Archive for April, 2012

April 22, 2012

Eyes On You

Okay, I am going to lead this article off with a “snarky alert” – this is going to probably be one of my more…er…shall we say…critical, yes, lets say critical…posts.  But this one has been on my mind now for several days and I simply MUST say something. 

As I have discussed in other posts Mr. Commando and I have season tickets to the Los Angeles Clippers –a gold mine of people watching at its LA best…or worst…   Our seats are near the team bench where we get an up-close view of activities behind the scenes, management, media and even a good crop of A, B and C list celebrities.  Downside of this location is that I invariably hear that some co-worker or friend has seen us in the background of a basketball game on TV or we have found ourselves on the Jumbo-Tron – leading me to be inordinately paranoid about what I wear to games (even my fan gear) and extremely careful that I don’t get caught stuffing my face with a hot dog on national television.  We see some great stuff and some truly not great stuff, and after eleven years I pretty much thought I had seen it all.  Until this past week. 

Part way through the second quarter a trio of young women came giggling and teetering into the team guest seats directly in front of us.  This is not an unusual occurrence but these girls were decidedly a different sort from the agents, cousins, friends of players, etc we usually see.  Here is what they wore:

  • Girl number one was dressed in a very tight and very short tube dress in cobalt blue, with a cropped, studded and distressed denim jacket and a pair of super high platform sandals with faux-espadrille wedges that were clearly PVC.
  • Girl number two had on a pair of inexpertly cut-off jeans of extreme age – cut at an odd and unflattering angle, hole in the seat and ragged on the bottom which she topped with a white dress shirt tied at the waist.  On her feet super high (again) Mary Janes in black patent and metallic that were clearly intended for clubbing or a dressier outfit.
  • Girl number three wore a pair of very low rise stretch corduroy pants in grey, a cropped tank in magenta and a cropped faux leather and mesh paneled jacket in black.  Her crowning glory was a matching bra and thong set in bright neon coral.  And how do we know this?  Well the layered tops didn’t cover the bra and the pants showed her thong even when she was standing and tugging her pants up.  So you can well imagine what an expanse of exposed midriff and thong divided behind our row got to see when she sat down.  It was a jaw-dropping sight.  Yikes.

Each girl had a pretty face and a bootylicious figure, long extensions in de-rigueur spiral waves, big blingy hoop earrings, and oversized bags.  They were clearly going for distinct looks and they wanted to be SEEN.  But somehow each girl had managed to miss the mark in some way or another, each outfit was just a bit off.     

If their ensembles weren’t enough to garner some eyebrow raising attention, they behavior was frankly astonishing.  When they arrived they immediately pulled out their mobile phones and began posing and taking pictures of themselves.   Not awkward arm-stretched-out “lets all crowd together and say cheese” snaps, but full on posing – heads cocked, chins tilted, lips pouted, hair held coyly, cleavage arranged shots.  And not just one or two…no this went on through the remainder of the quarter and started again at the beginning of the second half.  When they weren’t doing their impromptu photo shoot they were standing up at odd intervals – as in not when the rest of us did, or they stayed standing after we all sat back down.  They caught the arena cameraman’s salacious eye so they did finally manage to get themselves on the JumboTron which resulted in even more ridiculous posing, but the director clearly didn’t love them as much and they were switched for something else pretty quickly.  They were disappointed.

These girls, their outfits and their antics were so hard to miss that I caught the girlfriend of a television personality sitting across the tunnel from us mocking them to her beau.  He eyed them with a LA-perfected appraising look as if to say “yep, they are kinda hot” and then joined in the pointing and laughing…”and kind of ridiculous”.  Mr. Commando and I could barely make eye contact with one another for fear of bursting out in full-on hilarity.   The woman sitting next to me, a fellow season ticket holder, confessed to me at half-time that the reality show “Basketball Wives” was one of her guilty pleasures and she identified these girls as definite “wannabes” right down to the earrings.  Then she went on to add that they would never make the grade – too obvious, too tacky, too “Jersey Shore”.  All around us were raised eyebrows, sniggers, comments.  But there they sat – clearly confident and pleased with themselves; blissfully unaware of making anything but a positive impression.   If it hadn’t been so funny and they hadn’t been so pleased, it would have been tragically sad.   

