A couple of years ago when Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion came out I quickly downloaded the book to my kindle and tore through it. Partly because I hadn't heard the phrase "fast fashion" previously and I was curious about all things fashion, but also because I HAD noticed the quality of clothing available was going down. There were a lot more options to shop but the t-shirts, and fabric weights in general, were getting thinner. Now I will admit, when some of the newer stores came on the scene I was pretty happy with them. I like to shop and suddenly there were stores like Forever 21 that had a lot of variety to choose from and some cute retro-inspired styles that I wasn't seeing in other places. But that was also back when a "layering tee" - a t-shirt so thin you have to wear another tee or tank underneath it - was it's own category and you could still also buy a regular weight t-shirt on the next shelf over.
Now EVERYTHING is as thin as a layering tee! At some point the demand for quick turnaround "fast fashion" became more important than the quality of that fashion. And honestly I'm not sold on the "fashion" part of that either because I'm seeing an awful lot of basics sold in stores, with nothing special to recommend them. Not to mention how the whole industry has changed and what it's doing to the environment. I'm really at a point where I'd rather pay more money for good quality, interesting styled clothes that will last, than another cheap tee that will have holes in it in a few months.
Of course I started ranting and raving about these trends and most of my friends looked at me like I was speaking gibberish. So I'd like to share this lovely video that encapsulates the major concepts of fast fashion and its impact all in under two minutes.
Oh yeah, it's swimsuit time again! For those of you just joining us, I feel compelled to make fun of the swimsuit industry every year - the photos, the styles, the posing. I don't know what it is, but the mockery just bubbles up inside me until it has to come out. Plus, some of these shots are silly. (Or maybe it's just shopping for swimsuits make Hulk mad!)
You want more? Just click under the category Fashion Rules According to Me.
This looks like a brothel lineup from Game of Thrones. Sports Illustrated didn't even bother to use real bikinis, just CGI'd those suckers. I'm waiting for a direwolf or dragon to pop up.
In Mother Russia the hats keep you warm but the swimsuits give you very interesting tan lines.
Dude, I don't care how hard you partied the night before but when you get up in the morning you still need to put on your swimswuit, not your girlfriend's.
Side view, so you can really see the floral and the satin trim. What?
Gingham and bonnets?! Holly Hobby is all grown up!
One glove is back! FINALLY!! I don't know how I lived going to the beach without a glove.
These ones would be cool if the faces weren't so tortured. Like, do I want a drug-addicted morning-after teen on my swimsuit?
This isn't even a swimsuit, it just made me laugh.
The summer flew by. And I don't mean that in the usual way where you go, oh wow, where'd the week go? in a general attempt to deflect from the fact that you spent too much of it playing Cleopatra's Pyramid on your tablet and being summertime flaky. I mean as in this summer literally went by faster than any other summer I can remember!! Short, fast, over. Some would say, "Hey! That just shows you're living life!" But I don't feel so much like I'm living as I'm getting sucked through a cosmic time warp like a root beer float through a straw. And the ice cream chunks are my squishy bits.
I think the universe is speeding up as the punchline to some joke that I'm not going to get until it is much, much too late. Awkward silence. Delayed chuckle.
Anywho, school starts next fricking week! I've decided that for the remainder of summer I will wear short shorts, oversized jewelry, and spray tan (short, fast, over!) as if I jetted off to fabulous sun-shiny locations with lovely shiny people. I'm sure that will go over well as I uniform shop at Target (navy pants: check; white polo: check; yawn: check). Because I figure if you blink and accidentally miss summer you might as well fake it like you were awake.
I bet I can carry that look into September before people start talking. - wg
It's time for swimsuits! 2012 Edition! Woot! It's just too much work (i.e. I'm lazy) to link all the previous years' swimsuit editions so if you want to see more, just click under Fashion Rules According to Me in the Categories section. Because I am a fricking expert!
"I've got this magic feather and if I flap real hard I can fly!"
"I'm feminine all the way down to my ruffly cootchie-coo." Warning: may droop when wet. (heh heh heh)
"When I'm biking at night I don't even NEED reflectors!"
What you always knew went on behind the runway. Now smile for the camera!
What's black and white and red all over? This guy's face after his suit dissolves and floats away. (Come on, tell me you didn't think of that immediately?)
