Archive for March, 2010

Why Do Women’s Shirts Button the Wrong Way? – Clothing Myths and History

Recently, the question (which has always bugged me) as to why men’s and women’s shirts buttoned on opposite sides was answered from an unexpected source. According to Steve Clayton, of Geek in Disguise this can be traced back to the fact that buttons used to be quite expensive and, as a result, could only be afforded by the rich. Because a rich lady never had to button her own clothing, the buttons were placed on the “wrong” (or opposite) side because they were buttoned for them and thus simpler to be buttoned by a person facing the woman.

buttons on women's shirts

“Come along Cinderella, I haven’t got all day!” (image: tranquility)

Now, this runs contrary to the story that we had been told previously, suggesting that women’s shirts button the right way and it is actually men’s shirts button the “wrong” way for a similar reason. This version of the story assumes that women were expected to button a man’s shirt for him and thus, placing the buttons on the opposite side of the shirt made this easier for the woman to button the man’s shirt.

The original side of the story reported by Clayton has been echoed by Yahoo, at least insofar as the fact that such a narrative exists… though Yahoo is similarly tentative to suggest that this is the corrrect version of the story. According to Yahoo, the answer dates back to the Victorian era and the opposite alignment of buttons was said to have been done to make the dressing of wealthy women simpler for their (traditionally) right handed servants, whilst men traditionally dressed themselves.

A further explanation, provided by Benjamin Dover (this is not a Simpson’s joke- proof here) suggests that men’s buttons were made to model the way in which armour was fastened whilst womens buttons were made to more easily facilitate breast feeding with the left breast (thus keeping the baby closest to the heart).

Finally, though consistent with the story reported by Yahoo and Mr. Clayton, a slightly different answer was provided by a website dedicated to answering stupid questions. The answers provided on this site are consistent with the “servant” narrative, however they point out the fact that traditionally women’s shirts have been much more likely to button on the side or the back. Thus, regardless of whether their servant is buttoning their clothing for them, someone else would have to and this would facilitate that process for the right-handed world.

While there remains no definitive answer, the overwhelming evidence would fall in favour of Mr. Clayton’s argument and I will be forced to point and laugh at my nay-saying friends and say “Hah! I told you so.” Now, thanks to our tireless research, you too may answer this question with multiple sources to back you up… and we can all agree that this tradition now seems little more than an outdated norm.

Well, now you know. And knowing is half the battle!

For more fashion and design commentary please feel free to follow Crockstar on Twitter

Jeremy Scott Mickey Mouse – Adidas Originals by Originals

 Jeremy Scott Mickey Mouse Adidas

Warning… do not wear to local playgrounds (image: hypebeast)

Well, if there was any doubt about Jeremy Scott’s fascination with cartoon characters (see the Jeremy Scott Flinstones post) and ability to make footwear that is really out there (please note his previous winged shoes for Adidas)… his most recent work for the Adidas project featuring “Originals by Originals” has further set Jeremy Scott’s fascination and originality apart when it comes to footwear.

These lovable little kicks should be available at finer Adidas stockists everywhere on April 1st (and no, this is not a joke) for a cool $180.

It’s hard to argue with something that is so far out there… these are the sort of kicks that, much like their winged predecessors, if you can pull them off– you’ve got to have them.

Mr. BAPE Grows a Mustache

Really nice to see that A Bathing Ape (BAPE) is trying to grow along with its audience.

According to reports from Highsnobiety the brand is looking to grow its collection and appeal to the aging hipster audience. BAPE has teamed up with fellow Japanese label “United Arrows” for this collection that will take over the United Arrows store on March 25, 2010. The collection goes by the name Mr. Bape and a more distinguished Bathing Ape character (complete with a moustache) adorns the new promotional materials.

Mr. Bathing Ape BAPE Moustache

It is refreshing to see BAPE expand their horizons beyond £70 t-shirts, oversized hoodies and patent leather sneakers to include some grown-up apparel (suits, dress shirts, and real leather shoes).

Examples from the collection can be seen below. Clearly the mustache (moustache) shape is showing a clear influence in this collection. Check out the detail on the loafers for further proof. Below images courtesy of United Arrow.

BAPE United Arrow Suit

 Bape’s first suit. “Mr.Bape”

Moustache Shoes Bape United Arrow

BAPE’s first shoes for grown-ups. Mr. BAPE

For more glorious insights into fashion and the internets please follow Crockstar on Twitter.

When Trendsetting Goes Horribly Wrong – More Hideous Sunglasses

Well, its seems that no one values our opinion here at Crockstar. After writing up a list of trends we hope go away forever, German “sunglasses brand” Mykita have teamed up with French designer Romain Kremer. Judging from his most recent collection Kremer is nothing if not eccentric (http://romainkremer.free.fr/RKSS10.html).

