August 27, 2014 - Fillin' in.
That's what I did this past weekend and unexpected, that's what it was. Why would a fashion maven, world-wide-web communicator type, ask a truly undiscriminating eye to pinch-hit on a fashion blog? I chalk it up to desperate times call for desperate measures.
"Have fun," the fashion maven said. "Be yourself. Use our own thoughts."
"Sure," I replied tepidly, all the while thinking to myself, "Why do you always have to say, 'yes?'"
The fashion maven's blog has a pretty big fan base in the United States and in Australia and South Africa and can be found at www.readydressedgo.blogspot.com
So, I pulled up my big boy pants and wrote for her fashioneista fans . . .
First up, I am your quintessential American male. Know this, I have under ware older than my 14-year-old son and shirts dating back to the Bush One presidency. You can sum up my fashion tastes pretty simply, "Early 21st Century Garage Sale." And, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Tan khaki slacks and a dress shirt never goes out of style (I think?).
For fun I "googled teen fashion trends." In less than a nano second I had 39.5 million choices to research. Yikes. I clicked on the "Images" tab and then I got my inspiration.
It's back to school time and what I learned in less than two seconds was teen fashion is really girls' fashion. I saw two shots for boy teen clothing compared to about 300 hundred pictures of girls, teens and 20-somethings modeling the latest clothes to wear to school and Friday night football games. Some outfits were pretty and good. Some was down right trashy. Maybe it has always been this way for you girls but for us boys . . .
. . . heck, when it was back-to-school-shopping time as a lad in Flyover Country, USA, my mom would lead me to the department store's "Husky" aisle. "Cringe" is the only word that comes to mind, now. And, I thank the textile marketers for somewhere along the way getting rid of Husky from their lexicon.
But, for the girls (and I had three younger, and much prettier sisters) there were rows upon rows of outfits to buy. I think the key word in that last sentence is "buy."
There's gold in them thar teen fashions!
And, it never ends. Many girls, young women, women and mature women (read: all females) spend their lives keeping up on the latest fashion trends, casting aside a perfectly good pair of jeans because it's last year's blah-say style.
Somewhere in the distance I hear cash registers ringing. Question: If a cash register rings in an American clothing store, does some little kid in Bangladesh or China receive their wings or 25 cents for working 60 hours that week?
And, girls are taught Ė shown Ė they have to keep up with the Kardashians or be cast aside as dull and unattractive. Runways, catwalks and red carpet affairs are all about one-upping the other girl (designer) to be the talk of the blogasphere. Can anyone top Lady Gaga's suit of meat from 2010? From a man's perspective, would anybody want to? I always thought bacon was good on everything, then I saw Gaga and I was agog as to why anybody would waste all that food.
My BLT will never be the same.
Is it any wonder you woman-folk obsess over fashion? You're brainwashed from the time you're old enough to grow pigtails on how you need to look, what to wear and what your body should look like. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of fashion and how it looks on a woman and even though I resist the instinct, often my head cranes left or right as if on a swivel to follow one of you all dolled up. I just ain't too hip on a lot of teen (and younger) styles foisted upon young woman. We (and I speak for most grounded, red-blooded men out there) do really, really like the woman wearing the fashion.
I am sure it's fun to play dress-up cuz I like to dress-up in my go-to-meeting clothes, when it ain't Sunday, too. Just remember, there's fun time and real time.
(And, after writing all this, I am sure there's a reason I ain't writing about fashion more often! Thank you for indulging me.)
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org