And under the garden is a swimsuit. Please take your antihistamines before wearing.
And for the finale... I stumbled across this hilarious page of hand bikinis like the one below. Check them out and give the guy's page a round of applause. Ha ha. Shit, I'm funny.
This opp came up to write about Winter beauty and I got kind of drooly. See, over the years I have amassed a good amount of knowledge about everyday beauty and I have no one to talk to about it! Most of my friends don't really wear makeup. As a teenager I had, and still have, skin issues (pimples! at my age!) so I learned all about good skin care regimens and makeup and all that jazz just for my own self-esteem. And you know, if you're going to put all that work into your skin, you might as well have some great clothes to go along with it. As well as shoes, of course. I'm just saying. Anyway, I have friends who know where to go now when they have a beauty question or just want to raid my extra stores of makeup (don't ask) but I don't often get a chance to lay down some general guidelines for the Good Of All. (This is awesome! I'm like a beauty philanthropist!)
The most important thing I can say about Winter beauty is moisture! This seriously cannot be stressed enough. Winter weather is ironically drier than Summer, even with all the snow and rain. The cold just sucks moisture right out of your skin. Then, of course, you're also moving from cold environments into heated indoor environments and that puts stress on your skin as well. Those two are bad enough alone but then throw cold and flu season on top of it and you could seriously wake up one morning with a preview of the wrinkles you'll have in ten years. (That happened to me with this last flu I had because I got so dehydrated.) So here are my tips...
1. Drink a ton of liquids. I know this is harder when it's cold but switch out your usual cool drinks for warm ones (I personally love hot lemonade) to keep up hydration. This is not only good for your skin but it'll flush toxins out of your body for overall health during flu season. The same rules also apply if you go out partying... if you drink alcohol, drink water to replace your fluids!
2. Use a toner. A toner can be your best friend. It resets the
pH balance of your skin to neutral so you don't get too dried out from soap or too oily in reaction to the dry elements. (Yes, that does happen!) I recommend splashing toner on after you get out of the shower or wash your face and before you do the rest of your skin regimen. Neutrogena has a great non-alcohol based one (which is perfect for older or sensitive skin) that I use over my whole body. I simply put it in a spray bottle and spritz every place that feels dry.
3. Use moisturizer! And not just your face. Remember the rest of your body and lips, too. My legs get super dry in the Winter so I have lotion just for them and my feet. I know a lot of people don't want to bother with multiple products (one for the legs, one for the face, etc.) but if you're going to invest anywhere, invest in your skin. It's healthier and your body and your mirror will thank you later. Which brings me to another point, do not forget SPF! Even in winter your skin needs protection and the vast majority of products include it anyway so you really don't have an excuse not to. Olay has a wonderful line of face creams (that I think are comparable to high-end moisturizers) that can fit almost any skin type, and they've also expanded into body lotions as well. You might have to experiment a bit before
you find moisturizers that are right for you but shopping at a drug store won't break the bank. Many lip balms also come with SPF specifically for Winter conditions. If you're really money tight here's a saving tip... find a face lotion that you like but comes in a larger bottle and use it for your whole body. You can even dab a little on your lips at night (eye cream works great on lips!). It might not be perfect for every dry bit of you but some moisture is better than going without.
4. Cover up. Lots of people are shy about accessories, so Winter is the perfect time to try them out! It's important not only to moisturize your skin but to keep it as unexposed to the elements as possible. Gloves, hats, and scarves are practical and fashionable! If you're new to accessorizing try picking one item that you love at first site, like a soft scarf or pair of gloves. Start with neutrals and then build up to bolder colors as you get used to the way these items look on you. Or, if you're already a hat and scarf person, jump into one in an unusual color. However, with all those extra items piled on for Winter there is a trick to balancing your look. Basically you want an emphasis on one area (or two areas that are far apart). Say you're wearing a neutral scarf and hat, then you could wear red lipstick for a pop of color. If you like to dress up your eyes, wear bold colored gloves. Wearing bright lipstick, tons of glittery shadow, a rainbow scarf, and a hat goes over the top.
The general rule is you pick one area of your face to emphasize, either lips or eyes, but in Winter you do have to take your accessories into account. Because I already have bright red hair and glasses I tend to keep my day makeup pretty neutral, especially if I'm wearing a hat, too. (BTW, if you're going out for a night on the town, you could totally break this rule and vamp it up. Nighttime always allows for bolder colors. However, I still wouldn't recommend the rainbow scarf with a party dress. But a boa? Sweet!)