Romain Kremer Sunglasses UGLY

Not even skeletor could make these look cool… and we’re not talking about Lady Gaga in this case (High Snobiety)

Unfortunately it seems the craze started by Kanye West to create sunglasses that both serve little-to-no purpose blocking the sun and protecting the wearer’s eyes will live to see another incarnation. While many club goers will be sure to be wearing these hideous blinders at night (including Lady Gaga who is already guilty of such a sin) they can be presumed to have little value other than as an accessory. Well that, and we suppose, as a gladiator helmet to protect the wearer from the well deserved judging glares and items thrown their way.

All we can do now is sit and hope to God that these awful things do not get remade with British flags and sold in every market across Camden… and already we’re wondering if simply muttering such an idea will plant a seed in some fool’s mind.

Sigh, it seems only Nathan Barley could have predicted or made popular such an awful thing. Look out for these on the covering the tabloids and “trendsetter’s” faces in major cities everywhere.

Nedry “Swan Ocean” Music Video


The heavily anticipated music video to London based breakout artist Nedry has finally been released. The video was made by London based graphic artist Leonie Wharton and is the first Nedry music video since the recent release of their first album (Condors) on a major label.

Enjoy the video and check out the rest of Nedry’s catalogue if you like what you hear!

New Tron Legacy Trailer


The most recent Tron Legacy trailer has finally been released. We’re not entirely sure what we are more excited about… one of the greatest films of all time (disqualified from the special effects category at the Oscars because computer graphics were “cheating”)… or the entire soundtrack by Daft Punk.

These are life’s nice challenges.

Five Trends We Hope Die and Never Return

This is another follow-up to the initial post now simply referred to as “we hate double denim” – a post so groundbreaking that it created a new economic theorem and gave birth to what we hope will become an official course offered at universities in the future: Fashionomics 101.

While writing up some of these lists we realized there was another phenomenon worth looking into. What about the trends that have been hot over the past few years that were total flops? Here’s our list (in order) of trends that really get under our skin and we hope will go away and never come back.

1. Kany West’s “Shutter Shades” -

Although the annoying nature of this particular trend really needs no explanation, it is worth highlighting how impractical these things are. They make you look like a tool, so please, go ahead and take them off.

When the lightbulb rose above Kanye’s head everyone hoped he had finally got the fishsticks joke… unfortunately he had an idea. (Damar)

2. Uggs -

Sorry ladies (and misguided gents), we really don’t care how comfortable they are… wearing these in Malibu doesn’t make any sense and theycost way too much to not make sense. Good riddance, go away all ready! It really is no coincidence that the words “fuggers” and “fugly” have evolved. Hmmm.

“Stay the fUGG out of Malibu, Lebowski!” (lspoon)

 

3. The Palestinian checked scarf -

We all have had enough now. It was fun while it lasted and even the likes of Colin Farell was known to rock one of these from time to time. Your time is up, please put out your torch and leave.

“How do you like my new scarf?”
“Wellll… it’s, uh, checked… so it’s got that going for it”

4. The “choreographed wedding entrance” -

Ok, so this isn’t EXACTLY a fashion trend, but it needs to go. We’ve all seen enough of these on YouTube. They can be good, but it’s played out now. Time to give it a rest. It started with the Love Actually trumpets thing and as soon as it moved to divorce videos it was one step too far.

 Divorce Video

Nothing says “I hate you and I want a Divorce” like a Chris Brown video/song/assault.

5. Counterfit bags, shoes, etc. -

We’re very much over the “status symbol” handbags. If you want something nice (and you can afford it) buy it for the quality, not for the label. There’s nothing ethical about the way these are made and if they really are “so similar to the original” the print, pattern or design on the bag or item should not matter… so just buy an equally priced no-name bag. The only counterfits worth having are ones that look like this…

OMG! Is that a real Mulberry bag? Their designs are soooo cutting edge! (UK Resistance)

 

That’ll cap off a week’s worth of sarcastic venting. We hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to share you favorites in the comments section below.

 For more fashion commentary and epic sharing follow Crockstar on Twitter

5 Trends That Should Never Have Resurged

Who knew that the double denim craze would strike such a nerve? As a further follow-up to our rant about Double Denim and our strong belief that this trend did not deserve the resurrection many trendsetters and fashion journalists are predicting for this season, we give you five more trends that have seen a recent resurgence, though we wish had been left alone.

Jnco Jeans and Tevas - Nice Look!

 Overalls and Tevas… Always A Good Look


1. Animal Prints -

gross… with very few exceptions.

“ohhhmagod, you would make SUCH a nice g-string” (funny photos)

2. Elastic Waist Denim -

If you’re not pregant and wouldn’t qualify yourself as “husky” these aren’t cute, please stop wearing them.

We thought we’d seen it all… Elastic Waist, Denim, Cargo Pants. Dear Gahd. (hotklobba)

3. “Leggings” or “tights” for men –

For us, it’s not really a question of masculinity, or anything like that. These may have been all the rage for Robin Hood and Bill Shakespeare, but if you’re not going for a run and you’re not Kobe Bryant… you shouldn’t be wearing tights. Full stop.

