Archive for Rag Trade

A cupful of misery

First, an informal statistic:

34B is one of the most popular bra sizes in the country. “That size is always the first to sell out,” the Aerie saleswoman said as she checked for the size among the dozen or so lightly lined options in the store — the only ones left were in beige and black. “I swear, half the people who come in here say they are a 34B,” said a saleswoman at Victoria’s Secret, “and they buy that size whether it fits or not.”

A subsequent test with nine women reporting themselves to be 34Bs suggests that “not” is the most common result:

Some of the women had been professionally sized previously. Some had not. Some were wearing bras that were only a few months old, while others had been wearing the same bra for years, despite the fact that most bras lose their elasticity after six months to a year of regular wear. No one fit every bra. Some people didn’t really fit any of the bras. Bra sizing is so weird.

And that’s just one size. Imagine how complicated this gets when you get beyond 34B.

Comments (4)

Gumming up the works

When I saw these posted, I left the following comment:

With that color and that much height, you put these on and you look like you have three kilograms of Already Been Chewed Dubble Bubble stuck to your soles. Somebody might look good in that, but nobody I know.

Here’s where we find out if I know you:

Nightcall shoes by Zooloo

Says Cristina, who posted about it:

In my old-er age, I’m going to presume that this is something only the raver kids would wear? (I mean, ravers still exist, right?) or possibly to add some flair to a Robot Barbie halloween costume?! I love pink shoes, I really do, but when it comes to a sandal that looks a little like a TEVA on crack, I have no say #thanksbutnothanks. I have a way of mentally sifting through the hideous & the trendy by visualizing whether a particular shoe, such as this Pink Panther-pink ridiculousness would jive on the concrete runways of say, Milan, London or New York. This style would definitely not.

In New York, anyway, you can find stuff this color stuck to the concrete on just about any sidewalk. And I strongly suspect it loses its flavor at the bedside overnight.

Zooloo calls this “Nightcall” and sells it for $112 — if you wear a size 8. (They seem to be out of stock on other sizes at the moment.) If you don’t, thank your lucky stars.


Not exactly kinky boots

Cyndi Lauper has introduced a shoe line, and it’s not because girls want to have funds, either:

Lauper has been a staunch supporter of LGBT rights, becoming a fixture at gay pride events and raising money through charity work. Now, she’s parlaying her unwavering belief in equality into something tangible with the launch of her shoe collection with Make a Difference Everyday, an organization dedicated to creating products with a purpose.

The three-piece line, priced between $65 and $75, includes a denim hi-top sneaker, a leopard print slip-on sneaker, and a men’s white hi-top sneaker. “Each style was designed to be worn in all kinds of situations,” Lauper told InStyle. Proceeds from sales benefit the True Colors Fund, her foundation which works to end homelessness among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth across the country.

The shoes themselves are not particularly wild-looking, but perhaps that’s the whole point: sometimes you have to blend in a little.

Comments (3)

It never really went away

InStyle proclaims with a straight face:

The sleeper shoe of the season comes from a quite traditional source: Chanel. Originally designed by Gabrielle Chanel in 1957, it was the only footwear option shown on the house’s mega runway last March. Though it boasts the heritage cap-toe, its modest heel and seductive cutouts were remixed by none other than Karl Lagerfeld. It is precisely the opposite of Instagram click-bait, which makes it all the more covetable.

I’ll bet it didn’t cost $800 a pair back in 1957. Still, it’s worth icon points, as classic Chanel lines always are.

Chanel Slingback shoe rebooted for 2015-6

Chanel has put together a series of short films — none as long as a minute — which feature the Slingback. My favorite was this one:

You do want to take care of your shoes, especially your $800 shoes.


How could I leave this behind?

Hmmm. I suppose I should check this out:

Natasha Wagner has a secret weapon … it’s her butt. For fourteen years this anatomically-gifted woman has been trying on jeans for designers, and getting paid for it.