OK, so I didn't quite get the flooding stream of comments about how much you all can't live without the swimsuit edition. But I did get people sending me links! To swimsuits! Really awesome ones. And as one notable person pointed out, I was really leaving out the guys. So for the first time ever the swimsuit edition is going co-ed!
Attack of the male models. Prepare to get bitch slapped!
For that bikini that was missing something... now both sections are furry! (Or... true accessorizing means the carpet matches the drapes matches the throw pillows.)
For when Wonder Woman wants to change out her magic bracelets for something a little more "beachy."
What's that in your banana? I mean, your... um... hammock? Your satin hammock. No! I'm not looking at your "i"! I love you for your banana. Mind! I mean, mind.
That Spiderman is such a gentleman! And he never lays a finger on me.
You know what's hot? Big ass veins snaking down towards snakeskin. I love men with themes. ("Live your dreams, face your fears... of my gigantic snake!")
"For my wedding I just wanted to find the perfect combo of chess plus floral because it so screams 80s' innocence. Not that I remember the 80s but that's what Frankie was singing about, right? Plus they say that multiple lines and patterns are always super flattering."
Sometimes you just need a girl who's all-terrain.
Smile! You've got boobs! (Yes, this is actually a bikini.)
And finally, we have... wait for it... monster themed bikinis! For these two I really think we ought to have a caption contest because seriously, SERIOUSLY! Look at these things!
Never say I don't leave you with something you can sink your teeth into. - wg
This is very basic t-shirt surgery but I cut down one of Keen's ringer tees into this:
It was my practice piece. See if a project takes more than a couple of hours I'm probably not going to do it, because I've realized I can only break my life down into two hour segments, tops. Just reality. Anyway, the tee was a little stained (with one particular mark right on the nipple!) so I wrote the first stanza to one of my favorite poems, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, across the front and one additional line across the lower back. I like the back lower than the front effect, it makes it all swoopy. It came out pretty cute, huh?
This was another experiment... that came out very, very wrong. Theoretically it looks like it would be cute right?
Until you see where I sewed the top half on inside out! And the back waist gathering is pretty much a hideous mess. As soon as you put it on it screams bad home ec. That's what I get for trying to remember skills I learned as a high school freshman. What is this thing you call patterns?
I'm tempted to try and redo it... but I'm not holding out any great hope.
Now that Keen has lost so much weight he has this pile of clothes that are waaaay too big. Literally, it's a pile because I was all, "Hey, can I have some of your t-shirts that don't fit anymore?!" And he was, "Uh, why?" And I was like, "Because I can cut up your shirts into tank tops and things!" And then we stopped talking like teenagers and he pulled out way more clothes than I expected into this huge pile of recyclable materials that I could dumpster dive into to my heart's content.
(OK, I didn't really stop talking like a teenager.)
So I've been really into the whole idea of recycling/reusing clothes. I've seen some amazing, creative work by other fabric artists (they're called that, right?) and I think it's a perfect solution when you get bored by your wardrobe (like I do) and it's environmentally healthy (bonus!) and you also increase the chance that you'll make a cool, unique article of clothing, which I love. You know me, in general I really like clothes and designers.
Except... I'm a little scared of sewing.
It's not that I'm terribly, horribly bad at sewing, but I'm not very good either and it makes me nervous. Or at least, working up to the actual sewing makes me nervous, and threading the needles make me nervous, and cutting the material makes me nervous, but once I actually start working on a project I'm OK. Sort of. Kind of like doing math. However, I'm also frequently gripped with an intense desire to MAKE something, with my hands, which usually involves materials other than, well, material. Like metal, so it's OK. I get my making fix elsewhere. Also at the moment I am trying NOT to shop, because I want to save money for BlogHer (hello! New York!).
But at the same time I'm going to BlogHer. Hello? Want new outfits! (What? At least, I admit it.)
So here I am... trying not to shop, a little bored with my wardrobe, an itching desire to MAKE SOMETHING (and oh my god, this feeling is totally why Frankenstein was created) that just keeps building, and a big pile of usable material right in front of me. See?
