe loving direction. But they know where to draw the line when it comes to my PG-13 rated shoe blog talking about shoes within the context of fashion, not fetish. The others get blocked.

I did leave her this comment:

On the subject of pervs, I sympathize: in at least some of the circles in which I operate, the mere fact that I can distinguish between styles invites suspicion. (“Why would you even know that?”)

Then again, I’ve been hit with that question so many times that I’ve had to resort to “Why would I not?” as a response.


The sound of (relative) silence

The pitch for these boots: not only do they come in three lengths — in the same boot! — but they’re a whole lot less noisy. To illustrate, a video that’s occasionally a bit loud:

There’s a complete text review to be had, but absent, say, a table full of SPL data in decibels, the video does a better job of demonstrating the comparative quiet.


A certain uniformity

At the National Tornado Summit here in the Big Breezy, the Standard Female Weather Person Dress was very much in evidence:

Of course, it is never, ever green, for obvious reasons.

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Somehow this never caught on

In 1986, reports the Pergelator, Veruschka “collaborated on Veruschka: Transfigurations, a book about body paint.” It wasn’t by any means her first time making the pigment sing: there’s an old Playboy pictorial (1970s) in which she has a zipper painted on her forehead, and subsequent pages show the results of, um, unzipping.

Body paint has never really gone away. In 1999 Sports Illustrated got the idea of painted, as distinct from actual fabric, swimsuits, as on the lovely Rebecca Romijn here:

Rebecca Romijn in a painted-on swimsuit

Truth be told, this didn’t impress me as much as a later spread in the very same issue, with a more conventional suit — which she wasn’t wearing at all, but merely admiring it while it hung from a clothesline. Or would have been admiring, had she even looked at it.

Still, if body paint has never gone away, it’s never been front and center in the American mindset either. Coty once tried to sell it at drugstore prices:

Advertisement for body paint by Coty

I suspect that the idea of a paint roller used in this manner put off rather a lot of women who might otherwise have taken to the idea. Today, of course, we have sprays, with all the disadvantages sprays have always had.

(Any external links here are best considered NSFW.)

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Good against remotes

I’m sure I need not explain this:

At the very least, she’ll no longer be a little short for a stormtrooper.


In a size Flat Six

Last fall, I bought two pairs (from separate sources) of the New Balance 928, a decent walking shoe in a nice unshiny black, and I admit up front that I didn’t make the mental connection with Porsche’s unholy (in the heretical sense) 928. Then again, I am not Jack Baruth:

The New Balance 993 isn’t just named after the greatest Porsche road car of all time — actually, it isn’t really named after the greatest Porsche road car of all time — it’s also one of the best casual shoes money can buy. It’s made in the United States.

And dammit, it was on sale yesterday.

Disclosure: I retired two pairs of 925s in favor of the 928s; I still have a pair of 1122s and, for periods when only a truly trashed shoe will do, a pair of 587s. None of those other models have any automotive significance, so far as I know.

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Physics wins again

Take a look at this shoe:

Dual-heeled shoe by Christopher Coy Dixon

Yep. You were right, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be:

This week, [Christopher Coy] Dixon is debuting the Christopher Coy Collection, his first original line of high-end high heels designed to be super-sleek while also being easy on the feet. The first thing you’ll notice about the shoes is their heel — er, heels. There are two of them on each shoe. That extra point of contact between ankle and cement actually makes the shoes easier to walk in by improving weight distribution and taking some of the pressure off the arch of the foot. As Dixon explains, “When you have one heel, when you walk, the heel shakes. We wanted to add more stability.” The rest of the shoe is designed for comfort as well. The midsole is filled with shock-absorbent material and memory foam, the same kind you’d find in a comfortable sneaker. On the inside, the shoes are lined with calfskin leather.

This style is called “Lacey”; there are half a dozen more.

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The pony you wanted to be

Let’s imagine, for example, that it was Rarity:

Rarity kimono dress by Darling Army

Also offered, once production resumes: Derpy, Celestia, Luna, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and perhaps Fluttershy, generally in the $150-175 range. My inner 9-year-old girl is in Full Squee.

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Out from behind the desk

Earlier this month, a brief (1:15) video surfaced, featuring Tulsa news reporter Lori Fullbright mostly from here down, and scores of shoes she’s worn over her many years in T-Town media. The Lost Ogle happened upon it, and, as TLO will do, made fun of it. And it was, I think, a bit on the silly side.

