mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
I am considering the purchase of some American Apparel shirts. This was one of the long list of things I desired once I had money from my new job

Specifically the ones called Sunset T-Shirts by the company are the ones I most like. I particularly like the Fluorescent Orange Sunset. Their Satin Charmeuse Night Jacket also temps me greatly in red.

Their standard Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt is well cut, but a bit pricey at $17.00 a piece. Even though I'd rather support American workers I find myself wishing they were only a little more than tees at Target rather than being about twice as expensive even when Target is not having a sale. The colors I like are Brown, Cranberry, Aqua, Sea Foam, Kelly Green, Olive, and Army.

I would have been likely to order rather a lot of the Long Sleeve T-Shirts, but almost none of them are available in even small, much less the extra small that my measurements say I should wear, and in colors I like. Unavailable in Cranberry, Light Blue, or Silver. And only in small for Brown and Asphalt, so I'm only thinking of getting Sea Foam since it is available in extra small. Fortunately their arms are more than long enough for me even in XS.

A silly technological tee that interests me is the Thermochromatic Sheer Jersey T-Shirt. But what color? "Hyper Green" is nice, the "Hyper Vermilion" is fun, the orange gold is good looking, but might be the wrong color with my skin tone, and "Hyper Fast-Blue" and "Fast-Black" do not seem cheerful/vibrant enough to me. And what size? I've tried on their products in the past and the extra-small fit me exactly with just enough room to move comfortable and not a centimeter more. This is because I fall between their sizes with my 29 inch waist and 33 inch chest. So if I was buying strictly for looks I might go with extra small, but would this sort of thermochromatic tee look better a bit loose?

If anyone has better suggestions for me to spend my hard earned money on I'd love to hear them.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Snark)
So Bubonicon is having a villain theme one day. And I torn, divided, and unsure as to whom I should go as. Aton Ego, the nemesis of second rate chefs? But he isn't really a villain, now is he? Plus would anyone recognize me? I could put on all black with a top hat and be The Shade, but again, how many people read Starman? Though it does have the advantage of being just a cool outfit. I have long velvet coats and a couple hats. Plus there are suits. Though I don't want to try to put together something sewn in these last seven days. Suggestions, comments?

Edit: It has been suggested I should be Dracula. I think that I can fake that... possibly. I also thought, "Hey, maybe I could be someone from literature, like Mr. Wednesday or Low Key from American Gods."
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Distant)
Quoth Fashionista in trendspotting article entitled Brave New Girl, "I doubt Narciso had a Peter Jackson moment while designing his Fall line, but his forcefully graceful collection evokes a warrior princess on the throne. Vera Wang's wondrous strange clothes are weird, challenging, and maybe a Marc '05 rip off, but there's no denying that her girls made a turbulent kind of magic. And what about the Mulleavy sisters metallic and misty poofs for Rodarte?

"Whatever. If they didn't spend their entire adolesence hiding in cafeteria corners reading Sci Fi novels, then I can't quote Clueless (and I can - the entire thing)."

Interesting. And I see a bit of it in the fall lines cited. Beware my SCA and costuming friends, you might become fashionable without intending it.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Alchemist)
I am a work in progress, as are most people. I'm always learning new things. I geek out about clothing and have for a number of years now. It nearly coincided with my entry into fandom, but that is not what caused it.

When I was in high school I was deathly afraid that I might be accused of being gay. Being a slender geek without much defense against bullying and I knew at some level that somehow being very thin was somehow associated with being gay. So I tried very hard not to be effeminate. I wore only guy colors like black, green, gray, and blue. I didn't even like to wear anything with a pattern. And most of my clothing was rather too large for me and I hoped it would hide how thing I was. I probably actually made me look like a beanpole holding up a size large tent.

And I continued wearing my plain button down twill shirts and slightly too short slacks right into my brief foray into college and then at the beginning of my time in fandom. But while in college I'd been exposed to a new thing, the internet. And I'd seen things there. Naked guy things. And after much trepidation and hesitation I met with a gay guy. That was right before I found fandom. I came out a few months after I joined fandom in about May 1999. But my choices in clothing and political party continued to be the same, unexamined, for around another year, I think. I was attracted to a certain sort of guy. Rather well dressed in a very gay way and one day I had a sort of revelation. "Here I am, gay. That's what I was afraid of being called all these years. Now I admit it openly. Why am I afraid to look like one of the guys I am attracted to?"

It was not as articulate as that. And it was not like there were never backsliding or times when I would dress more conservatively. But that is essentially why I dress and look the way I do. I decided I wanted to look like the sort of guy I found attractive. And it is also why I go on about geek clothing choices. My fellow straight geeks are not going to get the same very direct epiphany moment of, "Hey, maybe I should do my best to look like a person I'd want to date." Not to say they cannot, but we can all be a bit clueless at times as geeks. And in actually exploring fashion rather than just dismissing it without knowing as, "Frivolous bunk not worth a real man's time" I've learned a lot about the practical side of clothing.

Not only how to be more comfortable, but how to look my best with what I've got. And I want to share it. So this is part of me being a geek and it is also something I think that other geeks should know a certain minimal amount about. My first love isn't computers, but I know enough to work with one. It is the same thing with clothing. We need it or it is required, why not use it to our best advantage.

Okay, that's my speech.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Distant)
Or, Geek Look Number Two
(The previous installment, Geek Look Number One, was mainly about tee shirts and jeans for men. Most of my advice is for men because I simply don't know that much about women's clothing.)

