Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Fashion Advice

Why use a needle and thread if there's duct tape?

I know a number of my female readers have dealt with the whole issue of underwire bras. (for men who are unfamiliar, an underwire bra is sort of a cross between an erector set and fabric).  Then, you've probably had the issue where at the point of highest stress, the underwire breaks, and  pokes through the fabric.  You're sitting there, all of your body parts content and happy and suddenly there's this sharp metal thing poking very delicate skin, to the point of drawing blood.

Many of us have been there.  Discomboobulated.

Unfortunately, in this case, much of my laundry was down at the crash pad (where the washer and dryer are bigger) and I had no spare. And there was NO WAY I was venturing out on the morning of Black Friday to buy a new one.

Thank heavens for Duck Tape.

With that and tactical lip gloss (and wedgie free skivies) a gal can handle most anything life tosses her way.
Tactical Lip Gloss?  Even Zeva has some of that.

Yes THAT Zeva.  NCIS is a guilty pleasure of mine, even though Ducky once described the injuries of a run over man as a broken "tibia and fibia". I think a "Fibia" is part of the jawbone of a politician, I've not seen one in a normal human body. But when you've only got an hour to save the planet, what's a little forensic goof. I still immensely enjoy the show.

On one episode, a young damsel is kidnapped from the watchful eye of the NCIS team who are protecting her as she knows a special secret. She's found hours and hours later in an old warehouse, duct taped to a chair, a big piece of duct tape across her mouth to stifle her cries, her brow damp, her shirt clinging to her in the intense heat and humidity. One of NCIS team goes after the bad guy and while one of them RIPPSSS the duct tape off of her mouth so she can speak.

Now, considering that it been stuck to her for hours, that would normally remove the lips themselves. But this is TV. Not only did it not appear to hurt her, her pink lip gloss was absolutely perfect. I mean absolutely flawless. It didn't fade, it didn't smear, despite hours of duct tape and heat. Midwest Chick and I had a long discussion on it, which included a comment in the ladies room at the Indianapolis Symphony as we reapplied our lip gloss. of "good but not duct tape proof" which several blue haired matrons about fainted over.

Look, I have my girly moments even though I own more guns than shoes. Face it, women in general pay a lot more attention to such things than men do. Probably because we grew up with Barbie who if she were a real live woman would be 6 foot 6, weigh about 98 pounds, (1/3 of which was her gravity defying chest) with a perfect hairdo that no real woman could get without enough hairspray to immobilize a Cape Buffalo.What's NOT to give a kid growing up a complex about such things as pouty lips and perfect hair when one has free range curly hair and grew up hoping there was a line of lipstick that came in .50 BMG brass.

Fortunately, I ditched Barbie and got some action figures instead. Action figures didn't have to look pretty, they just had to be able to DO stuff and be self confident. You would never expect G.I. Joe to say "does this M16 carbine make my butt look too big?" Barbie was soon retired, having lost an arm to an unpleasant Tattoo experience with the little soldering iron in the wood burner kit and a leg to a potato gun launch gone awry. She retired on disability in the Barbie FEMA house where she was soon forgotten for much cooler toys.

G.I. Joe was cool. He had only the accessories he needed. Plus he showed up in an action helicopter not a pink convertible.
But I'm not just not shopping because it's Black Friday.  Franky, I hate shopping  I hate shopping for clothes particularly, as I've written about before.

For starters I'd just as soon buy a bunch of shooty accessories than more shoes. Look, you need shoes, they keep you from stepping on scorpions and spiders barefoot, and all.   But frankly. I wouldn't notice another woman's shoes unless her feet were on fire.  My closet contains five pairs, total, though I do sort of want these Browncoat looking ones.

I have about 6 suits, 3 are court-worthy.  I also have some "it won't bother me to burn them" pants and shirts, a couple pairs of jeans and Irish sweaters and my favorite green cargo pants and black silk shirt.There's also my denim jacket. I live in the latter outfits.

