Yesterday I went out to the mall here in St. Louis.  I have shopping malaise, wherein I have just been bored to tears at the stores.  I mean, I went into an ExpressMen and even the shop clerks were like “hi. can i help you? we’re having a sale right now blah blah blah.”  Ok, I might have made the blah blah blah part up.  But it was very bored.  I think it’s part of this overall economy.  

Anyway, Mall Fashion:  There is something about the mall that causes people to dress like shit.  Like, oh, I’m gonna run up to the mall for a few hours, so I’ll wear stretch pants, keds, an oversized Christmas sweater and tease my hair to within an inch of it’s life.  And true story – this was an outfit I witnessed yesterday not Christmas 1986.  Delightful.  I guess my big problem is that if you are going to the mall to shop, you should probably dress like the clothes you’re planning on buying.  Like with shoes.  If you are going out to buy sneakers, you wouldn’t wear pumps or sandals.  

Am I being wrong? I mean am I expecting too much from people?  I suppose part of it has to do with laziness and how you were raised.  My mother used to let us out of the house in whatever we wanted and those pictures are pretty embarrassing now.  So somewhere around high school, I took active pursuit in making sure that my clothes were appropriate for the situation.  And now, I wouldn’t imagine dressing like shit to go shopping.  I mean there’s nothing wrong with looking like a damn fool when you go out on your patio for a smoke or if you run down to CVS because you ran out of Diet Coke and now need more. NEED MOAR.  But there’s something wrong to me about looking like shit when you go to the mall. 

I am also calling for a general campaign to end Crocs.  FOREVER.  I won’t even link to their website out of fear someone might stumble upon this blog and follow the link and then actually buy some of them.  THEY ARE RUBBER SHOES THAT ARE BAD FOR YOUR FEET.  As I tell my dog:

NO!

Oh my, has it really been that long since I’ve updated?  I suppose.  I am currently in the midwest which is where fashion means nothing.  Seriously.  These are people who think that Crocs are appropriate for a Christmas dinner.   My dad’s wife actively encouraged him to wear his new black Crocs to Christmas dinner.  They are not just the regular Crocs.  Nay, these are the ones with the fleece lining.  Thankfully, though my father is not fashion-concsious at all (this is a man who tucks in sweaters, after all), he decided to go with a non-athletic brown sneaker.   Here’s my problem with Crocs: they are ugly.  If you are a woman, they make your legs look dumpy and squat.  If you are a man, they make you look like a male nurse.  There are 3 places you are allowed to wear Crocs: if you actually are a nurse, go for it – it looks like a part of a nurse’s uniform and they work.  If you are a gardener.  I imagine they would be cool and comfortable in the summer and warm in the winter.  If you are at home and need a little houseshoe or something.  THAT IS IT.  I AM SO ANTI-CROCS!

Another thing I’m against is this idea that brown is only a neutral.  Here’s the scenario.  I wore a brown button down shirt and a pair of brown dress pants with a black belt and black shoes.  The black acts as the neutral and the brown is the color.  This is not the same as mixing brown and black shoes and belts as neutrals.   THE BROWN IS THE MAIN COLOR.  IT IS NOT A NEUTRAL IN THIS CASE.  As my idols, Stacy and Clinton always say: It doesn’t need to match, it needs to go.  My outfit went.   Brown is actually quite a good color to use in an outfit.  Very few people look bad in brown and it’s a lot warmer and richer than black.

And lastly – Christmas-themed clothing.   STOP IT.  You can say “Christmas” with your clothing without actually having a Christmas tree on your sweater.  Seriously.  There’s no reason for it.  WE ALL KNOW IT IS CHRISTMAS. We do not need your holly green cable knit sweater with the Rudolph the Reindeer applique on it to let us know it is the holidays.  You know how you do a holiday outfit?  A red cable knit sweater over a nice button-down shirt and a pair of slacks for men.  For women, a nice dress in a bright, rich color preferably in a shiny, shimmery fabric.  That’s it.  No reindeer brooches or earrings in the shape of wreaths.  Or sweaters with Santas on them saying “Ho Ho Ho!”  Of course, with every fashion dictate, there is an exception.  In this case it is teachers.  Elementary school teachers to be exact.  They are allowed to wear that stuff to be cutesy and fun.  But if you are a teacher?  You need to leave that in your school.  Please don’t wear that out in public.

So Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah dear readers.  I’ll probably post a year-end post before the new year!

Ok, I’m about to get my Nina Van Horn on here (remember her tirade on Just Shoot Me about how no one dresses formally anymore and then she falls in love with the J.Crew catalog and meets a guy named Jay Crew and thinks it’s the founder only it’s not?).  And don’t get me wrong, I’m as casual as the next person.  Hell, I don’t even tuck in shirts that should be tucked in.  As long as the event I’m dressing for is informal.

Case in point: The Oscars.  Are. A. Formal. Event. FORMAL.  That means black tie, gents (which is what I’m really pissed about. Most women understand the necessity of dressing formally at the Oscars).  BLACK TIE.  That means, simply put, a tuxedo.  Cut like a tuxedo.  Not a double-breasted, double-vented overly long cut “blazer” with a tuxedo collar.  It doesn’t work that way.

Now, there are a few people I will forgive this error. 1. Behind the scenes folks.  To me, it’s not that bad for a makeup artist or sound editor to show up wearing a suit.  It works. FOR THEM.  Same with musicians (who, frankly, can wear whatever they damn well please).  I mean, Glen Hansard is dressed pretty decently for a musician:

Glen Hansard
and he looks perfectly fine here.  FOR A MUSICIAN.  But my dear readers.  It is never ok to show up at a formal event in anything other than Black Tie (unless you are told otherwise). This does not mean that you need to run to Al’s Formal Wear and buy/rent a tux.  It does mean that your shirt needs to require cufflinks, the jacket and pants should be black and your tie should be black (preferably silk).  You can even wear a cumberbund.  Or a vest.  Hell, you can even go with color (solids only, please).  But for all that is good and pure, do not wear a blazer.  It should be a tuxedo jacket.  The collar doesn’t matter (neither does the shirt’s).  And the shoes?  Shiny, black, patent leather oxfords.  Not colored shoes. Not matte finish shoes.  Not cap-toed or wing-tipped.  Spats are optional.

And lastly.  If you are attending a black tie event: WEAR AN UNDERSHIRT.  You will get hot, you will want to take off your jacket; you will NOT want everyone to see your nipples and your underarm sweat seeping through the fabric.

So, please, formal wear for formal events.  (And belt or braces. NOT both.  It bears repeating).