Entries Tagged as 'fashion & clothing'

fashion & clothingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that men must, henceforth, obtain a license in order to go shirtless

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree 55 D: It’s simple, really. The Emperor has appointed a committee of ten women: the “Imperial Council for Shirtlessness.” They will handle any requests for no-shirt licenses. Suppliants will appear before the panel and they will remove their shirts. The women will vote, giving the petitioner a score from 1 through 10. Any man given an average score lower than a 3 will be denied a license to appear in public without a shirt on, for any reason, hot weather notwithstanding. There are no exceptions, plea bargains or special considerations. If ten women don’t want to see you without a shirt on, you shouldn’t be seen without a shirt on. Period. The Emperor does this in consideration for the general aesthetics of the Empire. It should be a shining example of joyous beauty, not a funhouse full of wobbling man-boobs and oozing back fat.

The Punishment: Those who appear in public shirtless without a license will be tattooed, across the chest, with the phrase: “My Mom is Hot.” That oughta do it.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning. If you are lucky.

fashion & clothingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that coffee cups may no longer be used as a fashion accessory

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 9AM: Contrary to apparent popular belief, a cup of coffee is not a fashion accessory. The Emperor can’t exactly prove what he is about to say (and, of course, he doesn’t need to, because he is, after all, the Emperor) but he gets the distinct impression that people are considering their to-go cup of coffee as part of their overall “look.” They seem to consider making an entrance with cup-in-hand to be some kind of subtle statement of…what? Their on-the-go lifestyle? The fact that they are suburban rock stars who need to medicate themselves with caffeine in order to keep going in the demanding face of parental taxi work? Or might it be that the brown hue of their delicious convenience store cup matches so well with their coats and kicks?  In whatever case, please don’t force the Emperor to take away coffee.

The Punishment: Those perceived by the Imperial Watchers to be thinking and acting in the way delineated above will be ground and brewed and served to the Imperial Pigs for a special winter treat.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

fashion & clothingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees a ban on bike shorts

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 12/X: Shhh. We do not care about the padded crotch and buttocks. There is no argument you can make that will convince us to allow bicycling shorts to be worn, anymore. The cursed garments are just wrong. You know it and we know it. We have all averted our eyes to avoid gazing upon the compressed goods of this or that errant cyclist. It’s simply gross. Icky, in fact. The Emperor envisions a world of aesthetic joy for all happy minions. Nothing causes joyous interruptus on the morning commute (which is typically joyless anyway) than a casual glance over at the anatomically intimate accentuation of some middle-aged fop’s schwazzeels as he stands in order to gain peddle-force on an incline in the road. No one should have to see this. Think of the children!

The Punishment: You want compression shorts? We’ll GIVE you compression shorts! (Just throw on a pair of sweat pants, for heaven’s sake. The Emperor begs you from the depths of his sad, image-burned eyes.)

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingfashion & clothing

Top ten signs you’re not ready for swimsuit season

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10. Every time you lie on the beach, concerned citizens try to push you back into the water

9. Due to your busy schedule as governor, you only had your lap-band surgery last February

8. When asked to name your favorite health drink, you reply, “Maple syrup.”

7. Whenever you leave the beach, everybody shouts, “The coast is clear!”

6. Policemen keep coming up to you and ordering you to disperse

5. The last time you went to the beach, you were the only one who got a tan

4. Your swimsuit uses more material than a Ringling Brothers tent

3. In your building, they’ve changed the elevator’s maximum occupancy to one

2. Your nickname at work is ‘Are You Gonna Finish That?’

1. People don’t want you anywhere near the beach, because you always affect the tides

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

fashion & clothingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that young guys in plucky hats are no longer allowed into bars

