Entries Posted in "Fashion Faux Pas"

Caught in a Fashion Faux-Pas: Former Gov, Jesse Ventura
May 14, 2009

Anybody remember Jesse Ventura? No? Oh sure you do, just jog your memory a bit.

Mr. Ventura, we need to have a talk. You first busted on the big scene during your run for Governor of Minnesota. We tolerated you then. You were brash and little out there, but hey, it was refreshing. In an uncomfortable sort of way. Sure you were a pro wrestler, but you were a Navy Seal and we at least respected you for that. You've also been married to the same woman for over thirty-four years. That's more than Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons can say.

Back in your wrestling days, there were different expectations. Wrestling is all about the drama and the emotion (kind of like an all male soap opera), so even though it's not our cup of tea, we're okay that you looked like this:


We didn't even suspect you might be gay. And Jesse, let me just say that few self-respecting straight men wear powder pink blazers lined with sequins. Do you see how much slack we've given you throughout your career?

When the public at large first became acquainted with you via the political sphere, you looked something like this:


Very fierce. A nice, understated bald head goes a long way in politics. We all took you seriously. We believed you actually had something worthwhile to say.

But now, Jesse? Now we are not so convinced. Why do you ask? Because now you look like this:


and this:

And after much patience, Jesse, it needs to be said, RECEDING HAIRLINE MULLETS ARE NEVER OKAY. Let's start with the basic premise of the mullet. It's always been ugly no matter which way you slice it, but in the 80s it was acceptable. Then add to that a clear recession of the hair line (nothing wrong with that as sometimes it's a fact of life). The result is utterly tragic and I'm finding it difficult to take anything he's saying seriously. Kind of like how I feel when Don King speaks. Please, stop the madness and cut off the shag!

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Caught in a Fashion Faux-Pas: The Modified Mullet
August 12, 2007

Earlier this summer while attending my brother's all boys private prep school high school graduation, I couldn't help but home in on something incredibly tragic. It wasn't the sea of khaki and bowties or the overabundance of navy blue sport coats and Lacoste boat shoes present. It wasn't even the fact that my brother's graduating class had all of like ten black kids--or the tragedy that ten black males is actually quite impressive for the average private east coast school. No my dear friends, this offense was far more egregious. Seated in the crowd of proud parents, I spotted a modified mullet.

Seriously, people does this really need to be said? Apparently so. It didn't work for Steven Segal or Michael Bolton so what pray tell makes people think this look is even remotely attractive? Sure we can all agree that the mullet of the 80s was scandalous in its own right. We all prayed to God that trend would never ever return. Unfortunately, the next iteration of that fiasco can be seen above. So for all who have ever wondered, here are my two cents: if you are a man at no point and again I say at no point whatsoever should your hair be at varying lengths such that certain sections can be put into a ponytail while others cannot. Not only is it not acceptable; it's not cute. Let it go brotha...let that back bit of hair go.

Past Faux-Pas
- Geometry Gone Wild
- The Grizzly Bear
- The Blue-Haired, Gun Tights Wonder
- Stripey Girl
- The Pimp

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Caught in a Fashion Faux-Pas VIII
December 13, 2004

Growing up around trust fund babies, I learned very quickly that money does not buy taste. Michael Moore is proof of this. Here we have a lovely and well-intentioned woman at some high society function in New York City. No, I wasn't there, but if I were, I may have said something to her to likes of "What on Earth were you thinking!" This picture was snagged from some snooty social diary I forget the name of. As always, the identity of the victim is kept a secret, although it was tempting to leave her face so the world could see that even normal, fairly reasonable looking individuals can fall victim to fashion mis-haps.

If you hadn't noticed, there is really only one issue at hand here: SEVERE OVERUSE OF PATTERNS! It's like attack of Geometry! Is it an outfit or is it an error in Microsoft Word? It's not just the bad 70's blouse with vertical stripes. It's not even the fact that this ensemble looks like it should be on the body of someone who wears thick suntan-colored stockings, orthopedic shoes, smells like Chanel No. 5, and was around before black and white television existed. It's the SKIRT! The geometric skirt that quite simply ruins the outfit for all of eternity.

And somehow, call me crazy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the tag on this outfit may read: 100% Polyester. Then again, maybe that's just my own prejudice talking.

People people people, if you're going to wear prints, you should usually do so on one half of your body. There are some exceptions to this with well designed outfits, but under no circumstances should different prints be mixed. Do you see what happens when stripes go bad?