If only for a moment Kobe reached his childhood dream… he had become Donatello. (sacbee)

4. “Fake” vintage -

there are some perks to vintage styles and clothing. It’s sustainable, and as we’ve pointed out, some of these looks never should have gone away. We’re all for nostalgia, but your “My Little Pony” tee that was made in China in 2010 isn’t cool. Especially if you weren’t alive during the initiall popularity of the character/show/film in question. If you want to rep your favorite cartoon try to find a shirt from the era… or go to Comicon and steal one.

She thinks: “This shirt makes me look innocent and is soooo cute”
We Think: “You’ve got Daddy issues, wouldn’t ya know?!” (80s tees)

5. Early-90s bangs -

Just because it looked good on Kelly Kapowski doesn’t mean it will look good on you.

If you haven’t got anything nice to say… (Wikipedia and flickr)

Tomorrow we will bring you our final top 5 list inspired by the horrendous craze that is “Double Denim”: 5 Trends We Really Hope Will Go Away Soon.

Thanks for reading… for more fashion commentary and news please follow Crockstar on Twitter

Fashion Repeating Itself – The Best and Worst of Yesterday’s Fashion, Today

Yesterday’s post about the Canadian Tuxedo really got us thinking about how fashion, like history, tends to repeat itself. After a great deal of thought, the Crockstar team has compiled a list of five trends that we are happy repeated, five trends that never EVER should have come back, and five trends that we hope are gone for good! Check back for the next couple of installments!

Five trends that never should have left:

Pipes- A man who knows how to smoke a pipe is an absolute legend. It isn’t easy to pull off, but it certainly is a classic.

Obama may be the Mesiah, but Gerald Ford makes his smoking habits look downright wimpy. (Image- BBC)

The Outdoorsmen- 2009 saw a rebirth of “manly” hunting and outdoors clothing. This is a good thing. Many men dabbled in wearing pink shirts and all the rest, but at the end of the day nothing says “I’m a man” better than a flannel shirt and some L.L. Bean boots.

If I could grow a beard you know I would (image via SartoriallyInclined)

The Don Draper- the customes in (and inspired by) the television programme “Mad Men” are another example of a classic. Well made suits, slick hair, and incredible tailoring.

 ”You’re lucky you’re not a woman…”(via HillaryGardner)

Sailor Jerry Tattoos- It may be a bit of a “hipster” thing to do now, but sailor jerry tattoos have always been classic.

“Ukelele Kid Ain’t Got Shit on Me”

Suede Elbow Pads- Just because your grandpa had them on his cordury jackets does not mean they aren’t still cool.

 

 Howard Moon would kill for this… (etsy)

Double Denim – Why Sometimes it’s Best to Go Against the Grain – Fashionomics 101

Double Denim Nooooo!

Sometimes it is important to know when to say “no” to a trend. While fashion trends come and go some of them are better off gone. Every major fashion magazine, designer and influencer/trendsetter can be blamed for the “big” trend for 2010 that never should have come back: the Candian Tuxedo. Yes, we mean you TopShop (source of above photo).

For those of you unfamiliar with this phenomenon, the Canadian Tuxedo is denim on top coupled with denim on bottom, or as it is being called this season “double denim.”

We, here at Crockstar, are all for the rebirth of denim. We love a nice pair of raw selvedged Japanese indigo. We didn’t mind skinny jeans in the slightest. Heck, Levis even managed to make a couple of acceptable jean jackets last season. We would almost even rather see Jean shorts (“jorts”) come back than double denim. This is cold hard proof that there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.”

 

Image Via: Stylist

The economist within me would describe denim as having negative returns to scale. According to “Crockstar’s Theorem of Denim” every item of denim added to an outfit (after the first) has a negative effect on the overall utitlity or quality of that outfit. As illustrated in our handy utility curve below, you start out with negative utility with fewer than one items of denim, this assumes you would be naked and in public (we are ignoring voyeours as outliers here). The first unit of denim results in a gain of utility (a positive return). YES! Denim!

However, as illustrated in our figure, the curve has a very sharp angle and utility plummets as you reach and pass two units of denim in any ensemble. By the time we reach three (3) units, we are reaching extreme depression and by the time we have reached four… well, let’s not even go there.

Fashionomics Negative Returns to Scale

Please endeavour to understand this. there is a big difference between diminishing returns to scale and negative returns to scale. Diminishing returns to scale are one thing (the sort of thing you might find with number of cotton items in an outfit)… you reach a certain number and things get worse rather than better. However, denim, sequins, the color white (outside of a wedding) all have a unique character. Once you reach a certain level of satiation, things not only stop improving, they get rapidly worse… until you are worse off than with none.

In summary: double-denim, the Canadian Tuxedo -whatever you want to call it- it’s disgusting. Do not do it. One piece of denim = positive. More than one piece of denim = increasingly negative.

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About Me

This is the new home of the Crockstar Limited blog. The blog focuses heavily on trends in fashion music and the internet. The goal is to start an ethically sourced fashion label, but in the meantime the blog will offer insight into the world of an ADD fashion-loving internet geek.