Don’t saddle up for this fashion trend

Bike shorts are the new fashionista must-have item. Yes, bike shorts, you read that right. According to the fashionistas you can team them with a dress jacket, ballet flats, heels, a statement knit or jewellery. Do make sure you team them with great legs, preferably great tanned legs. Also the correct thigh/calf ratio. Hair must look adorable. At least helmet hair won’t be a problem because you won’t be wearing a helmet with your bike pants. It’s really just for Instagram purposes only. Speaking of which, make sure you post pictures of you and your bike shorts out for the night partying, going high-end shopping, coffee, drinks, dinner. Anywhere but on your bike really.

This highly sought-after fashion item is the dreaded bike shorts from gym classes of old. Yes, really. The boring, black, stretchy short pants that stayed permanently in the gym bag for a reason. Bland, unflattering and for activewear only. Even for activewear they look bad.

However Vogue Australia knows better. Cool girl staple, they say. Add a statement knit and heels for evening wear.

It’s a swipeable fashion, dreamed up by a PR outfit, here today and swiped off the feed tomorrow. It makes all the other bad fashions not seem so bad after all – fluoro, flares (at least flares can be flattering), skinny jeans, skinny ties and anything orange.

I’d like to think that surely, a species as creative as humans can invent a better fashion than bike pants. It’s only a look only a PR or a celebrity could love, but for the rest of us, bike shorts should take a hike.


Blue ties, nothing but blue ties …

Tony Abbott and his gang members need to sack their colour therapist, who I suspect is Madam Credlin.

This surreal sea of blue ties we’re seeing lately is not looking safe, secure, responsible and adult. It’s looking like a poor excuse for some actual policy and credibility. Do they really think that if they wear a blue tie people will think they are all grown up now?

These ties are not only boring but they show any speck of dirt plus any egg or tomato that’s been thrown at them. Also they only look good when they are done up properly – the PM’s tie has been strangely skewiff lately. Yes, Peta, you have to dress him now too!

And don’t think that the women get off scott-free either. I’m sick of women in a slightly controversial position wearing white. Julia G. and Julie B. both have worn white when in a sticky situation (which in itself is not a good idea!). Also Margie, the usually missing-in-action First Lady, wore white during the reset speech at the National Press Club a few weeks ago. But during spillgate, she was back in a boring blue suit.

La Bishop, again white on Strange Sunday, the day before the spill, then a white jacket during the spill and then back to navy blue a few days later in parliament.

White does not make you pure, above it all or unbiased. Blue does not make you safe, secure or reliable. Being unbiased makes you unbiased. Being responsible makes you responsible.

Pollies – please don’t mess with colour. It’s making me see red.

Rivers run full of price discrimination

Further proof that women shoud be paid MORE, not less than men (and not the same amount either).

I speak, of course, about ads on TV for a sale at Rivers clothes. Why are men’s heavy duty tee’s (in fact polo shirts) only costing $4.95 and women’s fashion tops are $12.95? More than double the price. Which is strange because they are not double the material. They look like half the volume and for girls’ shirts the manufacturer didn’t even have to worry about adding sleeves.

This is discrimination. I know $12.95 is not a lot of money to fork out for a garden variety top, but that is not the point. Why are we paying more than double for essentially the same thing, ie a barbecue shirt.

You could argue that the women’s tops had more variety and were a bit more intricate. But you could also argue that the men’s shirts were more durable AND they were collared shirts.

I am very cranky and want the politicians to review this situation immediately. And I haven’t even started on haircuts, moisturiser or toilet queues.

Secrets of the Superbrands

Recently I caught up with Secrets of the Superbrands, a doco by Alex Riley, who himself is a cross between Beaker from the Muppets and a noodle (a no-name noodle of course).

Alex is delving into why people will fork out so much dosh, and are obsessed by luxury brands for computers, fashion and food. He wants to understand why Apple garners so much admiration, why the opening of a computer shop is like a Lady Gaga concert. He asks why people will spend $3,000 they don’t have on a handbag and why people will turn a department shop into a middle eastern war zone just to get a brand name belt on sale.