Natasha is thought to have the best butt in the world because of its “ideal blend of curves and flat”. Because of her curvy-flat butt, designers can see if a pair of jeans will look good on everyone. She’s been the butt stand-in for all kinds of brands, too, including Levi’s, Paige Denim, 7 For All Mankind, and Citizens of Humanity.

Upside: She’s got to be at least 30.

Still, I don’t quite comprehend how jeans that will look great on Ms Wagner will look great on someone with a non-perfect butt — or, for that matter, with no butt at all.

(Title from track 7 of This Is Spinal Tap.)

Comments (3)

Beyond mere timepieces

You say “wearable technology,” and people think you’re talking about either (1) a watch or (2) some weirdly designed dress riven with circuitry. This time, or at least one out of two times this time, it’s different:

Chromat’s new line includes two garments powered by Intel Curie, an incredibly small low-power chip that’s the perfect base for responsive wearables. These garments are a 3D-printed dress that structurally reacts to a rise in your adrenaline levels, and a new sports bra that responds to changes in breathing, perspiration and body temperature by opening vents to keep you cool.

I’m ever-so-slightly put off by a dress controlled by adrenaline, but the sports bra sounds actually useful:

The sports bra, full title Chromat Aeros Sports Bra, is made from Lycra, neoprene, mesh, and a 3D-printed carbon-fiber frame. It will open vents to cool down your body when it senses increased levels of heat and sweat, allowing you to exercise harder for longer periods of time. So long boob sweat, you shall not be missed!

Price goes unstated for now, as it probably should, but I can’t imagine that there will be only one of these on the market for too awfully long.


Slightly less nude

We are fans of Stuart Weitzman’s deliciously insubstantial “Nudist” shoes, though admittedly we’re not likely to see them often in the circles in which we usually travel. This year there’s a variation on the theme with the name “Nudistsong”, sporting a couple new colors and a slightly lower heel (3¾ inches).

Nudistsong by Stuart Weitzman

The price is not even slightly lower, at $398. If you want this look but want to hold on to more of your hard-earned cash, listen up to Cristina:

Although there have been a vast array of less expensive “nudist” copycats around, the knock-off sandal style that comes the absolute closest to Weitzman’s more expensive version, is Steve Madden’s “Stecy”. Not surprising, really, as Madden could easily be crowned King of designer shoe knock-offs (well, maybe? possibly? second to Jeffrey Campbell?). The Madden brand is really, really good at their unrelentless copying (see its take on Brian Atwood here!), which is more than evident with the outcome of the “Stecy”. Online reviews of Madden’s $80, more affordable shoe version have been mixed, as it seems to fit a slimmer foot & ankle, which from what I understand is a close fit to the actual Nudist itself.

Differences? She found a few, and really not too few to mention:

[T]he Madden version has a slightly lower heel & padded insole (which can be considered added value, allowing for greater comfort!). It has a synthetic lining & outsole vs. leather ones. The toe strap is slightly thicker. But all in all, it’s an aesthetically pleasing duplicate & if the fit of the shoe works well for your foot, it’s definitely a bargain at 1/5 of Weitzman’s original. Definitely a great look for less! Unless, of course, you’ve seen The Wolf of Wall Street & have a developed a deep-seeded issue with Madden’s shady past.

My seeds are shallow as can be.

Comments (4)

I don’t know, I’ve never Shepled

Sheplers is being merged out of existence:

A 116-year-old name in retail and one of the oldest continuously operating western wear brands, is going away this fall.

Sheplers stores are being rebranded as Boot Barn and the changeover is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving, said Boot Barn vice president Jayme Maxwell.

Irvine, Calif.-based Boot Barn purchased Wichita, Kansas-based Sheplers in June for $147 million to create the largest western wear retailer in the U.S.

How large would “largest” be?

Before the companies merged, Boot Barn had 152 stores in 23 states. Sheplers, a chain of 25 stores in 10 states with a healthy e-commerce business, had sales of $157 million in its last year, including $66 million online. Together the two chains represent more than $550 million in annual sales.