One of the great things about fashion is that it provides a wholly personal medium for expressing your own individuality every single day.  What you wear can be one of the most powerful non-verbal expressions of your mood, personality, interests, lifestyle and ambitions.  Even trend followers, while typically not being original are still expressing “hey, I am trendy” and folks that simply don’t care about fashion show just that – while also speaking volumes about themselves in terms of cleanliness, neatness, appropriateness, etc. 

These girls took this to a whole new level.  I can understand wanting to be sexy and be noticed, and many women young and old, myself included, have gone for and missed that mark from time to time.  I get that.  I also get that for some people that the reality show look is where they want to be and that not everyone has similar taste levels or budgets.  But to clearly work so hard at a certain look that you end up looking like you are telling the world “I want to sell myself on a street corner or practically anywhere” or when that expression goes from getting attention to being laughed at by a bunch of strangers – that I just don’t get.  Then you really need to rethink the plan.  No, really!

April 13, 2012

Fresh Off The Boat

Anchors Away!

Those of us who were children of the ‘80s all remember when Preppy reigned supreme.  And the ubiquitous Preppy outfit for both girls and guys was gently faded Levi 501’s, Ralph Lauren or Izod polo shirts – layered with collars flipped up, a coordinating sweater draped rakishly over your shoulders, Vaurnet or RayBan sunnies on your head, and on your feet –Sperry Top Sider boat shoes, no socks.  It was nearly a school uniform where I went to school.

This spring Preppy is back with bright/pastel pants, polka dots and stripes, semi-tailored layers, brass buttons, and most notable of all – the boat shoe.  But for us girls this is not the boat shoe of our misspent youth, indeed not.  Back in the day Top Siders– for men or women – were dark brown, oiled leather with a white flat sole.  I do recall someone sporting them in an obnoxious Kelly green at one point, but otherwise brown was it.  But not this time around.  No girls, not any more!

THE boat shoe – the Sperry Top Sider  – has reinvented itself and is clearly having some fun doing it.  Sperry is taking their go-to shoes and making them truly fashionable.  You can now get the traditional boat shoe styling but in a myriad of fun media – quilted or woven leather, suede, patent, fun canvas prints – super preppy plaids, tropical prints,  or bold leopard, metallic leather, sparkle – even sequins!  To further amp up their style “cred” they have partnered with fashion house Milly to create – Milly by Sperry.  Featuring super cute colors, prints and some great shoe styles – including a fab platform cum loafer that still sports a deck shoe vibe – these little guys are so kicky and amusing they scream “wear me!!!”.

Best of all, they are readily available at major retailers and online.  A quick scout of Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and the Sperry site itself yielded me with a bunch of fabulous choices for every mood and moment.  In the definitively preppy category I liked the Milly traditional versions in uber-on-trend coral or the fun tropical print.  For comfort the Angel Fish or Blue Fish styles reign with structure and support that is more like a running shoe; while they don’t come in the super fab media they still have some good colors and prints.  If you are looking for something a bit less traditional the Milly platform in the signature print is a standout, as is the fun leopard print wedge that really doesn’t look like it will say “Sperry Top Sider” on it.  If you are looking for a nautical vibe but don’t want a boat shoe the Milly wedge, which comes in several colors, is just the thing.  And last but not least my favorites – traditional boat shoe styles in silver sequins which would rock with jeans and the black or grey sparkle versions with the lacings in velvet – such a witty riff – both designs make me want to cuff my pants and wear a playful hat. 

While these boat shoes are great to make the most of the preppy trend or spice up a nautical look, I think I like their sense of irony even more.  How fun to have bright flowery, shiny silver or sparkly black deck shoes!  They are such a fashionable way to spice up traditional weekend or vacation wear. 

Bravo to Sperry!  They have done a great job of keeping up with the changing tastes of the marketplace while still delivering on their tradition with tried and true basics. Now myself, my family and countless sailors like us have who have worn many pairs of Top Siders over the years will suddenly be super-cool alongside the Fashionistas.  Check it out Dad – Sequins!!!!

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