Tag: Fashion

Addressing Dresses


We are in an age of sexual confusion. It is a pleasant surprise to find a book devoted to celebrating a form of clothing that defines femininity. Moreover, a book that does so unabashedly and unapologetically.

“Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century,” by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is a history and an appreciation of the dress, in all its forms.

Chrisman-Campbell opens the book by celebrating dresses and their role in enhancing femininity.  She shows how dresses feed into women’s desire to express pride in being female, and help them express their sexuality. She discusses how dresses can be simultaneously demure and forward. She also examines their role in defining women in all of their modes, mother, temptress, and ingénue.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the news that a key terrorist suspect in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. They also wonder why Trump HHS Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign for taking private jets at taxpayer expense but Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg can do it and almost no one cares.  Finally, they sigh as the New York Times fawns over Pennsylvania Senator-Elect John Fetterman for his fashion statement of hooded sweatshirts and cargo shorts.

April Showers Bring . . . Woke Weatherproof Styles Ad


Amazon April front pageIt is perfectly natural for retailers to pitch products to the season or occasion. We should especially expect on-line retailers to pitch rain gear in April. So, the presence on Amazon’s homepage of two boxes, “Men’s weatherproof styles” and “Women’s rain-ready styles,” is unremarkable. We have also come to expect the leftist virtue signaling, in the form of the latest approved intersectional hashtag and special emphasis on Black Lives, showing that they Matter to Amazon. Yet, what are we to make of the visual presentation of how Amazon thinks a black man should look?

The top right image is a Amazon screen capture from the evening of 11 April 2021. There is a web page wide top banner advertisement that rotates. The advertisement you see is for an Amazon Prime original series, Them, with each season intended to tell a tale focused on African Americans, and apparently on white people as racists.

Them‘s first season is grounded in the historical reality of the second Great Migration (1940-1970). This was the second wave of the Great Migration (1910-1970). American blacks moved from rural areas to inner cities and from the old South to the North and West. Walter Mosley set his Easy Rawlins private eye series in Los Angeles, with the series starting in 1948. If you have not read any of the series, you likely at least recognize the Denzel Washington movie based on the first novel, Devil in a Blue DressSo, Los Angeles is a good setting for a series set in the 1950s, as well as convenient for the video/movie industry.

Inez Feltscher Stepman joined Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss the devolution of fashion and its relationship to political populism. Feltscher gave her opinion on hot topics ranging from Kanye West’s deal to sell Yeezy at Gap and its impact on Gen Z style, to whether a Joe Biden presidency would affect fashion.

Feltscher argued that the new athleisure trend, which has popularized dressing in more casual, loose-fitting clothing, could be the result of an effort to hide a women’s body as seen in the “Billie Eilish style” of big jackets, Bermuda shorts, and sneakers.

Surviving the Pandemic


Just yesterday, my lovely wife said she could not take it anymore. We had to do something! I would have to do it. Me, with no training whatsoever, without proper ventilation nor experience in the safe use of toxic chemicals. I would have to color the roots of her hair.

I’d seen something like it done before. In fact, my wife did it – to me. I was to travel back east to interview for a GM position at a large liquor distributor (think of the free samples alone!) and my graying hair would just not do. I was competing with young, vibrant men. (What was I, chopped liver? What about experienced-based wisdom? It didn’t matter.) She and my two older daughters went to the Walgreens, and undoubtedly after much discussion and argument, selected a hair coloring product. In great anticipation and excitement, they proceeded to turn my hair a color I like to call, Bozo Orange. It was not the color shown in the picture on the box. Not even close.

Perhaps it works differently on men’s hair, a testosterone issue? That must be it. I’ll bet there is a caveat in the instructions, in print so tiny, it’s like reading license plates from space.

Sundays Are Red, Fridays are Blue, Pumpkin-Spice Colored Skirts Are Totally in Too


Red is for Sunday,
Monday is orange that looks truly like the divine Moon,
Purple is reserved for Tuesday,
Wednesday is the beautiful green of the liep plant.
Thursday is the yellowish green of the young banana palm,
Happy Friday is blue, and must be neat and tidy,
Saturday is the color of ripe pring,
As passed down by the ancients.

According to Khmer tradition, each day of the week is associated with a certain color. And that color is linked to a certain divinity that is venerated on that day. People are advised to dress each day according to the color of the presiding divinity to bring health, prosperity, and happiness to their lives. In the olden days, women would dress accordingly every day. Nowadays, this doesn’t really occur except at formal functions where you would see women wearing the same color of skirts and shawls.

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  This month’s topic, Veneration, got me to thinking about the way so many women venerate the fashion experts in New York and Paris, hanging on their every word. Slavishly following their dictates. And who, you may ask, are these arbiters of taste and fashion? Preview Open

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Fly Me to the Moon is Made of American Cheese – For Now


“What Sort of All Hallows’ Eve Trollop Art Thou?” PIT Seventeen asks. I’m not sure. I’m fairly sure what sort of trollop I’m not — I’m not the sort to consider glitter and body paint an acceptably modest substitute for undies. At least not on me. Nonetheless, The Sun alleges the black, bespangled, and quite bare bat bum is this Halloween’s fashion trend (any “trend” involving bums, of course, being of great interest to The Sun).