The video, posted to Vimeo, was gone by the following morning, but its deletion apparently wasn’t because TLO had made anyone uncomfortable. Fullbright herself sent a note to the site:

Just so you know, News on 6 did not create or release that shoe video as a promotional tool.

I was asked to emcee the Pinnacle Awards/Women of the Year banquet and those putting on the event, the YWCA Tulsa and the Mayor’s Commission on the status of Women, asked me to create a fun video that was light hearted to show at the event. They suggested something to do with the shoes I wear and sometimes post, as a break from all the serious, tragic and heartbreaking news I cover on a daily basis on the crime beat. Our team created that video at the request of those agencies to show at their fundraising event, which it did, last Friday night. It was not something that aired on News on 6 or was put out there to market me to a larger audience in any way. I take my role as a journalist seriously and believe my reputation for excellence, fighting for victims and teaching people how to stay safe from crime speaks for itself.

“Light hearted?” Were it any lighter, it would be approaching escape velocity.

That said, there is precedent for this sort of thing. Jeanine Pirro, host of Judge Jeanine on Fox News, often posts shoefies to Twitter and Instagram before the show airs, and I suspect she has a higher wardrobe budget than anyone on Tulsa television.

And that said, whoever picks out Fullbright’s shoes is at least charmingly eccentric, though I did actually like these, courtesy of that now-deleted video:

Lori Fullbright's metallic T-strap sandals

The delta between these shoes and “wretched excess” is vanishingly small, but this is one of those cases in which I don’t care.

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Take the M-Train

Meghan Trainor print ad for Skechers shoesJust when I might have thought that Meghan Trainor — aw, come on, you remember her — had reached the end of her Warhol-approved fifteen minutes, she shows up in a shoe ad in the current issue (March ’16) of InStyle, and presumably elsewhere. Just Jared Jr. (well, she’s only 22, and her target audience might not be that old) quotes a statement presumably from her management:

“I’m very excited to work with Skechers! I’m proud to get behind a company that celebrates style and being true to yourself! The shoes are SO comfortable and stylish too. I know my fans will love this campaign.”

Still: “comfy & adorzies”?

In that same issue of InStyle, there’s a beauty how-to on foundation makeup, which inevitably is titled “All About That Base.” I really should have seen that coming.

(Oh, in case you were wondering, she wears a size 9. Or so I’m told.)


She’s such a girl

Sometimes Rebecca Black shops, and she will show you what she bought:

I got curious about that neutral-colored shoe, the one her mom picked out for her, and went looking for it:

Flat oxford from Zara with rippled sole

In sand color, $89.90 from Zara. Not especially pricey, but perhaps tall for what is nominally a flat. And, as she says, “I already know some of you guys are going to hate these, but I really don’t care.”

(I was listening to this in the editing stage, which may explain the first line.)

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What the well-dressed hooves are wearing

Found by Fillyjonk on Polyvore, and contemplated by yours truly for entirely too long:

My Little Pony peep-toe pump


Headed to Equestria, dames? A darling pair of My Little Pony platform pumps, these vegan heels are fashioned in a charming cosmic celestial motif, boasting a peep toe, sleek 4.75 inch heel, 1 inch hidden platform and PU rubber outsole. Let your imagination run wild!

Unique Vintage has these very shoes for $64, or however much that is in bits.

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Remaining decent

Lynn reports on an online petition:

Fifteen-year-old Cassy James has started a petition requesting that American Eagle Outfitters, Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21 start selling “modest, but fashionable clothing.” I really wish I could speak to and be heard by this young lady and others like her. Of course, even if I could she wouldn’t listen. I’m “too old”; I just “don’t get it.” But I have things to say and I have a blog and I’m calling on my three readers to make this go viral.

Inasmuch as I now have a teenaged granddaughter, I am happy to endorse this effort.

Also, last week someone uploaded a class picture from the distant past, which included somebody I was once horribly in love with. She’d have understood this, even then.

And Lynn makes a sensible suggestion:

When you know what you want you need to start voting with your purse. Do you really have to shop at the three stores you mentioned? You say they are your favorite stores but why is that if they don’t have what you want? Look around. Try other stores. Try Amazon. You can find anything on Amazon. Also, you can improve clothes by the way you accessorize. If a garment is “too old looking” for you add some young jewelry. If a shirt or dress is too low cut add a scarf. If a shirt is too tight just buy the next larger size. That’s the easiest problem of all to solve.

Yea, verily.

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