I want to start this post by mentioning something that took place a year ago but did not get the chance to share until now. Despite the delay, it perfectly dovetails to the theme of this post — stores closing in malls.
Time for me to clear out a couple of bookmarked web items from my browser. And I’m doing so with one hand holding my nose, because earlier this spring I bookmarked articles from The Independent and Teen Vogue about the same fashion item. I’m hesitant to call it “fashion” as I’m not sure if this was just a case of someone pulling a late April Fools joke on the world.
What am I talking about exactly? Well, three years ago I talked about a trend in denim called “distressed jeans.” Basically, fashion brands and retailers made and marketed jeans that had intentional wears and tears in them. These weren’t the still-very-comfortable-but-faded jeans in your closet. Rather, these were jeans with tears, strains, bleached spots, and other on-purpose distresses that were put on sale for more than they looked like they were worth. Yeah, you were able to go to an American Eagle or an H&M and plunk down large coin ($65 or so) and take home something you probably could have found for a lot, lot less at a Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul, where the distresses in the jeans they sold were real because, well, someone else lived in them for a long period of time.
It’s the middle of springtime, if you’ve haven’t noticed. And that means, of course… baseball! So, let’s talk up how the season is going, specifically the New York Mets. As of this writing, the Mets have an 18-15 record and are within one game of the National League East lead. Tonight, the Mets are…
Uh, wait. I’m sorry, my reference links are mixed up. This post really isn’t about the Mets, or baseball for that matter. I guess I should have realized that before looking up the Mets’ team song and titling this post. Since it’s too late for that, I’ll go on the correct path and tell you this post is about the Met Gala. Or, to get all formal, the Costume Institute Gala.
First held in 1948, the Met Gala is an annual gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which you see above. As befitting its more formal name, the Met Gala is a fundraising banquet for the benefit of the Museum’s Costume Institute. Traditionally held on the first Monday of May, the Gala also serves as the grand opening for the Institute’s annual fashion exhibit.
You may recall that earlier this month of March, I participated in another poetry reading as Allison. That particular Friday night here in Madison wasn’t too chilly, meaning that the comfy winter coat I had just added to my closet would have been a little too much. But then, it wasn’t anywhere near balmy, meaning a light jacket would leave me chattering my teeth on the walk from my car to Mother Fool’s.
But earlier that day, out of pure coincidence, I came across this College Fashionista article that gave a nice recommendation for the season: Layers are a great way to combat the chilly air that always comes with late winter/early spring weather March forces upon us. The article came with a couple of pictures of outfits featuring long coats. Problem was, I didn’t have any long coat in my closet.
Luckily, I checked out of work a little early that Friday, giving me a little extra time to head down the road to Target to see if they had any long coats. Thankfully, they did.
Time to do something I haven’t done in a while: Clear out a few items that have long sit idle as bookmarks in my browser. Both are related to an advertising campaign that’s made an impact in both the ad world and popular culture over the past decade-plus: Dove beauty products’ Campaign for Real Beauty. Perhaps you’ve seen some of the campaign’s advertising in the past, all aimed at countering the prevailing image of women and young girls concocted by the beauty and fashion industries — i.e. images of waif-thin models of a certain age and/or ethnicity, all sporting all-too-perfect hair, makeup, and skin tone — and instead celebrate various types of female appearances and encourage and inspire women to be confident in and comfortable with themselves.
As I recall it, the first I time I heard of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was a 75-second online ad produced in Canada and first released in October 2006. Titled “Evolution,” the ad featured a pretty yet ordinary girl going through a time-lapse transformation into a beautiful model — with some obvious embellishments.
Okay, okay, you’ve had your fill of me talking about the business world, and I hear you. You want to see an actual new photo of me? Well, let me take care of that right here and now. If you’ve noticed the calendar, it’s still February. And here in Wisconsin, February still means we’re in the grips of winter, no matter what some groundhog may say. And when it’s winter in Wisconsin, one really needs to bundle themselves up before opening the front door and facing winter’s chill and snow. And that includes…
Yep, a winter coat. The past year-plus, I’ve been venturing out of the house as Allison much more often, primarily to support group meetings. Before this winter, I never had a women’s winter coat. No, I don’t mean the leather or denim jackets that occupy my closet; as lovely as they are in their own right, they’re more suited for a season like spring or autumn, when the weather in Wisconsin isn’t as harsh as what winter regularly brings. So, back in December, I moseyed over to the Burlington that’s located here on the West side. When you think of Burlington, you tend to think of coats (it’s website is still BurlingtonCoatFactory.com), although it also features other clothing as well as home decor and gifts. But it’s that “Coat Factory” part of its old name that still makes me think of Burlington as a store for affordable outerwear. And sure enough, this purple Madden Girl coat was on the sales rack.
Okay, peoples, time to show off yours truly in another outfit.
Last weekend, I attended another meeting of the trans support group I am part of. This is the outfit I chose to wear:
As I’ve admitted once or twice on here before, I don’t get into watching awards shows on television very much. So, if you were with me in my apartment this past Sunday (January 7), not only would you have been sweltering with me in an apartment that has the heat stuck in a way-too-high position (a subject for another post, I promise), you’d also would’ve been switching back and forth between football and college basketball and hockey and even cricket. In other words, we wouldn’t have been watching any of the 75th Golden Globe Awards ceremony or preceding red carpet.
And judging from the social media talk during the ceremony, as well as the post-ceremony analysis… oh, what a night we would’ve missed. For one, there were the award winners, of course. Then there was Seth Meyers’ opening monologue and his getting help with the jokes he couldn’t tell. And definitely bigger than all of that, there was the appearance of a certain TV anchor turned talk show host turned actress turned media mogul — yeah, I’m talking about Oprah — who, when accepting a career achievement award, brought down the house with a speech about justice for women that many equaled to a speech from a campaign in two years’ time for a certain public office (the one currently occupied by You Know Who). No doubt, her speech was a rousing and optimistic one that will certainly inspire more than a few women, of all ages and identifications, to stand up and stand strong.
Some relatively quick fashion tidbits to share with you, starting with this tweet I shared with the world last weekend:
In what may be the strangest (to me, at least) holiday dress I’ve ever seen, this display at Windsor in the West Towne Mall featured a strapless gown decked out entirely in pine tree needles. Clearly, this is meant to be a seasonal window display, one meant to encourage shoppers to check out their store. But if one were to actually wear this to a holiday party… well, for sure, it would be quite the statement-making eye-catcher, one that would be sure to strike up a few conversations about the wear being “fashion forward.” However, there would be issues with sitting down (“OuchOuchOuch!”), not to mention shedding needles (“Would someone please bring over the broom and dustpan? Or better yet, the vacuum cleaner.”).
Time to catch up on a subject I have embarrassingly left fallow on here: Tidbits about fashion. Or, at least this time around, tidbits about clothing that you can get some mileage out of. A question for all of you: Do you tend to wear clothing that could be well suited for spring or summer into the fall? And more germane to the below photo, do you tend to buy something usually more suited for the warmer months but are not found in the markdown racks at at least 50% off? Those questions were percolating in my mind when I spotted this Liz Claiborne display at JCPenney over the weekend. Note the floral patterns on the shirts at center and right. Usually, when you think “floral patterns on clothing,” you’d presume they would be only for the warmer months. But the colors featured on this shirt are clearly not as bright as you’d expect for a floral pattern. Not that color or pattern would matter when you’re in need of a casual top to wear. Oh, this is definitely casual in style, perfect for cleaning house, running errands, or just lounging and relaxing with friends.