Sheplers dates back to 1899, kinda sorta: J. W. Gibson’s Harness Shop, founded in Wichita back then, was subsequently acquired by Harry L. Shepler (1914-1976), who put his own name over the door.

Comments (1)

Being past Labor Day and all

Cristina’s is quickly turning into a favorite in these parts: she calls ’em the way she sees ’em, and if it’s worth wearing, she’ll put it on for you so you can see how it looks. (At best, I can do one of the above.) And she has a touch of the iconoclast to her as well, given her current post on what shoes to wear with a white dress. There are styles to consider, shades that work, and, yes, three colors that just don’t work: white (“it may make your outfit look rather bridal”), yellow (not enough contrast), and very pale pastels (unless they match your skin tone).

I first started paying attention to Cristina about the time she decided that some pictures of your shoes for social-media consumption were “shoefies,” and others were not. (These fine judgment calls, after all, are what blogging is all about.) Briefly, a shoefie (1) is taken by you (2) of the shoes you are wearing at that moment: if someone else takes the picture, or you’re not actually wearing the shoes, it’s not a shoefie no matter how many hashtags you slap onto it.

Comments (2)

Excessive archness

I have two pairs of New Balance 925s, classic black walking shoes with hook-and-loop strap fasteners (think Velcro) in place of laces, although a lace-up version was sold under the same number. Both are worn beyond usability, so I threaded my way up to the nearest New Balance store, in deepest Edmond. As I entered, a woman approached, and I’m pretty sure the first thing she did was check to see if I was wearing NBs. (I was: 1122s.) I explained my situation: the shoes I was wearing were 14 double-E and just a hair pinchy, if you will, so I’m thinking I may need a 4E or wider. Sensibly, she brought out the legendary Brannock device, and the measuring began.

She looked perplexed. “Based on toe position, you should be wearing a 12 or 13.” Okay, if you say so. She hurried off to the stacks and returned with a 928 (replacement for 925) in 13 4E. It fit, kinda sorta, but the straps wouldn’t reach more than halfway across. “Ridiculously high arch,” I said, because, well, it is.

So the stage was set: 14 6E. Except that they’re backordered until — “Officially, it says here the fifth of October. I think it will be more like the end of October.” So be it. They are on order. I may try to gank one from Amazon or Zappos in the interim, because I’d just as soon have two pairs. The price on the 928 has risen a bit from what I paid for the 925s, but so what else is new? (There is also a women’s 928, at the same price: $134.99.)

Comments (1)

Saks full

The famed New York store (which has a branch in Tulsa) sent this up Monday evening:

This is not your run-of-the-mill gladiator sandal by any means. I duly went to the Web storefront, and found:

Undulating swirls of crystal climb this dazzling knee-high sandal in a glamorous spin on the gladiator silhouette.

Depends on how high your knee is, I suppose. The, um, superstructure is 24.75 inches tall, sitting on a 4.13-inch heel. The straps — those are straps? — are adjustable. The price, at three grand, presumably is not.

Comments (2)

Hideosity afoot

We may or may not have had this discussion before:

“Peep toes are a bit of an issue to get just right. Open it too much & make it too shallow and it looks odd. Make the gap too small and it, well, looks like this.”

Open-toe pump by Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2015So says Cristina of ShoeTease in her roundup of “The Ugliest Shoes from the Fall 2015 Runways,” referring to this particular Narciso Rodriguez number as the “one eyed shoe monster.” The gap here is apparently suited only to women with an enormous big toe, wide enough to fit that particular hole, and the others basically too insignificant to notice: think Rihanna or Taylor Swift or Zooey Deschanel. Not that I can imagine any of them actually wearing this. (Well, maybe Rihanna: she’s kind of experimental these days.) Someone with a distinctly longer second toe — I’m looking at you, Reese Witherspoon — shouldn’t even be in the same room as this shoe.

That said, this wasn’t even close to the worst shoe in the list, so you really should Read The Whole Thing. (And the picture she snagged does justice to the “monster” description.)


This dress is not for you

To say that the classic Hervé Léger bandage dress is form-fitting is to say that summer is warmer than winter: it’s beneath even Captain Obvious to mention. (If you’ve forgotten what they look like, it’s something like this.) That said, it’s still possible to shoot off one’s mouth about such things:

Some people just aren’t very nice. They try — oh God, they try — but sooner or later, the mask always slips. I’m not saying people who work at the luxury end of the fashion industry are any meaner than those who work in other professions, but I am saying they’re more blinkered. Over-paid, over-indulged and over-protected, some lost touch with reality a very long time ago.

Pity poor Patrick Couderc, brought back to reality with a jolt via that classic, tried-and-tested means of a P45. The former UK managing director of MJH Fashion, the London-based licensee of the Hervé Léger brand, was dismissed after telling a Sunday newspaper that “voluptuous” women and women with “very prominent hips and a very flat chest” should avoid the bandage-style dresses for which Hervé Léger is most famous. Then, after complaining that the style had become popular with reality TV stars (admitting he “refuses to give free dresses to celebrities if they are judged to lack sufficient class”), he topped off his body-shaming snobbery with a final dig at lesbians. “If you’re a committed lesbian and you are wearing trousers all your life, you won’t want to buy a Léger dress. Lesbians would want to be rather butch and leisurely.”

This latter, of course, runs afoul of the First Rule of Holes: “Stop digging.”

The corner office, of course, disavowed the entire exchange:

Parent company BCBGMAXAZRIA Group says it is “shocked and appalled” by Couderc’s comments: “The brand celebrates sensuality, glamour and femininity without discrimination.”

But that doesn’t mean they’re making a dress for you:

I don’t know which is sadder: that the people in charge of these companies feel this way, or that we, the customers, are so completely unsurprised. “A fashion designer who’s openly misogynistic and has no regard for any woman not built like a 2×4? What a shock,” was one typical comment on the internet, in response to Couderc’s comments. But then, as anyone who’s a size 18 or big-breasted or big-bottomed will attest, high-end designers have been practising body discrimination for aeons. It’s why they don’t stock clothing in your size.

And this outburst by Couderc is not likely to make them start, either.

Comments (3)

Nothing of glass, probably

Our New Jersey friend Cripes Suzette spotted this while visiting Orange County, California:

Cinderella of Boston

Of course, I had to follow up:

For over 70 years we have been the leader in women’s petite fashion footwear. Sizes range from 2 to 5½ Medium or Wide and are specially crafted for a woman’s foot. Regardless of your age or lifestyle, you will find styles to fit your fashion needs. Casual to sophisticated, low heel to high heel, Cinderella of Boston has a shoe to satisfy all your petite footwear needs.

Many years ago, I had a girlfriend who wore a 4, maybe 4½. I think she’d have liked some of these. (I saw her in flats maybe twice.)

Comments (1)

Forever 21st

Actually, Australian model Madeline Stuart is only 18, but 21 is the number that rules her life: she has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This is Down syndrome, and as a general rule, women with Down syndrome don’t walk the fashion runways.

Until now:

The fashion industry is often criticized for lacking diversity on runways and in fashion campaigns. But, after years of fighting for equal representation of every type of woman, new headway is being made. This year, Madeline Stuart, the Australian modeling sensation with Down Syndrome, will walk the runway during New York Fashion Week.

Serving as an inspiration to many around the globe, the 18-year-old is on a mission to change the way people think about those with disabilities. According to her website, Stuart sees Down Syndrome as “a blessing” and “something to be celebrated.”

“People will stare,” Harry Winston once said. “Make it worth their while.” Stuart has set this as one of two quotations on the front page of that site.

Madeline Stuart in florals

Madeline Stuart in florals

And you know, just seeing a runway model not scowling is something of a delight.

