Fashion is a Scary Monster

Jul 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Columns

Dear Jonathan,

I’m a slave to fashion, and I like your beard. I’d like some tips on the latest looks and trends.


Well, take one look at me and know that I am not one for fashion. I’m of the “drawstring pants over flip flops look” and tend to show up at fancy restaurants in a hoodie jacket and shorts. But, when you work for a university, you can’t help but see fashion trends all over the place. Everywhere, young college freshmen are boldly defining the season’s new trends. Here are a few choice looks, but don’t thank me, thank the young and impudent.

For the ladies:

1. The “Flirty Thong (in the Rain)” Look

Now, this is a circumstantial summer look because it requires the most underutilized fashion element ever: water. And with the dangerous summer heat, water should be a good thing, yes? Well, not always.

The flirty thong was invented by one young and naive college freshmen, strutting her thin white skirt in pouring rain. But her thong was fabulous. I know because it was playing peek-a-boo through the sashaying movements of her pelvis. And when you’ve got underwear fancier than everyone’s church clothes, people should know it.

2. The “Is it a Sweater or a Dress?” Look

You know how there’s that sweater dress at the mall that you really-really want, because it’s a sweater that goes down to just above your knees and has these cute buttons and it only costs like $180 and is dry clean only?

Well Hilda did. (I don’t really know what her name is, but she totally had that hairstyle that looks like a baguette was coiled around her forehead and the demeanor of someone who had grown up on homespun-mountain-girl-wisdom, so I think the name fits.) Anyway, Hilda was totally aware of the fabled dress, but goat herders don’t have a lot of money. However, they do tend to have a lot of sweaters! So there she was, waltzing down in this sweater and knee-high boots looking fabulous and I gave her a look and thought, “Something is missing.” Well, then I thought of the thong girl and was like, “Oh dear. She is definitely not bluffin’ with her muffin.”

The big question: was Hilda cold? Only her upper thighs could tell.

3. The “Poncho” Look

A long time ago, when the world was young, Sally Field played the Flying Nun on TV. And then the rest of us forgot all about it until a few months ago when a gaggle of girls were wearing these strange mounds of fabric and were trying to take flight. They were not successful, but they looked so trendy.

And for boys:

1. The “Nylon Shorts” Look

They’re young, morose, waifish and many of them constantly dress like they’re at the gym. Everyday, I find myself surrounded by young men walking around in nylon work-out shorts. The real fashion item here – are their penises. Because you’d think it would be smart to wear underwear or a jock or something.

But no, just a bunch of dudes waltzing around in thin little shorts, just flapping away without a care in the world. Was that some tent pole action I just saw? The breeze will get you every time!

2. The “I-Forgot-How-Collars-Work” Look

So, a few weeks ago, I was running around like crazy and stumbled upon four young metro-sexuals who were all about five feet tall and had curly hair and glasses and all wearing pastel-colored polos. Hmph. It looked like four hobbit boys had left the comforts of the Shire to go open an American Apparel store together.

As trendy as they were, for some strange reason, all of them had their collars flipped up. I’ll never understand why people do this. It wasn’t cute in the 80’s and it’s even more ridiculous now. But then, who’s going to challenge a small quad of dangerous hipster boys with attitudes? So, I guess it’s fashionable to look like a tool. But if I had a pair of scissors, I would have done something about it.


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