But I do have a couple of  "girly" outfits. There's a little black dress and one pretty little flowered number I bought because I hang out with someone that has occasion to dress up.
But outside of that, I went for the longest time without buying anything new, but finally it happened,  Things started wearing out, cuffs frayed, collars too, and some things just get ruined out in the field.  Plus, I seriously stepped up my physical activity to recover from and support the blown out knee and  in that necessary process, lost 20 pounds.

Apparently though, while I was living in the fashion dark ages, picking up just the occasional Tee-shirt and undies, sizes have changed.  What used to be the size a  thin girl wore, a size 8, is now a size 0.  There's also not just women's clothes and men's clothes, there's  junior and Missy's (which makes me think of John Wayne "well I tell ya little Missy").  Add to that designer label (which means if you're a size zero at Fashion Bug you're a negative integer at Ralph Lauren),  petite and oh, thank goodness, woman's section, which I figured, worked, because I'm a woman.  But no,  that was a way of saying, "you're not shaped like a 2 x 4.  Welcome to mumu land".

According to statisticians, I am the clothing size of the average American woman, in the size 12/14 range (14 if it's a shirt and I don't plan on wearing undergarments designed for assassination attempts).  I've got 4 inches in height on the average American gal, but I'm curved like her. I will never be "fashionably thin" but I'm strong and I can go top speed all day, which you can't do on a piece of arugula and a rice cake.

But in a world where a woman with her ribs jutting out seems to be the ideal (which, I think, would be like sleeping with a bag of antlers), clothing designers still don't seem to get how real American women are built, and most of us ARE bigger than our lipstick.
So for them, I will offer some fashion design advice.

(1) Just because I have an ample backside does not mean I'm shaped overall like a VW Beetle.  I have booty.  I also have a small waist.  So why must you make jeans that fit my hips also so big around the waist and the legs (which are decent from 20 years of ballet and tap dancing), that after sitting in them for an hour, they SLOWWLY start sliding off my form.

There I was at Mountain of Geese, seeing what they had in the way of ammo, when the jeans started doing their little gravity dance and I was afraid I was going to be mistaken for one of those gangbangers that normally frequent Don's Guns.  I hoped at least, that the briefs that were appearing were the proper degree of gansta cool. I had to sneak behind the ghilly suit display (no one will see me here!) and "adjust".

(2)  Due to my. .  er. . bust size, I often have to get a larger sized shirt.  Designers? Just because I am bustier than the other size 14 gal, does NOT mean that my arms somehow grow extra long.  Why is it if you go from a 12 to a 14 size shirt, suddenly the sleeves are 3 inches longer and you have to roll the cuffs up?
(3)  Women in my age bracket may BE considered cougars but we don't care to dress like Marlin Perkins Mistress.  Enough with all the leopard and zebra prints for everything from handbags to dresses to sweats.  The only time I wore something like that, the 20 year kid kid at the oil change place asked me out but after I jogged through the park later, I came home with a dart in my ass.

(4)  If it's 90 degrees out, sleeveless would be nice.  Apparently designers think all woman over 40 never work out and  have arms like  flying squirrels and the intent seems to be cover them up, and cover them up with voluminous fabric, even in  smaller sizes. Looking at clothing for the yearly Christmas party, all of them of had these voluminous winged arms, so that when you held your arms up and out they draped in a straight line to the waist. 

I could have jumped out of an airplane in any of them and flown to earth.  When did the 2013 Christmas look become "Base Jumper".  Actually, given all the sparkles on them it was "Base Jumper Elvis".
Spring collections are worse.  Everything is white.  I am messy, I come home spattered with an assortment of fluids you don't want to know about. I've gotten bacon tangled in my hair  But I had to get something for a special occasion. I tried to be kind to the clerk and just tell her the white top and pants she presented were too. . "you know. . plain."  So she gives me a long red scarf to hang around my neck with it to add some "zing".

I looked like a thermometer.

All I could think of was "I wonder if this comes in cammo?"

I gave up,  went home and put on my cargo pants and jean jacket.
Ladies, though we may occasionally stress over the whole fashion thing, especially when under a timeline to get something for a special event, never overstress as to how you are built, if you are healthy and active. Honestly, the good men don't care about that.  They care that you make them laugh, and that you will, and have, jumped up and down with glee over your two inch grouping, and that you don't mind that their car smells like motor oil, Hoppes No. 9 and a hamburger. They look at you and don't see a size or an age, they see the form of love and the color of courage, even on your worst days, the one holding the laughter of their truest friend.