I stumbled on this so-called trend while perusing The Sun‘s investigation into snake handling, the ritual wherein Christian oppressors manhandle (“personhandle” would be more gender-neutral, but “manhandle” properly names and shames the unjust kyriarchy) innocent serpents, possibly without the serpents’ consent, purportedly for God’s glory. These oppressors — typically poor Appalachian whites — are themselves oppressed, of course, themselves victims of the same kyriarchy which enables their cross-species molestation. As one of Ricochet’s resident reptilians (I only self-identify as human online), I ought to have been outraged by the speciesist presumption that conscripts nonhuman species into human worship without even asking permission. Instead, I got distracted by sparkly bums.

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I just flipped my cat calendar to September, and my thoughts are on Fall, even though it’s a steam bath in Florida. I love picking up one of the New York phone book sized fashion issues of Bazaar or Vogue in Spring and Fall to see what’s new. In the local bookstore yesterday, I couldn’t […]

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Quote of the Day: Late Bloomers


The costume of women should be suited to her wants and necessities. It should conduce at once to her health, comfort, and usefulness; and, while it should not fail also to conduce to her personal adornment, it should make that end of secondary importance.

The author of these words, Amelia Jenks Bloomer was born two hundred years ago, on May 27, 1818. After a modest upbringing and a few years spent as a governess, she married attorney Dexter Bloomer, and moved from her native New York to Iowa, where she wrote for several newspapers before starting her own periodical, exclusively for women. The Lily was intended for distribution among the members of another of Amelia’s pet projects, the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, and was

a needed instrument to spread abroad the truth of a new gospel to woman, and I could not withhold my hand to stay the work I had begun. I saw not the end from the beginning and dreamed where to my propositions to society would lead me.

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Ok so this doesn’t have links but I came away from a magazine-flipping session or two recently when trapped in waiting lobbies with nothing of my own to read, and came away with this weird impression. If I had known it would congeal later than the glancing sessions I might have taken a few notes. […]

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My Fashion Revolution: Hats


I understand that men’s hats are out of fashion for men. I wear hats. Let’s be clear. A men’s hat has a 360-degree brim. A cap may have a bill. A cap is not a hat. I wear hats.

Hats come in many varieties, the most popular of which is the fedora. There are also the bowler (or derby), the top hat, the skimmer (or boater), the Homburg (which some class as a variation of the fedora), the trilby (small brimmed fedora), the pork pie (think Breaking Bad), the Outback, the cowboy hat, and many more.

I wear straw hats in warm weather.

Summer’s Bustin’ Out All Over


Ah, the first day of summer. And, if you’re a larger-busted woman, the first day of a season not really designed with you in mind. Even if you’re not big-busted, just older, or physically odd in some way, finding attractive but modest summer clothing whose modesty doesn’t draw too much attention to itself can be tough.

High-riding bands and pit-cleavage.

Body Shaming, Dress Shaming, and Snail Shaming


As one often is, I found myself inspired by @peterrobinson’s latest post – in this case, a post on beauty products which may or may not have been shed by cows. Specifically, I was inspired to look up beauty products shed by other animals, such as snail slime and nightingale droppings. Well, it is difficult for a gal to look these things up without being bombarded by other supposedly female-friendly stories, on love and fashion and the like. To go in reverse order, let me start with the snail shaming:

Love is tough. Even tougher if you’re a snail born with the wrong chirality. Poor Jeremy was a left-swirling snail. Maybe that doesn’t sound so bad, for a snail. But he was a left-swirling snail born into a right-swirling snail’s world. Snails are hermaphrodites, which sounds pretty flexible, but they can’t mate with themselves and a pair of them do have to both swirl the same way in order to mate. Scientists wanting to breed Jeremy to study his (zir?) kind found Jeremy another left-swirler, Lefty, to mate with. The two had only begun flirting when they were forced to hibernate together in the fridge, which sounds like a big step – imagine being forced to move in with someone just because the two of you had been caught kissing! After this first scientific violation of gastropod sexual autonomy, stuff just kinda snowballed from there, leading to what’s certainly the most adorable use of “cucked” I’ve ever seen:

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Lose the hotpants, Sister. Just throw them away. That’s right, just throw them in the garbage with the coffee grounds. And while you’re at it, get rid of those skimpy midriff tops with words like “Cruel Girl” written on them. Go ahead, you can do it! I have just returned home from a trip to […]

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Fashion and Its Healing Power


There are those who think fashion is frivolous or silly, but I know better. Only a couple of people on Ricochet know this, but I was sick last year. On May 20, 2016, my friend and neighbor threw me into the car and rushed me to the ER when I had a severe attack of abdominal pain. She knew I’d been having these for months because I’d missed parties and dinners, and this time she said, “Okay that’s it! We’re going to the ER.” I made her wait while I took a bath, washed my hair, shaved my legs, dried my hair, and put on makeup and an outfit. My reasoning was that if I showed up looking the way I was, they wouldn’t even try to save me.

When I got to the ER, they did a CT scan. A doctor came into the room and said, “We found a mass in your abdomen. You have cancer. We’re operating right now.” I barely had time to absorb this dire diagnosis because they knocked me out. Lucky for him, because I was about to give him a piece of my mind on the topic of bedside manner. I mean he wasn’t exactly DocJay.

He later told me that when I’d arrived at the ER, I was about six hours from death. My friend saved my life. And I had made her wait an hour while I took a bath, did my hair and makeup, and selected a chic outfit. No wonder they call vanity a Deadly Sin. But I couldn’t help it! One of my favorite quotes from a famous style icon and former editor of Vogue was running through my mind: