Archive for Rag Trade

Current fashion

Fran Porretto sent this along:

AC/DC shirt with Tesla and Edison

I pray you got it on first glance.

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Just some of the perks

If you’re high enough on the celebrity ladder, things will be arranged for you. Last fall, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone wed occasional co-star Ranveer Singh in traditional Konkani and Sindhi ceremonies — at Lake Como, Italy.

The happy couple were shod by Christian Louboutin:

Ceremonial shoes for the wedding of Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh

But that wasn’t all:

[D]esigner Sabyasachi told … how the luxury brand went about creating a pair of shoes after her. He revealed, “Deepika is a traditional girl. I remember calling Christian because we both are big fans of her and we love her. And so I told him that we are doing this wedding and you have to do the shoes, and he was like ‘of course.’ When probed further if the diva had shoes named after her, he was quick to say, ‘Yea, the Deepik heel’.”

Behold the Deepik heel:

Deepik heel by Christian Louboutin

List price is $995, but at the moment they seem to be sold out.


The right to Bear legs

Sometimes you have to go with the title you have:

Advertisement for Bear Brand hosiery

Thia particular advertisement boasts that the product is “British made,” but Bear Brand originated in the States: the former Paramount Knitting operation had several American plants, including one in Kankakee, Illinois that has since been razed. While the Stateside operation was winding down, the British firm continued until the 1990s.

Now there’s a thoughtful driver.

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Score one for karma

This asshat was blown off magnificently:

Summed up nicely by a Farker:

Guy insults woman on Tinder because of the dress she’s wearing. Company that makes the dress asks woman if they can use her picture to advertise the dress. Guy looks like an idiot. Woman looks great.

In the UK, ASOS sells this dress for £75.


Took a shine to her

In 1972, the Army dispatched me to my first permanent duty station, to the extent that anything is permanent in the Army. I never thought of myself as anything but the generic Good Soldier: I wasn’t expecting to save the world, but by damn, I could get my bed made in the morning. And I did a pretty decent job keeping my boots properly glossy, which drew the attention of an adminstrative type two barracks over.

Donna Marie — her last name escapes me for some reason — outranked me by about a week, which meant more then than it does now. And she noticed the boots: “How do you do that?” I started to explain, but she cut me off and requested I do hers right then and there. Unfortunately for me, she was done up in the Class A of the day. So I’m crouched down low, putting some gloss on Donna’s shoes while daring myself not to look at Donna’s legs.

This late-1950s ad reminded me of that, rather forcefully:

Woman in a rain slicker with shiny shoes

For some reason, this ad, one in a series of such, was deemed a trifle risqué, perhaps because of low contrast: what she’s wearing, apart from the shoes and that wet-weather garment, is not all that obvious.


Modestly wacky

This dates from a time when underwear was gradually ceasing to be, well, “under”:

Undies by Lycra

In 2003, Du Pont moved to spin off its textile-fibers division to Koch Industries, which combined it with its existing fiber operation to form Invista; the Lycra trademark is gradually fading away in favor of the generic “spandex.”

(With thanks to Amy Poindexter, whom I’ve never seen in anything like this.)

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Smartly dull

Today, this would more likely be called a matte finish:

A downright cobwebby Kayser hosiery ad

Kayser called this “Gossamer,” and it’s tricky for me to work my mind around the idea of something proudly billed as flimsy sold as a premium product. Then again, it must be conceded that my experience with purchasing women’s unmentionables is decidedly limited.

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Nine individuals later

One does get weary of contemplating “Individual-1,” after all:

Individual 10 by Wolford

Wolford sells these in 15 different shades for $49 a pair.

