Fashion Backward

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

School starts on Thursday for the Wesson kids, which means the last two weeks have been full of back to school shopping and also major frustrations on several different levels.

Sunny isn’t really a problem—all we have to do for her is find the stuff with her age on the label and remind her that her parents do not buy shirts advertising shows that she doesn’t watch.* The biggest frustration with her is curbing her inclination to wear out all her new clothes before school starts, and talking her out of pairing brown and pink striped leggings with her new red and black plaid dress.

Jane though . . . Jane is a tweener.

Physically, she’s matured out of the girls section, but mostly isn’t the shape designers imagine a young miss is.

Emotionally, she wants fashion, she wants style, and she wants to knock the mean girls’ socks clean off.

Inexplicably, most of the designers this year seem to have gone back to the Sausage Casings for Living Toothpicks concept: Skinny pants, skin-tight camis under sheer tight tops, and all those other things that don’t work on a body that hasn’t been visited by the waistline fairy, yet.**

Ultimately, she’s ten and I’m the one with the job and the credit cards.

There’s been some conflict.

Yesterday, we ventured forth to find tops to go under the wraps that she’s decided will be her fashion statement this year.  I like wraps myself, and thought—with the naivety of a woman whose last tee-shirt purchase for her darling daughter was a three pack of boys’ Hanes for tie-dying purposes—that since the wraps themselves had been found and approved and purchased, finding stuff to go under them would be a cinch.

Except most of the tops we found in her size—technically—were so snug they skimmed the inside of her belly button, or so loose that the shoulder seams had to be yanked up every ten seconds so the lowest part of the neckline wasn’t too close to her belly button.***

I want my ten-year old to wear cool stuff—but I also want her to look like a ten-year old. instead of a co-ed on the prowl.

I’ll admit that my reluctance to explain to her what ‘on the prowl’ means weakens my arguments, but my point is that I shouldn’t have to.   Designers need to study the tween market and the tween body types—emphasis on the plural, please—and make some clothes that fit my misses-sized ten-year old daughter without making me feel like I’ll be sending her to a Rave instead of fifth grade.

Finally, after two hours and many trips to various changing rooms and shared explanations of what over my dead body meant, in context,^ we found three shirts that she wouldn’t actually mind being caught dead in and were well within the limits of my tolerance for fit and translucency.^^

Mission accomplished.

And then we hit the accessory store for headbands and Hello Kitty hairbows and Best Buy for a Minecraft download card.

Fashion be damned.


*I have a few problems with prominently displayed brand names, too.  If I were to agree to rent my kids out as billboards, Iwouldn’t be the one paying.

**But who has been blessed by the bust fairy.  Genetics have a nasty sense of timing.

***She’s not allowed to have a navel until she’s eighteen.

^It meant, “over hers.” no matter who said it.

^^Not price, necessarily, but that’s a whole other rant.  Stay tuned.

Image by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images


Random Thursday: Bad Habits and Edible Surrealism

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā):  the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s acquired during the week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as actually sitting down and creating real content.


Kleptomania is the New Black

It’s my habit to stick a pencil behind my ear—sometimes more than one, if I’m distracted— while I’m working the public desk at the library, because pencils are useful and elusive objects that I usually need when I’m not sitting at the desk.

The problem is,  I often forget to put the pencil back where I’ve found it,  and end up carrying  it around for a while before putting it down wherever I happen to be. So most of the pencils in the department that aren’t on the floor usually end up at my desk, stuffed into my Don’t Make Me Hush You mug.

Once the mug is full, and my co-workers have made enough pointed comments about the total absence of pencils in the department—I collect them and put them out at the front desk so the cycle can continue.

Clearly, something had to be done about this.  And clearly, that something had to involve these:

These are The New Black pencils from Fred & Friends, my new favorite purveyor of cool stuff it never occurred to me to desperately need before I saw it.  You know the kind, right?

They’re really great pencils—even the wood is black, all the way through, so they match most of my wardrobe—and have a bit of humor to them—which, come to think, also matches most of my wardrobe.

So I bought a pack and made a rule that these the only ones I’m now allowed to put behind my ear at work.  In theory, that means that the rest of the department’s pencils are safe and only black pencils will be stuffed into the Hush  mug.

I started a few days ago and so far, so good . . . though my co-workers are starting to ask whether Fred sells pens and sticky notes, too.

No idea why.


