I’m at a loss as to how to explain the sorry state of leggings today. Perhaps the influx of ludicrous styles can be attributed to fashion’s penchant for the avante garde.
Look, I’m on board with pushing the envelope. I think a high WTF quotient is often the difference between meh and cool. I believe in weirdness. And if the leggings below were affordable in any sense of the term, I’d feel less compelled to attack them for their impracticality and general heinousness. They’re not, and I don’t.
The offensive numbers attached to leggings of the high fashion ilk are cause for a serious verbal smackdown. Let’s get to it.
If Young, Fabulous and Broke is the name of your brand, one would think you’d attempt to cater to your monetarily challenged consumer base. One would be wrong, particularly where the $225.00 Adele Sequin Leggings are concerned. I’m sure a lot of time and energy went into saturating the garment with shiny plastic circles, but that doesn’t mean I give a shit. The most unsettling thing about these leggings – shockingly enough – isn’t the fact that they’re exclusive to Studio 54. What concerns me most is the waistband. This built-in butt camisole makes figuring out a top pairing that much more impossible. Appropriate ass coverage is a common issue faced by leggings enthusiasts, but for fuck’s sake, leave it up to us.
Herve Leger‘s Signature Essential Leggings appear to be a basic stylistic interpretation: I’m just wondering why they cost nine hundred and eighty fucking dollars. The fabrication is described as “ribbed mid-weight jersey,” which is a classy way of saying 90% rayon, 9% nylon and 1% spandex. Since they’re not crafted from the skins of baby Mediterranean monk seals, I’m assuming their cost can be attributed to the hidden ankle zips, which are presumably 100% platinum. Perhaps the crisscross banding at the waist is a feat of leggings engineering of which I was previously unaware. Perhaps not. Moving on.
Nightcap Clothing‘s Motorcycle Leggings offer another iteration of the built-in butt camisole: This time, it’s long enough to pass as a mini skirt. I’m guessing the extra fabric utilized in the leggings construction coupled with the authentic leather trim accounts for the $198.00 price tag. Also, what’s with the built-in knee pads? Do these provide extra cushioning for administering fellatio on a hard wood floor?
Whether or not you interpret Gryphon‘s Fair Isle Leggings as sweatpants or long underwear is irrelevant. It’s like Gryphon was like, “Hey, how can we make a pair of pajama pants cost $390.00? Leather piping on the sides!” Way to go, Gryphon. I wouldn’t don Hot Chilly’s alone, but slap a fugly print and some leather piping on them, and who knows? Maybe I’ll reconsider. Maybe you’re an asshole.
The marriage of carpenter pants and spandex is a rocky one, if David Lerner‘s Cargo Leggings ($176.00) are any indication. I wonder what these look like with the pockets filled. “My thighs are too thin” wasn’t among feminine body image concerns last time I checked, but fuckyouverymuch for creating a garment that doubles as a fat injection. Awesome.
The American Retro Soko Leggings ($276.00) are the Magic Eye equivalent of bottoms. Stare at them long enough, and you’ll eventually see a pair of ugly overpriced pants.
The Kirrily Johnston Silent Trees Knit Pants were conceived in the spirit of celebrity criminals. On the off-chance that Lindsay Lohan serves any jail time, it’s nice to know she won’t have to spend it in an unflattering neon jumpsuit. These aren’t just like-so-hot-right-now: They’re $316.00, which is enough to deter other inmates from rocking her prison style. Phew.
Any time a well-publicized fashion event occurs, I’m often asked by friends, acquaintances and strangers alike if I’m attending. The theory behind these questions is, I suppose, that because I write a shopping blog, it follows that I’m interested in and/or completely obsessed with fashion. This is an error in judgment, an assumption that lumps me in with the kajillions of girls who live and die by the approval of the sartorial world.
I’ve been trying to reconcile my relationship with fashion for quite some time now. By reconcile, I mean trying to give a shit.