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 7 1/4: You know of whom I speak. You have seen him. He is not terribly good-looking, nor is he terribly ugly. He wears a tight T-shirt and carefully-cut jeans whose cuffs fall, frayed, just-so, over his sandals or Vans, but none of this has the same effect that it has on his more athletic companions. He’s not fat; he is not thin; he’s soft-ish. He probably is losing some hair at 23, so he has grown a goatee. And, he wears a hat to bars — a plucky, anachronistic hat. A Bing Crosby hat that Bing took seriously and wore without irony; but our young friend “gets the joke.” The hat is too small, on purpose, so that it sits high on his crown. Somewhere in his subconscious he probably feels it draws the attention of girls from his doughy torso and from his sub-handsome face…and up…up…up…to his “mind.” To his personality, which (it is made clear by the hat) is irreverent and…plucky. He is not Channing Tatum, this one. He is Jason Mraz. He is a madcap. He’s the guy who goes and gets the keg and makes up obscenely-illustrated paper tickets to sell from room to room. He is the assembler of beer bongs. He is the keeper of seeding charts during beer pong. He is the guy who talks to your girlfriend on Tuesday night, on a bench outside the humanities building, and who tells her that you kissed another girl the previous weekend… simply because she is “too nice and pretty” and he “can’t stand to see her get hurt” [read: because he feels he deserves to get sex for this altruistic sharing of information]. He will get a hug. That will be all.

The Punishment: If found in bars by the Imperial Bouncers, these plucky fops will be…well…made to eat their hats.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

fashion & clothingtravel & foreign lands

Who are the hair police?

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Whip my hair

This week, ifeng.com, a website run by Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV network, reported that there are 28 officially acceptable haircuts in North Korea – 10 styles for men and 18 for women. Unsurprisingly, the styles are pretty conservative – dye jobs are out; nothing spiky is permitted (nothing too long either, even on women) and definitely NO MOHAWKS. [Read more →]

fashion & clothingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that young people must wear coats on days below 40 degrees

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. >40: The Emperor feels the need to point something out. The trend, especially among young people, of not wearing a coat, despite frigid winter temperatures, is really stupid. Don’t get the Emperor wrong; he doesn’t care one way or the other when stupid people perish — in this case, possibly of pneumonia. (Oh, clam up. There is too a link between the cold and getting sick, Mr. Science.) What he cares about is lame posturing. If you are trying to look tough, the Emperor must point out that it simply doesn’t take too much mettle to get out of your heated car (or school bus) to step into your heated destination. So, that self-aggrandizing idea is out. You want to impress the Emperor? (Of course you do.) Go take a shower and, still dripping-wet, have a naked nap in a snow bank and then wake up and play some Albeniz on the guitar without missing a note. Until then, you are merely a shivering ninny who’s starved for attention in the most embarrassing way. Therefore, ye shall all wear coats on any day below 40 degrees, Fahrenheit.

The Punishment: Violators will be forced to have a wet, naked nap in a snowbank and then to do so again and again until they win a sub-freezing game of Jenga against the Emperor, Himself (who happens to be the All-time Jenga Champeeen — and who will be clad in a toasty, royal purple parka with a matching purple muff to keep the Imperial digits supple and precise.)

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning

fashion & clothingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that that sideways baseball caps and sunglasses worn inside shall cease, immediately

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 49: With summer coming, the Emperor feels it necessary to ban two distinctly summertime-ish behaviors related to apparel.

Behavior the first: Wearing sunglasses inside. This must cease, immediately. Sometimes we forget. Sure. The Emperor gets that. (Not everyone can be as perfect as he.) But repeated “forgetting” looks a lot like posturing. Just quit it. Leave the glasses in the car and, while we’re at it, cut the 75-ounce coffee barrel down to a 16-ounce and lose the neon key lanyard. You’re not convincing anyone that you are a wayward movie star on a caffeine-driven collision course with legend-making doom on some metaphorical “Dad Man’s Curve.”

Behavior, the second: Guys who wear their baseball caps sideways. There’s no way out of it…if you do this, you look like a dolt. If you think you look cool like this, you are a dolt. Also, you make people want to punch you. (This fact has been documented by the Imperial Psychologist; in fact, 97% of healthy young men feel compelled to smash the teeth of guys with their baseball caps on sideways.) The Emperor must foster peace among his subjects.

The Punishment: Offenders will be strapped down and forced to listen to Kevin Costner reading The Complete History of Fashion from 32 B.C. to Present (Volumes 1-80).

