Holidannys

FASHION FRIDAY: A LOOK BACK ONTO THE TRENDS

Sometimes writing everyday is hard. I know I make it look effortless and easy and chic, but sometimes it’s a real witch-with-a-b to think of topics all day erryday. So even though today is not the last Friday of the year, it’s the second-to-last Fashion Friday of the season—omg stop queen ily—so here is an in-depth, scientific analysis of all the fashion trends—every single one—of the last year.

LOVED: the early ‘00s influence

Watching so many angsty teens in flannels and high ponytails makes me feel like a kid again, watching All That.

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LOATHED: those plastic chokers

There’s homage, and then there’s carnage. Please, girls and gays, stop wearing those plastic, expandable chokers. Let some things die.

LOVED: white sneakers

There’s just something so chic about a pair of white sneakers. They go with almost everything and kind of class up your outfit.

LOATHED: cleaning those white sneakers

I bought a pair of white Converse high-tops like five years ago, so by the time the white sneaker trend was in full swing, mine looked like they had gone through The Amazing Race. I tried to re-bleach them, but that didn’t really work out.

LOVED: Athleisure in general.

Socially acceptable gymwear? Adidas track pants? I’m so down. I’m like 50/50 on joggers—I own two pairs, I’m such a fake—but in general, I’m a big fan of athleisure.

LOATHED: Health goth.

We get it, you’re angsty and love wearing oversized black shirts with large, white Adidas logos. Please go away now.

LOVED: Boxy cuts.

I think boxy cuts are awesome and really frame the silhouette in a great way. Plus, they—for guys at least—create a broad upper body and narrower lower body, which gives you more of a V-shape than you might normally have. 

LOATHED: Those longline t-shirts.

They don’t work on Justin Bieber; they don’t work on you. Really longline stuff just looks bad, in my opinion. I’m a total fan of elongating the torso a little, but do it on a stretcher, the old-fashioned way.

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LOVED: Olive greens and khaki.

I look really good in olive greens and khakis. I think it’s because my coloring is so light, that sometimes really black-blacks and dark colors make me look ghostly. Neutral-ish dark tones have the same sick contrast, without giving me Caspar le Ghost feels.

LOATHED: Camouflage.

Just because I haven’t found something in camouflage that suits me and/or makes me look cool and not self-conscious. Also, like, who are you hiding from??

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LOVED: Man jewelry.

I can’t rock it, but I totally admire it. I have complete sausage fingers, so rings scare the shit out of me, but I had a roommate—Sebastien—who was so good at wearing tasteful rings. Maybe one day I’ll invest in the Big and Tall version of some cool rings and rock that.

LOATHED: Fedoras.

Please. Stop. It’s worse than that time that I wore a newsboy cap. It was just once, but it was such a rough time for everyone.

To wrap up, I’ll detail my 2015 fashion journey.

Lumberjack prep–> Heterosexual athleisure–> Summertime (aka tank tops)–> Good-boy bad-boy flannels–> Darkness, a memoir–> Angst, an autobiography–> Sweatpants, a history.

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HAPPY HOLIDANNYS!

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Holidannys

FASHION FRIDAY: I LOOKED LIKE A DENIM STRING BEAN

I hop-jiggle into a pair of stone-grey skinny overalls, unaware that this will be one of the worst decisions I will have made in my short, twenty years. Worse than loving Nickleback for those two weeks in freshman year of high school. Worse than drunk-texting that boy—still sorry about that. Worse than having that third slice of chocolate cake.

I snap the buckles on the shoulder straps and look in the mirror. Without the mental separation of a shirt and trousers, my body has become one long denim string bean. The bib narrows as it climbs up my torso, giving the illusion that my hips are the widest part of my body. All in all, I look like an overgrown toddler with a moose-knuckle.

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Fuck my goddamn life. This might be a small thing, but I just want a pair of cool overalls to throw over a chunky-knit sweater, but my body rejects it with fashion antibodies.

I unfurl myself from the overalls, breaking free like a moth out of a chrysalis. The pantless, slightly panting—I’m not fit—reflection of me in the blackened mirror of the Zara changing room has a dangerous glint in his eye. It’s one that I know well.

I used to shop so much, and so badly. Like, it was tragic. It’s like that quote from Batman where the butler says, “Some men just want to see the world burn.” And I know that seems like a random quote, but please hop off my jock for a second. What I mean is that sometimes the end justifies the mean, and sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. If I was spending a shit ton of money and getting amazing stuff, then it might be excusable. But I was literally doing the sartorial equivalent of burning villages just for kicks, by running through my meager supply of money to get graphic sweaters and patterned socks.

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I haven’t really shopped—like major overhaul shopping—in a few years, because in freshman year I blew through $1500 in a semester by buying horrifying clothing. It was not my best moment. It slightly trumps me being a jean lima bean.