Comments (2)

Paparazzo 101

One of the first things they teach you at Pesky Photographer School, I suspect, is candid shots taken at a time when the subject is actually busy doing something. This explains why we see Kylie Jenner — and happy 18th to you, K — fueling up in deepest, darkest Studio City:

Kylie Jenner fuels up her Mercedes-Benz G63

Wait a minute. What the heck is that she’s driving?

Kylie Jenner fuels up her Mercedes-Benz G63

Because, of course, one needs something like a Geländewagen to negotiate the tough terrain of the San Fernando Valley.

And haven’t I seen those shoes before? Let’s see:

Kylie Jenner in Stuart Weitzman Nudist shoes

Yep. This is Stuart Weitzman’s “Nudist” sandal in black. As shoes worn by this clan tend toward the ridiculously ornate, I’m sort of happy to see something simple — and, at under $400, not overly pricey, except perhaps by the pound — on the youngest of the crew.

Comments (1)

In search of a deal

Having recently escaped the chains of utter penury, which left most of my workwear too close to threadbare for comfort, I wandered into a DXL store Saturday to pick up a couple of T-shirts. The pricing is astute: one of them will run you a stiff $30, but if you buy at least two, the tab for each drops to $19.99. I wound up buying five, and as it happens, this was the Sales Tax Holiday weekend, so the entire tab came to a not-especially-stiff $99.95.

Now you might wonder how anyone could pay $20 for a T-shirt and not flinch. Believe me, when the alternative is $30, $20 looks pretty good. And the best deal currently being offered in my size by the leading catalog vendor catering to such is $24 in quantities of five. (That size, you should know, is 4XL; it used to be 4XLT, but I no longer need the extra two inches of length to pull down over my newly shrunken gut, six inches smaller than it used to be.)


No judge of length

Most people, upon hearing what I do for a living, assume I sit in a cubicle all day. Not so. I have no cubicle, and I stand a hell of a lot. When last week my feet started complaining more loudly than usual, I dug into the closet and brought out my old but still new-looking New Balance 1122s, which are loud and clunky — which explains why they were far back in the closet — and contain an actual roll bar, useful for those of us with a tendency to pronate.

They’re also white, with trim bits in a couple shades of grey, and as any debutante can tell you, white shoes make your feet look bigger, especially after you’ve been wearing black ones for a while. “Geez,” said I. “Caitlyn freaking Jenner doesn’t have clodhoppers this big.”

I stewed over that for a while, then decided to fact-check my ass. Turns out that Caitlyn freaking Jenner truly doesn’t have clodhoppers this big: the fashion sites agree that she wears a 13, which, assuming this figure is up to date, means that Bruce — remember Bruce? — used to wear a 12.

I wear a 14. Which is a 15 in women’s sizes. (And several iterations of the letter E.)

My apologies to Ms Jenner, and to any wandering debutantes.

Comments (4)

Properly redressed

I have several unpleasant memories of adolescence, one of which could have been avoided had this product been in existence:

Bloxers solve a peculiar problem — that of the public erection. Not ill-considered municipal sculptures, but something equally embarrassing: the untimely engorgement of the male member. Bloxers boxer shorts are sewn with a special interior panel that deflects “the dreaded public boner” down and to the side, thus hiding it from view.

The folks behind Bloxers call this panel the “Deflector Shield,” and buyers can pick a model with the shield positioned on the left or the right, depending on to which side the gentleman dresses. The shorts are cotton, and the shield is a nylon/elastane mix.

One down, several thousand to go.

(Via Breaking Shame.)


Future orange

The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson engages in some uniform discussion:

Last week, a photo leaked showing what appears to be a sheet of all the NBA’s uniform changes for next season. The mock-ups haven’t been acknowledged by the league. The changes haven’t been verified by all the teams. But with some of the depictions fitting previously released designs, it sure seems legit.

Among the alternate jerseys — an all-orange look for The Thunder.