We have got to better folks. People are counting on us.

Past Faux-Pas
- George and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- The Grizzly Bear
- The Blue-Haired, Gun Tights Wonder
- Stripey Girl
- Me Being Stripey Girl
- The Pimp
- The Cowboy Boots

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Caught in a Fashion Faux-Pas VII
November 23, 2004

This weekend, I attended a friend's wedding and spotted this young gentleman (who incidentally was very nice despite the tragic fashion mishap). As always, the identity of the victim has been preserved. For the sake of this discussion, let's just call our dear friend "Smokey" (as in the bear).

Is it a grizzly bear you ask? Is it your auntie's sofa? No, it's a man in a fur coat with a matching hat. Move over stripes and plaid combos, there's a new sickness on the block and it's called fake fur overkill. Can we say traaaagedy?

What will be said next is very important to take note of: it's not necessarily the wearing of the fur coat or the fur hat. It's the combination of the two--on a man. There's really no nice way to say this except that it's a mess. There are only two types of men that pull off that much fur: Sean "Puffy" Combs and Joan Rivers. Oh wait, but Joan is...well, anyway, you get the idea.

Somebody lied to this gentleman before he left the house when they said, "Yeah man, go ahead and wear the coat AND the hat. That outfit is HOT!" It can only be assumed that the culprit wasn't a woman. A woman would have said, "You look like a reject sugar daddy. Take that thing off before it catches on fire." Short of some gold "Mister T. starter kit" jewelry around his neck, he may well be on his way to a career as a crooked music producer.

Word to the wise, tone down the fur. You wear it; don't let it wear you. One piece at a time please. And remember, Smokey the bear says, "Only you can prevent forest fires."

I say we take his advice. Consider this a warning.

Past Fashion Faux-Pas:
- Gun Tights
- Stripey Girl
- Me Being Stripey Girl
- The Cowboy Boots
- The Pimp

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Caught in a Fasion Faux-Pas IV
September 22, 2004

[ we interrupt regularly scheduled programming for a brief commercial message ]

A riddle for the masses: If three skinny guys walk down the streets of Seattle, blatantly wearing women's jeans and no one sees it, does that make it okay?

Answer: No.

The blurriness in this photo is due to my attempt to be discreet. I conceal the face of the victims for most obvious reasons. While walking to my car after work last Friday, I spotted these three fellows walking through downtown Seattle. Let's just call them "Todd, Jared, and Timmy". Imagine my chagrin when I noticed the middle character (Jared) was wearing one of my most favorite pair of Seven Jeans. "Hey those jeans look like mine," I thought to myself, "Silly Ambra, you're a girl and he's a boy, now why would a boy have on women's jeans?" But that's where I sold my crime doggery and conventional wisdom too short. In fact, not only was Jared wearing my pants, but Todd and Timmy had on women's jeans too.

Now in the past I have made quite clear, my stance on men sporting women's clothing, trying to pass for women. However, in this case, we have men wearing women's clothing, trying to pass for men. Sorry, ain't workin'.

Under. No. Circumstances. Should men wear women's jeans. They are too tight, and they are designed for people with hips and crotches. One would think this to be common sense, but apparently it is not. My camera shall continue to be on the prowl.

Again I say people....We've got to do better.

Past Fashion Faux-Pas:
- Stripey Girl
- The Cowboy Boots
- The Pimp

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Caught in a Fashion Faux Pas III
September 8, 2004

I know you didn't think I would go to New York City and NOT find someone faux-pas worthy. I took this picture while eating in "Little Italy" with friends. Incidentally, the food was good, the view was not. Again, for the purposes of my CIA affiliation, I hide the identity of the victim.

The past faux-pas have been bad, but this one just might take the cake. I'll make this quick: I don't know what possessed this dear woman to leave the house wearing BOTH horizontal AND vertical stripes, but the general American public needs to know that this is completely unacceptable. To make matters worse, the stripes don't even match. Stripes should only be worn on ONE half of the body. Never both. Like all things American, people MUST make a choice. There is only one circumstance when full body stripes are apporpriate: a prison suit.

My people, my people, we have GOT to do better.