I’ve been trying to see the point in trends, in must-haves, in Spring collections, in fashion weeks across the globe. I’ve been trying to care about designers and corporations who – when the economic going gets tough, and the sustainability movement rears its ugly, righteous head – choose to retreat into the self-glorifying bubble of their industry and go about business as usual. I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that money that might be spent developing ways to reduce the enormous carbon footprint attached to the luxury goods industry is reserved instead for PR, advertising, runway shows and general fabulosity.
I’m done trying.
The truth is, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about fashion. Oh sure, I like to look at pretty things; I like to copy certain looks; I occasionally appreciate the art of the industry as seen through the lens of Grace Coddington. But at heart, I’m just a girl who likes to buy stuff, and who likes to not feel guilty about doing so.
I’ve been trying to play the game these past few months, to show that the latest trends can be re-created via clothes, shoes and accessories shopped resale, thrift, vintage and consignment. The truth is, I’m not a stylist. I’m not a fashion editor. I’m not in the business of telling you what to buy and what to wear, because my goal isn’t for you to be In or to look like a style Do or whatevs.
I just want you to look like YOU, to buy what YOU want, and to experience the joy of finding whatever it is you want for a fraction of its retail cost. I want you to be able to pat yourself on the back after you’ve made your purchase. Because even if the green factor of second hand shopping isn’t your motivation (it certainly wasn’t always mine), the fact that you’re recycling every time you shop obliterates whatever guilt you might feel about buying extraneous things.
Lately, I’ve been letting the fact that the world isn’t ready to endorse resale as the greatest form of shopping there is trip me up. That ends here. Because I don’t want you to shop resale because it’s cool, or because it’s acceptable, or Martha Stewart’s on board with consignment.
I want you to shop resale because it’s good for your wallet, your planet and your soul. I want you to shop resale because it isn’t attached to trends or advertising or any form of media that cons you into buying something that ends up sitting in your closet unworn. And yes, I want you to shop resale because it’s a big fat Fuck You to an industry that makes us feel like crap about ourselves so we’ll use our dollars to keep it in business.
On that note, here’s some motivation for your next thrift, vintage, resale or consignment shopping excursion:
Rag & Bone pants usually retail for upwards of $250.00. This pair is a particularly brilliant endeavor by the line: With the simple addition of a button, a zip-fly and some equestrian styling, leggings become snappy casual bottoms.
Buffalo Exchange initially priced these pants at $25.00 – an uber reasonable number in comparison with their heinously marked-up retail cost, as per usual.
The problem? I realized the aforementioned zip-fly had suffered some damage in the dressing room upon trying them on.
It’s rare that I’ll buy a damaged second hand item and spend the extra dough to get it fixed, but brandtastic leggings that masquerade as pants are obvs an exception to my rule.
I pointed out the busted zipper to the manager at the register, she took ten bucks off their resale price, and the excursion ended with me snagging $250 pants for $15.
Can fashion inspire joy of this ilk? Fuck no. It happens only in the gently worn world, dollfaces. Only in the gently worn world.
Go forth, and get yours.
Because equating femininity with crotch shots and blowjob faces is, like, so last season.
After you’ve joined the Facebook Movement Against American Apparel-clad T&A, feel free to create your own versions of the propaganda below.
And, just for fun, let’s compare/contrast some dude responses to my I-AM-WOMAN roars:
In response to The Slut Jig is Up, Jordan wrote:
so marry me please. i actually can not STAND what american apparel ads do to the status of women as consumers and as human beings. please post the link to the facebook campaign when you have it up and going, i will invite ALL of my friends.
What a dollface. Do we love him? Yes we do. Onto Matthew:
first-world, middle class, 1990s feminism.
Really, dude? Your misogyny isn’t offensive so much as predictably uncreative. You can get the fuck off my blog now.
So. I’m cooking dinner the other night for me and my BF, and I’m wearing American Apparel leggings and a top that doesn’t entirely cover my bum. He notes that I’ve got a cute butt for the nine thousandth time, and I’m flattered for the nine thousandth time, and it’s all couple-y and cute and nice. It’s not like he’s some random dude on the internet ogling my goodies under the guise of a “contest” – that would be creepy and weird.
Apparently, the entrants in American Apparel’s Best Bottom Contest don’t feel the same way.