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The Empress’ new clothes

An advertisement for “Spanish lambswool invisible petticoats,” from 1806:

Mrs. Robertshaw begs leave to inform those ladies that found their invisible petticoats shrunk last winter that she has a kind so much improved that she will warrant them never to shrink even in the commonest wash, at the same time will be found equally as soft, pliant and warm. Everybody that has tried them allows them to be a much pleasanter article than ever before invented, being so very elastic [a word merely meaning at the time having some stretch or give] and of so beautiful a white, and, like all these comforts will add quite as little to size as her patent lambs’ wool so much approved of last winter. Likewise invisibles and stays all in one; well adapted to ladies that are confined; also under waist coats and drawers of the same description.

Of course, what makes these garments “invisible” is the fact that they’re worn between the body and the dress, hence unseen; no H. G. Wells-style trickery here. Interestingly, advertisements of this sort disappeared, so to speak, after 1816:

The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year and Eighteen Hundred and Froze To Death) because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F). This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.

Evidence suggests that the anomaly was predominantly a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). This eruption was the largest eruption in at least 1,300 years (after the extreme weather events of 535–536), and perhaps exacerbated by the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines.

We may perhaps assume that the tendency of women to wear less when it gets warmer goes back at least two hundred years.


Here a light, there a light

The shoe vlogger known as Bupshi tours the Crystal Worlds museum run by Swarovski in Austria:

There is a Part One, but it’s all daytime: not so exciting. And if anyone cares, she’s wearing “Daisie” by Steve Madden.


The height of discomfort

Some Japanese women have had it up to here with high heels:

Did you know that it is mandatory for women in Tokyo to wear high heels to work?

That’s right, a working woman’s dress code in Japan’s capital city necessitates them to wear heels. But no such absurd dress code demands are observed when it comes to the men. We can smell the inequality all the way from Tokyo!

To protest against this form of discrimination, women have launched an online movement called “#KuToo”. The #KuToo movement takes a leaf out of the #MeToo movement as women finally speak out
about the pain of having to work with heels.

Apparently “KuToo” is a fusion of the words for “shoe” and “pain,” which at least makes sense.

A lot of people are drawing parallels between having to wear heels at work with the discriminatory tradition of “foot binding.” While foot binding was a custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to alter the shape and size of their foot, in some twisted way it is very similar in having to mandatorily wear heels to work.

You get old enough, high heels will alter the shape and size of your foot..

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Big leg woman ain’t got no soul

We will leave questions of taste aside for the moment:

(Via snipe.)

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Perhaps this will help

A friend of mine, fortyish and tech-minded, came up with this brainstorm:

What I really need is a way to order lipstick by hex code or RGB value.

Think of it! Sixteen million colors! (More precisely: 16,777,216.) No doubt some of those colors would look terrible on her, and some other ones might look terrible on anyone, but a little six-character code is probably more functionally descriptive than, say, “Tahiti Twilight.”

And if you’ve ever fancied the edges of this page, done up in Too Long Marooned, it’s #330000.

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Not quite bedtime yet

And really, this makes a heck of a lot of sense:

Yes, I have lots of pajamas. But they are important to me. I even have what I think of as “pre-pajamas” — comfortable clothes that are still okay for going outside in if you have to put the trash down or if you need to run through the bank’s drive-through window (I would go ahead and get “properly dressed” again if I had to go to the grocery, but it’s nice to have lounge pants and old floppy funny t-shirts for at-home wear).

I think we may safely assume that all of her utilitarian garb is in good repair, unlike some of the stuff I’ve seen creeping across the parking lot at sunset.

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Doctor’s orders

I may be wrong, but this seems sensible to me:

And that pseudonym grabs me right in the temporal lobes.


When the numbers don’t add up

Women are known to complain about such matters, and who can blame them?

Who here is ready for the skinny jean fad to go ahead and get on its way?

The very term “skinny jeans” is a play on everything that was meant to be good about jeans.

My 16-year-old daughter looks fantastic in them. And while I am calling out “Amens,” what cruel fresh hot sauce is it that about the time a woman must lift her breasts up from around her waist to secure them in her bra, her daughters will be at peek bikini age?

