Carrie v. the Fashion Industry

April 28, 2011

I only go clothes shopping once every year or so (barring emergency runs for a new pair of jeans).  I’m not much of a clothes horse.  “Functional” and “Not Looking Like a Hobo” are my primary concerns.  I decided to go on a concerted shopping trip yesterday because I realized I’ve been wearing the same four outfits to my book-related events for the last two or three years.  I really needed some nice new tops.

But I got a little frustrated.

Every few years, the fashion industry comes up with a color palette that seems specifically designed to make fair-skinned blonds look like washed-out zombie people.  This appears to be one of those years.  Peach, gray, and spring green.  Really?  The hell?

Then there were the ruffles.  Everything has ruffles on it.  Ruffles, scrunchies, flowers, fringe, more ruffles.  Women’s clothing has gone ultra ultra froofy feminine this spring.  WHY?!

On top of all that, I seem to have found myself at that awkward in-between age.  The junior section is way too young for me anymore.  But the “women’s” clothing all looks like it belongs on one of those Real Housewives shows.  I really don’t want to look like that, either. I’m *this close* to running screaming back to my jeans and T-shirts.

I did, eventually, find a couple of nice shirts.  One of them is a button-up short sleeve linen-looking  thing with a funky blue print.  When I saw it in the store, I liked it.  Then I looked at it a little more closely.  It sparkled.  I was like, huh?  Then I discovered:  it had about two-dozen random sequins stitched onto it.  Once again, Fashion Industry:  WHY?!  Why would you do that?  Why would you take this relaxed funky shirt and sew sequins on it?!

I bought the shirt anyway.  And cut all the sequins off.



19 Responses to “Carrie v. the Fashion Industry”

  1. Becca Z Says:

    One unexpected perk of this bizarre season is that amidst the faded/washed out color palette and lace and ruffles, I’ve found some truly excellent additions to my steampunk wardrobe on the racks of stores I normally wouldn’t enter without a stake and crucifix. Strap a leather corset and some belts on it, voila!

  2. carriev Says:

    You’re right, there — I did spot a couple of pieces that would have worked great with my leather doublet.

    But that was not yesterday’s mission. I was really focused yesterday. 🙂

  3. LupLun Says:

    Suggestion: shop in the men’s department and go for the “k. d. lang” look. With a ponytail, I think you could pull it off without looking too butch. ^_^

  4. ArcLight Says:

    Jeans and T-shirts rock.

  5. Thomas Says:

    @ArcLight: Indeed they do. I’m just lucky enough to be able to wear them to work most days.

    Carrie, great to hear you found at least a couple of shirts you like. The funky blue one sounds awesome. Good to hear you cut all the ‘sparkles’ off.

    I’m probably overdue for a wardrobe change myself, considering I’ve still been wearing T-Shirts from trips I took seven years ago.

  6. Patricia Mathews Says:

    Every year they change the color palette, so that if I want something I really like, I need to buy several copies. Except that then they change the cut so that you can’t get long sleeves, full-length legs, or a waist above the need for a bikini wax.

    But I can tell you why it’s all fluffy-frilly-ruffly this year. And will probably be for some time. Femaleness – as in tight and clinging over rounded tummies and tops – rules the campus and has for a long, long time. That means fluffy-ruffle femininity is the next step. As in the difference between the glamour of the 1940s and the “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee” era.
    Pat, so glad to be old enough to be out of the game. As defined as “old enough to remember the fashion the first time around.”

  7. Miss Bliss Says:

    I feel your pain. I can stand buying women’s jeans and thus find myself down digging through the men’s Levis. I tend towards the jeans and tshirt route myself daily but have had some good luck with ethnic shops (online is a great resource for nice linen and cotton tunic type things sans sequins or ruffles) for interesting tops that dress up the jeans without making me feel like I don’t look like myself.

  8. Miss Bliss Says:

    Doh…that’s “I can’t stand buying women’s jeans…”

  9. DMS Says:

    I prefer to shop with a friend of as different a body type as I can. More fun to mock fashion as a pair and easier to not be upset when something looks great on her and not me because we’re so differently shaped.

  10. Jules Sharp Says:

    I find that I am also in that in between stage of fashion. I also love my jeans and t-shirts and wish I did not have to ever deviate from them. However, I’ve found that when I do have to dress more mainstream and “adult” I can usually find something at J Jill. The clothes there are comfortable, and sort of classic dress-casual and not girly or frilly.

  11. Val Says:

    Ugh, I hate ruffles and I dislike shopping, unless it’s for books, so I get it. Which is why I bought four t-shirts and a tank top today instead.

  12. Book signings are for the fans, right? We think you look good in your steampunk getup. Make more and wear those 🙂

  13. Re WIlliams Says:

    First off and a little late, congratuations on the Hugo nomination!

    I’ve stopped going to stores and started using mail order (great in Germany, you don’t have to pay the shipping). Of course there’s also that once a year trip to the fabric store … but I admit to not making anything professional. I’ll invest a lot of time into making a fun concert costume but not into making something to wear when teaching at a business.

  14. Jaws Says:

    The sequins are there for a very specific purpose: The cohort of women trying to attract Robert Pattinson (Twilight) who are feeling a bit too old, and want something about them to sparkle like a sparkly vampire.

    You may now wash your brain with bleach.

  15. Thomas Says:

    Ahhh!!! I don’t think there will ever be enough bleach or other cleaning chemicals in the world to sear that mental picture out of my mind.

    Hehe… really hilarious comment, Jaws.

  16. jackie Says:

    Clothes are a problem for me too. There are plenty of things that could look good on me, if there was 1/2 as much of me. 😦

    Go your own way. I almost always have. The ruffles have been driving me nuts lately too.

    I have been through many styles more than once, so I know which ones I like. When you get to a season you like, buy lots. That’s all you can do. Or sew your own.

  17. Woad Hayes Says:

    Being an average-built, 25 year old guy, my options for fashionable clothes are limitless. Which is part of the problem. I have no fashion sense. Admittedly, I have personal colors that I wear almost religiously (black, dark green, and silver or grey), and I can turn a good suit when I need to. But for day to day wear, I often come out of my room with the distinct impression that I was neither awake nor sane when selecting wardrobe. Which is entirely possible. However, I tend to go for comfort rather than fashion in any situation. I can spruce myself up for an interview or date, but in reality, if I don’t feel comfortable in something, I won’t look comfortable in it either.

    This is why I suggest total comfort be the goal even in formal-wear.

    Just don’t go nekkid, that might be too comfortable. lol

  18. JeffW Says:

    But Carrie, you look GOOD in jeans-and-t-shirt!

  19. Jacqie Says:

    I know! I feel like a mom shopping in the teen aisle now, but it seems like the only other option is Grandma-elastic waist polyester!! Where are the clothes for women who weigh more than 100 pounds, but don’t want to dress in a sack?

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