What he finds is disturbing. When it comes down to it people are moronic, shallow pack animals for whom brands are like religion – but without the care factor. Brands have successfully turned themselves into mini religions, with their iconry, logos, beauty, exclusivity and idea that we seek them out to obtain happiness and recognise a brand in others. (In fact the area of the brain most connected with religion lights up when people are shown branded products.)

You know the really INSANE thing? It’s just marketing. In the case of sunglasses they are all made in the same factory. On Secrets of the Superbrands we see a factory in Italy where it’s Bally sunglasses one shift, the next hour, same people, same equipment, same factory it’s Prada, next hour Coach. And so on. Evidence that the product is just a product like any others made in a factory. The rest is marketing.

Alex Riley’s treatment doesn’t say much for people or the future of the planet. And the scary thing is these people vote.

A big fat rant on skinny jeans

Skinny jeans, skinny jeans, skinny jeans. Wherever I go in the shops are skinny jeans. After a flare? Bootleg? A flattering straight leg pant? Sorry wrong decade, wrong universe and definitely wrong shop. The choice is this: skinny or retro baggy pant (think skinny jeans with hip darts – flattering NOT!!).

What’s wrong with skinny jeans? Well, unless you look like Nicole Kidman (ie a tall, skinny glass of milk) you cannot pull it off. OK, teenagers can get away with it. For now. But no-one else. Let’s take an attractive, well-dressed woman of a certain (which really means uncertain) age, put them in skinny jeans and they look like they are on work experience – as an assistant clown.

I need a new pair of jeans and last week spent nearly five hours looking and tried on around 30 pairs of jeans. Nil, nada, niente, zip. I came home with big fat skinny jeans induced nausea. We are meant to live in a free society here so why are there only skinny jeans on sale? It’s not good ole communist Russia! This is meant to be the great age of choice.

Either give us some real choice where it matters (the butt department) or let’s move onto to the next fad. Flattering flares, please.

Rack Off Julia’s bum, Germaine!

Germaine Greer is an icon, a trailblazer. She probably should have her own font named after her (the GerMaine Block Capitals or G.E.Maine Sans Serif perhaps?). At the very least the Germaine App which can sprout out WTF moments at the press of a button.

There’s been a few WTF moments over the last decade, but the latest attack on Julia’s bum from one of the world’s most renowned feminists is a bra too far. Come on, Germaine – what about the sisterhood here? At least even up the score with an attack on Tony’s budgie smugglers. Here we have our nation’s first female PM and the best Germaine can do is criticise her her booty.

(For the record, I would take Julia out of the short white jackets, and put her into a green or blue slimming longer jacket. But hey, she is a big girl now and she is the prime minister of Australia, she can dress however she bloody well likes. Maybe she likes a big bum. Take that Germaine!)

Why doesn’t Germaine pick on someone who she hates (there’s plenty of those) instead of picking on someone she might have some ideological connection with.  Why are people with no opinions about policies and, (if you look at Germaine’s outfits), no clue about fashion being invited on Q&A anyway? Tony Jones – ignore Germaine, if booty-bashing is the best she can come up with she’s not worth it, and let’s stick to actual policies and give fashion the bum steer.

DFO – an outlet for leftover crap

I’ve heard about Direct Factory Outlets or DFO’s, as those in the know say, for years but never been tempted. But the lure of fabulously affordable gear and just a relatively short trundle down the road to Homebush got me curious. Were there really sell-out bargains? Would I pick up a once-in-a-lifetime label I loved? I had to find out.

So, one Saturday I moseyed on down. I knew I was too late. At 11am parking already looked like Bethlehem at Christmas time.

Wow, this place must be really good I thought. There must be plenty of bargains to be had and lots of fabulous new season clothes. Wrong on all counts. So wrong.