There’s a nonzero chance that what she meant to say was “peak bikini age.”

And I note, with just a hint of sadness, that the office’s cute blonde who could rock those skinny jeans has moved on.

She was seventy years old. And yeah, if you looked in certain places, you’d see signs of it. Me, I focused, as I will, on a sweet smile and killer legs.

And I would like to believe this is why nature chose to give me thick hips and calves that laugh in the face of “plus sized” boots. But that isn’t really working for me here in 2019.

I wear a size 9½ shoe.

My bra is a double D, that often begs me to woman up and trade in for a triple. When I am “thin” I am a size 10. When I am just right, I am a 12. And when I am not any of those sizes, I am a 14 or 16.

I do not know how much I weigh. I gave that practice up a long time ago. You see, girls like me, you can’t guess our weight. Although, that is a fun game. The nurse puts the scale on 100 … and I say, “that’s cute…” 150 … keep guessing … and then she inevitably says, “Wow, you carry that well, I had no idea … you have such a pretty face.”

Shut it missy.

Yeah, I think I’d get snappish after years and years of that.

(Via Alice Mills.)

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Summer, when the reruns air

But an actor still needs to eat:

William Shatner and DeForest Kelley hawking men's shirts

“Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a mannequin!”

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Becky’s in black

The song is called “LBD,” and that’s what it’s about:

If you’re puzzled by that verse in Spanish, well, the G is for Gomez.

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It’s the orthotic that counts

This is a case of my clipping something from the newspaper and then completely forgetting about it. From some time last spring:

Jill by Marion Parke

About the designer:

Marion Parke is an American podiatric surgeon and luxury footwear designer. Motivated by her vision for footwear with intelligent design, she creates shoes that seamlessly blend thoughtful structure with an elegant yet edgy style. Marion Parke has treated countless stylish women seeking beautiful footwear with considerate construction. In response to this need, she launched her namesake collection for Spring 2016. Her launch collection quickly garnered editorial and retailer interest. She was named a finalist for the Accessory Council’s prestigious Emerging Designer Award in 2015. Most recently, she received Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award in Accessories for 2017.

“Jill”, pictured above, doesn’t seem that edgy, but it’s nice to look at.

Dr. Parke knows her way around this part of the world, too:

Parke, a University of Oklahoma graduate, launched her first namesake collection in spring 2016. Since then, her luxury shoes have caught the attention of women across the country, including countless celebrities, who have a little more spring in their step thanks to Parke’s sculpted and contoured insole.

She said it’s that insole that sets her shoes apart from others. A traditional insole generally is a flat piece of cardboard. Hers follows the natural contour and curvature of the bottom of the foot. Key elements are arch support, cupping in the heel and added material along the outside for a more stable position of the foot.

While others may describe her shoes as comfortable, that’s not a word Parke uses. She thinks the expectations are different. Her shoes are not made for people with foot problems or bunions. Her shoes aren’t extra wide or extra deep. They’re for the woman with normal feet who says she still can’t wear a high heel for more than 30 minutes.

“That’s where the white space is in the market,” she said, adding her shoes are for the woman who likes to shop designer and loves fashion.

By now, “Jill” is on the way out, and the $450 price tag has shrunk to $270.

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The Stevening

Amazon carries about 20 colors of Steve Madden’s “Daisie” pump, and some of them, in some sizes, are on sale at this writing for rather less than the $100 list. Unsure which to show off, I looked over at a distant tab, and here’s the shoe vlogger known as Bupshi, trying on five of them in an Austrian (I think) store:

Before you ask: it’s a four-inch heel.

And she’d like you to know that (1) she bought the red ones and (2) no, that’s not a tattoo.

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I’d like to buy a towel


I assure you, this is no sillier than the sixty thousand other fashion vlogs.

