Archive | November, 2010

An Ogre? Or Simply Rational?

30 Nov

When I got to work this morning, I turned my calendar to December (!) and have since been staring at the image of a dachshund wearing a cape and hat.  It’s a watercolor, thankfully, not a photograph, but still!  The powers that be determined that the folks in my office would like to stare at a dog in clothes for the month of December.

Which got me thinking.  I know I have particular tastes.  I’m sure half of my friends think I’m an ogre because I have no intention to ever own a dog that is shorter than my knees.  I particularly avoid fluffy yappy things.

I know, I'm an ogre.

Does my disdain of pet clothing fall in the same category?  I get dressing your dog in antlers for ONE Christmas picture, if you enjoy that look of pure torture.  I would never try it with Thelma, but if you have a stationary cat, an Easter bonnet could be a comic look.  But why do people insist on dressing their animals like people?  In all seriousness, too, not just to annoy the poor animal for a photo.  I feel like the dogs have become living dolls for these “adults” to dress up.

You will notice that it’s mostly small dogs that get this treatment.  And often in climates that don’t require extra layers.  Is that why I can’t stand them?  Is it more to do with the people who tend to buy small dogs and dress them, rather than the animal itself?

I don’t know.  That is just a scary amount of fur for such a tiny thing.

I must be an ogre after all.

Thanksgiving, the Day to Wear…

24 Nov

So many holidays have a dress code, acknowledged or not.  On the Fourth of July you should try to wear red, white and blue.  On New Year’s Eve you are encouraged to wear something sparkly and short.  Well, maybe not the men.  But that would be a fun party.

So what about Thanksgiving?

If you are seeing relatives, you probably have to dress nicely. Sweater and jeans should do it.  It is a holiday around food, after all.  No need to go all out.

Perhaps you are having a simpler holiday with just a few really close friends or immediate family.  In that case, you probably get to watch the game.  Your old Bruschi jersey is just the thing.

Or maybe, instead of having to see anyone, you get to snuggle up with your cat or dog and watch made-for-tv movies all day long.  With slight breaks to grab food from the kitchen.  In that case, comfy clothes are a must.  Who needs to change?

This holiday is the best.  So many options!

Thank You, Turkey

23 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!  Not only am I thankful for my friends, family and everyone else who makes me laugh, but I am also thankful for vintage turkeys.  Gobble gobble!

And finally, to add a little inappropriateness to your holiday:

Yes, that was wrong for so many reasons.  You’re welcome.

Concert Dress, aka the ’80s Revisited

19 Nov

People wear the most amazing things when performing.  And I’m not talking costumes in a play.  I mean real life, singing-in-a-concert-where-you-wear-your-own-clothes-with-a-few-guidelines performing.

Sometimes you don’t have a choice, and you are forced to buy something like this:

Minnesota State University Moorhead Concert Choir

Or even worse, this:

Standard concert wear, when you get to dress yourself, is a black tux and white shirt for men, and a black ensemble for women.  Floor length skirt or pants, and a top that has at least a 3/4 length sleeve.

Check out this group from Chicago:

The ensemble is small so there is not much room for variety, but the women get to wear what they want.  And how differently the ages represent themselves!   You notice quite a few tunics and blazers on the older ladies, while the youngest in front (I’m guessing) is in plainer and more form fitting clothing.  Different concepts of concert wear?

In the groups I’ve performed with through the years, concert attire has been fascinating to watch.  Before the actual night of the performance, I like to guess who will show up in the most outdated outfit.  I’ve seen many ’80s inspired shoulder pads, prom hair, velor and everything in between.  For at least a few people, this is their big shinning moment, so out comes that shirt from 10 years ago.

Just don’t get me started on soloist attire.

A Woven Hat Box

16 Nov

A ceremonial hat box for you this week!

Leg-O-Mutton Sleeves

15 Nov

If you lived in the first half of the 1800s, you would be quite familiar with the sleeves of this dress.  I’m not sure everyone is aware that there were different styles between the popular Jane Austen/Regency look at the start of the 1800s and the hoop skirts from the 1850s.  These bell dresses are actually quite quite charming- simple bell skirts with classic decoration, form fitting blouses (with the help of corsets), and huge, poofy sleeves to add some pizazz.

The poofy sleeves, called “Gigot” sleeves, are full at the shoulder, start to taper in at the elbow, and fit tightly around the wrist.  The look reached its full potential in the mid 1830s.

Sophie, Archduchess of Austria

As you would imagine, the fabrics of these dresses are quite fine and thin.  To make the sleeve look lively instead of wilted, padding was required around the upper arm.  And don’t forget this is in addition to the chemise and corset you are already wearing on your upper body.

The fad died down by 1837 and only made a brief resurgence in the 1890s.

Beyond a small poof in the shoulders in modern dress, I must admit I don’t see another rise of the leg-of-mutton sleeve.  Too bad- it makes your waist look tiny.

For more information, check out Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail.

An Ode to the Side Ponytail

11 Nov

The best thing about having long hair?  The side ponytail.  And the only reason I would really consider letting my hair grow.  I’m in love with it right now, and I fully place the genesis of that love on Sookie Stackhouse.

Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse

Who else looks great like with this style?  Let’s see, practically everyone.

Lauren Conrad

Brittany Snow

Keri Russell

I know bangs are the “new” hip thing, but I just can’t go back to those yet.  It was such a big deal in middle school to talk my mom into letting me grow them out.  Stand strong!  Show off a side ponytail instead!

I never wrote an ode, did I?  Blast.