Archive | August, 2011

Pocahontas in 2011

28 Aug

The other day a friend texted me saying “Ok, apparently Pocahontas is fashionable this season.  Wtf am I supposed to wear?”  And she’s so right!  She meant it in a broader sense, in the textile/pattern sense, but I instantly connected in the headband across the forehead sense.

Also known as a hippie headband, these are popping up all over the place.  Again.  Must be a part of the whole revival of ’70s colors and patterns. 

So what is it about wearing a piece of fabric across your forehead? For fashion, I should add, since athletes use headbands to keep their sweat under control (And then of course there are those musicians that wear sweatbands on stage, which might be for fashion and might be for function- but I digress.).  The women I see with these headbands are young, college aged ladies.  I highly doubt any woman over the age of 30 would be caught dead in that. So are they sexy? Maybe the nod to the ’70s hippie style is a nod to the culture as well?

I’m hoping this goes away soon.  My friend is right- I really don’t want to dress like Pocahontas when I stopped watching Disney princess movies over a decade ago.

Well, mostly.


Family, Pt. 2

8 Aug

Time to post some more family photos!  You will be interested to hear that we’ve traced a branch back to Ireland, and one ancestor was even killed by a horse-drawn trolly in Brooklyn.  I’m still waiting to hear of someone in jail… though I guess that applies for the present too (HA!).

From my father:

Joseph was my father’s uncle who died young. Dad says that after Joe died, Frances went to work full time, which meant Dad inherited a younger “brother,” his cousin Donald, and was strongly encouraged to take Donald with him where ever he went, which didn’t always go over so well.  When I was about 10 or so, Donald worked at Shea Stadium during Mets games in the summers, running up and down aisles throwing bags of Cracker Jacks to fans.


At least she looked happier for her wedding:

We originally thought my great grandfather here was in WWI garb, but now believe this might be a uniform for the Boy Scouts (or some version thereof).  More research to come!

More Tails, Please!

3 Aug

The other night I sat out on the Boston Common to watch Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s All’s Well That Ends Well.  Right before the show started, some of the actors came out with collection bags to get donations from the audience.  This is, in itself, very uninteresting, except for the fact that they came out in costume!  A brief taste of what’s about to come.  And really, who doesn’t want to see Victorian costumes up close?  The actors closest to my area were men in tailcoats, MY FAVORITE.  Men just look better in tailcoats, especially period tailcoats.

Tailcoats, though only used for formal evening wear now, were much more popular at the turn of the 19th century.  They were originally designed for the English gentleman on horseback, and then became day wear in the hands of dapper Beau Brummell.

Today, there are two main types of tailcoats – the dress coat and the morning coat.  There are many little differences between the two, most of them nitpicky and only relevant to tailors, but the important difference between them is the cut at the waist.  The dress coat has evolved into a coat with a squared cutaway, while the morning coat gradually curves into the tails in the back.

Dress Coat

Morning Coat

You will also notice that you do not button your dress coat – all of those buttons are decoration only – but you can use your one button on your morning coat.

And finally, if you still need convincing that tailcoats are the way to go, I give you the cast of The West Wing.

It’s not the best photo, but all of the men are wearing tailcoats.  And if President Bartlett wants you in tails, I really see no reason to argue.