April 24, 2014

"Fashion is reactionary... If it’s long, it gets short, and if it’s short, it gets long."

We've been having "a close-to-the-body moment." "The shrunken silhouette has been dominant... The teeny jacket and impossibly narrow sleeves. It’s logical there is a change."

Look out! Everything's about to get huge!

My favorite theme in humor has to do with playing with size — mixing up big and small. And my favorite thing about fashion is humor. So I am up for this!

What's the most interesting/coolest oversized/undersized thing you've ever worn — not as a costume or to horse around but as actual clothing that was part of your wardrobe?

47 comments:

David said...

The coolest oversized thing I ever wore was my very first jock strap.

ALP said...

At 60" tall (and shrinking, according to my physician) I can't play this game. When petite adults wear oversized things we look like kids playing dress up.

Wait, is that a microaggression against "people of shortness"?

B said...

Can we talk about how cartoonish Charlie Rose's suit lapels have become in the past year?

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/files/2013/10/Charlie-Rose.jpg

Dr Weevil said...

Sounds like the writer doesn't know the difference between 'reactionary' and 'reactive'.

SJ said...

Fashion is reactionary...but I don't know if you've heard another side of things.

There's at least one paper comparing the length of hemlines in fashion shows to the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Speaking of fashion as reactionary...

n.n said...

Fashion is rebellious.

Lance said...

I once wore a very small pair of pants. The hems didn't even reach my knees. It was funny how the shortness of the pants contrasted with my adult male body.

t-man said...

Back in the '80's when I was in high school, I had a great oversized coat and pair of green army pants. The pockets, combined, could easily hold a six-pack of beer without showing.

Illuninati said...

I prefer the word "cyclical" myself.

Amexpat said...

Instead of following styles why not find a style you like and stick with it?

You'll be stylish part of the time, ahead of the times most of the time and your own person all of the time.

laura said...

The (hardly) coolest oversized thing I wore were a pair of 42 men's jeans. I was about 100lbs at the time. Soon after, my favorite fashion was small, boy's pajama tops.

Irene said...

The coolest, oversized thing I ever wore was a sweater with the map of the world on it. (It was cool then.)

SOJO said...

Big: As a teen I had one of those mid-80s, Japanese-inspired, oversized, black and gray ... coat dresses? Cassock-shaped thingies? What were they, exactly? Anyway, I wore it with a boutique version of cooler-than-Doc Martens, soft black leather boots with wraparound straps, and textured tights; it was great. Wish I had kept those boots.

Small: that would have to be the surf chick shorts and teeny tank top (with oversized boyfriend flannel jacket as outerwear). The only outfit that ever inspired an anonymous "slut" note to be left on my desk (by a jealous, anorexic-in-a-bad-way skank, j/k. :D :D)



wholelottasplainin' said...

"The coolest oversized thing I ever wore was my very first jock strap."

DANG! I was going to say "codpiece", an accessory long out of fashion (and therefore about to make a comeback?)

Jeff Boulier said...

If you view playing with size as the apex of comedy, then you might enjoy this sketch from the British TV series, "Big Train": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agFWob0E7ns

Anglelyne said...

We've been having "a close-to-the-body moment." "The shrunken silhouette has been dominant... The teeny jacket and impossibly narrow sleeves.

Ah, is that what all those adult men and women looking like they'd squeezed themselves into their kid siblings' shirts and jackets was all about?

whswhs said...

Shouldn't that word be "reactive"? In the English language that I speak, "reactionary" is a more extreme form of "conservative"—not merely wanting to preserve existing institutions but wanting to go back to their older forms. So, for example, people who think Social Security and Medicare must be preserved at all cost are conservative, but people who want to go back to people saving for their old age are reactionary. Unless we're talking about steampunk or Regency or medievalist fashion statements, I don't think that's the right word.

Scott said...

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."
--Oscar Wilde

Rocketeer said...

Fashion is rebellious.

I think I read that in a Macy's ad just last week.

WestVirginiaRebel said...

I never wore anything "cool."

Today's fashion is tomorrow's "what were we thinking?" It's inherently conservative because it makes the rebellious mainstream.

cf said...

I am astonished when I remember my caramel suede leather miniskirt with the big front gold zipper in front of 1969. Dang it was short. How did I ever sit down?

And I still wear "my lucky shirt" a man-style oversized-cut from the company Flax one of their exquisite prints. I had a big fad for them in the Clinton era, the nineties (hopefully the only Clinton Era we get)

Rocketeer said...

Ah, is that what all those adult men and women looking like they'd squeezed themselves into their kid siblings' shirts and jackets was all about?

You know, now that you mention it, anything that rids the West of 40 year old men in skinny jeans has to be an improvement.