The Emperor shall grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning

fashion & clothingpolitics & government

Slaves to fashion

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I was in Washington, D.C. recently on a family vacation. At the Smithsonian American History Museum we saw a display of large model ships. A black woman was pointing out the cargo hold in one of the ships to her daughter, telling her about how slaves were transported in the ships and how terribly human beings treated fellow human beings. Next to them, not five feet away, and without any apparent awareness of the Gulag or a wall people risked being shot to climb over, an ignorantly hip white boy-man of about 19 was wearing this shirt.
Nice shirt, jackass

fashion & clothing

Marty Digs: Farewell to the local Kmart

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The local KMart store in my area has closed, it has apparently been there in Brooklawn, New Jersey for over thirty years. It has definitely been there for as long as I remember. And for some odd reason, I am bothered and saddened by this. I have this weird nostalgia/comfort zone thing where I hate to see businesses go under, and especially something that has been there forever. I almost had a stroke when the restaurant my grandfather owned for over 50 years (and that I basically grew up in) was getting gutted by the newest owners. My relief came when I called my grandmother to tell her and she said “things change Marty”, which is ironic because her shore house has not changed once in my 34 years of life! [Read more →]

fashion & clothingterror & war

In praise of the ‘Member’s Only’ jacket (sort of)

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I was struck with déjà vu the other day when in a local Kohl’s I spied a rack of ‘Member’s Only’ jackets. I hadn’t seen one in years. My last memories of the MO jacket were of my dad wearing his long after it fell out of fashion. For those unfamiliar with the iconic 1980s windbreaker, it was the American fashion industry’s answer to the question: what does one wear to a Cold War? Its military styling — it’s cut like a bomber jacket, complete with epaulettes and a front label resembling a military ribbon — was highly symbolic of Reagan-era cold warrior mentality. No other piece of men’s fashion better commodified U.S. foreign policy or made a clearer statement of where its wearer stood versus the Evil Empire. We were at war and in need of proper attire; and in hindsight it was a war worth having. Being a member of a ‘Member’s Only’ club that helped bring down the wall is something in which to take pride.

I don’t know how well the MO jacket is selling these days. Poorly, I hope. [Read more →]

all workfashion & clothing

Marty digs Wal-Mart and Dockers

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I dig Wal-Mart. As much as people hate on Wal-Mart, I go for therapeutic reasons. I have been down in the dumps lately — work has been busy, money is tight, and I have spotted a few grays in my precious golden locks. But instead of going to a shrink to help me work out the kinks, I just jump in the car and go to my local Wal-Mart to make myself feel better. I cannot imagine what it costs for a session in some professional’s office to help you sort yourself out, but at Wal-Mart it’s free. (Well, it was $15.67 for the cashews, apple juice, Willie Nelson clearance priced T-Shirt, and pack of gum.) Once again, Wal-Mart has saved a consumer his hard-earned pocket change. [Read more →]

fashion & clothinghis & hers

Wardrobe Malfunction

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There should never be a case in which men blame a lack of productivity at the office on a woman’s attire.
The blogosphere has been sparked by one such situation involving 33-year-old Debrahlee Lorenzana suing Citigroup because she felt she was fired from her job with Citibank only for wearing clothes that were too distracting to her male colleagues and supervisors. Too distracting? Shouldn’t the onus be on the men in this case to, you know, focus on their jobs?
It’s a situation that is no different from cube dwellers who spend time surfing the gossip sites, Facebook, or any other content that might make it through company firewalls. When it’s time to work, the job has to be done. If it’s not, those people need to be held accountable. Try to imagine someone being chewed out by a supervisor and saying “hey, it’s not my fault I’m easily distracted. It’s your fault for allowing me to be distracted.” They’d probably be cleaning out their desk quickly regardless of age, gender, or background.
For even implying that they could be thrown off simply by the way a female looked, any of the men who might have spurred on this lawsuit deserve to have their own employment status evaluated.
family & parentingfashion & clothing

Padded bikini tops for seven-year-old girls yanked from stores — why do padded bikini tops for seven-year-olds even exist?!

