On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a bashing from a member of the self-appointed fashion police at a website called Stylite. “This is just not OK,” screamed the headline.
Geez, I think she looks quite elegant in this photo from a recent meeting with the prime minister of Peru. What do you suppose could cause such a rude critique?
“Yes, a scrunchie,” screeches Justin Fenner, “the universally unflattering elastic vice grip of tonsorial doom, designed specifically to make people look like they have bad taste — or worse: no taste at all. Surely this accessory has no place on the head of one of the most powerful people in the world?
“And yet, there it is, glaring at us with no sense of irony or shame whatsoever.”
All this over a scrunchie? Oh, please. And since I put zero credence in stylite.com, one of Dan Abrams' several websites that mostly trades in gossip and specializes in cheap shots (just my opinion, of course), the story and writer can be dismissed as nothing more than a gnat bite.
But it has raised the general question of fashion for me. Having recently lost a good deal of weight, I am in the market for a new wardrobe. All my pants but one pair either won't stay up or make me look like I'm wearing a clown suit. Sweaters and shirts could easily hold two of me now.
I don't need much, but so far I can buy nothing. In stores of moderate price range, I find nothing that warrants the price on the tags.
Fabrics are cheap and flimsy. Stitching is weak and loose, often with gaps. Sizes on one label bear no resemblance to those on another. Petite for short people no longer has meaning; one pair of pants so labeled was six inches longer than my legs.
Apparently, there is no standard sizing anymore. When I stopped in Chico's, which is not a place I have shopped much, I found that their smallest pant size is zero which turned out to be too large and trust me, there is not a chance in hell I am as small as what size 0 used to mean.
After a couple of weeks of sporadic attempts to find clothes that fit, I also don't know what size blouse or shirt I wear because of several labeled the same, one is too tight, another too loose and not one has been just right.
As to fashion (as in, style), there is none. What there is plenty of are chintzy, machine embroidery; too many flouncy sleeves that are sure to drag in the soup; a lot of low-cut necklines even in heavy sweaters; and large amounts of gauzy translucency.
It didn't help to increase my price range. At that level, clothes are almost exclusively work-related suits or glitzy evening wear, neither of which I need, so I'm giving it a rest for awhile. Except for food, I've never much liked shopping anyway.
So here I sit in my baggy pants and shapeless sweater with (wait for it) a scrunchie holding back my hair. I guess that makes two elder women to offend Justin Fenner's discriminating fashion taste.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, wisewebwoman: Might