Sooooo... I'm going to try some projects, attempt some cute tops, maybe even wear them to BlogHer. Even though I'm scared (a little) that I will crash and burn. That could be a totally new button for them... "I'm going to BlogHer in DIY clothes," or "I went to BlogHer as a craft project gone wrong." Whichever. I'm sure it'll be fine. Even though I love clothes and designers, I have no pretension of actually being a designer. I was thinking more that I could cut down some of Keen's old tees into this shape...
...which is a $15 dollar drapey tank from Forever 21 that I love! Seriously, it's all soft and flowy and versatile, and as you can see the material conversion should be pretty close. So I figure if I can get a couple more of these out of his t-shirts I'll be pretty happy. Maybe I'll also try a tank I saw at Anthropologie that was the same shape but done in panels of different materials. And then I'll get cocky from my success and I'll try something else that may or may not work (but I'll probably think it works because of my inflated sewing ego) and I'll keep tripping merrily down a path of textile danger and YOU will get to watch the whole accident-mesmerizing journey.
I'm sure it'll be fine.
But if I come up with something really hideous for NY, you'll tell me right?
I'm late this year for the annual swimsuit wrap up, but better late than never. However, I've got to tell you I am disappointed in this year's batch of designer swimsuits. Really disappointed. Swimsuits haven't been over the top, there have been no ridiculous embellishments, no poses with french poodles and feathers. They have been tame, in traditional shapes and fabrics, even wearable... and that's no fun at all.
(Though it does make my prospects for finally finding a pair of 50s style full-cut bottoms a smidge more realistic. Oh come on, with a halter? You know that would be HOT!)
However, there are always a few that need mentioning. Especially this disturbing trend...
Boys be warned! Vaginas equal DEATH! Oh, that winking boob might try to lure you in, but don't be fooled! Clearly any fraternization with said vaginas may result in serious injury, as indicated by the oh so helpful warning label and skull.
This trend was obviously started by Ed Hardy's Swimsuits Love Kills
Slowly line that showed up last year and continues today, despite the numerous unreported abuses that I'm sure occurred. Men, don't be afraid to come forward. (How much more grief are you going to cause in the world,
This one uses a hypnotherapy lure to suck you in. Or maybe vertigo.
This one's a bikini! No, an applique project! No, a patriotic statement! I'm so confused! VAGINA!
Honey, usually floss swimsuits are worn the other way. (poor girl)
That headband there? That headband speaks volumes!
But if you are going to chance the dangers and hook up anyway, try this one. She's got bandages.
I was on a runaway horse once. I was about five or so. The farmer leading me, Queen of farm animals, and the horse dropped the lead for a minute, see. The horse, recognizing the opportunity, weighed its options... run back to the farm for chow OR listen to an inexperienced girl child with high falutin' ideas about what she's capable of yanking on the reins. Food won and in a split second the horse bolted through a fruit orchard with me on its back, pigtails a-flying. (Mine, not the horses. Pigtails on a horse would just be silly.)
You know what? Branches hurt. After it was all over, it didn't occur to me to be afraid of horses. Which means I'm either brave or stupid, your choice.
There's a life metaphor in there somewhere.
Snarky fucking metaphors.
Anyway, I'm getting back on top. (Heh. That's what she said!) (Wait, that doesn't make sense because that is what I said. hmmm)
Anyway redux, I've got a post on MC Hammer pants over at Culture Brats! I know you all still wear them. And I KNOW, I just know, that someone out there is going to tell me, "But they're so comfy!" and/or "You're just jealous that you can't wear them!" Because every single time I do a post knocking fashion someone tells me I'm just jealous.
You know what I'm really jealous about? I found these after I posted over at Culture Brats!
Here it is the end of June and I hadn't done my yearly round up of swimwear yet! This is the segment of the show where I laugh at swimsuits, sometimes just the pictures! I was afraid this year would be some slim pickins what with the economy and all. I thought all I'd see was rehashed triangle pieces from last year. But no, gotta give those designers credit... still pulling it out of their asses even now.
This is a popular design at Victoria's Secret this year. I call it the band-aid. (P.S. Victoria's Secret models are too skinny. TOO SKINNY! Someone feed that girl a hot dog.) ((P.P.S. See that little wisp of fabric? Budget crunch!))
