Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homage au Andy

Andy Rooney, lovable gruff curmudgeon, died Friday at age 92. He was famous for unapologetically speaking his mind about what annoyed him— from easy-open cans that didn't open to fans who disturbed him at dinner. For the most part, life's little annoyances that bothered Andy irritate most of us too. He could get away with ranting about them. We usually grumble under our breath.

Herewith in fond recollection and tribute to Andy are the fashion faux pas that bother me. Think of me as Andy, slightly disheveled (especially as I write this) with enough pas of my own to give pause. I just can't help wondering...

Why do people show up at the airport dressed to clean out the garage? 
We seem to have collectively gone to hell in a handbasket, all for the sake of comfort. Is it so hard to put together an outfit (including footwear) that doesn't look as if you got locked out of the house on your way back from the dump? News flash: jeans are probably the least comfortable item of clothing to wear while squashed into a narrow seat for several hours.

Where do people wear all the clothes they keep buying? 
They are certainly not wearing them to go clothes shopping. Or to the movies. Or to the airport. Why do most people run around looking like their "good" clothes can only be brought out for special occasions? Isn't every day a special occasion? You don't have to overdress to go grocery shopping, but really, cut-offs and halter tops? I don't want that much of your skin next to the food I buy.

What is it with sleeveless dresses?
Are dresses so expensive to make that manufacturers have cut corners by cutting off the sleeves? Just try to find a spring or summer dress with sleeves. Never mind that air conditioning is cranked so high in public places one needs a sweater let alone sleeves. It's the rare woman who loves her upper arms to begin with. As time goes on, and they wave goodbye before she does, there is even less love. How difficult would it be to broaden the scope of dresses to have either sleeves or a dropped shoulder that at least creates the hint of a sleeve? Anything. Please.

When will someone design decent dresses for the mother of the bride?
This is my number one all-time pet peeve, and the one question I would be asked more than any while working as a Personal Shopper at Nordstrom. Women today do not want to look like their own grandmothers at their daughters' weddings. Yes you can cobble something together from the special occasion section with a good eye or good help, but why doesn't the wedding industry give a little thought to the fashion-savvy, young looking, well preserved MOB?

Will there ever be standardized sizing in this country in my lifetime?
Never mind that clothing sizes are constantly evolving. There was a time when 8 was very very small. What irritates most is that one manufacturer's size 10 can be another's size 12 can be another's size 6. There hasn't always been such a thing as size 0. The 0 effect began in the 1980's when designers started vanity sizing so women felt more svelte wearing a smaller number. The answer to the question would appear to be "no".

Does anyone own a full-length mirror?
I know, that's very curmudgeon-like but— seriously— so many fashion blunders could be avoided if more people had full length mirrors and used them.

Just in case you discover me in any old issues, I admit to being a don't in Glamour Magazine's Dos and Don'ts pages. But, honestly— they just used me because I was on staff and it wasn't real. Pinky swear!

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