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take the red pill

I know that few people wear what we see in runways, but the effect that they have in our JC Penney/Sears/ H&M/ Nordstrom habits in undeniable. Have you (I know some of you have not, but hey) seen that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Meryl Streep's character schools Anne Hathaway's character on the 'stuff' fashion editorials are made of? I strongly recommend it. It's a master class in snark. Well, that and a lesson on how fashion really works.

So yeah, we all think that we are not affected by the fashion we see on the runways. It's all so impossibly sophisticated and complex and the models are all six feet tall and 150 lbs. And we think that we'd never be caught dead wearing anything like THAT. What we never think about is that in a year or two (because we are not cutting edge fashionistas) we'll be wearing garments that have been inspired  and influenced by those strutted by those graceful male models down the runways of New York, Paris and Milano.

We stick to our JC Penney and Sears and Macy's and H&M and Zara, and we think we're being smart because we got those pants 50% off in late December, all the while telling the world in not uncertain terms that we're not clotheshorses, that we are simple and uncomplicated. What we are not aware of, that those cargo shorts, that Hawaiian shirt, that mid-length coat we got at the GAP, all have the influence of those designers who dreamed up the details we don't even notice two seasons ago.

I was basically devastated a month ago when a friend told me that TopMan, one of my fav 'main street' brands (I don't buy designer clothes, how dare you!) had gone out of business in the States. Damn. And I didn't get to go and buy anything in their closing sale! I love clothes and the freedom they provide to me. I also try not to buy into the mandatory season fashion frenzy (I have had the same winter coat for six years and I'm not letting go of it, damnit!) and I try to donate clothes to the Goodwill at least once a year and us the 'Conscious' alternative on H&M where they give me discount coupons for my old clothes.

But yeah. We pride ourselves on not following fashion, on not being a slave of the collections, on sticking to blue button down shirts and sensible khaki pants with brown loafers or to the comfy clothes we've had for years. What we don't know is how those items got to the store where we bought them and what influenced the little changes in their design that we don't even notice. Silly us. We should know better. We should know that those comfy jeans were chosen from us in some French atelier from a pile of 'stuff'.



  1. Believe it not, I follow fashion trends on Youtube. Non of what I see is anything I could wear because of age and size, but I love to see the guys show the new thoughts of the season. I especially love Marco Marco when he puts on a show. But along with fashion, you have to have a sense of style and on point self body image.

    Geez, I miss McQueen.

  2. I can tell the regular stores are trying to imitate the upscale stores in their choice of fashions and yes, it's usually the following year. I saw the movie but I felt it was the fashion world trying to give themselves more importance than they deserve. The truth is if every clothes designer quit tomorrow, humanity would be just fine, maybe dressed a little dull but fine.

  3. Oh yes....I too have not recovered from Top Man going back to just England. Never missed a visit when they were in Soho. And yes handsome, dont get me started on the whole cerealian blue sweater conversation.

    That's all.

  4. Steven is off to a "hideous skirt convention".lol

  5. Most of my last purchases have been for cycling... I seem to have an ever expanding spandex collection.

  6. Jimmy... hey if it's good enough for the trumps...

  7. @annamarie: haha I wish I could go naked! I have actually thought about going to clothing optional beaches. It should be fun.
    @jimmy: same! MarcoMarco does very queer, cool stuff. He did an all-trans show that as awesome. And I LOVE McQueen. His documentary on iTunes is a must-see.
    @steven: that’s more or less the life span of a collection. What I showed here will show on Main Street in a year or so, with the most salient trends showing up little by little. And fashion has to do more with human nature and the desire to express ourselves than with practicality. Even primitive tribes have a sense of self enhanced by outward adornments.
    @maddie: I know right? It was such a cool brand. And that scene in the movie is priceless!
    @jimmy: that line is everything! Well that and “that’s all”.
    @dave: there’s a scientific application of fashion. Also, there’s now ‘athleisure’ lines. Yep. People who do not do sports but dress like they do. Such is life. And I wanna see you in those Lycra shorts....



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