Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A reader asks ...

"Do you think I'd look good in these? I'd obviously wear them with shoes."

Dear N, you are joking, aren't you. It wouldn't matter what you wore them with, they are irredeemably hideous.
The Oxford bags portrayed in a recent post were of soft, quality fabric, hence Ms H's comment that they "they drape a little, they flow a little" when men are dancing. Denim does neither of these - it's stiff and ungainly, designed to be a hard-working fabric. It never adapts gracefully to excess yardage.
Does that answer your question?

Running gear

This chap made international news late last year when a Tauranga High Court judge reversed his previous District Court conviction for offensive behaviour. 
Tip-toeing through the daisies, he is the picture of innocence. Suggesting that the woman who originally came upon him in the wild and called the police was a tight-lipped, prune-faced killjoy. 
Maybe she was. But I'm not inclined to condemn her out of hand. I'd be startled too if I were alone in an isolated spot and Naked Jogger ran out of the undergrowth. Startled and a bit scared. 
Roll on the day when we women can be comfortably naked in public without attracting unwelcome attention - from the law or anyone else.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


A delightful post on MsHedgehog's blog, accompanied by this cartoon from 1925.

And Ms H notes that:
there is a fashion among tangueros for rather wideish trousers, which certainly do look very nice in motion, if you get it right, and especially if you dance well; they drape a little, they flow a little, and the way the toes peep out, in their soft, pleasingly stitched and coloured dancing shoes, is charming. If you overdo it, you can look like a traffic cone. If you are not so young and you really overdo it, you can look like a Vampire. And if you dance badly you just look foolish.
And, this can happen.
But risks are the whole point of difficult garments. Seeking to answer the question "can I carry off this possibly ill-advised style?" correctly is a rather basic part of being a human whose immediate needs are met. It exercises the artistic sense, and teaches modesty and wisdom. Enjoy your trousers. Beauty is always dangerous.
I applaud the point she makes in that last paragraph.

Provincial style

Bank, Whanganui

Monday, January 14, 2013

From the Department of I-wish-I'd-thought-of-that

Simplicity 9935

I've long enjoyed this site, and it's time I brought it to your attention. The blogger sews, but also delights in bringing us old sewing patterns and either attaching little stories to them or attributing dialogue to their often weirdly posed models. This one goes: 

Alison: Okay girls, everyone straight on the mission? Find your target,      then catch, clamp, drag. Celia, you’re without a bridesmaid today, you gonna be good on your own?
Celia: No worries, Sarge, I got this. I’ll bring back a good one.
Alison: Bridesmaids, don’t be hasty. Select those targets with care. Catch and release was last week, this is live fire exercise. Repeat, this is a live fire exercise. I’ll see everyone back at Pastor Rivendale’s at 3 pm sharp, or the ice cream cake is gonna be soggy by the time we’re through with the ceremonies. Now — are we ready?
All: Hoo-AH!

Here are a couple more:

Simplicity 2509

While Dulcie went on and on about how handsome, clever, and innocent her new prison pen pal was, Laura watched her rib cage carefully. Could Dulcie beat her all-time record of 41 words per breath?


Floral: Look. Look into my midriff mandala. Lose your "self" and become one with creation.
Yellow: I represent the Sun, and thus life itself.
Green: I represent all other living things, given life by the Sun. Or, possibly, avocados. It's hard to tell. I mean, my midriff triangle could represent the avocado seed, right?

Daft but fun, don't you think. And since I own a whopping carton of dress patterns going back to the early 60s, I really do wish I'd thought of this myself.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Style drive

Our usual reaction to other people's revelations tends to be "duh". But in the interests of fairness, I'm going to share this one with you: some people feel about cars the way I do about personal style, and - this is the crucial point - there's not a single argument against doing so that I don't freely employ in defence of my own obsession.
This became clear to me rather late in life. Just the other day, in fact. G pointed out a sporty red Mazda for sale down the road and urged me to buy it. His preliminary arguments were three-fold:
  1. it was a good buy, and these little numbers are hard to find
  2. if I didn't have enough spare cash, he would lend it to me
  3. my current car is scruffy. 

This is not my current car, but a well-cared for version of it - a 1999 Mazda Demio. Mine is much less shiny, to the point that spiders make their homes in and around the bumpers. It has a few minor dings, a bashed-in number plate, and a missing hubcap.
On the plus side, as I briskly informed G, it's what's known as a great little runner. It's just flown through its latest warrant, and in the five years it's waited patiently at the end of the path to do my bidding, it hasn't once let me down. Why would I want to get rid of it?
This is when reason number 4 (and what I soon sensed was the real reason for G's concern) came into play: my shabby Demio was inappropriate to one of my general stylishness and good taste (sorry, but this is a direct quote, and yes, of course he's biased); I ought to be at the wheel of something much classier.
Interesting, that moral imperative. Millions of Americans know, of course,  that by their car they shall be judged, and I daresay a good number of New Zealanders too.
But also interesting was that up to this point in my life I'd never considered the vehicle I (or anyone else) drove represented - or should that be "presented"? - me. I'm perfectly happy to step out of my little car dressed up to the nines - outside a milonga, for instance. And if other people find that odd or wrong or ... whatever, it's not my problem.
Which is exactly how many feel about clothes, shoes, hair and the rest of it. They'll wear what's cheap/easy/comfortable, thanks very much, and they're not going to give a toss about whether it makes them look good. Why waste time and money on such frivolities? Aren't those who do, a little ... well, suspect? Possibly even shallow? And isn't this the kind of rampant consumerism that's bringing the world to its knees? And so on.

Grace Kelly at the wheel

After several days' consideration my answer to these questions is a firm yes and no.