I don't know what is so disturbing to me about this one. By itself, I'd say it was cute. Maybe it's the pierced belly button. And the small dog. AND the tattoo-printed scrunchy around that dog's neck. (Is that a scrunchy? Who would do that?) Maybe it's the fact that Ed Hardy (and his knock-off competitors) do not need to branch out into areas they have no business being. I swear I saw Ed Hardy snack cakes the other day. No one needs Ed Hardy snacks.
"I sprained my boob gardening and now I have to wear this sling!"
"OMG. So my best friend in math class drew this really cool picture just for me on my notebook with stars and hearts, because stars are like my special symbol, and it was in all my favorite colors and I loved it so much that I haven't even thrown away the notebook even though it's summer and then I found a swimsuit that looked just like it!! It's like destiny."
It's overalls. On a swimsuit. Extra shiny, too, in case you want to use your headlights... as headlights. Yeah.
Just plain ugly. By the way, making her extra tan does not mean she'll pass as ethnic.
I have an all day work meeting on Wednesday and yet I have so few work-appropriate clothes left in my closet that 1) fit, 2) aren’t all dusty/stretched out/bleached on the shoulders from hanging too long, and 3) aren’t WAY out of style, so, you know, finding a nice outfit can be a challenge. (Plus, you remember that I hate work clothes, right? Did them too many years. However, fashionista shit is OK. (Also, I get easily bored so even if I came up with nice outfits for weeks on end for my one-day-in-the-office-per-week stint I’m not going to *psshhh* repeat! Because then I would be me boring myself. (Yes, I know no one else would notice.))) Anyway, I grabbed a shirt for a test-wear that I’d forgotten I bought well before pregnancy (so that would be like, what? placing it in the realm of early 2000s? When all the GAP models were still showing their navels everywhere?) threw it on, reminiscing about how cute this top used to look, like that one time I wore it to go see Dave Chappelle pre-Comedy Channel era (OK, granted, it was more a “club” top… being black and mod/lace and a little clingy and somewhat see-through but trust me, with a nice tank underneath and a good jacket I could totally make it work-appropriate. Kind of.) and…
Like I stole clothes from a 12-year old.
Like the Hulk busting out in the after-hours disco.
Like I’m a camel toe away from cougars-ville.
Not quite the office look I’m going for.
(Though, I did briefly feel quite busty (for a gal without cleavage).) - the weirdgirl
A strange phenomenon is happening as I get older… I’m becoming a bag lady. Well, in truth, I’ve always been a bag lady. I was condemned to walk this path from the time my virgin hands clutched that first purse. Red, it was, spaghetti strap handle, barely big enough to hold an iced cherry chapstick, my allowance, and a compact with the entirely wrong shade of powder (ah, 80s makeup jaw line, I remember you well!). That purse went with me everywhere.
So it’s not really a surprise, is it, that that purse was eventually replaced with another. And then another, into a long succession of can’t-live-withouts.
Here’s the thing… I’ve always considered myself a compact sort of girl. I like small silverware, small chairs, small cars, and above all small purses. You carry too big of a purse and you’re just bound to carry a bunch of crap you don’t need. (And being slightly packrat-ish I needed to fight that at all costs.) Plus, I’m a petite woman and a huge purse just makes me look like I’m gonna fall over.
So, you know, when the ginormous purses came out as the “it” bag I wasn’t having none of it. Anything that was “go anywhere satchel”-sized was just too damn big. Purses big enough to carry a portfolio in, or a few dozen groceries, were completely out of the picture. If I needed to carry my computer, I took along a computer bag… and my small purse. If I needed a diaper bag, I took along a diaper bag… and my small purse.
But something definitely changed along the path. I didn’t happen right after the baby, it was more insidious than that. I had noticed that my purses had gotten slightly larger over the years, oh very slightly, since that first bright red bag. Which is natural considering eventually I had more than five bucks to spend, and learned how to put on more makeup than chapstick. I really starting seeing a difference right around when Chance turned two…
I got really sick of carrying around two bags.
Slowly but surely, I started using totes to consolidate all my goodies. (Totes are the gateway purse, you know.) I didn’t need quite as many supplies for Chance but I still needed some. Then, the next purse I bought was a little bigger, just because all those pictures were stretching my wallet out a bit. Then the next purse (yes, I have a collection)… well you can see where this is going.
