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.
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.
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?
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!)
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.
Undies, knickers, these are words I can deal with. But panties … I don’t think so! So, I know that’s what they call them in America, but well what can you expect from people with fanny packs and want you to know that they’re rooting for you.
But back to panties – for people in Australia, specifically men and people who write for the underwear section of Myer brochures – the word is undies or, at a pinch (no pun intended), knickers.
The logic is simple. Women call their undies undies, not panties. With the exception of Britney Spears or say any WAG at the Alan Border medal – no one calls undies panties. Panties just sounds uh, sleazy, with shades of phone sex meets Tiger Woods does rehab. So, why do men insist on calling them panties?
Is it to differentiate from their own undies? Coz if that’s the case, let’s just be clear, our undies bear no relation to the cruddy with elastic dating from the Gutenberg Press with a crotch olfactory aura that can could power a Tasmanian electricity substation. Guys – there’s a difference here between yours and ours. Or do they for some wierd male brain reason just like the word panties? Panties sounds like something hot, steamy and ready to pounce whereas undies is well, just sounds like undies. But if it’s just the word that gets them going, well why don’t we make a brand new word altogether? Preferably a word that can’t be pronounced by Britney Spears.
We all know that men like to think they have a handle on lingerie, maybe that’s why they want to claim ownership of panties. But the reality is that they know about as much about lingerie as they do about asking for directions or wedge platforms. Or is it that men like annoying women (surely that can’t be right, Barry????) by saying panties, when clearly they’re undies?
Whatever it is I don’t understand it. But men of Australia – they’re undies, not panties, and if you try anything else, well then you can just knick off and take your panties with you.