Firstly: let’s talk about the media’s treatment of a contest that reeks of female objectification (i.e. American Apparel’s other area of expertise). NBC’s The Thread‘s coverage consisted of a cutesy title (Push for Tush…eew) and a regurgitated press release. Viralogy used the competition as a Social Media Case Study. Aside from the Tennessee Guerilla Women, no one else said boo. Another instance of American Apparel’s pushing the sex-and- body-consciousness envelope is old news… isn’t it?
Sexing up the average tee or tank is a brilliant marketing tool, particularly when you’ve got ethical manufacturing practices to fall back on. Bring on the come-hither eyes, the crotch shots, the nipple flashes, the blow job faces – as long as the chicks are in sweatshop-free clothes (or lack thereof), a morally questionable portrayal of women ain’t no thang. The ads obvs don’t do much to bolster feminine self-esteem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they denigrate it either. If you want to argue that American Apparel ads have real-life consequences – that they result in a girl’s valuing her T&A over her I (her self, her intellect – take your pick) – you need evidence.
Evidence like the one thousand, one hundred and two women who’ve slapped their almost-naked asses online in hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Butt.
The Search for the Best Bottom in America isn’t a traditional AA ad campaign – it’s worse. This isn’t the brand objectifying women. This is women choosing to objectify themselves. American Apparel’s ads are designed to make us feel prude, to make us feel like we need to loosen up, to make us think that maybe if we weren’t so modest, guys would be as turned on by us as they seem to be by the girls in the campaigns. They make us forget everything that makes us more than the sum of our superficial parts.
American Apparel ads strip women of more than their clothes – they strip them of their humanity. They make it seem okay to let your American Apparel undie-clad ass define all that you are. The ads aren’t going to change any time soon. What has to change first is our response to them: We have to stop believing what they imply.
My lust for leggings is strong, but not as strong as my desire to stop being framed as a hipster slut, which is what I’m starting to feel like every single time I don a pair from AA.
If we want to be thought of as anything other than casual sex objects, we have to stop giving this brand permission to frame us in that context. How do we take back the gender? We pull the money plug. From this day on, I will not fund any more of this nonsense.
Want to join me? Stay tuned for a link to the Facebook Campaign. (Also for brand alternatives to AA. If we’re going to quit the line cold turkey, we need to find well-priced basics elsewhere: They will be our Nicorette.)
TAKE BACK THE GENDER – BOYCOTT AA.
I was in the middle of snapping blog pics the other night, when my BFF Lucy rang.
Me: Trying to figure out if my Members Only leggings give me camel toe.
BFF: Just wear them with a long top.
Me: I AM, but it’s see-through.
BFF: So wear them with a DIFFERENT long top.
Me: But I have to snap an outfit with THIS top, and I don’t feel like changing. Meh.
BFF: Fuck it, man. Toe happens.
Me: So true.
BFF: Okay, so anyway, about this douchebag…
Me: Yeah, I almost Fbooked him so I could deliver a verbal bitchslap of the nastiest caliber on your behalf.
BFF: That’s very kind, but could you please not?
Me: Fine, but this is the first time I’ve had violent feelings toward a guy I don’t even know for being a jackhole to my friend.
BFF: What are you going to do, beat him up?
Me: Can I pleeeeease?
BFF: NO! But I appreciate the sentiment.
Me: Fine. Karma will get him in the end.
BFF: No shit. Anyway, I was calling because your post on the Golden Globes was a stellar pick-me-up on an otherwise shitty day.
Me: You read it? Yaay!
BFF: ‘I speak Diva.’ Amazing.
Me: You are the ONLY ONE who got that joke.
BFF: How could people not get that joke?
Me: I don’t know. Probs because it wasn’t as good as ‘Toe happens.’
Three Dots Sheer Sculpted Jersey Tee ($26.00 @ Buffalo Exchange); Members Only Leggings ($13.50 @ Buffalo Exchange); Leather Cuff ($15 @ Rags A GoGo); DIY necklace ($5 for materials); Celine Peep-Toe Pumps (price upon request, meaning don’t ask – they’re from my pre-Cheap JAP days).