Alexandre Dubosc: Artiste . . .Visionary . . .Cakespinner

Many of you have probably seen Mr. Dubosc’s excellent homage to Tim Burton:

I loved it enough to find this earlier one, which makes me dizzy in a good way:

And now I want cake.  And M&Ms.  And chocolate.  While re- watching the Nightmare Before Christmas.


About that Wardrobe . . . 

Ordered a batch of new tee-shirts from CafePress recently, because within the space of three days, one of my favorites dyed a tragic death (see what I did there?) when I accidentally washed it with Janie’s new, teal softball shirt*  and the last remaining shirt from my college days finally disintegrated under a set of circumstances I’m saving for my memoirs because I should be paid royalties for that kind of embarrassment.

They arrived last week.  My family took a look and seemed completely unsurprised at my selection.  Here’s a sample:**

I like how people turn their heads when they read this—Janie almost fell down.


No, this one didn’t come in black—why do you ask?



 These two are fairly self-explanatory.


 So . . . What are you wearing?


Cake or Death!

Ummm . . . . Let me think . . . .

I’ve had a braincrush on Eddie Izzard for ages.   Well . . . Not just brain, really, but I might as well save that one for the memoirs, too . . .

  (video courtesy of my SIL,  Watson . . . Dang, that will never get old)


* My absolute favorite survived.  Of course, it’s black, so . . .

**There are two more, but figured y’all have more than enough here to render a judgement on the state of my psyche.  Not that you need tee-shirts for that around here, God knows.

Random Thursday: three tees, teed off, and toothsome news

Earlier this week, Lyra (of Lyrical Meanderings, in case there’s anyone here who doesn’t already follow her there) posted a great essay that had me thinking about tee shirts, once I was done thinking about how badass unicorns really were. 

 That’s not all I took from the essay, in case you were wondering, but once I had absorbed Lyra’s always thoughtful insights, commented, and followed the link to the badass unicorn tee, my instincts led me further down the retail path, as they are wont to do.

 I also realized that most of my tee shirts, which live lives of their own in the depths of my top bureau drawer like blind squat lobsters in the Mariana Trench,* predate my marriage.  This was a bit of a shock.  In high school and college, tee shirts happen—they’re the natural by-product of academia, or even walking across campus.  Hell, marching band along nets you three or four per semester, without including the ones that violate Bill Watterson’s copyrights.

 But after graduation, you apparently have to make an effort, especially if you want tees that fit, both physically and personal-statement-wise.**

 So I did, over at TopatoCo:




There were others, so, so many others, but with three you get free shipping, so I didn’t push it.


 Janie would like me to post that after a year-long dry spell, she has two loose teeth.

 “Anything else?”

“Nope.  That’s it.”


Whiny Greedy Consumer Rant o’ the Week

I ordered a new netbook from Newegg this last weekend in a fit of pique because Best Buy ticked me off —or rather, their idea of customer service did. 

Huge sales on, tons of people, and all the clerks were clumped together in an aisle talking about how busy they were,  which was odd because they were completely ignoring the customers.   So, I walked up and said, “Could someone help me find the netbooks, please?”

It was like I’d flipped a switch.  Everyone glanced at me and faded away in different directions, but no one answered my question. 

So I left.  And I’m not going back.  And I mean it  this time.

Newegg offered me three-day delivery and six months of deferred payments, which is good, ‘cause I’m saving most of my ready resources for next week—parking in St. Louis is extortion and wireless service in the hotel is worse.**

But this netbook is a necessary expense because I wanted something I can carry around with me so I don’t have to worry about theft and I don’t want to schlep my laptop case everywhere and yes I could simply use paper and a pen but this is the 21st Century, darn it, and I wanted one.

So I’ve spent the past few days tracking my order and watching it circle New Jersey before heading west.  It arrived in town around 5:45 am this morning, and at 4:15pm this afternoon, the status finally said, “Delivered to a man.” 

I called my husband to make sure he was the man in question before doing the New Stuff Happy Dance. 

He was, and all is good.


And finally, my First Reader and dear friend is marrying her best friend and the love of her life this weekend. 

She shared one of the songs that they’ll be playing—knowing Lisa, the rest of the music will be just as incredible:

Please drop in at her place and wish her a Happy Wedding Week! 



*Or like creased sardines, except I don’t think sardines, ironed or otherwise, live in the Mariana Trench.  Any ichthyologists in the house?

**I’m no longer a medium nor someone who picks up the beat and flutes it all about.  I’m not heartbroken about either.

**If any Bouchercon attendees happen to land on this post,  I will gladly split or even divide the daily wireless charge, if possible.  E-mail me.