Past Fashion Faux-Pas: The Cowboy Boots, The Pimp

[For those of you new to this website, I often throw in my nickel's worth on fashion trends and various improper situations my camera might catch. I do this to break up the monotony of politics, social commentary, and life. Plus, I'm just crazy like that. Back to regularly scheduled blogging]

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Caught in a Fashion Faux Pas II
August 8, 2004

I tried to hold off, but I couldn't any longer. This time I was in the passenger seat when I snapped this picture (still moving of course hence the blurriness) of this nightmare sitting outside none other than a local Seattle Starbucks. Since you may not be able to see the fullness of the details, let me walk you through this one.

Here we have a perpetual James Brown "wannabe". I know what you're thinking, "this can't be a real person". So sorry to inform you dear reader that yes indeed, James' brother lives in Seattle. Since he seems destined for stardom, I'm sure he won't mind starring on my smallish website for a few fashion whacks. Let's just call him "James Jr."

First off, this outfit just offends on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. But as I did with my last spotting of a fashion-nightmare, let's start with the boots. No, then again, as bad as his boots may be, there is something about this photo that's more intrusive than the boots; it's the hair.

1) The hair. Not perms, but PERMANENTS went out with another era. This hairstyle is just atrocious. If James Brown can't pull it off, just what makes "James Jr." think he can do it? Look above his forehead. Are those BANGS??? Why yes they are! In fact, it seems we're looking at the rock of Gibraltar. At any minute I expected to see little men running off the top of the cliff, parachuting into the air. Absolutely under no circumstances should anyone ever think to leave the house with their hair looking like this. The world can only take one James. And these days, it seems he can't even take himself. I am deeply disturbed by this hairstyle.

2) The shirt. Am I mistaken, or was that shirt made from my grandmother's drapes? Aside from the fact that it was an 88-degree day, and this shirt was 57 pounds heavy and long-sleeved, under no circumstances should paisley, flowers, or any sort of comforter-looking material be used a. in such abundance b. on a man.

3) The belt. This is harder to see in the pic, but it's that big reflecting thing you see on his waist. Actually, that is just the buckle. James Jr. seems to think he's some sort of superhero because as big as that gigantic Muhammad Ali starter-kit medallion around his waist is, it had better have some special powers. My best guess, he keeps his Aqua Net hairspray in there.

4) The pants. Again, not clear from the pic, but James Jr. here seems to have forgotten that it's not cool to wear tight pants. Not only are they tight, just where's the flood? When you sit down, your pants should not become capris. Oh but it gets worse. I'd be fine with James wearing tight capris, if they didn't reveal these 70's throwback boots. Which leads me to number five.

5) The boots. There are only certain people who are allowed to wear maroon lacquered cowboy boots. Those people are not black and they don't live in Seattle. I would have nothing against the boots if they didn't have 3-inch heels. The picture doesn't show this, but trust me they're there. This is completely unacceptable. No high-heels on men. Period.

Thus ends my fashion critique for the month. My camera will continue to be on the prowl. And as a last thought folks, really, we've just got to better.

[The author apologizes for the perceived frivolity of this post. Do understand that for her, fashion is a very serious matter and she feels a heavy burden to release the masses from fashion victimhood, however will get back to the regularly scheduled program of things of a more serious nature--like why the NAACP needs to retire.]

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Caught in a Fashion Faux-Pas
July 9, 2004

Those familiar to this site know that every now and then I am prone to giving fashion critiques. Well folks, it's time for another. A few days ago, I had a "moment" while driving and just had to take a snap-shot in motion (hence the blurriness). What you see here is a lovely woman, strolling along on her merry way, unbeknownst to her, she would end up at the center of my ridicule on the world wide web. For the sake of my analysis, let's just call her "Jane". Don't worry, I'd never show Jane's face. You may not be able to decipher the photo, but Jane has on some very chic ankle cowboy boots (as chic as ankle cowboy boots can be). What else you say? Jane's also sporting some lovely shorts. That's right campers, shorts. I would like to announce to the relative world, that under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to wear ankle cowboy boots and shorts. Not okay. Be warned. My camera shall continue to be on the prowl.

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April Fashion Critique
April 7, 2004

Well folks, it's been awhile since I last shared some thoughts on the fashion trends of today. And while yes, Uggs are still hot, I've located another nemesis. Well, two.

