Category Archives: fashion

On dressing

No, not stuffing! Dr Isis has a post up about the personal choices of fashion, gender stereotypes and what they mean for your role modelness. Well, that’s my interpretation. She concludes, to my reading, that dressing, dresses and shoes have nothing to do with anything other than what you like to wear. I concur.

First off, I don’t particularly like Isis’s taste in shoes. Not that I don’t like heels, I just think the heels she likes are a tad flashy for my taste. But that preference is completely in the abstract (in other words, I don’t like the pictures). On the other hand, if Isis came into my office and I saw those shoes on her, I would probably think they were all that. Why? Because she would demonstrate through the way she carries herself in those shoes that they were indeed all that. I’m sure she would convince me. Likewise, Isis may not like my colorful socks all by themselves. However, I’m sure she would love them if she saw how fabulous they looked paired with a nice pinstriped suit, a subdued tie and some Tod’s drivers.

Isis says:

I find certain things to be beautiful and they may not be the same things that you do.

And I would guess that another thing she finds beautiful is herself in those clothes and shoes. I’m no different. I look at clothes and shoes as if they were art. When I go to bed at night I think about what I will wear tomorrow. I think about what part of my personality I want to portray through my appearance the next day. I don’t give a shit if anyone thinks I look like something I shouldn’t be on that day. I would imagine that Isis gives less of a shit. The thing that matters is that you are comfortable in what you wear. If you could care less about your clothes, more power to you, I bet you have some extra cash that I don’t have. If you want to look like you walked out of a magazine everyday, great. There is nothing wrong with anyone’s personal preference when it comes to their daily appearance and any societal constructs that get in your way of being the person you want to be are bunk, as far as I am concerned.

In closing, it is my opinion that we should celebrate our differences in self expression through all of its varieties of daily forms. Efforts to tear people down based on their lifestyle choices or whether or not they resemble the role-model another would like them to be are energies best spent on your own personal creativity and individuality. And I’m gonna wear my super-colorful striped socks tomorrow, with loafers, shorts and a sports coat (well maybe not tomorrow, it might be too cold)!

Finding Inspiration

Times are tough and this has been a particularly rough week.  Bad news personally and state budget cuts have the whole place just a bit freaked out.  At times like these I often find myself enjoying The Sartorialist just a bit more.  Here’s my favorite one from the last week:
Here’s the caption:

I was chit-chatting with Susan after I took this picture and mentioned that I thought her hair was sooo beautiful – her best feature.

She said thanks and added that she had lost her hair once because of cancer. She now purposely keeps it long because she feels it is such a gift to have it back and, for her, a sign of life.

Makes me think of you Mom. Thanks for taking care of our friends this week.

No market for full price, or even 30% off

JP was working on Thanksgiving Day because Mrs. JP had to work (hospitals never close you know). While longing for Mom’s turkey and stuffing and being depressed at the fact that I wasn’t going to get any of it this year, my mind wandered from the grant writing at hand and I decided to see if Black Friday was starting early on the internets. Indeed it was, and the first place I went was doing something I hadn’t seen before.

There I was, at 9AM on Thanksgiving Day on the Saks website, noticing that they are having a fire sale. Before I went crazy with the shopping cart I headed over to Neiman’s, Barney’s and Bergdorf to see if similar sales were afoot. They weren’t, yet. In order to understand this, you have to know how the luxury dept stores normally structure their sales. I will use the classical Neiman’s terminology because it is what I am most familiar with (I am from Dallas after all). First comes “first call”. This is usually a 25-30% discount and it lasts for about a month. Then comes a further reduction, usually down to 50% and this reduction generally has no name, although there are usually some promotions built around it, including a pre-sale for card holders. Then comes the biggy, “last call”. Often times, this begins on Dec 26 (or mid-July for spring-summer collections); however, I can remember the days when Mom used to bring me along for this when it would happen in mid-Jan. Continue reading

The United States of… Polo?

Was anyone else more than a little dismayed to see the US Olympic team come marching out for the opening ceremonies with huge Polo logos on their chests?!? In case you didn’t see it, check here for a number of pics of the outfits and their huge Polo logo. Nice message to send there USOC and Ralph Lauren (but I suppose it would be what the world expects of us… a big ass corporate logo). And USOC, why highlight a designer that needs no additional help. If you want someone already ungodly famous recruit Tom Ford for goodness sake. If not, how about supporting the designers behind such great semi-new American labels as Modern Amusement or Band of Outsiders (or tons of others which are noticeably not obsessed with their own logos). As for you Ralph Lauren, there is a time and a place for your giant polo insignia, junior high and high school. Get over yourself!

UPDATE: It looks like it wasn’t just me that was outraged. The author raises a good point, did Ralph pay the athletes to become walking billboards?

Get the Real Stuff (another fashion post)

The other night Mrs Juniorprof and I watched Illicit: the Dark Trade on our favorite channel, PBS. One of the major themes of the show was how fake handbags are tied into the organized crime business in ways that many of us could never imagine. Ever been to China Town in NYC to get a cheap LV pursue. Don’t do it, your money is going to support all kinds of terrible things, but you probably figured that would be the case. Either way, no one around here would dream of doing such a thing!

So, aside from the dark side of this business, it got me thinking… what is the major difference between rip-offs and the real thing. Well, this is obvious, quality. Are they worth the money? Maybe yes, maybe no, depends on what you expect by buying some pieces from a top designer. An Armani or Canali suit, for instance, can feel so good on that you want to wear it all the time. Then again, one a thousand bucks cheaper can look and feel just as nice. A good deal of the business that the big houses get is from the fashion victim. I know, I’m a recovering fashionista. In this case, that D&G outfit sure might look fab but its not any better quality than what you’d find anywhere else, its just the design and the name. But heck, buy if you like, I sure as shit did!

So what’s the point? One thing I have consistently noticed is that some designers make shoes that put all the rest to shame. Case in point, Prada. I’ve got a couple pair of Prada shoes that I paid way too much for. But you know what, I’ve had them for years (one for almost ten), they still look two days old and when I wear ’em I’m sure there are little elves in there massaging my feet. So, yes, I’m a recovering fashion victim and I still fall prey to my old addiction from time to time but one thing I’ll never get over is a real pair of Prada shoes. Worth the money everytime!

Yes, PP, I know I’m ruining my blog.

Not the black suit with the blue shirt (time for that fashion post)

I threatened to do some fashion posts from time to time and here comes the first one.  Its going to sound like I’m dishing out some advice but I’m not really, just offering some observations and some ideas for anyone interested.

I have a confession.  I like fashion.  To me, it is an art form and some, like Tom Ford or John Galliano, consistently achieve it in its highest form.  I have another confession.  I almost left science back in undergrad days to pursue a fashion design career.  Obviously, I didn’t do it but I still think about how my life would be different now if I’d made that choice.

Onto the point.  Most scientist, contrary to popular opinion, are actually pretty good dressers (that’s my story and I’m stickin to it).  Scientists tend to be fit and that helps.  I get the impression that alot of scientists also are fairly hip and enjoy looking good.  Nothing wrong with that, looking good is supposed to make you feel better about yourself and there isn’t a thing wrong with projecting a degree of coolness through your clothes.  Where it often goes wrong is when us scientists (men and women) have to don the old suit for some important event, especially interviews. Continue reading