Ann Althouse said...

1. It's a funny misuse of the word "reactionary."

2. Love the map of the world sweater.

3. Lance alludes to my problem with men in shorts.

4. Somehow that Brit skit doesn't reach me in that special big-small humor spot.

5. Maybe clicking on my big and small tag would get to some of the humor I have loved. There is one particularly funny thing I remember somebody saying about 40 years ago that exemplifies what I find so funny.

Carter Wood said...

Speaking of size, Steven Wright's greatest line:

I have a map of the United States... Actual size. It says, "Scale: 1 mile = 1 mile." I spent last summer folding it. I also have a full-size map of the world. I hardly ever unroll it. People ask me where I live, and I say, "E6".

stutefish said...

All of this as a teenager:

I found a felt fedora somewhere, and wore it to school every day for a year. Lost it over the summer.

Picked up a really nice lightweight wool overcoat in grey plaid, at a thrift shop. Wore it to school all winter. Still have it.

I found a blue corduroy(!) SJSU Spartans ballcap somewhere--not sure where, since nobody in my family was ever an alum--and wore it to school every day until the bill fell off... and then kept on wearing it like some sort of weird beanie.

Somehow I was not an object of ridicule in high school.

Ann Althouse said...

I couldn't find the old joke, so I'll just tell it.

Back around 1975, I was cutting my then-husband's hair, and I noticed he had a bright red dot on his scalp, just a tiny red spot, smaller than a pimple. I said, "What's this red dot?" And he said: "That's my Santa Claus hat."

rhhardin said...

My shirts for when formal dress is requested.

Everyday wear.

Patrick said...

Today's fashion is tomorrow's "what were we thinking?

Bingo. For that reason, I've got very few cringe inducing photographs of me. And the ones that do induce the cringes, well somethings just can't be helped!

Christy said...

Big? From the late 80s - a black suede fingertip length swing jacket. Had the skirt too, but I do so love that jacket. Still wear it once or twice a year so I can justify hanging on to it. Does it work in 2014? For me it does.

Tight? Never. I get physically uncomfortable just seeing other women wearing those outfits. Besides, they make any woman with an ounce of fat look awful.

Patrick said...

But I will make a "confession" of sorts: I've recently started wearing bow ties. The first time was at Christmas eve Mass. I was the only one out of several hundred people wearing a bow tie. In the dozen or so times I've worn one since, every single time, several people have commented on my appearance, positively. I've never been a poor dresser, but I've never stood out.

I kind of like it. My wife makes the ties. It's pretty cool.

Sarah from VA said...

The bit about "impossibly narrow sleeves" had my thinking of Anne of Green Gables. All she wanted was a puffed sleeve! It's been years since I read the books, but I can still picture in my mind the dresses Matthew eventually gave her, with the enormous and impractical puffed sleeves.

So if it starts being fashionable to have enormous sleeves again, I might have to get myself a puffed-sleeve dress. For Anne Shirley.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Big? A Carmel Bach Festival sweatshirt that practically comes down to my knees.

carrie said...

I am 5'11" tall and when I was 15 or 16 (1969 or 1970) skirts were really short, and they were especially short on me because I have really long legs. I remember walking home from school around that time in a really short skirt under a really short wool coat with nice leather boots on. An elderly neighbor woman was outside and when she saw me walking by she ran to her front door, opened it and screamed at her husband "Alfred, get out here right now. You've got to see this! It is disgraceful! Etc. etc." My neighbor was reactive.

MathMom said...

I used to wear a huge khaki-colored shirt from Top Man in al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia instead of an abaya. The sleeves came down to my knees so I rolled them up, but not so far as to expose too much of my hands. I buttoned it right to the top button, and never went out without a shirt underneath it.

The bottom hem of the shirt came to my calf. Shoulders were halfway down to my elbows. I wore blue jeans to cover the rest of my legs so they would not offend, and carried a large scarf in the enormous pocket in case the rays emanating from my dishwater-blond hair caused erotic excitement in any nearby men.

The point was to look as frumpy as it is possible for a woman to look, in order to discourage Saudi men from grabbing my girly bits, but not actually wear the black bag, which was ferociously hot in that unforgiving climate.

I still have it. It is heinous, but did its job perfectly.

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Larry J said...

Fashion is for suckers.

Sam L. said...

n.n. said

"Fashion is rebellious.

4/24/14, 3:46 PM"

I say 'planned obsolescence' with no plan for what's next

n.n said...

Sam L.:

That's evolution, baby. It's downright chaotic. From conception to death, health to sickness, with each succeeding generation, it's all chaos. The fashionable periods are fleeting.

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