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Pedophiles across the UK today mourned the loss of the Paedo bikini as it was removed from the shelves of discount clothing store Primark. Padded bikini tops for kids as young as seven? Really? That’s just disgusting. What is wrong with people? Why would anyone in their right mind want to sexualize a child by helping them appear busty at the age of seven? SEVEN! I’m glad Primark succumbed to the pressure to remove the bikinis, but really? How about a knee to the nuts of the company that manufactured them in the first place? Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the conference room where these sick bastards brainstormed ways to market this disgusting product. I wonder how many of them, if any, have daughters. Douche bags.

fashion & clothingmoney

Can a big company have a soul?

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I was sitting around (in Africa still) having yet another great conversation with a friend of mine, Rob. It went something like this (any facts I get wrong are a result of my faulty memory and not a lie on Rob’s part):

Rob: “So I noticed you’re wearing a Matix T-shirt

Me: “Yeah. Funny thing is, I don’t know where I got it. I didn’t buy it. And someone, I don’t know whom, sent it to me. But I liked it and so I’m wearing it. Why? Who are they?”

Rob: “Every pair of pants I own are made by Matix. They are a great grassroots company that I used to work for. I trust them.” [Read more →]

fashion & clothingsports

The itch of victory — E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

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And so The Itchy and Scratchy Show goes on for at least another week. The Eagles playoff victory over the New York Giants today guarantees that I will be both uncomfortable and unsightly at least until next weekend, pending the outcome of the NFC Championship game between the Eagles and Cardinals. At least until then, and possibly longer, I will be wearing my Eagles victory beard, as shaggy a shaggy dog story about this football season as ever there was to tell. Or as Fox NFL pregame court jester Frank Caliendo (playing Tony Soprano) said before kickoff yesterday, “Did you notice that Andy Reid is growing a beard on one of his chins?” I first noticed the reddish stubble on Reid’s chinny-chin-chins during that unbelievable Sunday when the Eagles came back from a fourth-and-fuhgeddaboutit chance to make the playoffs and then proceeded to blow out the Cowboys. It was during the fourth quarter of that sweet stomping of Dallas that I declared (unfortunately in front of witnesses at a Grays Ferry bar called the Krunch Inn), “I’m not going to shave until the Eagles lose.”

Growing a beard is a rite of passage that most guys go through at least once in their lives. Usually with disappointment the first time out in their late teens or early 20’s. There are those “patches” issues to contend with. That’s where the first-time beard grows luxuriantly in certain places and barely at all in others. The net effect is that the young man’s beard comes in looking like a dogleg par four complete with sand traps on the back nine at Cobbs Creek. That’s when he discovers that mom’s mascara isn’t just for girls anymore. It’s the beard equivalent of a comb over and it fools no one. In later years, say in his early 40’s, a man who decides to grow a beard discovers to his amusement that gray hair shows up in his face hair before his head hair. This gives him his first taste of youthful salt-and-pepper maturity, which gets old real quick. And then there is the man of a certain age, say a man of about my age, who when he decides to grow a victory beard to support his team in the NFL playoffs, learns that his formerly salt and pepper beard is now nothing but a foaming white sea with occasional lonely dark flecks resembling lifeboats after a ship wreck.

This is the beard I see when I look in the mirror. It makes me look like a hobo hunched over a gurgling crackling cauldron in some train yard. The only thing worse than how it looks is how it feels. What is it that makes me think that wearing such a hideous hood ornament will help the Eagles win a Superbowl? What do I know that Andy Reid doesn’t? Apparently not a gosh darn thing.

advicefashion & clothing

When Goodwill happens to bad people

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Dear Ruby,
My thirteen-year old refuses to accept any clothes from thrift stores anymore. I totally can’t afford to do the mall thing. He’s completely unreasonable about it. What do I do? I feel like his entire future social life depends on me dipping into our home equity fund to buy him Abercrombie.

Oh, Cherry. Oh, Cherrrrry. Does anyone miss Steve Perry like I do?