The top and the bottom are orange. They have blue trim and piping. They have old-style block blue letters outlined in white spelling OKC on the front. They are bold and striking and cool as heck.

I yield to no one in my defense of orange, but on an NBA uniform? It doesn’t even match the ball, fercrissake.

This is not to say that I’m taking up the position set out in these pages six years ago by Duyen Ky:

Nothing looks good in orange. No living creature, that is. Well, except for some cats.

Orange should be reserved for road-hazard cones by federal law.

Then again, since I generally listen to the games on the radio, I don’t actually have to look at this garb.

Comments (3)

Meet Magda

Brian Atwood himself Instagrammed this new fall pump:

Magda pump by Brian Atwood

“Magda” is, says Atwood, a “tuxedo pump with velvet bow.” I bow to its utter simplicity. There’s apparently also a version encrusted with Swarovski crystals, which is a bit less simple.

Comments (1)

We only sell them

Sylva Stoel in the offending garmentSylva Stoel is wearing shorts by JCPenney, deemed “career wear” in places where one assumes the air conditioning is not set at Meat Locker. One place you can’t wear them, curiously, is at a JCPenney store:

“The only word the manager said on [in-store] dress code during my job orientation was that denim was not allowed, t-shirts were unacceptable, spaghetti-strap tank tops weren’t allowed and skirts couldn’t be ‘too short’,” Stoel told Mic via email. “But I was never warned that wearing linen shorts to work could get me sent home.”

Especially these linen shorts, am I right?

And it’s not like the store is full of demurely dressed fashion plates, either:

Moreover, Stoel told Mic, plenty of her fellow employees wear jeans and tees to work. “Unfortunately for me, it seems as [if] my exposed knees registered as more unprofessional than jeans and a t-shirt.”

Stoel took her complaint to Twitter:

This garb would certainly pass muster at 42nd and Treadmill, though I suspect I would probably have to hide in my office for the rest of the day, purely as a safety precaution: I have been known to walk into walls.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

Comments (2)

So quotidian

This was the tweet as I read it:

Thence to Pinterest, which put up the usual “Sign up if you expect to see this,” but not before I’d tabbed over to, where I found this:

Georgia by MICHAEL Michael Kors

This is “Georgia,” from the MICHAEL line of Michael Kors, and it’s on sale to Nordstrom customers before the store’s anniversary sale starting the 17th. And maybe it’s just a little glittery for everyday, but perhaps there are nights for which nothing else will do. “Georgia” stands four inches tall on a half-inch platform, and there’s a bit more peep than the average peep-toe, which may or may not be a good thing. $150 later; $100 during the current sale.

Comments (3)

Begun, the bra wars have

And the town of Guilderland, New York, has been shaken to its very, um, foundations:

The bitter feud between the owners of Madame Pirie Famise Corset Shoppe and Her Underthings has grown more spiteful and uncomfortable for customers than, well, an ill-fitting bra.

The two specialty shops that offer custom fitting on women’s girdles and a wide selection of undergarments — including hard-to-find bras in sizes ranging from 30AAA to 56O — are locked in a pitched battle as their two businesses operate one-half block apart and try to bury the competition.

Where did this begin?

“Yes, it’s a feud, but I didn’t start it. I created a business to honor my late sister and I ended up in all this childish nonsense,” said Jackie Keto, 24, owner of Her Underthings. She opened the competing business in the Price Chopper plaza at 1704 Western Ave. in November 2014 after a judge ruled she could no longer use the Madame Pirie name or operate the store at its previous location of 1660 Western Ave.

Rosa Belleville ran Madame Pirie’s at 1660 Western Ave. for 14 years until she sold the business to an employee and protege, Jessica Keto, in January 2014 for $500,000. The deal included a $250,000 cash down payment and $250,000 to be paid in installments.

When Keto died unexpectedly at her Albany home on March 19, 2014 at 28, the future of Madame Pirie’s was thrown into doubt.