For Christmas Keen bought me this kick-ass Marc Jacobs bag. I LOVE it! (I didn’t even ask for a purse this year. He is just an extra special man.) And it’s pretty much the biggest purse I’ve ever owned. (Which still, compared to all the “it” bags, isn’t even all that big.) But I had some trepidation – given the small woman weighted down against hurricanes look. Except…
It fits ALL my stuff! (Oh yeah, baby just like that.) I’ve pretty much been carrying that purse alone everywhere. I even mentioned to Keen that I’d love one in the same size in black.
So that’s it… I’m definitely on a downward slope. I’ll be that old lady who needs a shopping cart to push her purse around, I just know it. With blue hair and a million sweaters. (Nah, I’ll go for peach hair. Rock on Dame Edna!)
Don’t worry, I’ve made peace with the situation. However, promise if I start carrying around small pets, somebody will slap me. - wg
We had a nice anniversary dinner Friday night, but Chance had a really bad fever (104 and climbing) when we got home - which the unnamed older relatives failed to notice. (They won’t be babysitting when he has the “sniffles” anymore.) Then I got sick Saturday morning and Keen is fighting it off now. This is an ugly one, folks.
Anywho, I’ve been making my way through the mountain of mail-order catalogs that we get every year. Might as well make a dent in the Christmas shopping since you can’t do much else! (Catalogs are like picture books for grownups.) So here are a few observations from my fever-addled mind…
Pottery Barn Kids – You know, at this point, I peruse your fine catalog just to see how many ways your concept of feminism has gone wrong. (Oh who am I kidding? Feminism doesn’t exist in Pottery Barn land.) My favorite: the bunk bed/kitchen playset combo… Oh, little girls! Here is your deepest fantasy made real… and by the way, the lesson learned here is you may go directly from the bedroom to the kitchen only, you will not pass Go, you will not collect $200. AND you will love pink. So it is decreed.
Gag. I mean, I know I may have a daughter some day who may go apeshit for the pink bunk bed/kitchen playset but that doesn’t need to be the ONLY option. I notice Pottery Barn Kids has a lot more creative themes for boys. WTF?
Viva Terra – Great concept, everything in here is “green” (or maybe this was just their green catalog, I don't know)… and I can’t afford a flipping thing! Or rather, there is no way in hell I’m paying their prices for “recovered” (free) and “reclaimed” (used) items. Especially, when they’re “helping” villagers in third world countries who make these items. So you pay the village, what? $5 bucks and I pay $279 for a step stool? I’m all for both eco-living and artistic recycling but give me a break. I think you’re defeating the purpose of going green when the markup is 500%.
OK, yeah, being sick makes me a little cranky.
What On Earth – There are always a few gems in this, the book of kitsch, and I look through it every year for those few hard-to-shop-for people. But seriously, about halfway through, the cutesy starts to kill me. The un-PC cutesy, mind you. I honestly think my head imploded, just a little, while I flipped through the pages. (BTW, for those of you planning on showering me with gifts, just because I’m a “cat-lover” does NOT mean I want a pencil sharpener where I ram the pencil up the cat’s ass. Thanks. (I mean, that doesn’t even make sense.))
Uncommon Goods – I love this catalog! Somehow it also has lots of artistic and recycled items, but it doesn’t come off as pretentious. (Can be a bit pricey, and full of things I don’t need… but I want them! Like the Caia Koopman Rehab Wallet Case, oh my god!) However, I know I’m a little off. Really, I do. Because as I’m looking at these items the split personality kicks in. Such as the 12 ways you’ve made a difference journal that features helpful prompts for writing like, “The best advice you ever gave me…” and the one half of me thinks, “Aw! It’s empowering AND sweet!” (I think that’s the side connected to my ovaries.) But the uncontrollable smartass side of me responds… “The best advice you ever gave me was… nothing! That’s what! All your advice was bunk, you hack! Stinky wind without two nickles to rub together. I got myself where I’m at and I’ll get myself where I’m going! You’re just kissing my ass for when I take over, anyway. But don’t worry, I’ll remember. I remember everything. Bwa ha ha!”
And I’m pretty sure that’s where evil geniuses begin.
