By Steve Erickson
Some of you Spoils-fans have hurt my fashion-feelings (but not really), by telling me that I’m wrong in my opinion of Jill’s outfit choice in ‘Man-Repelling?’ Let me start by saying I love my wife dearly, and she has tremendous fashion sense. However, she’s been known to occasionally get focused on a single clothing item, and things occasionally get out of hand in the process of ‘making it work’.
In ‘Man-Repelling?’, Jill has posted an outfit that was cute as heck, but didn’t fit. She tried to cover it up by adding items. In the one photo it seemed to work, but there were several other problems you couldn’t see. The underskirt was a good 4-inches smaller in diameter than the dress over it.
See, even Miles disapproves. The ‘between’ lining was bunched in a very ‘A-symmetrical’ shape due to the added belt, which hid the ‘preggers look’ that baby-doll dresses tend to pose.
I could go on…
Ok. Ok. I feel your stabbing glares on my neck. I know you are all fans of Jill and not me. This dude just hi-jacked her blog and started bashing her. How dare he? Well, I am the dude that sees her hour-long process of trying on various outfits in the mirror. I know what it’s like when everyone loves her outfit. I know what it’s like when she gets an ‘I’d never wear that’ look from a co-worker who then says, “Cute outfit!” to her face. I’m here to defend my position, and try to score some sensitivity points for all of “man”-kind. I AM MAN. Hear me… give a dress critique.
At personal risk of being labeled a sexist, I’ve decided to journey into the female brain. Please don’t hold it against me. I’m not a Neanderthal. In fact, my Jill has claimed that I toe the ‘metro’-line on occasion. Personally, I think I’m just an observant guy who knows my wife. And I don’t think I’m that far off.
Here we go. Tweeddle-dee-tweeddle-dee-(sparkly dream sequence music) tweedle-dee…
You open the front door of your favorite shopping haunt. Katy Perry is pumping on the speakers. You know you secretly like it.
“Just own the night, like the 4th of July”
You gently work the front racks, flipping hangers like a rolodex. But you’re a pro. Your eye is naturally and instinctively drawn to the bright turnstile signs in the back of the store. Clearance, you say? 50 percent off?
“Baby you’re a firework!”
You casually sift through the forgotten items of seasons-past. Does it smell worse back here? Oops, stray belt on the floor. Then, suddenly, it’s there. It barely clings for life to the hanger. One sleeve has already made its escape. In an instant you know. This is your outfit.
“Boom. Boom. Boom.” So cute!
“Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon” Probably my size!
“Boom. Boom. Boom.” Not super cheap, but cheap enough!
Dang I feel good. This one’s mine!
The dots! The colors! Ahh, all the little frills that make it work.
It fits your style, your personality. It will fit your body, right?!
You don’t even want to try it on, for fear of disappointment. But at that price, you’d better do the right thing. So, off to the dressing room with you.
Shoot. It doesn’t really fit… but you just… can’t… let… go.
Let me check the rack again. Nope. It’s the only one left. Let’s see… I got a belt I can use to keep it from bunching in the middle. I got a tank-top I can wear under it so the back isn’t so low. I’ll MAKE it work! Ring me up, cashier!
Tweeddle-dee-tweeddle-dee-tweedle-dee (back to reality music) …
Granted I probably didn’t get in your brain, but I’m pretty sure I made my wife smile.
Listen, I get that there’s an art to shopping. I’ve watched Stacy and Clinton. I know a size 8 can be anything from 6 to 12 depending on brand. But what I’d like to do is simply take a moment to pose a few suggestions that will put you (not Katy Perry) in the driver seat.
1) Err on the bigger side. Of course you want to be a size smaller. I’m a guy, and so do I (that rhymed). But the simple fact is that when you find your “must have” outfit, it also “must have” to fit. Once purchased, it will mysteriously shrink. Your boyfriend will wash it in hot water. You’ll need to wear something under it one day. You won’t be able to stretch it. The hemline will recede like… well, my hairline. But if you didn’t start with a skin-tight garment, it’s ok. If it’s truly meant to be, and it’s slightly larger, you can always alter the garment later (or at least alter the tag so it doesn’t scream “LARGE”).
2) Shop with a true friend. Bring someone along who knows you, likes you, and has no personal feelings for the garment itself. Do not bring your husband. He’d rather be playing Halo, and you won’t listen to him anyway. It doesn’t matter if he’s right, cuz he’s a man in your world and he’s wrong.
3) Baby, you’re NOT a firework! Under no circumstances should you get caught up in the moment. Stores are experts at selling. Their staff, their signage, their music is all designed to lull you into a euphoric spending spree. Stay away from the salesperson. Trust no stranger! Know what styles work for your physique (or see #2). Get an app on your phone where you can compare similar styles with what’s right in front of you. It may be cheaper across the food-court. This is war, baby. Boom. Boom. Boom.
Thanks for your attention, Spoils fans! As I said before, I love my wife. She’s done an incredible job with this blog, and I know she counts each of you as a valuable friend. Hopefully, though, this will help you understand that we men do take notice and interest in what you wear. Even if we can’t put it succinctly, please know that we try.
Let me say one more thing before I un-hi-jack this blog. As men, we do want you to have fun shopping. Buy clothes that matter. Don’t compromise on your fit (waistline), morals (hemline), or funds (pocket-line). Cosmo isn’t always right about us. Sorry, that was like six things.