Keto’s younger sister, Jackie, who had worked at Pier 1 Imports in Colonie and majored in business and entrepreneurship at the College of Saint Rose, agreed to run the store. “It kind of fell to me,” she said.

Since her sister had only owned the business for about two months before her sudden death, the Keto family asked Belleville if they could return the Madame Pirie business and get the late woman’s $250,000 down payment back. Belleville declined and said she had already made extensive travel plans and wished to remain retired.

It got more complicated. Jackie Keto refused to continue the installment payments, on the basis that the inventory purchased from Madame Pirie was “old junk” that could not be sold. (Not so, said Belleville.) Keto eventually opened up a new store a few doors down, and used the old storefront to promote it. This annoyed Belleville enough to acquire a new storefront and reopen Madame Pirie.

I, of course, take no sides here, but I quail at Her Underthings’ slogan: “the place you get your bras at!”

Comments (2)

This high, but no higher

There are high heels, and there are really high heels. The obvious question: how high is too high?

In our search for the answer on how to achieve comfort without giving up our lift, we tapped the brain of Dr. Emily Splichal, podiatrist and human movement specialist, and posed the question: What is the heel height we should be shopping for?

“You shouldn’t walk in heels higher than three inches,” she says. “Anything over the three-inch mark changes the biomechanics of how you walk—your strides are shortened, you can’t walk as fast, your body weight shifts to the ball of the foot, which throws off your center of gravity and stresses the knees and lower back.”

Of course, if you’re not walking — never mind, that was silly. So flats for everyone, then? Nope:

Also harmful is a too-flat shoe, she cautions, especially if someone’s foot is naturally flat (little to no arch versus a high arch): “A little heel, like a one-inch heel, puts the foot into a more stable position.”

The takeaway here is to shop for shoes with heels that range between one inch and three in height. “Avoid heels that are both too flat or too high,” she advises. “Avoid the extremes.”

I suspect there might be just a little bit of leeway at either edge of this continuum, depending on one’s individual tootsies. And there is a small but consistent market for shoes with negative heels.

Comments (1)

A flower for everybody

About 2007, I came up with this bit of whimsy:

Maybe it’s time for something other than numbers. Example: In the early 1950s, hosiery manufacturers were trying to distinguish among a line of three or four sizes without using accusative terms like, say, “large.” I shuffled through some advertising pieces from this period and happened upon a 1953 ad from Wayne Knitting Mills, who sold stockings under the Belle-Sharmeer brand. They offered four sizes, as follows:

  • BREV (purple edge) for slender or small legs. Sizes 8 to 10½
  • MODITE (green edge) for average size legs. Sizes 8½ to 11
  • DUCHESS (red edge) for tall, larger legs. Sizes 9½ to 11½
  • CLASSIC (plain edge) for largest legs. Sizes 9½ to 11½

You might guess that “Brev” had something to do with shortness, but the others tell you nothing.

Welcome to Manifesta, where there are no sizes, only flowers:

We don’t want there to be an inherent order to the sizes, with women striving to fit into the smallest number possible. And we don’t want women to feel bad for ordering a size that society has deemed “unacceptable.” We just want you to get what fits. So to find your size, use your measurements, not society’s idea of what you should be.

Okay, one gives it away, maybe: “Willow,” for 36-24-36 or thereabouts. (“If she’s five-three,” said Mix-A-Lot.) From there, the range goes from “Poppy” to “Dahlia.” And if this sounds a trifle Garanimalistic, well, who believes numerical sizes anymore?

(Via Fark.)

Comments (3)

A largish complaint

The plus-sized woman, says Fern Olivia, gets short shrift, when she gets any shrift at all:

Why the hell are the biggest clothes in just one little corner of any shop nowadays, surrounded by gorgeous pictures of plus sized models? I feel like 1. this is so embarrassing, especially if people are self conscious about their size, and 2. I felt like I was being shoved to one side away from all of the pretty clothes in to a selection of ugly maternity looking old women clothes. I found a few sized 16 things in the “normal” section, let’s say, because that’s basically how it made me feel, and they were skin tight and definitely not a size 16 at all.