Can I just talk about how much Kenley of Project Runway fame is getting on my nerves? I don't usually take a strong dislike to people on TV (because it's TV), but really... it is like she is fraying my nerves with a stitch ripper. I feel a little bad because she actually looks a lot like my hairdresser (whom I adore and is also into super cute retro looks) and whenever I first see her (Kenley) I think, "How cute!" but then she just opens her mouth and rolls her eyes disdainfully and it's all over. She is also loud. When you can tell a person is louder than everyone around them through the TV - especially since TV production crews have that magic of sound control - there's a problem. And she is rather cackle-ly. And I am the first person to appreciate a really good cackle because there are times when a cackle just conveys a certain spirit and energy and non-conformist - I might even say, risque - comraderie that simply works in the everyday mostly (sadly) cackle-less world (my mom, for example, can let loose a great cackle)... but when Kenley does it it just sounds cocky and mean. Cackling Kenley, I think that's my new nickname for her.
I'd invite her to wear a pointy hat but being a fan of witches I'd just be insulting myself. She's already insulting cacklers.
Last Friday I was awarded the Kick Ass Blogger award by VegasDad.
Of course, I didn't realize for a couple of days that I had been given an award as I was distracted by the whole Bigfoot thing. (Speaking of which, did you see the Yeti story?!) Actually, it's probably good I was awarded before the Bigfoot post went up because I kind of doubt I would have gotten the award otherwise. That was a tad outside the realm of traditional mommy blogging (albeit TOTALLY fun!). It's not like there's a Things SAH Parents Do to Keep From Going Insane award!
There should probably be one like that, though. Hmmm, something to think about.
I shall now bestow the award on to five more bloggers who kick some serious booty! Da da duh!
It's time again for the annual swimsuit roast! This is where I gather samples of hideous designer swimwear - or even just the pictures I think are amusing - to mock and point at. And also to warn you all of the dire perils of swimsuit shopping! Really, it's a nefarious industry. Trust me, I'm doing this for your own good.
(Though, I admit, I did find a line this year that I really really liked (not that I could afford any of the suits). Very retro and the line was called... Pistol Panties. HA! Pistol panties... that name so rocks!)
If you are new to this segment of wg's house you can see where it all began here, here and here. Now on to this year's winners.
Take me, Q*bert! Take me!
Sometimes you feel like a wax... sometimes you don't.
Too weak... to break... bonds of twine... Help me!
When you just feel like dual purpose clothing... for the slumber party AND the beach! (Everyone lock up your 'tween daughters now.)
OK, now I know the clothing companies aren't trying anymore... I saw this same "bikini" on sale as Valentine's Day intimates! (And it's not even Victoria's Secret.)
Could it be... military intelligence?!
Who says you can't get gift wrap services anymore?
As I was staring at a whole aisle of Barbie products,
shopping for an upcoming birthday party, I realized that, whereas I know the
whole princess phase starts kicking in about now, I have no idea where
three-year-old girls are at developmentally. For example, do three-year-olds want the big doll whose hair they can
brush? Or do they want the smaller dolls
that are so cute with the snap on
outfits? Do they want to dress the dolls yet? Or just walk them up and down their imaginary
castles? Are they into the big
sister/little sister role model combo? Or are they identifying with… what?
I have a boy, see. If
I was shopping for my son I’d immediately go for the smaller versions that came
as a set and could be play acted in a variety of scenes, plus fit into really small spaces or easily hung from string,
balanced on small cars, survive falls from high places, etc.
