Fashion scares me

Saturday I spent an exhausting mid-morning at the mall with my good friend Rita.  When I was a child, I used to think shopping was really cool, and that the image of being someone who shops was even cooler.  This was around the time I was worshipping the Spice Girls and thought that gay people were “gross.”  Ahem.  As I’ve come into myself, I’ve ditched a lot of the traditionally “girly” things I did just because you were supposed to, and the mall is one of those things.  I can’t stand malls.  They suck you in, they seem to be populated entirely by rude thirteen-year-olds, they’re impossible to get to using public transportation, and the smell of perfume irritates my sinuses.

That’s not to say I don’t like shopping entirely.  I love shopping for kitchen supplies at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I love grocery shopping.  I like shopping online from the comfort of my bed, and yes, I admit, I love Target.  I joke that I can’t walk out of that store without spending less than $100, but it’s actually true.  I have never walked out of Target with less than $100 worth of merchandise.  It’s an affliction.  Fortunately, I don’t go frequently, but when I do it’s always a bit overboard.  Last year, I spent several thousand hard-earned dollars on furniture (about 40% of it shipping charges) from Target online.  My dresser, nightstand, desk, end table, desk chair, hutch, and bookcase are all from Target, which means I put them all together myself in two painful, frustrating weeks.  My desk is beautiful, but both screws on one leg came out with the inside part as well, stripped clean off the wood, and had to be glued back in with apoxy.  I’m still a little frightened to get an iMac because I don’t want something worth more than a thousand dollars sitting on that thing.  

Anyway, I digress.  The point is, when I want a lot of random things I go to Target.  I’d been meaning to take the bus out there forever, and I had plans to go after the Farmer’s Market Saturday, when Rita suggested we go together – in her car.  Clearly, a much better proposition.  The initial plan was to purchase comfortable shoes, along with a few other items.  I’ve been having a bit of a shoe quandry, because I own maybe twelve pairs and none of them are quite comfy enough.  Since I do a lot of my moving around the city on foot, a very slight discomfort can be a big pain.  What I really wanted was some plain, comfy, closed toed, closed heeled black loafers.  These apparently don’t exist.  I tried on about nine pairs at Target and gave up.  This meant that (after I spent $109 on other random crap, including six pairs of those new Hanes underwear that I really can’t praise enough, by the way) we had to venture into the mall.  Crap.

I did end up getting two pairs of shoes.  One is a pair of black loafers that aren’t perfect, but might be with the right socks.  The other is a pair of black crocs that look like Mary Janes but are super, super comfy.  I sort of hate crocs, but these aren’t brightly coloured and don’t have huge holes in them, so they’ll do.  The problem was that Rita wanted business clothes.  Specifically, she wanted dress-shirts.  Button-down dress shirts.  Shockingly enough, they no longer exist.  Okay, I exaggerate, but it took three hours roaming around the mall and we probably saw about ten button-ups total.  We looked at the men’s section, but nothing was small enough to be convincing.  We did, however, find more than our share of Disturbing Fashion Trends for this season.  Here are a few you should watch out for:

#1: The Shacket.  I don’t know what the designers were thinking when they came up with this, exactly.  It’s a shirt that looks, for all intents and purposes, like a business jacket.  A really tacky business jacket.  The fabric is thinner than a jacket, but it’s not at all soft.  

#2: The My Breasts Are Happy to See You Shirt.  This comes in two forms.  One is a shirt that looks deceptively conservative, even nice, until you hold it up off the rack and discover that it is translucent.  The other is a drapey thing, made of thin fabric, with a “V neck” that ends just above the belly button.  

#3: Picnic Blanket Wardrobe.  Sometimes shirts, or sometimes coordinates, this fabric is opaque at least, but it doesn’t help much.  The pattern is either plaid or checked, and you have your choice of yellow, bright green, or the ever popular orange-and-pink combination.  

#4: So-Short-They’re-Not-Even-There Shorts.  I know this isn’t a new phenomenon, but it really just hurts me.  That can’t be comfortable in the derrière.  

#5: Gone Fishin’.  This is a trend in both men’s and women’s apparel.  From your navy blue woman’s shirt with what looks like a shoelace hanging from the neckline to the horrible short sleeved double-pocket men’s button-down shirt, this style compliments #3 quite nicely.  Or, you know… not.

About Avory

Avory Faucette is a queer feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. Zie graduated from the University of Iowa with a JD in 2009, focusing on international human rights and gender/sexuality issues in the law. Hir current work focuses on queer identity, policy, and marginalized identities under the queer umbrella. As a genderqueer person, zie comments frequently on non-binary identity, transgender and genderqueer issues, and media coverage of these populations. Zie also speaks at colleges, universities, and events on transgender and queer issues and conducts trainings on related topics.

Posted on May 20, 2008, in pop culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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