The word that seems to stand out here is “few”:

Even looking through the sized 6-14 selection of clothes, everything was like a size 6/8. I know a lot of girls are this size, but if larger sizes are the ones that are selling more, why not restock quicker or at least order more just in case? There is nothing more disappointing than finding something you really like and not being able to pick out your size. I also guarantee that if you go on online websites you’ll see about 2000 pieces of clothing, if you then refine it by size to 16, 18 etc, you’ll see about 10 different items.

Were I of a conspiratorial mindset, I might think that this was a plot by the sixes and eights to discourage traffic by those Larger Folk, whom they would rather not see if they can help it.

Comments (4)

Wedged in

Striding through Japan’s Haneda Airport, it’s Amal Alamuddin Clooney in a knit dress by Missoni that described, aptly enough, as “breezy.” My attention is guaranteed:

Amal Clooney at Haneda Airport in Japan

I adore the color scheme. But what they wanted to show you, apparently, was the shoe, so let’s get a closer look:

Espadrille wedge by Valentino

A tricky shoe indeed. If you’re watching from the side, it might look like a jacked-up (four and a half inches) T-strap, but the shoe — “Rockee” by Valentino — obviously lacks the center strap that defines the T. says that it “simultaneously elevated and grounded her look.” There’s also a black version, with the same neutral-colored platform. Either way, it’s $845 at

You may notice, in the full-length shot, the Ordinary Folks trying their best to get a picture of Mrs. Clooney as she walks away from them.

Comments (2)

No place for a face

Lindsay Ellingson, thirty and tall, meets the general definition, as once specified by David Letterman, of “leggy supermodel.” But this sentence from her Wikipedia page, describing her work for Victoria’s Secret, somewhat messes with my head:

In 2011, she became one of the brand’s signature Angels, as well as the face of its perfume line VS Attractions and its new bra, Gorgeous.

I really, really don’t want to imagine someone being the face of a bra. Really.

The actual introduction, however, seems kind of prosaic:

Lindsay Ellingson introduces the Gorgeous bra for Victoria's Secret

Um, okay. (By the way, her eyes are up there.)

Last week at Cannes, by comparison, she was downright futuristic in Ulyana Sergeenko:

Lindsay Ellingson at Cannes 2015

Says Heather of the Fug Girls:

I like the liquid-look fabric. This whole outfit looks to me like a special-effect — like when Robert Patrick in Terminator 2 would be in the middle of morphing from metal into human. In that vein, I like the middle of the dress and am waiting for the rest of it to catch up.

And then it doesn’t happen:

Lindsay Ellingson at Cannes

Heather again:

Naturally, I hate the back. She looks like a very expensive circus performer.

Normal guys will be delighted to hear that Lindsay married a normal guy last year, quite uncharacteristic of leggy supermodels.

(Photos: Gorgeous bra, Adam Bielawski; Cannes, Getty Images.)

Comments (5)

Ann and Lane, BFFs

Whether this portends anything else, I can’t tell just yet:

How many women’s suits and dresses could you buy for $2.2 billion? For Ascena Retail Group, Inc. the answer is all of the suits and dresses sold in all of the Ann Taylor and LOFT stores.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ann Inc., the owner of stores Ann Taylor and LOFT, has agreed to sell itself for $2.2 billion to rival Ascena Retail Group, which operates Lane Bryant and Dressbarn.

Both companies … have reportedly struggled recently when it comes to the weak retail environment for their target group of women 20 to 40 years of age, the WSJ reports.

Meanwhile, Dressbarn is mutating, or is being remodeled, into “Dressbar”: apparently the Dressbarn name will be reserved for garments that are, um, not dresses. Okay, fine. As long as Lane Bryant doesn’t hook up with Kobe.