The World According to Ploy

June 4, 2009

Call me crazy, but I really do like them Gucci….shoes.

Filed under: Fashion — by Ploy @ 9:07 pm

Most people hate these Etretat flats. After surfing through numerous pages and forums, I’ve decided that the reason these flats aren’t getting much love is because, well they are 100% rubber.

But you know what, it is for that precise reason that I am in love with these shoes.

etretat
Remember my rant a few weeks ago about how I cannot possibly wear rainboots in Thailand without appearing totally insane. Yes, it is probably the one and only country where wearing rainboots on a rainy day can be deem an act of one not in touch with reality.
It hasn’t been raining that much lately, so my yearning for rainboots has dwindled down. I’ve also become a little resigned at the prospect of trudging through murky water. I try to repeat to myself everyday, before bedtime: Rain will not kill me. And then I go on and have dreams where my body is rotting, feet first, and various microorganisms have permeated the permeable membranes of my skin and into my bloodsteam. Dreams that could make a very good sci-fi movie. My subconcious clearly rejects my conviction. But I will leave it to them to fight each other. We’ll see who emerges winner when July comes around and it starts pouring like kuh-ray-zee.

Ok, back to our shoes. So these shoes are 100% rubber. While they may not keep my feet dry, as they are perforated with the GG symbols, they will (hopefully) survive getting wet. None of the flats I own currently can possibly go through water and come out unscathed. I absolutely refuse to wear high heels on days where it rains, or has the probability of raining. Ergo, these shoes are a necessity.

Someone somewhere pointed out that the Etretat flat reminds them of Crocs. I beg to differ. Crocs are clunky and I will never in a million years wear Crocs. Well, fine, I’ll concede that they are soft and comfy. But look, I am only a few centimeters away from qualifying for dwarfhood, so I can’t wear shoes that will make me look clunky and chunky.

The price tag for this is actually pretty hefty for something that is all rubber. $160. But hey, if it’s going to last me a while (how long does it take for rubber to biodegrade? Does it even biodegrade? Hmm.), then it’s worth it.

Overpriced rubber flats, I can’t believe it has become necessary to buy a pair. I still want Hunter boots, but as I want to maintain appearances of sanity, I guess I must invest.

I rhymed. Yay.

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May 26, 2009

It’s not what you wear. It’s how you wear it.

Filed under: Fashion,Sheer Insanity — by Ploy @ 1:07 am

This blog entry was inspired by me surfing around Glamour.com’s fashion section (don’t ask how I ended up there…Links to links to links to links…et voila) Some lady wore tie-dye jeans, and I thought she didn’t look that bad, but people were saying “Honey, you are cute but those jeans are not.” And I was thinking…wait, why blame the jeans? Clothes themselves are not wrong. Clothing items are never wrong.

It depends on how they’re worn. How you wear clothes reflects your style. The clothes themselves do not*.

 As a teenager**, I grew up with a few simple sartorial rules:

1) Do not wear horizontal stripes, because stripes makes everyone look fat.

2) As a very short person verging on dwarfdom, I cannot wear a long skirt, because that’ll make me look short.

3) Jeans and t-shirts can solve anything.

Gee, but I was wrong. I wouldn’t know how wrong I was till I entered college and started reading Japanese fashion magazines (PINKY rocks! Thanks to Book for introducing it to me!) According to those magazines, all rules can be broken. I’ve seen models my height (as yes, in Japan, models can be 5′ or shorter) wear long skirts and maxi dresses. Most striped clothing items are of the horizontal variety; rarely do I see vertical stipes. And I’ve never seen any of them wear jeans and a t-shirt…perhaps once in a blue moon, but they pull it off entirely differently than the American way. PINKY and those magazines may not have transformed me into a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but what they did, which I am eternally grateful for, is breaking all those rules above, and much more.

 As for the title of this post, “It’s not what you wear. It’s how you wear it”, I think this statement really applies to Mary-Kate Olsen. She’s unpredictable and ecclectic. She dresses like she blindly gropes for a minimum of three tops in her warddrobe and throws the on, then piles on a handful of jewelry that she just grabbed randomly from a chest. But you know what? I think she always looks perfect. She’s fabulous. I like her style even more than Nicole Richie’s (who ranks right after MK on my ‘Non-Japanese Fashion Icons’ list.) Nicole Richie has that boho look I love, but overall, I think she follows trends (though very, very well). MK, however starts trends.

And over the years of stalking Mary-Kate’s street-style and paparazzi pictures, I notice a general trend in her clothes. As in VERY GENERAL.

1) Skin is not a shirt. Have you ever seen MK’s cleavage? No, I didn’t think so. But this doesn’t mean she’s not sexy. I think MK is sexy despite her layers of clothes. I think it’s her makeup, and also her confidence.

2) Leggings are not pants. I have yet to see a picture of MK, or Ashley, for that matter, wear leggings as pants. Lindsay Lohan wears leggings as pants. Do you want to be like La Lohan? No, I didn’t think so.

3) Being thin helps. Ok, so truthfully, she herself achieves this by chain-smoking Marlboro Lights and drinking soy decaf lattes instead of having proper meals. But the matter-at-hand here is, I think being slim helps a lot. Maybe that’s just me and the culture I’ve be raised in, that girls should be skinny and waifish (regrettably I am neither skinny nor waifish, but I am healthy and I can roundhouse-kick you – sort of – so I am happy (at how fit I am, not at the thought of injuring your posterior))…though that’s probably the culture that you wear raised in, too. I’m doing a mental shrug here, but I think you get my point. I’m not saying go puff and caffeinate yourself to stickfigure-dom, but there are healthy ways out there to be fit, n’est-ce pas?