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Get those halls decked, stat

So what is this “gay apparel” business, anyway? Erin Palette has the specifications:

Gay Apparel
Light Armor

  • Aura: Faint illusion
  • Caster Level: 4th
  • Cost: 1,151 gp

Gay Apparel is a masterwork reinforced tunic of red, green and white, usually decorated with bells and festive designs of snowflakes, candy canes and reindeer. Because it is essentially a shirt, Gay Apparel can be donned (or removed) as a Move Action (there is no “don hastily” option for Gay Apparel).

When worn by anyone possessing bardic performance, Gay Apparel grants the Lingering Performance feat. When worn by anyone with at least one rank in Perform: Sing, it grants the use of the Basic Harmony teamwork feat even if they lack the prerequisites.

Construction Requirements: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Basic Harmony, Lingering Performance, Auditory Hallucination.

And a fa-la-la to you all.

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And some of us are glad of it

“Girls,” said Aristoc in 1969, “are different”:

1969 advertisement for Aristoc hosiery

The Aristoc name dates to 1934, when it was adopted by the then ten-year-old A. E. Allen company; eventually they were absorbed by Pretty Polly.

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Gender, schmender

In case I was wondering how well the various online-advertising entities were tracking me, this would have served quite nicely as a wake-up call:

Banner ad for

This banner ad was fed to me while I was looking up team standings on

(And still I wonder: why didn’t they choose to promote

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Thoroughly hosed

Or maybe unhosed. Fillyjonk goes prospecting for pantyhose at Walmart, and this is what she found:

1. Knee highs, which are useless to me (and uncomfortable). If I am wearing slacks, I am going to wear wool socks and chunky shoes, or one of my pairs of Blue Q socks (either the ones that scream “STOP TALKING” on the cuff, or the ones that say “Leave me alone, I’m introverting”).

2. Very, very large sizes (3X or 4X). I take a Q, which is sometimes a 1X in other brands, sometimes is smaller than that. And they were all control top. Control top hose should be banned under the Geneva convention. Once or twice when I could get NOTHING else and wore them, I walked around all day going “Oh man, am I getting a stomach bug?” or even “Holy crap I think I’m getting appendicitis” and it turned out when I when home and took the dang things off, I was FINE.

3. “Silken Mist” L’Eggs in control top. First of all, control top always gets a hard nope from me these days. But the “silken mist” really means “Look at these and they will run”

4. Heavyweight black tights. Thanks, but I already have three pair and most of my clothes are in the family of colors that goes better with brown. (My kingdom for a couple pairs of good brown tights…)

You might want to consider that Blue Q link something less than safe for work.

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Let’s fool the shoppers

It may not be all that difficult, either:

AdWeek has more deets:

If you serve fast food on white tablecloths in a tony-looking restaurant, people sometimes think it’s haute cuisine. (At the very least, it tastes a lot different than it does when you’re scarfing it down from a drive-through bag).

It turns out you can do the same for bargain kicks by showcasing the footwear against the kind of chic backdrop usually reserved for luxury labels like Jimmy Choo and getting people to pay outrageous markups.

That’s what Payless did recently in Santa Monica, taking over a former Armani store and stocking it with $19.99 pumps and $39.99 boots. The chain, via agency DCX Growth Accelerator, invited groups of influencers to the grand opening of “Palessi” and asked their opinions on the “designer” wares.

Party goers, having no idea they were looking at discount staples from the mall scene, said they’d pay hundreds of dollars for the stylish shoes, praising the look, materials and workmanship. Top offer: $640, which translates to an 1,800 percent markup, and Palessi sold about $3,000 worth of product in the first few hours of the stunt.

I’m waiting to hear from someone who reserved a table at Legal Seafoods and showed up with a Filet-O-Fish.

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Conclusions having been jumped to

I have about a thousand hosiery ads in Ye Olde Archives, and I don’t spend a whole lot of time looking at them — when it’s warm out, anyway. Once it turns cold, and we had actual, if not substantial, snowfall this past week, I have more reason to thumb through the folder. I’ve had this one for about five years, but it never made it to the front of my mind. For one thing, the poor model here seems a bit, um, undernourished, and I don’t think it’s all photomanipulation. (See Joe Tex, “Skinny Legs and All,” 1967.)

