html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Decisive! But not implemented.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Decisive! But not implemented.

I even have opinions about clothes, although I have no idea how to translate that into an outfit or anything. I sometimes know what things are trendy, and I often don't like them. I thought asymmetrical hems were silly because my legs are the same length, and so were pointy shoes, on account of how my toes aren't pointy. Last spring, when every shirt was a floral print with an empire waist, I wondered why we were all supposed to wear maternity wear. When Angelina Jolie is pregnant, we are all pregnant?

Tracy and I were looking at this coming fall in the usual mall stores, and I can't think whose death we are mourning. All blacks and whites, with the occasional vibrant heather or beige. Or maybe we're moving into an opinionated season, offering only the extreme choices of black or white? For the fall elections, perhaps?

I would like to dress better, but that would involve shopping. People who like to shop, who shop recreationally, can know what their options are and what looks good on them. When they see something especially nice, they can buy that nice thing and accumulate a wardrobe over time. Other people, people who shop maybe twice a year, have to buy whatever is in the stores on that day. Even though I know of items of clothing I would like to own, and even though I would like to be more appropriately dressed for any occasion that requires more than jeans and a sweater, it would require frequent small doses of shopping to own just the right clothes. When would a short trip to clothing stores ever come before playing catch or porch sitting? I don't even mind spending money on clothes, but spending time? When? How?


Blogger capella said...

I know what you mean. I have a few nice things, mostly bought for a particular occasion or purpose, or chosen for me by someone else, and when I wear them I think "This is pleasant; I should have more nice clothes." But then, you know, there is work to do and books to read and friends to see, and the nice clothes end up in the back of the closet and I wear the same ten t-shirts that I've had for years, and then it gets cold so I switch to turtlenecks. And then I have lunch with one of my girly friends and she's like "It's getting to be time to go shopping for spring," and I'm thinking "Spring? You mean seasons are something I'm supposed to shop for?"

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every clothing maker from Old Navy to Ermenegildo Zegna (my favorite maker of men's clothes) have online presences. The vast majority even let you buy online. But even the trendiest of makers will at least show you their lineups. It takes a few minutes every few months to scan through them and decide if there is something I like.

Many of them (Brooks Brothers is particularly excessive) also send me catalogs via mail on a regular basis. You can also generally sign up for email alerts.

Trust me, clothing stores have lots and lots of ways of making it easy for people to buy clothes. They definitely do not want to cater solely to the hard core every weekend shopper type.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

I think shopping frequently gets you a nice wardrobe on a budget. If you don't mind paying full price, I think you can just go ahead and get a perfectly acceptable wardrobe.

I don't think I encounter the same problems you do with the goofy trends though. Maybe it's because I'm a guy or because I live in a nice flyover state where we have nice, large, national chain stores that are thoroughly un-hip. I presume downtown Sacremento is short on those.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous UnderwearNinja said...

And that's part of why I always buy the same pants and T Shirts!

3:29 PM  
Blogger capella said...

well, Bob, as a man you avoid the whole Fit Issue.

we talk about this a lot in my office. there are five women in my group of a pretty broad distribution of heights, weights, and proportions. and clothes don't fit any of us.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous justus said...

Bob, as a man you avoid the whole Fit Issue.

Completely untrue :) The only things that fit me well are things that were tailored to fit me well.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not always true Capella. I have trouble getting things fit properly too. For shirts to fit me length wise I need large, but for circumference I need medium, generally. It's obnoxious, I've gotta choose between shirts that are cut off around my belt, or fit me like a circus tent.

And, I wouldn't buy clothes online, I want to try them on first before committing. I screw it up too often even when I get to try them on.

That's my only complaint with the obesity thing in the US, it makes for clothes that don't fit people who actually stay thin. Other than that, I couldn't care less about whatever obesity problems people say we have.


4:00 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

capella, what you say used to be true and is now unfortunately false.

