Category Archives: clothes

Fashion Trends


My new raincoat was delivered yesterday and in a stroke of serendipitous timing, it rained all day today so I could take it out for a test drive.


It was an unqualified success.  Cozy warm, it kept me completely dry with none of those annoying seam leaks, and best of all, the hood fits.  Since I have long (some would say swanlike, but not me of course) neck, hoods are always problematic.  I bought rain gear last summer to be prepared when the rains finally came only to discover when they did that the coat’s hood was way too shallow leaving my face and glasses out in the rain.

I understand a dark (I thought it was black, but the picture makes me assume that it’s really navy.  That is mrpeenee’s fashion sense in one sentence) unremarkable parka would not rate as fashion for most people, but since all the rest of my clothing purchases in the last decade have been identical replacements for whatever tee shirt wears out, this was a pretty extraordinary event.

Because I bought the first one so long ago, I don’t remember what made me pick it originally.  Probably it was the first thing listed on the Land’s End web site that day.  As I mentioned, it fit oddly, with sleeves long enough, but the tail too short to cover my butt and the stupid hood perched on the back of my head.  Both coats though came loaded down with all sorts of velcro and zippers and odd pockets that I have no idea what to do with.  It seems sort over engineered for San Francisco’s undemanding weather.  Part of the description for the new one promised something about the pockets that would keep the snow out.  What?  Perhaps my readers more familiar with snow can explain why that’s a thing.  Does snow sneak into your pockets?  I wouldn’t put it past it; I’m very suspicous of snow.

In other news:  naked guys far away from cold gray weather


That’s called a “tan.”  Perhaps you have forgotten about them.


keeping warm is important during these trying times.


Sunny, warm, tropicale.  Even in California it calls to me.


Tie Finish


Back in the day when I had a job (and what a satisfying way to start a sentence that is) I had to wear a tie to work every day.  I had nightmares of being choked by them.  Eventually I threw off the yoke of a necktie by simply not wearing one.  I extended my Casual Friday wardrobe to the entire week and my Fridays turned into One Step Above Slob Friday.

Even then, I would periodically have to show up at some event with something knotted around my neck.  R man didn’t have to wear one to his job, but he loved to buy them for me.  And I have to admit, a tableful of neckwear arranged tidily by Nordstrom or Saks or the like, is a lovely experience.  They’re so pretty and jewel-like.  By the time he died and I retired, I had quite a collection.   Then I moved and in packing up I realized I was never going to wear a single one of them again.

And so I put an ad in Craigslist announcing I was looking for someone to make a quilt out of them for me.  I got a surprising number of eager replies including one from the second place winner in quilting at the Marin County State Fair.  That was good enough for me and so she came and scooped them up and went off to do her quilting magic.

Time went by, as it does, and she would send me messages about the progress.  I would reply something along the lines of “That’s nice.”  Then she popped up last night, quilt in hand.


Shine on, you crazy diamond.

It really is gorgeous, shimmering and with the individual squares of the cut up ties cleverly placed to cohabit esthetically with its neighbor.

I slept under it last night, of course, and was surprised at its texture.  I had vaguely thought it would be supple and, well, silky, but I had forgotten ties have to be made with a heavy silk with lots of body so that the knot will be nice and substantial.  That means the quilt itself is stiffer than I had imagined, but not at all uncomfortable.  It has a flannel backing so it’s very warm.  Snuggy.

I had considered saving one tie in case of funerals, but should that sad obligation arise, I can always nip into any thrift store and have my pick them for a couple of bucks.   Or I might return to Nordstrom’s and those shining reefs of sartorial splendor.


This man is not wearing a tie.


Nor is this one.



Fashion Weak


I know I am challenged when it comes to dressing like an adult; especially since I retired and no longer have to maintain any pretense that I have an interest in not looking like I’m still in elementary school.  Tennis shoes, jeans and a t-shirt and I’m good to go.

But there’s one rule I stick by: the shirts I sleep in are for that purpose only.  They are not standby undershirts, they are not to be used in public even as “I’m just going to run down to Starbuck’s and get a jolt and I don’t want to get dressed.”  They’re all white, v necked, cotton, slightly too big and not at all something anyone needs to see me wearing.   A few years ago, I bought the present generation which are Calvin Klein cause I’m all fancy and stuff and which have finally reached the quality of perfect softness old cotton achieves.