Advertisement for Pretty Polly Sideria tights

The de-clincher, if you will, was what I thought was a reference to Siberia. But dyslexia can warn without striking, and eventually it dawned on me that this was in fact “Sideria,” which, I am told, is a “bicomponent yarn” produced by Japanese manufacturer Kanebo, and it’s specifically intended for — wait a minute, did that say 5 denier? Five? If I remember my technical jargon, “5 denier” means that 9000 meters of this fiber — that’s a little over five miles — weighs all of five grams.

Maybe Taylor Swift, none too chubby at any point, could wear these. And these are the components:

    Polyamide (Nylon) — 59%
    Lycra — 5%
    Polypropylene — 34%
    Cotton — 2%

And at fifteen bucks a pair, it helps if you have Taylor Swift’s budget.

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Bring the darkness

Elle magazine threw some sort of bash in Hollywood this past week, and actress Rowan Blanchard showed up for the festivities in Calvin Klein’s most basic black:

Rowan Blanchard in Calvin Klein

Blanchard, who starred with Paris Berelc in Invisible Sister, still my favorite Disney Channel Original Movie, looks decidedly uncomfortable here on the grey carpet. Then again, at only seventeen, she’s probably not used to these non-youth-oriented functions. The outfit, however, is great, an LBD of just the right length and a wickedly twisted pair of shoes.

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Huaraches by the number

I spotted these on Imstagram:

Topanga sandal from Nisolo

This was the accompanying text:

Sometimes less is more. When constructing leather goods, footwear and apparel companies are known to produce high waste, cutting abnormal shapes and leaving unusable scraps. Because our Topanga Peeptoe Sandal is made with smaller straps, we’re able to use up to 95% of our raw material vs. other brands who may use up to 65%. The Topanga is handmade in an ethical factory we own and operate in Peru.

Curious about that “ethical factory” stuff, I pressed ahead:

Our first mode of ethical production is through our own factory in Trujillo, Peru’s shoemaking capital and third largest city. Shoemaking as an artform has been passed down through generations, and we take pride in sustaining its long held traditions.

The average salary of Nisolo producers is 27% higher than fair trade wage requirements. The average annual income increase for all producers is 140%. Women in particular have felt significant impact, reporting an annual income increase of 173% since joining Nisolo compared to previous employment.

Where we operate, 75% of employment takes place in the informal economic sector (i.e. selling goods in the marketplace, working project to project for different employers, paid informally in cash without a contract.) All employees work on contract, guaranteeing a stable salary with benefits and consistent work. More than half of Nisolo producers had never previously held a job in the formal economic sector.

And so forth. Artisans in Trujillo predate the Spanish and the Incas before them, dating back to the Moche and the Chimu who succeeded them.

“Topanga” is apparently on the way out of the Nisolo line, with stock in smaller sizes only and the price cut from $118 to $83.

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Stand-up triple

It occurs to me that we wouldn’t see this trope this often if there weren’t people obsessed with the idea:

Fashion model with extra breast at Milan Fashion Week

I mean, it would make more sense than the explanation proffered:

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, creative director Giuliano Calza said that the collection was inspired by the idea of a future where computers no longer has to exist (god save us all), so society has to look back and relearn how to do things without them. It was very “dystopian.”

“We’re a young group here — we’re all under 30 — and I wanted to talk to people our age about the future and get them thinking about plastics, water shortage and the environment,” he said. “Full sustainability is impossible, and I wanted this show to be a wake-up call.”

If you want to get really dystopian, there’s … on second thought, maybe not. And given the trend toward trans visibility, a model with a penis is probably no big deal anymore.

Maybe if she had two penises.

(Via Stephen Green.)

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