And for having a large supply of clothing, I still somehow manage to rotate through the same six flannels and alternate between my one—but now two!—pair of jeans and my one brown pair of chinos, since I got too fat for my gray chinos. That’s a chi-no-no. Also, I used to dress like the crack-whore version of Ronald McDonald, and now I favor earth tones and simple patterns, so a lot of my clothing is irrelevant.

I got an extremely nice, extremely undeserved gift card from my boss at the end of my internship for Zara—which is the upscale sister who always has the exact sweater you’ve been trying to find for six months—and I wept inside. So I—along with my friend Jenna—made a total shopping day out of it. We stopped at Liberty—a classy department store with a Tudor finish and is slightly too good for me to feel comfortable in—and got Christmas ornaments.

Then, high on the dream, I went to Primark and got Christmas sweaters. at first, I was going to get this red sweater with Santa’s beard in silky white fur on the front, but it made me look thick and not in a good way. Thick is my favorite new way to say “fat” because it’s usually chicer than “fat” but still has that chunky phonetic aesthetic. So after realizing I hadn’t gained ten pounds in two hours, I decided that sweater wasn’t for me, and then it was just the question of which singing jumper to purchase.

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After we went to Zara and at first I tried on the overalls—which overall were a mistake—and then I tried on these really cute moto jeans and I bought them, which ups my number of jeans to two. I used to have a lot, but I got fatter and taller and also bored so I cut a bunch of them into jorts. And I also got a blanket scarf, which at first I was like,

Me: Oh, hon. Hon. Hon.

I: What? It’s kind of chic. I’ll look thin.

Me: You’ll look like an Olsen.

I: Why is that a bad thing?

Me: Hon.

I: Babe. Babe, stop.

Me: You’re acting like Paris Hilton right now, and I can’t deal.

I: You’re such a bitch. You’re such a Nicole Richie.

Me: Fine. Get the scarf. Muzzle yourself.

I don’t have the healthiest self-dialogue, but Lorde knows who does! So I got the blanket scarf, which is gay and at first I was like “Oh that’s too gay” and then I realized that I was accidentally stepping on Internalized Homophobia’s toe and I moved off and realized that I liked dudes in a non-bro—but actually tbh—way and that’s the definition of “gay” so I bought the scarf and I haven’t looked back since.

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Walking back with my hands full of swinging bags, I rationalized my spending. “I, like, haven’t spent anything on myself for so long. I’ve been really good with my money,” and went on like until I realized Jenna wasn’t even listening and I was just talking to my reflection in the tube window.

The problem with a relapse into shopping is that it usually takes a few weeks to exorcise the demon back into the ether. So, the next week, I “decided” to just have a “browse” through Oxford Street. It started with a trip to Topshop, and that trip to Topshop ended with me—panicked, anxious and near freakout—as I wandered amongst the thousand-thousand reflections and crop tops because I was lost and couldn’t find the exit. After realizing that the reason I couldn’t find the ground floor exit was because I was belowground in the basement level, I cleansed my chakra and got on the escalator and bolted out of Topshop with a fire under my ass.

I was about to pop down the stairs to the tube when the glimmering lights of that plasticky bitch H&M called their siren song out to me. I meandered amongst the racks of clothing before trying on a nebby-black-and-white sweater and a mohair-y gray sweater. The gray sweater looks like a bear-pelt condom onto me, and I make it a general rule not to look like an actual human leg, so I axed that sweater. The other one was cute and very not “me” but in a good way, so the small monster curled in the crook of my collarbone, using my credit card as a nail filer, purred, “Omg, babe, get that; that’s so cute.”

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“You think?” I looked over my shoulder, practicing my “affable, cute boy” non-teeth smiles—I fucking despise teeth smiles—and flicked my hair into more a swoop and less of a swish.

“Yes,” it confirmed. “So glam.”

“It’s £20,” I’m still unsure. “That’s a lot of experience.”

The monster scrapes my credit card against its perfectly manicured—in a soft pearl-grey shellack—hands and says those damning words: “It’s an experience.”

“Omg, you’re so right. I totally need something to remember London by”—as if, somehow, the entire city of London will escape both my memory and the human race’s collective memory—“and I, like, never spend money on myself.”

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Twenty minutes later, I’m holding the plastic bag containing the last dregs of the monster mingling with that nebby sweater. It’s fucking cute, but still. I roll my shoulders as I feel the demon being exorcised from me. It briefly reappears when I’m trying to convince someone to convince me that I need another Christmas sweater, but the bait isn’t bitten and I don’t buy the sweater.

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Still I lack the nail strength and willpower to do some hardcore thrift-store digging, I’ll probably be poor and a slave to the high-and-mighty fashion brands—I mean, the medium-and-mighty fashion brands—which is fine. I’ll make do. Like I said, I literally wear maybe six variations on the same outfits, and that’s year-round.