I adore this.  Soft as your own skin and with a delicate perfume only well-loved cotton has.  Of course, this means they’re doomed.  One day you’re admiring the lovely texture of your pyjammas (and that’s how I spell it, I don’t care what spell check thinks) and the next you’re wondering what the hell all that lint in the washer is, only to realize it’s all that’s left of your favorite t-shirt.  And flights of angels sing thee….


Wore out shirts, blonde not included.

For once, I’ve been proactive and ordered a batch of new ones to prepare for that sad, sad day.  I buy them in bulk, so now I’m stocked with three dozen jammie shirts, a mix of old and new.  I’m trying to phase in the newbies, but inevitably I find myself pawing down through the stack until my hand hits one of the old faves.  And really how much “breaking in” does a cotton t shirt need?

Get Jiggy Wid It


I’ve been more distracted than usual lately because I stumbled on a web site that allows you to create and solve your own jigsaw puzzles.  It’s caused me to not only dig back through all my masterpieces stored on iPhoto, but to actually scan in older pictures as well.  I’ve found putting the puzzle together forces me to dwell more thoroughly on the picture than just flipping through a stack of them.  Like Georgia O’Keeffe said “to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”   I had to Google that quote, I certainly couldn’t remember it accurately.  For that matter, spelling her last name threw me.

So anyway, I’ve been “publishing” these puzzles so I could solve them (I found out later you don’t have to make them public.  Like I care) and now other people are working them.  Doesn’t that seem odd?  Like volunteering to watch other people’s vacation slides?
You know what the most popular one is?
mrpeenee and R Man walking down Dauphine Street in the French Quarter some long gone Southern Decadence.  What?  These guys have never seen a man in lady’s underwear?
And while prowling through all these vanished days with R Man is plenty poignant, there’s also lots of regret about wardrobes that have evolved into the past tense.  “Man, I loved that tee shirt” comes up frequently.
I take as a given the cause of all their demises were grease drips down the front that no laundering would ever get out.  I’m a slob.  But my jigsaw working is really improving.

Gaultier on File


Darlings, being, as I am, of the Glamorous Life I felt I had to go take in the exhibit at the dreadful de Young Museum here titled The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.  I hoped to be interested, but not much more since the de Young has mounted shows that would have embarrassed the AV club at a small high school.  In fact, it was astonishing and thrilling.  There were several mannequins with their faces projected onto them that were eerily lifelike, including the one who seemed to actually be making eye contact with you.

And the dresses!  Girleene!  What fabulous creations, with astonishing details like lace made from sharkskin and a metal bustiere or a leopard skin created from thousands of tiny, tiny beads.  Gorgeously  beautiful, feminine, gauzy gowns with slyly witty references about fetish wear tucked in.  Mermaid dresses.  Lace bell bottoms for particular men.  A lovely linen man’s suit printed on the back with a life size photo of naked male muscles and appliqued with the butt of a pair of cutoff levis and a red hanky in the pocket.  We called it the Mullet Suit, business in the front and party in the back.

My only cavil was that it would have been even more wonderful to actually see some of the more trailing, swishy gowns paraded down the catwalk by a woman with hips narrower than her cheekbones, the way the were meant to be.  You could tell what gorgeous motion they were built to display.

And, of course, Madonna.

I am IM


Those of us of a certain age will remember, probably with a fond snicker, International Male, purveyor of the finest in rentboy sleazewear. IM came to my wandering thoughts tonight thanks to Infomaniac’s horrifying salute to middle age delusions here. Much like normadesmond’s comment, I initially thought MJ was implying the photo was actually of TJB . It seemed unlikely, but I’m easily convinced, so I was willing to go along with it, but I did think to myself, I thought, “Girl needs to ease up on them late night runs to Denny’s.”

Anyway, once my mental train had left the station steaming towards International Male, it was but a short Googe to discover that they have, like so many of us, faded lately. Their sad little web presence shows them to be pedaling the same schmata any other down-market Abercrombie and Fitch clone is. And by the way, when did straight boys start dressing like urban queers? Am I the only one concerned by this?

Poor International Male, to have lost its marketing focus just when everybody, straight, gay, questioning, lost, whatever, started dressing like pole dancers from the wrong side of West Hollywood.

International Male, circa 1984, their glory days:

Oh, wait, no it’s not, it’s Dolce Gabbana. My mistake. See what I mean?

The Mall. Dear God. The Mall.