The Miniskirt Trend
So if you're alive and breathing, I'm certain you've been to the mall or at least in a public setting recently. I also don't doubt you've spotted the resurgence of one of the most horrific trends of the 21st century: The miniskirt. And might I add, it's the mini mini skirt trend. These skirts are so short you'd mistake them for belts. Though this trend is not new, I have a hard time believing miniskirts of the 70's were as short as these hootchie-fly skirts girls (and GROWN women) are wearing these days. My usual comment to ladies who feel the need to expose the upper fatty part of their legs (AKA their butt) while wearing these skirts is, "Don't bend over sweetie." And to think that sane mothers actually let their daughters leave the HOUSE with these things on is just sickening to me. Think I'm being too conservative? Now look, I am a 22-year-old single woman with a severe addiction to spending money in retail clothing and shoe establishments. I won't lie, I love fashion, and I love certain trends and styling. Though I have arguably crossed the line on "ultra-conservative dress" in the minds of most of the women in my church born before 1861, I certainly am modest. Always. That's the least a lot of young women can say these days. If you've entered the doors of most fashion retailers, these little scraps of fabric they call skirts are EVERYWHERE. Once the trend subsides, perhaps stores can sell them as dishrags.

The Low-Rise Pants Trend
"Hey you! Yeah you over there with the oh-so-cute Abercrombie & Fitch courderoys on. Nice pants, I like the color, but I can see your THONG! Please kindly adjust yourself so I do not have to stare at your undergarments." I cannot recall the number of times my enjoyment of a very good double bacon cheeseburger has been ruined by some chick bending over to tie her shoe and exposing her hind parts to me. At first I thought people just didn't know, but now it has become a full-blown trend to expose your underwear. Seriously. People do this intentionally and it is slutty and floosie-like behavior at best. There is a proper way to wear low-rise pants, and if you can't abide by the rules, then don't wear them at all. Oh, and another thing. For all you women who have a cellulite dilemma in the lower waist back and frontal areas (not judging the dilemma, just stating the facts), please refrain from wearing low-rise pants PERIOD. They are not for everyone. Trust me, this is for your own good. It does not make you look your best. Whew, okay, there I said it.

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Fashion Trends
February 7, 2004

There is a horrible fashion trend that has descended upon the consumers of America and beyond. They are Australian sheepskin boots. They are called Uggs. I'm assuming the name comes from the fact that they are UGG-LY. Not since the 80's have I seen such a horrendous fashion trend. Who is responsible for this? The Australians. Thank God Hillsong Music has redeemed my opinion of Australians. But for upwards of $200 a pop, what in tarnation would cause someone to actually think these suckers are cute? I've even seen girls wearing them with skirts?!? Now I've tried these on (burning curiousity I suppose) and I'll admit, they're both comfortable and warm. But "going hiking in the mountains warm" not "I wanna be part of a fashion trend warm". These boots seem to be the most popular in sunny California (someone help me understand the logic there). Whatever the case may be, these shoes are all the rave and I don't get why. Collectively, we Americans have brains the size of peas when it comes to consumerism. We do very little thinking for ourselves and usually rely on the media and what we see to dictate what we should be buying; especially in the fashion world. I've usually found that image creates desire and if you see something enough times, what was once ugly now seems chic. This is a marketing nightmare. But no matter how many times I see these uggified boots, they still seem hideous to me.

Another strange phenomenon is the fact that we consumers have some need to spend lots of money on things that shouldn't cost lots of money. Like jeans. And I'll be the first to admit, the combined market value of 5 pairs of jeans in my closet is about $800. I of course, being a bargain hunter didn't pay that price, but the concept still sickens me nonetheless. Truth be told, there's not a heck of a lot of difference between a pair of generic and designer jeans but the label. Sometimes quality differs, but even that's fargone these days.

I've been observing the Gap, Inc. over the last couple of years. Their sales were WAY down around this time last year--about 10%--which in the retail world is horrible. Interestingly enough, the Gap still had their same quality, same basic clothes. One of their main problems was, get this: their price point. Their jeans were too cheap. People wanted to buy "expensive jeans". So you guessed, it, sometime last year, the Gap introduced "1969" their upscale denim line. What a load of crap. The reality is, there's no difference in this new line of jeans. They're just more expensive. Currently, the Gap's sales are up. My hypothesis on this: We consumers want to have the best of the best, even if we can't afford it. "Faking the funk" so to speak, is a nice consolation prize for not being "well-off" enough to afford to pay $185 for a pair of Diesel Jeans without going into debt. So we'll buy the expensive pair of Gap jeans over the cheap ones because it makes us look more successful. This is the craziest concept to me. While the discount stores (Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack) are extremely successful these days, it's the (middle stores) whose clothes aren't too expensive but aren't too cheap that are losing in sales. Why? All because of some ugly boots. Well, not really but I'd like to think so.

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show