Friday, August 29, 2008

pop cannibalism

I went clothes shopping today and I was dismayed yet again. Its hard to find clothing that fits me, I'm not that tall and I'm kinda skinny. I can no longer stand the skinny jeans, (which I'm wearing as I type this, ironically) they only look good on a few people (and they aren't male). They make a top heavy woman look like Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog: They make me look even scrawnier. So I went shopping for nice jeans, and I'm glad the fashionistas that be have allowed the low-rise boot cut to return to the marketplace, because they're the only decent looking pair of pants I've ever owned short of tailored slacks. I hate that word...slacks. By the way, is it me, or is Hollister just Ambercrombie & Fitch, and isn't Abercrombie & Fitch just a cologne-saturated gay club (the music's loud as hell and theres pictures of half-naked men everywhere).

Anyway, I've just started this Mass Media Course, and it got me thinking about how much I hate that society and culture shape what I should wear. My wife and I watch "what not to wear." on a fairly regular basis, and while I have my snobbish/critical side, I hate watching Mrs. Pretty and Popular, class of 77, and her identical male cohort get paid to repeat high school history by snickering at the poorly dressed and clueless subjects of their tv show. It's culture enforced conformity taken to a new level. I have to admit, though they make their subjects look much better when they're done.

So, getting back to my trip to one of the billions of O.C.'s malls, I can't seem to find a store that fits my tastes. There are so many subconcious messages behind what someone wears, and I don't always like the way it "defines" a person. I don't want someone to categorize me by my pants and shoes. Still, I can't help doing it myself, watch:

Dave Matthews/Phish fan and probably a stoner and or frat-jock: shops at Steve & Barry's

Favorite band is My Chemical Romance or Staind: shops at Hot Topic

John Mayer and Jason Mraz on the iPod: go to the Gap. Guess whats new this fall, something Khaki...again!

I also can't stand how men have so very few choices in style. Men's clothes are either too safe for my tastes, or too obnoxious. I am an artist and a rock musician, but I don't want to look a "rockstar." Also, Khaki cargo pants, how the hell are they still cool with anyone not at a Dave Matthew's Band concert!? I was there, back in in 1998, so were my cargoes, Dave played two encores, but unfortunately, so do the pants.

I am also grossed out by American Apparel's neon child porn look. The shirts I make are from AA shirts, but I won't be caught dead wearing a vest and hot pink pants with a polo with popped collar and visor shades. Polo's are for Best Buy, Pizza Hut, and tanning salon employees. I am weary of all the studded belts, skulls, grenades, grenade hearts, grenades made of skeletons, guns, flowery guns, guns with hearts, basically any peice of ammunition combined with anatomy or flowers. I don't want my shirts emboidered with family crests and ivy and lions and bombs. Thats for the Euro 'bags. These are european, or (mostly) american males trying to look european, with pointy-toed boots, tons of jewelry, and a faux hawk full of product. I remember these guys from the highschool football team. They got drunk, stumbled into Metro Park, and haven't found their way out.

There's a great site (and abook) about the cultural phenomenon of "douchebags" and beautiful women. You can see what I mean at .

I had noticed the sudden surge of these people, but couldn't quite articulate what they were or what it was that I couldn't stand, but the book put it all in perspective:

Greasy foreheads. Spiky frosted hair. Oiled-up faces dripping with Tag Body Shot spray. Armani Exchange T-shirts and rank cologne wafting off their backs like fetid pollen clouds as they pump their fists and attempt to grind into any hotties nearby. Young beauties oblivious to the hulking monstrosity clutching at their butts like snapping turtles on Red Bull.
From sea to douchey sea, ours is a culture plagued by this festering blight. By the dark forces of ├╝ber-douchebaggery.

This guy won the Douchie 2007 award.

On the other end of the spectrum, men's clothing is hopelessly tame. I guess thats why I have Spitting Image. I like having shirts that no one else has (there are a few exclusives that we have made that aren't available to the public on our online site).

But still, what I really want isn't always available

I like Classic American style and I like unique twists on things. Here are a few of my favorite looks, several of which were lifted from a great blog called Manshion (he also has a great guide to shopping for the vertically challegened):


amy said...

Wow, I feel like standing up with a crowd of people around me and slowly start clapping and then one of the people sitting by me decides to stand up and clap slowly and then like magic everyone else joins in and the clapping gets faster and louder. Couln't have summed up men's fashion better myself. Oh and you could also use Matt Bellamy in your pictures of shorter men with decent fashion sense. (although he may be a skinny pants wearer, whatev he's british)

I remember you scolding me once for using the term "douchebag" and I know that the person I was talking about totally falls into that category. It suprises me a little see these words written and published to your blog. Image is nothing, thirst is everything, obey your thirst. AAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Oh, one other thing! I'd love to dance, Fred Savage??? Is that a Family Guy quote? It took me soooooo long to put two and two together, that voice mail creeped me out. I couldn't figure it out until I recently re-read your facebook bookface comment. That was youuuu. Still confused.


God, the douchebag thing is fantastic. My husband and I call girls douchebags too - we're not real pc.

bunbun said...

Doctor Robotnik!! Oh goodness, my old school gamer husband is all about him. We used to be addicted to Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (or something like that) a tetris style game for sega. Our little second bedroom is pretty much devoted to his old games.
Oh yes, and I hate tag/axe wearing douches as much as you. The good thing about portland is that they are not around as much as other cities, but they do exist here.