What do I have in common with my heterosexual brethren? Aside from the fact we all like to stick our wieners in somebody’s mouth? We all hate shopping. Hate, hate, hate it. In any form or fashion hate it. Not just Christmas – any time. I have mentioned, have not I, how thrilled I was to discover you can buy clothes at Costco. I would never venture beyond there and Walgreen’s if I could help it. But Christmas rears its ugly head and I’m faced by my two problems: I love to give presents and I love to get them. I don’t particularly care what’s in them, I just thrill to the big, unopened pile of them, the mystery, the possibility of them.

So, that finds me this afternoon in Bloomingdale’s, the nadir of a man’s shopping experience. All I wanted was some shirts for R Man, but no, that’s asking too much. I picked over racks of crappy, really expensive schmata that couldn’t have announced more clearly its origin in slave labor sweatshops if it had a logo consisting of shackles and whip. All of it trying so very hard to be so very hip and failing miserably and all of it apparently targeted towards skateboarding suburban boys with mommy’s credit card. And why on earth would that market be in Bloomingdale’s? Even I, in my failing decripitude, could find a hipper store than that without breaking a sweat. The whole place seems to be shrieking “Weren’t the 80s a bitchin’ decade?” Well yes, but time to move on, darling, move on. And so I did, fleeing to the mall outside and running straight into a lounge area filled with middle aged guys parked there by their wives. I’m sure their glazed, bitter expressions mirrored my own. For an instant I was sorry not to have been straight, so I could have sent the little Missus off handling the shopping while I sat glumly thinking about porn. But then I remembered, you know, vaginas and all that. I decided it isn’t worth it.

So here is the statement that truly reveals the depths of my stodgienss: “Thank god for the Docker’s store.” Well, it’s better than Walgreen’s.

Ugly Hats. Loaded Santas. Tis the Season.


Truly, I have no vanity. When one’s best feature is in one’s pants, being concerned about fashion seems like too much trouble. Even so, when I discovered my new winter hat (in a hardware store, natch) this afternoon, I was a teensy bit disconcerted by its aggressive dorkiness. It looks rather like a cloche which has been left out in the rain more than once; it emphasizes every flaw in my long bony face like a neon arrow; its color is most likely described as Hairball Gray. And yet, I adore it. Mostly because it fits, which is not something I come across frequently in what little hat shopping I indulge in. I have a big head (not in the sense of being stuck up, remember, the only deadly vice I skip is vanity) but in the sense that I have a great big skull; one assumes it must be all the super duper brain matter lodged therein. Knit caps, on the other hand are designed for the daintily empty pinheads of all the geisha boys one sees around here. Plus, this particular one is warm and covers my ears, which are always icy. R Man can pretend not to know me when we’e on the street together, I don’t care as long as my ears aren’t numb.

And then, right after I snagged my hat and was walking down Castro admiring my startling reflection in every window, we ran into Santarchy, a flipped out parade and party of miscreants tarted up as old Saint Nick. Old Saint Nick on a bender, but still…. About a couple hundred Santies and every one of them tripping like a million screaming monkeys. We passed one small group that was either fighting or trying to wrestle one of their number up off the sidewalk. Hard to tell. A good time was being had by all.

I do love San Francisco.

Present Tense


You know the most insurmountable part about being a slob? It’s the fact that I don’t care. When I was four years old, my basic costume was a tee-shirt, a pair of jeans and tennis shoes (in the south, they are universally referred to as “tennie shoes.”) Fifty years later and my preferred outfit is the same, only the sizes have changed. That’s why R Man will buy me presents that try to make me dress myself more like an adult, perhaps an adult who has a responsible job with a federal agency and occasionally has to look like he can actually button a shirt.

For my birthday, he came across with three lovely shirts, two subtle stripes and one very severely plain white linen that would make Lawrence of Arabia swoon, it’s so cool. I should mention I do have dress up clothes I wear to work, but I am so deficient at shopping, they comprise a very limited pool. I’m sure my coworkers can tell the day of the week by the shirt I come in wearing. The slate blue with small black checks? Must be Thursday. So three shirts is no small gain.

Also, in birthday news, we have a quince miracle. Quinces are tough ass flowering shrubs with flowers that look like cherry blossoms on steroids. I planted one (called a Texas Scarlet in honor of my heritage) years ago even though I had heard they don’t like to bloom where winters are warm. Places like, oh, San Francisco. Never the less, I persevered and was rewarded with a scraggly bunch of twigs with vicious thorns and no blooms. But lo, this, year, ON MY BIRTHDAY, I looked out and there was the most beautiful quince blossom any queen could ask for. What could be sweeter? Short of a Brazilian porn star, I mean.