Monday, November 28, 2011

Fashion Faux Pas

            I’m sitting on the patio of Verb Café on Bedford Ave with Roland.
            His foot is twisting slowly like a cat’s tail under the table as he finishes rolling another cigarette.
            “How about that one?”
            He points to one of the myriad of women that saunter down the boulevard. This one’s got strange yellow and black print tights on and an oversized faded blue jean denim shirt over her small anorexic frame.
            “Hell, no.”
            Roland shakes his head, taking a long hit from his rolled tobacco and squinting from the sun’s rays. 
            “Okay, what about that one?”
            This one: Over-sized round framed amber colored glasses, dressed all in black. Black spandex tights, black tasseled boots, a black shirt draped over her chest, chin poised up to the sky, and walking a small white dog.
            “Jesus, Matthew. Okay, this one, yes, definitely. Look at her.” He straightens up and points across the street to a girl walking out of Catbird.
             This one has got the obligatory Stevie Nicks round brimmed black hat, boutique bought floral print Zooey Deschanel styled vintage dress, black tights with holes in the knees, the bullet casing necklace hanging around her neck, holding an American Apparel bag.    
             “Nope,” I say, pouting.
            “You’re impossible! What do you want them to wear? Steak and potatoes?
            “That sounds great,” I say, feeling a little hungry.
            “You are so totally vanilla straight, Matthew. Why the hell do you live in Williamsburg when you hate the style of the neighborhood?”
            “I’m a rebel out here ‘cause I’m normal. That makes me happy.”
            “I guess. But it’s also why you don’t ever use your penis on an actual woman. So let me get this straight. You hate hipster style, you hate overtly fashionable people, you hate small galleries, you hate tights on women, you hate oversized shirts, you hate tattoos, you hate nerd glasses, you hate shawls of any kind. What do want? A Republican nominee, man?  
            “Don’t forget greasy hair, arbitrary necklaces with anything resembling a bullet, a fig leave, a key lock, or feather, and headbands.”
            “You’re rampant heterosexuality is appalling. Why are we friends?”
            “Cause you love me,” I say, smiling.
            “Ha. You would have been a much better faggot. Next time we go out, I’ll take you to Bensonhurst, get you a real Guinea Chick who will cook you chicken pot pie and wear red dresses and heels when you go out for your boring ass dinner and a movie date.”
            “That sounds great, actually.”
            “Ugh. Traditionalism. It was you people who burned us at the stake back in the day.”

            Now, Roland may be right about my silly simple tastes, and it is true that of all the neighborhoods to live in New York City, I live in the one where I don’t fit in. This could be the fact that I’m a natural antagonist, or its that I have a Doritos Bag of chips on my shoulder and just need to be around what irritates me to prove that life is an endless parade of half-truths and near misses.
            However, despite my own prejudices, there are still some fashion horrors this neighborhood attempts to pass off as acceptable dress, and they deserve to be mentioned here.           
            Please ladies, work hard not to fall into any of these fashion victim categories, and tell your friends too. It is true, Williamsburg is an arty neighborhood, and unfortunately, like all rebellion against conformity, it rebels in the exact same way, becoming conformists in the end. But in the war against ‘normal’ some of these decisions have gone way too far. 

            UGG BOOTS

            Please, please, please, please, please stop this travesty. Okay, first their ugly. That light shit brown color, the well worn in, now a faded yellow, sheep stuffing insides. U-G-L-Y. If you own a pair, donate them to a homeless shelter this winter. Cause that’s what they make you look like, a homeless vagrant. But you know what worries me more? The smell that no doubt gathers off the white socked, all day wearing moment you take them off in my bedroom. Ugh, get a sniff of that! Horror. Ultimate horror!    

            Yes. Indian rug print shirts. Turquoise jewelry. Those crappy leather jackets. You look like you work at car dealership outside Tucson, Arizona. It’s not cool. It has never been cool. Don’t fall for it. I just saw two women trying to pull off this look on Bedford Avenue in an hour. Stop it before it takes control. The whole fur wearing Royksopp meets Bat For Lashes feathers everywhere style almost broke this Fall. Let’s face it. You are neither a chick from the Reservation or an Eskimo. You’re a poseur.
            (Special Note: Have you ever notice that fashion models itself after cultures we’ve destroyed. Remember the Afghan-Sheik look a couple years back? Now the Indian. Come on people, do we really dress like the people we kill? This is an anthropological research question I will save for future blogs.)


            Hey. I’m not a hater. But I was told once that you should accentuate you positive traits and hide your flaws. It’s okay that you’re a plus size. In fact, a lot fellahs like some extra curves on a gal. But you cannot pull off that look unless you are a very specific body type. You know the look I’m talking about?
            It’s the tight black jeans, long white shirt past the ass, the bandana (optional). This look is a sweeping style made for stick figures with great hair and long torsos. If this is not you, stop trying. You don’t look hot wedged into tight, tight jeans. You look like a bowling pin with muffin tops.

            MOM STYLE

            Okay, I’m almost 35. Which means I was alive to see my mother wear this particular style when I was young in the eighties. High-waisted jeans. That faded color denim, like white blue, what is that? Also, those terrible blouses that look like they were bought from the Salvation Army for a dollar. Wearing those goddamn canvas shoes. It’s like these women should be smoking Capri’s bitching about Dan Quayle.

            There are so many more of these frightening fashion decisions at any given time down on Bedford Avenue. And ladies, I don’t mean to single you out entirely. I’m sure your tired of consistently dating faux-west flannel wearing, spotty half-grown bearded, 50’s styled glasses donning musician/painter/filmmaker/graphic designer dude.
            I get it, it’s rough for everyone these days. But I’ve gotta go.
            Roland is taking me to Astoria tonight which he describes as "full of enough T and A to make any straight man cry and me vomit.”
            Till next time.  





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