The shops, once I put my periscope up to see above the throng, were full of last season’s leftover summer gear at not particularly knock-down prices. The deals were no better than those anyone would have found in March in their local mall. There was a nod to new season stuff with about $10 off the price they would normally be. I bought some boots and saved $10, so was ahead for 2 minutes until I had a weird-tasting sushi and drink. Bingo – $10 gone.

After that I’d nearly lost the will to live, so joined the people wandering around in a giant circle, and I hoped I would bump into the exit sign on the way. What disturbed me the most about DFO, was not the obvious rip-off, not the windscreen washers in the carpark, not the scary sushi but the amount of people there who, not only thought this was a good place to spend a sunny Saturday, but that they were getting good deals. They were laughing and enjoying themselves and as I left the carpark cars were banked up waiting to get into the place.

I wanted to yell: turn around and get a life people. But some people need to find out the hard way. I know I did.

Flashmob daze

For the last three days I’ve heard people talking about or seen links to something called flashmobs.

So, let’s recap: a bunch of people doing identical dance moves? This is the latest craze?! I mean – I’m no Ginger Astaire but that’s called LINE DANCING people! And unless, you’re heavily into the piano accordion, it’s not cool.

It beats me how something as nutty as Candid Camera meets line dancing has become hot, hip and happening. And happening it is – all across the rail network, at parties, in fact everywhere.

It’s like human beings stopped evolving in say, 1997, which coincides neatly with the internet going live, and anything that is as perfectly stupid as synchonised swimming is given a name like flashmob and next thing you know Oprah is doing it at Uluru.

Where will it end? The next thing we’ll see is skinny ties will be back, as well as legwarmers, crazy lace gloves. Oh hang on a minute?

So this is what capitalism has done for us

Recently I went to the shops in search of trousers. A nice pair of pants (or pant as Myer likes to call them) to wear to work. I was thinking something pale blue, maybe rust, perhaps a mild green. But do you think I could find them? No, the only choice was black, beige or white.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not a beige kinda gal. White? Sure I like it when it’s in the shop but it’s not rant-proof enough for me (bound to spill coffee/wine/wasabi during its first outing). As for black? The world is bleak enough already, let’s not add to it. I put navy in the same category. 

Am I asking too much? A pair of red trousers? Can the fashion industry not even stretch to pale blue? I mean is this what capitalism has done for us? Given us a communist-era colour scheme? Is this some evil agrarian plot? Do I have to twill my own yarn and dunk it in a home brew dye?

Anyway, I’m going on a coloured pant mission to Chinatown. Clearly it’s up to communist China to send us some colour.

(PS I was wrong – not even Chinatown does colour. I ended up with navy blue – not happy Jan!)

Colour ain’t color

Colours aren’t colours any more. They’ve gone the way of children’s names. Where once there was Catherine, Susan and David, it’s now Levitate, Samba and Cinnamon.

The same with colours. Vermillion is bandied about as if people know how to pronounce it, let alone how to spell it. Puce – what is that? Sounds like a species of underwater caterpillar and as for granite – why not just call it grey? Giving a cardigan the same colour as a household bench is just giving the cardigan expectations that can never be met. As for paint colours – custard puff, camomile cream and frozen frappe are things you put in your mouth, not on your walls.

Car colours too are messing with the colour spectrum. There’s spice girl red, coyote and columbia. Blue isn’t blue – it’s called horizon or midnight. Have these people ever been up at midnight? Unless you happen to find yourself in an injecting room or police lockup, not a lot of blue around.

Even white – they cannot leave it alone. Candy white is the colour of our new car. WTF? Unless it’s an edible car, I don’t want to know.

Why don’t marketing people get inventive with colours? What about a bit of roadkill brown as a car colour? Or vomit green for a cardi? Or paint the walls in urinal yellow? What’s not to like? At least it tells the whole colourful truth, which is more than bamboo shoot, coconut husk or musk memory do.