Friday, June 15, 2012

Clothes On A Plane

Jeans and a sweater at the airport. I'm not asking for much here.

While browsing the Huffington Post today, I read an interesting story about a woman who was nearly prevented from boarding a Southwest Airlines flight because her clothing was "inappropriate" due to the cleavage she was showing. Follow this link to read the full story, but to summarize, it also touched on the subject of a different woman who was prevented from catching her connecting flight because she was wearing a (hilarious and poignant) t-shirt that said "If I wanted the government in my womb, I'd f*ck a senator." It also mentioned Green Day's frontman Billie Joe Armstrong being kicked off a Southwest flight for wearing pants that hung too low and a man dressed in women's lingerie who, amazingly, was allowed to fly on US Airways without incident. Apparently different airlines have different dress code policies, and the article poses the question of whether or not there should be a standardized dress code on flights.

I'm iffy on the idea of a flight dress code, or at least on the idea of airlines expanding on something that's already codified. Many airlines have common sense rules: everyone wants to be safe and comfortable, so please keep the safety and comfort of your fellow passengers in mind. It's vague, but that's a good thing because what's offensive to one person is perfectly fine with another. You can't please everyone. I, for one, am perfectly fine with the t-shirt mentioned above because I like its message. Additionally, if I did find it offensive, it's very easy for me to NOT LOOK AT IT because I have an iPod, a book, a magazine, or a life that's got more important things going on than to take issue with someone's t-shirt. I take issue, however, with someone getting on a flight wearing just his/her underwear. Both are grabs for attention, but the latter is past the point of being reasonable. It's called "underwear" for a reason. It goes under your clothing, it does not suffice as clothing itself unless you're in the comfort of your own home.

These common sense rules should extend to looking minimally decent, and not just because you're flying. You're going out in public, which should be reason enough. A few years ago, an older cousin of mine related a story of flying as a young girl. Apparently, flying used to be an event unto itself. Passengers dressed up and treated it as a luxury experience worthy of some sartorial reverence and decorum. I thought this was hilarious, given that many passengers nowadays treat going to the airport as an excuse to dress like a slob. I'll be the first to admit that getting through an airport nowadays is a royal pain in the ass -you have to take your shoes off, you might get frisked, and the geniuses in line say helpful things like, "This line is ridiculous. They should open another one"-but not showering and throwing on a velour sweatsuit? Come on. I don't think that we should be forced to wear suits when flying, but we should all be held to a certain aesthetic standard of not looking slovenly. We're all adults here. Dress the part.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reader Question

This ended up on my Facebook page a while ago:

"So, I know you don't write about women's fashion, but here's a topic to consider: Why it might be considered trashy to wear a fur coat to the zoo."

Gladly. While I don't disagree with using the word "trashy" in this instance, I think a more descriptive word is "uncouth." Wearing fur has been politically incorrect for years now, and with good reason: it represents the most conspicuous of consumption, is unnecessary due to the ubiquity of other materials that are both luxurious and warm (you may have heard of wool, for example) and the undue suffering to the animals slaughtered to make it. I certainly don't claim to be a saint when it comes to consuming animal products; I wear calfskin shoes and eat so much meat that my girlfriend needs to periodically check up on my fruit and vegetable consumption, but meat and leather substitutes are either difficult to come by or taste like crap. It's a lose lose for me. Faux fur is all over the place. 

Wearing a fur coat to the zoo is uncouth because it shows a blatant insensitivity to the essentially imprisoned animals who obviously can't help their own plight (though it's important to mention that they're treated incredibly well). It's the sartorial equivalent of Kobe Bryant playing in a basketball game at the Special Olympics. Or showing off your Rolex to the guy next to you at a homeless shelter who lost his job and can't get back on his feet. In either situation, we would rightfully harumph.

To be constructive, wear jeans, a sweater, and a wool coat to the zoo when it's cold out. While animals can't throw paint on you if you wear fur, they can certainly urinate on your if you get too close. And you'd deserve it, too. 

A Growing Impatience

Back in April, I left my job as a retail manager and started working for a men's custom clothier/image consulting company. This is pretty much the best job ever, for two reasons:

1. I get paid to talk about tailored clothing all day long, and
2. I get some custom clothing out of the deal.

My two suits (one an incredibly light grey, the other a blue thats a bit lighter than navy) were ordered back when I started and just got in last week for their second fitting. They're currently at the tailor getting finished and I'm absolutely pumped (and becoming increasingly impatient) to get the finished products and start rocking them. Hard.

You'll get some action shots when they arrive, but for now, check the name label:

Yeah, it's like that. I refuse to use my actual first and last name on any future name labels, as that's just too damned easy. This means that I'll eventually need some help coming up with irreverent ideas. Feel free to chime in, but know that I've already decided to use "Mr. President" and "The Hebrew Haberdasher."