But, like, tell me about your favorite Christmas sweaters! On me. Not in general. On me.

Also I officially have as many Christmas sweaters as I have AP credits on my transcript. They’re not technically officially related, but I feel like it’s very representative of the State of my Union.

HAPPY HOLIDANNYS!

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Holidannys

FASHION FRIDAY: THE UNICORN HAT

When I came out as a God-fearing homosexual in the spring of 2011, I was confused. Now, in the winter of 2015, I’m still confused. I’m confused about what the fuck I was wearing back then.

Before I came out, I dressed in mom jeans and graphic tees. Frankly, my style has only improved a modicum since then, so really this blog post is redundant, but it was really bad back then. Head to toe. H2T.

After coming out of the closet, I turned around, looked at that closet and went, “Wtf? I need a wardrobe overhaul” and like any young gay on a budget and a quest for justice, I went to my local H&M and promptly spent all my summer job money on scratchy sweaters, my first denim shirt, my first denim jorts—what my sisters would call “The Beginning of the End” or the Apocalypse—and countless horrifyingly bright-colored articles of clothing.

But it wasn’t just the H&M overload. As I said before, it was a H2T catastrophe. My hair was brutally cut, my face was breaking out so badly it was swimming halfway across the Bay from Alcatraz, and my eyebrows. Oh lord. Those brows.

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When I tell people that I plucked my eyebrows to high Heaven, I don’t think they really believe me. But you guys believe me, right? I thought it was so cute to have plucked eyebrows, so I might’ve gotten a little tweezers-eager.

But the moment that always springs to mind when I picture my high school H&M style was one day in senior year. We—me and some “friends” from “high school”—went to the city—Manhattan, because I’m classy and a suburb slut—for a “fun day out.” We ate Shake Shack and walked around Central Park, eventually doing a photoshoot in front of the Jackie O Reservoir.

Picture this. We’ll start from the T.

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Bright purple lace-up Vans. A hint of neon-pink socks with a daring, electric-blue leopard print. Bright yellow corduroy pants. Zebra-print tech gloves. Brown leather jacket zipped up to my neck over a forest-green sweatshirt. Big gray scarf wrapped around my neck. Two ghostly imprints of eyebrows. And to top it all off—The Hat.

The Hat was a purchase from Amazon when a demon took my credit card and my body and went on a shopping rampage. It was a knitted, unisex—I use that term loosely—“one size fits all”—I use that phrase very loosely—unicorn wool hat with dangly ties ending in pink poofs. It became an unfortunate fixture in my life at that time, and is something I very much regret.  

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She literally made me put this in the post just so that everyone knows that we don’t look like that anymore.

I wore it a lot, and only semi-ironically. In the latter half of my high school years, I became very into unicorns. I saw it as a “Yeah, I’m reclaiming the stigma”/ “I’ll take it myself before you can turn it against me” social stance, also unicorns are very interesting animals. I fucking hate horses, by the way.

It was also during that time that I was in the flush of my first blog. “The Amazing Unicorn Files” was a brief snapshot of an attention-seeking monster, and I’m not talking about Lindsay Lohan. It was me. Or a version of me.

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On TAUF, which I never called it, so idk why I’m starting now, I was a wildly sassy—a term I absolutely loathe—freak of neon nature. I look upon that blog, and that boy, fondly, but with the careful distance you give a low-budget reality star on a talk show. Respectful, but very wary.

I think in ten years, I might be embarrassed by the atrocious way I dressed in high school—I’m sure that 30-year-old me will also be embarrassed by 20-year-old me—but I kind of treat him like a little brother that I have to protect from bullies. Not that I was ever physically beaten up. Not that it wouldn’t be totally unwarranted. Not because I was gay; just because I was kind of a disaster towards people.

But the Unicorn Hat—Muffin was her/his name—is something that I’m going to spin into a very heavy-handed metaphor. It’s something that embarrassing and endearing. It’s something that I don’t fit into anymore—I have a big head—but it’s something I can’t bear to throw away. It’s something I store away in my closet, safe and hidden.

The Unicorn Hat is my younger self. In case you were lost.

And my past shouldn’t just be my past, although frankly those eyebrows can stay lost. I’m so earth-toned and toned down and “mature” and “elegant” now that it’s easy to forget that I used to be a human tie-dye. I used to dress in scratchy, papery H&M pants and wear colors that didn’t so much pop as scream. And I was fearless in a school that largely treated me like an exhibit in a zoo.

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But that freaky, dorky, overenthusiastic kid was brave and bold and took fashion risks and was unabashedly himself. In the wake of me being comfortable in my sexuality and lax in the warm embrace of relative exception, I forgot what it was like to be comfortable in being uncomfortable. I forgot what it was like to live on the tightrope and be daring. And that’s not something I think that I—or anyone—should forget. And sometimes it takes eyebrows like that of a 2002 prostitute and a unicorn hat to realize that.

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