Sorry, the point is that except for family funerals and weddings and professional portraits, thirteen-year-olds are legally emancipated from their parents’ fashion decisions as long as they’re not skanky. You can’t make them wear anything, really, and yet you must clothe them. Like, that is soo totally unfair.

You are required to clothe your children. You are not, however, required to clothe them in the style to which Tori Spelling is accustomed. Try to put $100 together and take yourself and your little ingrate to an acceptable mall, preferably with an outlet. And then you may have to sit in Starbucks while he wanders around in an agony of indecision and overstimulation until he finally blows it on probably only one piece of unattractive and inappropriate clothing. Then go home.

If there is any money left over, go to a very cheap outlet type place for whatever else he needs. Repeat when you can scrape together $100 again, twice a year is plenty. You may find that he will accept hand-me-downs from older, rock-star-type cousins if he has any. You may want to go find some new ones. Oh, and don’t ask his father to intervene, he won’t be any help.

The boy will get the message, or he’ll change his tune, or he’ll get a job. Win, win, win!

And, Cherry, baby, stop buying him anything right now. It’s painful, there are so many little polo shirts that would look darling on him, but it’s time to stop for a while. Whatever you buy — no matter how cool — he won’t wear. You’ve left your mark on it and to him it glows like a crime scene in black light.  He’s got to buy his own ugly crap for a little while — yes, with your money, more’s the pity.

The good news: rejecting free stuff from your parents is a phase that is over almost as soon as it starts.

Got a conundrum wrapped in an enigma and slathered with cheese sauce? Ask Ruby.

fashion & clothingrecipes & food

What women want: ask Burger King

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According to Burger King’s team of experts, the way to a woman’s heart may not be through her stomach (I suppose they’ve tried that and failed?) but through her nose. Hence, a new cologne for men — Flame by BK — with a flame-broiled scent.

Of course, it only costs $3.99, so, perhaps, if marketed to an appropriate, not too picky, audience… Still, wouldn’t it be more chivalrous to buy the object of your affection a Big Whopper than tantalize her with the smell of it?

Also, how long before the FDA will demand warning labels: “Do not visit wildlife reserves while wearing this cologne”?

(Tip o’ the hat to David Brensilver.)

fashion & clothinggetting older

The Cause of Hipster Replacement

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I’m so far past hip that I’ve had a hipster replacement. That’s a middle age joke. And once you have to explain a joke the joke no longer exists. It becomes a duty. Hipsters never explain. Hipster replacements learn to share. Aging hipsters end up like Comic Book Guy in the Simpsons. Over inflated and over the top. A paradigm of ridiculousness. A narrow mind exposed for its failure to engage the rest of the world with an honest gaze.

Actually, I don’t run into that many tragically cool hipsters as I did a few years back. You know, back when guys with hair started shaving their heads. The pioneers of that bald chic hair style had a certain badass cachet about them, almost like they were banditos sneering at the well coiffed: “Follicles? We don’ need no steenking FOLLICLES!” Then there was the whole rockabilly thing going on with guys in Elvis pompadors wearing starched blue jeans with the cuffs turned up and chains on their wallets attached to their belt loops.

I suppose that’s one of the definitions of the hipster dress code. There’s got to be an implicit defiance manifested in what they choose to wear. It can be subtle, it can be outrageous, but it is instantly recognizable as hip. Whenever I wear anything self consciously hip I just end up looking dopey. [Read more →]

fashion & clothingrace & culture

Is the “Fashion Industry” racist?

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In a recent article on ABC News, a fashion photographer by the name of Nick Knight made his feelings about “racism” in the fashion industry known by creating a short, silent film starring the anger-management-impaired model Naomi Campbell and a pair of Uzi pistols.

What we have here is not a cry against injustice; it is another attempt to play the racism card to gain notoriety.

Why isn’t there an outcry for American Indian, Fillipino, Inuit or Pakistani women? It is not because they are less deserving; it is because they don’t have a powerful lobby in their corner.

Interesting, but ultimately unimportant.

The answer to this problem lies not in the racial sensibilities of the fashion and cosmetic industries, but in the accountants’ ledgers of the marketing firms that create the demand for the products.

The only colors that matter here are black and red, not black and white.

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