4) Accessorize. Mary-Kate as the best collection of accessories I’ve seen ever. I covet every ring she has, though I make do with the ones I get from Platinum, which are cheap and good, by the way. I don’t know the store’s name, but it’s on the second-floor. You’ll know it when you find it.***

WAITHOLDUPPAUSE…Before I end, one last point: “how you wear clothes” doesn’t only mean how you put clothes together. It’s actually the overall presentation: hair, makeup, and then the internal factors, like personality, confidence, and manners. For some reason this reminds me of the Japanese mindset (or at least what I am led to believe is the Japanese mindset) that beauty is both external and internal. We’ve all heard that a cruel beautiful person is essentially ugly. But vice versa, a very kind, selfless person who dresses like a homeless, honestly, can’t survive, not only in this day and age, but in any day and age. Or can, but it would be rather difficult. I’m not being superficial. I’m just expressing my opinion. You have to look good inside and outside to survive. It is not either or. You need both.

Tomorrow, wear whatever you want, but wear it with a  bright smile, good hair and good makeup, shoes and a bag that complement your clothes, not clash with it. Wear it with impeccable manners and kindness, humility and confidence. Wear it with personality. Be Nicole (that is, follow trends very, extremely well) or be Mary-Kate (start your own trend, but make sure it still has some artistic merit; eg. a barrel for a dress really will never catch on, even if it is your own very unique trend.) DON’T FORGET, however, to make sure that it goes with the overall setting. That is , I would still bash any one who wears sunglasses in malls – confidence or no – or who stomp around in Uggs in this weather. Not that I’ve seen anyone wear Uggs in Thailand, thank Heavens, but you never know, you never know.

As for me, tomorrow I’m staying at home. I can already picture myself padding around the place in old sweatpants, my ratty old PE shirt (circa Beverly Vista), black-framed glasses, unwashed hair pulled into a ponytail, and face sans maquillage. But that’s when I’m home. That’s how I wear it.

 

 

*Dang, but that phrase right there just made me feel positively ancient.

**Though in the case that one picks out, say, a cut-out, heavily sequined corset top in red, and at the same store picks out a feathered boa and fishnet tights, clothes would then qualify as a reflection of one’s style.

***I’ve realized that anyone who says “don’t worry, you’ll know it when you see it” is possibly the worse guide ever.

January 30, 2009

Leggings

Filed under: Fashion,Galling But True — by Ploy @ 6:02 pm

are not pants.

Here, let’s start off with what Dictionary.com says about leggings

(n.) a covering for the leg, usually extending from the ankle to the knee but sometimes higher, worn by soldiers, riders, workers, etc.

Then here is what it says about pants (FYI: I was linked to the entry for trousers)

(n.) Sometimes, trouser. Also called pants. a usually loose-fitting outer garment for the lower part of the body, having individual leg portions that reach typically to the ankle but sometimes to any of various other points from the upper leg down.

Do you notice something? “Loose-fitting”. Ok, fine, I know that in this day and age, there are those I-don’t-have-an-idea-how-a-person-could-squeeze-into-that super-skinny jeans. But even those jeans are, essentially, not hugging your entire lower body with every fiber of its being.

Get this: while skinny pants may hug your legs tighter than I (hope to one day) hug Akanishi Jin, they do not, and in case you didn’t see that, NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT hug your crotch or outline your ass.

Look, I like leggings. During the colder days (I absolutely refuse to use the word ‘winter’), they surprisingly keep you warm. They’re also great for increased modesty, when you’re wearing something that’s not too short but, well, “just in case” things go wrong. And yes, they’re pretty cool as a fashion item.

But THEY ARE NOT PANTS.

When the leggings trend first hit, people paired them with dresses or short-shorts . And then I began seeing girls wearing leggings with, well, actually, without anything else?

Just because your – not you, of course, just a pronoun with no actual recipient- t-shirt is longer than the average t-shirt, that does NOT make it a dress. Ergo, do not wear it with leggings sans shorts or a skirt. It looks like you forgot to pull on a bottom piece. Never be dressed in a way that people will think “Did that girl forget to pull on her pants?”

In my opinion, you can wear a long t-shirt with leggings. What defines long? Well, if you bend over and the top still covers your ass, then it is long. Even if it covers your front, if you bend over and your buttcheeks play peek-a-boo with the word, then baby, seriously. Though you cover ’em up with spandex, you’d still flash the person behind you.

This evening at Paragon, Book and I were at the foot of the escalator going up to the 3rd floor.

I looked up and muttered, “Leggings are not pants.”

Oh shit,” Book said.

We boarded the escalator, and so did the girl, who was around our age. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, though I was certainly staring. Yes, it was rude but she was on the phone, so she didn’t notice. Perhaps she was on the phone too while she was dressing up?

“Is she insane?” Book, who looked utterly shocked and appallled, asked once we were clear.

It was a rhetorical question. Clearly, she (strange girl, not Book) was insane. No sane person could, would, even SHOULD go out dressed like that. The leggings were a little shiny, almost spandex-y, black and reaching to the ankles. She wore a Comme de Garcons white shirt, which reached about 2 inches below her belly button (read: visible crocthline), which was actually rather sheer. In my entire experience of seeing poor misinformed women who think that leggings are pants, this girl was Exhibit A. She was worse than all the t-shirts&leggings cases. The victims – or perpetrators, really – of those faux pas could perhaps could argue something in front of a judge. But this girl? She would just have to plead insanity.

My last words of the day: Just because they have two tube-ish outlets for your legs to push through, this fact does not make them pants, any more than the fact that because chimpanzees share 98.8% of our genes with humans does not make them, well, humans.

This madness has to stop. Seriously.

 

 
PS. http://leggingsarenotpants.wordpress.com/ shows what I mean exactly.

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