I had to accost some poor man, who I overheard on his phone
discussing which dolls his daughter already had, (yes, I totally eavesdropped)
to ask questions about what little three-year-old girls were doing with dolls
these days. (Went for the big doll for
maximum dressing and hair styling potential, BTW.) Thank goodness he was there, because I was
just sort of lost. I’m great with older
girls, from about five all the way up to the teens (I’m the cool aunty). I know that I would have gone ape-shit for all the fairy and mermaid crap if
they had that when I was a kid (not so much for the princesses, but I AM a
scifi/fantasy nerdette (But still cool.)). But I just wasn’t sure how Barbie was playing on the three-year-old
spectrum. And they have A LOT of
I really like Barbie, actually, though my true appreciation
of her came after I was a kid. I did a
whole paper on her in college; a feminist, post-Freudian analysis of her role
as a signifier in our society. My basic
theory was Barbie is the original and ultimate Woman because her psyche/sense
of self wasn’t defined through a realization that she doesn’t have a penis. Because Ken doesn’t have one. (Because, you know, that’s what Freud thought
we were doing… defining ourselves through the lack… it’s tied up with that dumb
penis envy theory!) Barbie was also
truly the Other woman (in the literary sense of Other), and is simultaneously
set apart yet also a source of incredible power in her non-Freudian, therefore
self-defining femininity. See? OK, that was probably totally confusing, but it
made sense in my paper. (And I got an A,
because sometimes being a smartass, backed up with good research works out for
you.) Some tidbits from my research… #1 Barbie’s
much maligned body proportions were made that way to compensate for the clothes
– when you make clothes that small you get an interesting bulkiness in
places. Once they adjusted her
proportions the clothes looked more “normal” on her. #2 Barbie WAS designed based off a German
sexy, joke doll!
I personally find Barbie’s long, evolving history, the early
smarmy marketing tactics (more on that later if anyone wants to hear), the
feminist/anti-feminist debates, the ongoing controversy she generates – even
today with all the over-merchandised princess crap - to be all rather
delicious. Whether you like her or not
no one can deny that Barbie has power!
However, my love for her as a child was much simpler: I loved the clothes. And the shoes! All those little slip-on mules! Barbie was, in a nutshell, fabulous. However, my family was also kind of poor so I
didn’t get many brand-new, Barbie clothes (or new clothes for myself, for that
matter). Or I got the K-mart knock-off
doll’s duds. Mainly, I made her little
outfits myself from fabric remnants, which actually opened up vast vistas of
fashion and make believe… my Barbie was an adventurer, a sky-diver as well as a
pilot, always in some new place with a new skill; she could take on
anything! As long as she could do it in
coordinating tube tops and straight skirts (which were also tubes). Because that’s all I could sew. I did have a few snazzy scarves thrown in
there as well.
So is it any wonder given my convoluted relationship with
her that I, along with buying the birthday gift, ended up buying myself this:
So fabulous! The highly
fashionable clothes, the shoes, the retro, come-hither eyes that may just lure
away all the men. A dangerous and
seductive woman, powerful yet not trashy like a Bratz doll. AND a redhead to boot! (Well, strawberry
blonde is close.) How could I resist? - wg
P.S. I also have a
preggo Barbie with the detachable tummy. The one they banned from
OK, I got a little beef to pick. (Wait, is that beef or bone? Probably bone, right? Who picks on cows?) I’ve written in the past about my issues
with undergarments. Well since then (it’s
been almost a year) I managed to find a couple new brands of undies. Yay! One style in particular that I absolutely love!
They are heavenly. No
ride up factor, fits perfectly. Beautiful,
soft material. Like cloth spun from
ripped-off angel wings on my butt. They
have become the new favorites in my knicker rotation.
However, this style also happens to look a little
granny-like. Not exactly billowing-in-the-breeze
briefs but definitely NOT Brazilian cut bikinis or sexy thongs. (I still hate thongs.) When I first found them I distinctly remember
thinking, “Hmmm, I’m not sure Keen is going to like these,” but they were So… Damn...
Comfy! And given the usual torture that
is underwear shopping I knew, granny panties or not, these were keepers.
(Because, let’s face it, if anything is going to trump sexy
it’s usually comfort. Sorry guys (as you
sit on the couch in your boxers with a stained tee halfway up your stomach).)
So imagine my surprise when the following exchange occurred…
Keen, watching me change one day, “Your ass looks SO HOT in
Ding ding ding! “Really?”
Me, craning around to look at my undies, “I thought they looked like granny
panties. I mean, they cover up a lot.”
“Whatever. They’re still hot, baby.”
(Welcome to what passes as foreplay in my house.)
I was ecstatic! Underwear that was incredibly comfortable and didn’t make me look
geriatric! Or did in a really sexy
way. Or… wait, that’s just wrong. Anyway, these suckers rocked!!
So of course, I go to order more… even at the whopping $7
dollars a pop (yeah, I know that’s a good price for underwear but I only pay $6
for my t-shirts and those have WAY more material!) and…
…they’ve been discontinued.
My sexy granny panties. Gone. Because why would anyone keep making something that was so
(No one should feel this much heartbreak so close to