Besides, I have enough to wear for the places I usually hang out.


  1. Suspenders work to hold up the pants, and they could be a fashion statement.

    I like those boots, too. but then remember I am so lazy that tying them on would make me want to tie one on.

  2. I am a day late having been on the road to my Sisters for Turkey Day. I Came back and what a wonderful thing to read first thing Black Friday Morning. I Laughed hard when I read this, as my lovely wife had that very same discomboobulation problem on our way to my sisters place for Thanksgiving Dinner and yes, Duct Tape was used to resolve the problem...I just dont see how that happens, I mean the items being contained aren't being swung around or dribbled like basketballs, the load should be static or pretty much so how do these things just snap like that? At anyrate, I hope you and Partner had a lovely dinner and day of thanks.

  3. My wife used to have those bras break and stick her like you were talking about but I never thought of duct tape. My big solution was just to take the thing off.
    They ought to make close in the US again and maybe they would actually fit American women. I can hear them in the factory in Thailand going Ah that wrong no woman have boobs that big and arms so short you cut wrong!

  4. I haven't had time to read your blog in a while, but boy do you entertain. I'll keep coming back whenever I get a chance.


  5. Just found your site--
    Guns-dogs-planes (your deck of cards in post below)- and et al-

  6. AMEN! I love the looks of terror on clerks' faces when they ask what size I am. "I wear a size 6, 8, or 10 skirt, and a 6, 8, 10, or 12 top, and a 10 or 12 jacket. It depends on the year and the cut." I usually buy "gently vintage" from Flea-bay in part because I know the sizes are true! And no not get me started on the ups and downs of the wandering waist-band of women's trousers.

  7. Glad 'we' don't have to deal with those issues... :-P

  8. LOL. I too have duck taped those deadly broken wires, and once had to staple the hook and eye part together, as well. I'd rather do that than have to find an unwired new bra. (do those even exist?)

    I also hate shopping. But I absolutely refuse to shop for anything other than food from Oct thru January. Too dangerous.

  9. Buy stuff you really like and find a good seamstress or a tailor for the pants .Manufacturers have to build for the average and you're above that.


  10. Hahah! I love it when you rant, B. I have my own problems with clothes, as you well know, so I sympathize.

    When I turned 40 I basically said "Heck with it, I'm not getting any dates so I might as well be comfortable" and now most of my wardrobe consists of sweatpants and relaxed-fit tee shirts.

    Although I am terribly surprised you didn't have white tape! Electrical and duct tape comes in all sorts of colors these days.

  11. Have a granddaughter who is a dead ringer for Ziva! I'm totally torqued that they shipped her off to oblivion.!!

    OBTW, are those .223 Rem lipsticks?

  12. Earl - The boots are $220 so I will pass, but they are pretty cool.

    immagikman - they always break in the same spot, for whatever reason.

    Sunnbrook Farm - If I find a shirt I like that actually fits, I'll buy 5 in different colors and just wear those until they're worn out.

    hersolong - welcome back!

    Farmmom - my best to you and yours, and I glad I made you smile.

    christian soldier - welcome Carol, there are some very nice people that visit here, the comments often funnier than the posts and everyone respecting others feelings. You will find friends here, I hope.

    Alma B. - there is a huge disparity in the sizes as well. I have one shirt that's tight that's an extra large, and a small I can easily wear.

    Old NFO - just as glad as I am that I don't have to get up every morning and shave :-)

    naturegirl - I've done the staple hem job before.

    Glenn - good idea, frankly I hate to sew myself but for recovering furniture type activities. Thanks!

    Erin - I thought the red would match the blood (just kidding, this one just poked me but they've broken the skin before). I will be back in Indy in a few days, the watermelon tootsie pops will be on their way to you.

    Everett - good eye, my friend. Indeed they are, for the Remington.