I once happily pranced the lands with shirts ranging from medium to extra large. This was before I was informed that:
1. Everything bigger than a Small is too big for me because I have narrow shoulders.
2. I have an exceedingly long neck, which makes turtlenecks necessary whenever weather permits.
3. I have a narrow face, so point collared shirts make me look funny. (I own 0 shirts with the required "spread collar".)

I think fit comes easily to those who consider "fit" to mean "covers your privates". Once the veil of ignorance is lifted, the veil of torture remains.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Pandax said...

My friends know me as a bit of a shopper, it's good therapy (as long as the store has a decent return policy). Besides that, I often find shopping to be a good opportunity to socialize. It's a chance to meet up with girlfriends, catch up on gossip, and perhaps pick up a couple of pieces that you know will look good on you because you had someone there to check it out. To each their own; this is why I enjoy it.

I agree with Justin about online shopping. I only buy online if I've tried it on previously at the store (or if there's free shipping and can return it with low hassle).

9:49 AM  
Anonymous dan said...

Ermenegildo Zegna?
"point" collars?

I haven't even heard these terms before--

there are some fashionable men on this blog.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

All my readers are snappy dressers. So sharp and handsome looking.

Panda X, would you take me shopping?

11:08 AM  
Blogger billo said...

All bar one...and shopping is a curse on mankind !, that is *man*kind :)

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shopping is wonderful, as long as you're shopping for the right stuff.

You've just gotta pick yourself a good hobby that requires lots of toys, then go to REI and imagine all the possibilities.

Like, I've got at least 6 different backpacks, and 2 different hip packs, all for different purposes. And, whole assortments of climbing gear, and biking gear, and skiing gear, and camping stuff, and hiking stuff, and stuff for spelunking. And clothes specific to almost every activity. Ohh, it's just so much fun.


12:18 PM  
Blogger billo said...

Justin, LOL! I read all that stuff about stuff and thought of the tracy chapman song: mountains of things.

I wonder if we'll ever have enough stuff?

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never heard the song, but the answer is, of course not.

You can't do anything if you don't have anything. And, what's the point of living if you're not going to do anything?

I'm usually buying towards a goal. I have something in mind, I know what gear I need, and with each new thing I'm 1 step closer to getting to do it. Like, this year is mountaineering, and I need all kinds of neat, new stuff if I want to be able to go next year, I need to start picking it all up now. Weeee.


1:30 PM  
Blogger Pandax said...

Megan, I know what would be good... the next time you're near Stanford, we could shop at the mall for a bit, eat a little lunch, and then you could head over to the oval and join in the afternoon ultimate game. ;)

Ahhhhh, REI [drool]... so many cool, unnecessary gadgets.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there's a NEW REI in Mountain View!!! Of course, it's not very big, or nice. The one in Redwood City is better, and the one in Saratoga is even better than that.


2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And of course, if you're shopping on-line, you should get this shirt:
it's accurate and it's l33t, so you'll sound cool.

[In case you're annoyed, I have nothing to do with the people who make this shirt, I'm a regular reader here who was amused by it and thought of you]

10:20 PM  
Blogger billo said...

Justin. i don't know whther to laugh or cry. If you're talking the piss then that's a brilliant bit of writing. If not, not.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Justin always means what he says.

4:31 PM  
Blogger billo said...

Megan, there's a certain charm in always saying what you mean and even though I don't know Justin I suspect, from his writing, that he's an innocent kid-and that's priceless.

All I'm *suggesting* is that there are many people around the world who do not HAVE loads of things and still manage to live a content life, who do not think of life in terms of "doing" but in terms of "being".

I've been reading your blog for a month and have loved it for its (your) zest for life but lately I've come to wonder whether the life you describe (and maybe that of americans) isn't something that I just don't get.

Hey, each to their own. Live and let live and all that. But if there's an americanisation of the world then I despair. always saying what you mean? As I said in my blog, I prefer 'old world' deciet.

Keep well,


12:14 AM  

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