Office casual. The phrase calls up nebulous images of men in pleated slacks (or trousers if you prefer) with some sort of shirt with a collar, sometimes with and sometimes without a tie. It is totally practical, especially when the outfit is mostly of stain resistant material and worn appropriately for the weather. After all few of us need to do the heavy work that calls for jeans on most days. The trouble is that the look can make the man wearing it look like something of a corporate tool and so is not worn by geeks outside of places of work that require it. With suitable modification, however, it could be a practical and attractive look for a geek out on the town or at a science fiction convention. Pick your jaw up off the floor and let me explain.

Read more... )
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Distant)
As I wrote yesterday fashion isn't just designer labels, fashion is also choosing comfort and practicality over the look of the moment. I think that it is very sensible to be choosing comfort as a number one criteria, but far too often that is where it stops. Color and fit should also be part of the criteria for choosing clothes and choosing how to care for them.

I'm starting off the the look that I've already mention, the ubiquitous tee shirt and jeans.

How to pick tee shirts and jeans )

Next time moving on to more professional geek looks.
mishalak: Mishalak with long hair and modified so as to look faded. (Faded Photo)
Well the style section of Denver's Sunday paper was bereft of articles proclaiming fashion trends. There was hardly any free advertising for fellow corporations announcements of new places to shop aside from one for a website run by The Gap's corporate parent. A piece on politeness on Light Rail (and the lack thereof) and a profile on Colorado's next First Lady. Nothing about clothes. So I'll have to make up something about fashion on my own instead.

Fashion has a negative connotation among geeks when it isn't openly derided by the bookish intellectuals and engineers alike. And it really shouldn't be so scorned, particularly if the person happens to be a science fiction or fantasy fan. Fashion is all about visual cues to what kind of person the wearer wants to be perceived as. This does not have to be just be about keeping up with some trust fund baby social set where having the right label on ones clothing means being part of the group or not, it can also be about saying, "Hey I'm an intellectual, an engineer, a reader, or otherwise a really smart person." Faded black tee shirts with scruffy ill fitting blue jeans does not do this.

The so casual that it goes beyond sleeping through dressing to a "I was comatose when these clothes appeared upon my body" look doesn't proclaim the wearer's intellectual prowess because it is also favored by drug addicts, high school drop outs, and the gormless. Because these other people dress in the extremely casual way they do everyone who doesn't want to be associated with them must choose a look and expend a minimal amount of effort on maintaining it. It can still be tee-shirts and blue jeans, they just have to be unfaded tee shirts and clean blue jeans paired up with a neatly trimmed head of hair and/or beard. Then the wearer doesn't just look like any old computer programmer, he looks like a computer programmer with his shit together.

The whole point of this is that filth and shabby clothes don't proclaim a person's liberation from lesser concerns, they're too common. So get ready to pick a look with Mishalak. Why? Because I suspect until New Years I'll need to fill my journal with stuff on this until I have something new to critique from fashion sites sometime after the Yule.
mishalak: Mishalak with long hair and modified so as to look faded. (Faded Photo)
Whenever a James Bond movie comes out various trend spotting magazines never fail to have an article proclaiming the return of the suit. In fact Out magazine filled half their November issue with them, the Style Section of the Sunday Denver Post had one two weeks ago, and I think I saw a cover saying the same thing in Men's Vogue. Bah. Don't get me wrong, the suit certainly isn't dead, but it isn't poised for a huge comeback either. A well cut suit makes people and men in particular look very classy and gives the impression of less weight or more muscle than you actually carry. And now a pause for a cup of tea... Oh glorious!

Right. So the suit certainly does a good job, the problem is that by the standards of clothes today they're expensive. Well maybe not if you're putting on hundred and twenty dollar sweaters with hundred and fifty dollar jeans, etc... But for most working people the idea of wearing a three hundred dollar suit to a party where it might have cranberry punch spilled upon it is deeply scary. Plus there is the undeniable fact that though they improve how a person looks they are not exactly exciting. My own very beautiful suit is charcoal gray with light gray pin stripes and so without my natural advantage of long hair I would look completely boring if I showed up to a party wearing it. Unless I paired it with my royal purple dress shirt, damn I'm digressing and weakening my main point. What is my point I might hear a few asking?

The suit as an item of casual fashion is to the point where it is having to trundle about with one of those little oxygen tanks to keep from keeling over. Only the truly daring, the same sort that would feel no embarrassment at going out wearing a full on fedora because they feel like it, will go out wearing a suit to non-corporate/funeral type events. If you are that type of person I recommend getting a second suit. One in something a bit different than you'd find at Men's Warehouse (an evil store, BTW, don't shop there). I myself have a second suit that needs just a wee bit of tailoring and then I will wear it in all its wheat colored glory whenever I have an excuse. Like going out on a cool fall day to have tea with friends at House of Commons.

But this isn't something for everyone and the various reporters working on stories about the suit being back because of Bond, economic insecurity, or whatever ought to know better. Wearing a suit is like wearing a baseball uniform. After you're done with the game (work) you head back to your locker room and change into street clothes. As many people have lamented even Hollywood stars don't wear suits on the red carpet very much anymore. It is now an individual style choice based on context rather than being the universal choice based on culture.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Distant)
It is one of my favorite games. I love different clothing, I love trying new things, but sometimes an experiment goes horribly wrong and Fashion turns to "What the hell was I thinking?"

I finally ran across something I have been thinking would be a good idea. Jeans with a pouch for the male equipment. But the execution looks a bit different than I imagined. The company is actually one right hear in Denver called Sport Jeans. Perhaps I was thinking of something slightly edgier looking than is displayed in the photos. I might buy a pair and see if they were worn slightly tight if the look might not improve.

Edit: The consensus seems to be "Victim" and in this case I agree with the group think. I'll simply have to learn how to use my mother's surger and build my own jeans. I'll probably steal ideas for the crotch area from the 2(x)ist contour boxer brief if I can figure out how to make those measurements work with a fly and in stiffer material.


mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)

January 2016

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