  13. I love the can of Ballistol by the sink. :)

  14. Mrs. Roscoe scored an extremely good closeout deal last Spring on one of the [name brand omitted] down coats that a lot of women wear up here in the winter. It fits okay on her, but the boxy cut and longish sleeve length make it a much better fit on me. I wondered what the designers were thinking since I'm sure that the factory simply made what they ordered.

    "Made in Vietnam". I'm not kidding.

  15. Many times you cause me to think, sometimes you touch my heart and cause me to cry. This time you tickled my funny bone. Another good read!

  16. "...may be considered cougars..."

    The term is HOT mama.


  17. A serendipitous bit of courtship success came when that becoming-a-special-someone had an underwire emergence event much like what you described, only in black. Having just come running a conference, I happened to have the tag end of a roll of gaff tape in my toolbox...

    It's kinda like duct/duck* tape but tears cleanly and its cloth surface is non reflective; the name comes from its use by "gaffers" on film and video crews.

    * Both seem to be official names for the stuff, depending on brand, though ironically you really shouldn't even bother using it to seal up ducts:

    The guys who installed my new furnace disdained the stuff, using instead some swabbable petrochemical that smelled like Satan's laundry hamper for the first half hour or so but remained flexible and adherent when cured -- and they put it in the inside of the joints so that the air pressure would tend to force it in rather than blow it out.

    I tend to use Gorilla Tape these days in (non HVAC or supportive undergarment) situations where I used to use duct tape anyway. It's thicker and tougher and more adherent than most duct tapes I've encountered.

  18. After much thought and observation on the matter, I am FIRMLY convinced that the majority of folks that design clothing for women, actually HATE women. That's the only way I can figure out some of today's "fashions"

    Just sayin'

  19. What is this "Shaving" of which you speak? LOL! Great rant!

  20. Permalink sent to Belladonna.

    Now that I am retired I am doing much of the laundry. Perhaps you can explain the large number of eye patches that mysteriously show up in my daughter's laundry hamper? I never see her wearing them. Quite the mystery.


  21. OMG! This one was a true keyboard alert! Though the guys didn't seem to find it nearly as amusing as I did...perhaps it's because they don't have to wear underwire bras? Mine used to always wear thru the fabric at the ends of the wire and would gouge that way. At least hand-washing them seems to have reduced the failure rates!


  22. I gave up on underwires and found bras that support us big gals without the danger of being poked. When I find such a style, I buy it in all available colors and several in white/nude. Still have one underwire for those very rare occasions requiring something more formal than my good jeans and silk tee. As for lip gloss, well, I prefer Bert's Bees lip balm. Haven't given it the duct tape test, but it works well in a semi-arid climate.

  23. I just stumbled on your blog, and I have to say it is a very enjoyable read. Please Keep up the great work! I will be following!

  24. My first wife had a rather large... um... chest, and on more than one occasion when we were out and about (one such at a party) she had an underwire blow out. Our solution was for her to hide in the little girls room while I removed the underwire with my trusty needle nose pliers. One such bra she ended up keeping because she said it was more comfortable without the added hardware.

    I know you girls have some clothes buying issues, but us guys have some too. Recently I needed a nice shirt for an event. I'm not the "dress up" type usually wearing jeans and a t-shirt along with a button up cover shirt worn open if I'm carrying (they are nice, but not nice enough). I went to "the mall" where you would expect to find nice clothes. I walked around and around where I thought I remembered the men's clothing section to be, but only found ladies clothes... until I asked, and was informed that this WAS the men's section. Holy crap men's fashions have gone girly!

    I gave up and went to the event in my own clothes, bought where MEN by clothes, and while a few of my female friends rolled their eyes at me being "under dressed", I was fine.... and comfortable.


  25. You think YOU have it bad, try being a man with a backside. We're not supposed to have anything back there. I swim in jeans to get them to fit my hips and thighs. As for dress shirts and suit coats with a proper waist taper, "athletic cut" seems to have all but disappeared from department stores.

    Oh, and every gal, no matter how awesome, still needs s slinky black or red dress.

  26. immagikman:

    The load isn't static, especially on ladies with proper hips.

    The runway model "bounce" is how they make up for inadequate pelvic width and its accompanying rotation.


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