Saturday, June 10, 2006

Polo Ralph Lauren Drops Fur From Fashion Line

The Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced that it will drop fur from its fashion line.
In an http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13211592/ story, Polo Ralph Lauren has announced that it will drop fur from its apparel and home collections beginning with the Holiday 2006 lines.

Thank you, Mr. Lauren.

It is an impressive thing when a man with power also is a good man.

Most fur in the fashion industry comes from China, where fur harvesting amounts to torture.
In addition, this fur is frequently mislabelled (or, through loopholes, not labelled at all) and is often dog and cat fur.

I hope that the fashion industry is rethinking its use of fur. It is ridiculous to see designers who loudly brag of their devotion to "world peace" and "love" and "anti-violence" buy this garbage.

It is also, I hope, time to send the "whore-and-pimp" fur fashion statement on its way to oblivion.

And let's face it. There is NOTHING on earth that adds the appearance of poundage than a big, old, ugly fur coat. Makes the wearer look downright round.

It is true. The Devil Wears Prada. But the Devil also wears Fur.

Maybe Anna Wintour will drop her obsession with rewarding her furrier friends and promoting their product in VOGUE magazine.

Yeah. Right.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

More Louboutin Envy...NOT for Tall Girls!

Certainly, Louboutin is the shoe trend of the moment.

But fads like this we need more of! Louboutin has drawn from the best styles of the past, and these shoes are actually attractive and enhance the appearance.

Unlike those hideous Manolo Blahnik Bleccchnik shoes. Squashed toes, ugly & exteme point. Why wear shoes that uglify the woman?

Anyway.... bring me Chironde, Isado, Pompadouce, Decoltissimo. At least I can look at them.

SHOES- Louboutin, High Heels, and Height

Sigh. Now that's a shoe. The Louboutin Decoltissimo.

It is frustrating to be so limited in shoe choices. At over 5'11", it is absolutely ridiculous for me to wear much more than a kitten heel. A higher heel is fine for a grand entrance, but what then? I spend an evening bending over to listen to conversation.

I often lament the lack of choice in lower heeled shoes. They all look so, well, dowdy. But I also hate towering over people, particularly other women, who get pretty pissed off when you are staring down at the tops of their heads.

Still, I know this should not be an issue. Go ahead! Wear 'em anyway!

But I just don't feel comfortable.

When I look at the Louboutins, I remember the late '70s. Chunky, awful shoes were popular. My mother debated whether or not to get rid of her lovely collection of heeled pumps. Just dump them, I said. They'll never be fashionable again.

Stupid kid!

So many of these shoes remind me of hers.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Foods that Cry Out for Artificial Sweetener

Civilization advanced by a yard when Jell-O created fat-free, sugar-free pudding. (Try the white chocolate made with Organic Cow fat-free milk and some sliced strawberries on top.)

But there are more ways to use artificial sweetener. All hail Splenda!

Here are some suggestions for the food companies.

breakfast cereal
salad dressing
marshmallow fluff
fat free Cool Whip
fat free Coffee Mate
fat-free Hello Kitty Fruit Snacks
fat-free snack bars
fat-free brownie and cake mixes
flavored rice cakes
more varieties of candy (sugar-free Mentos are great. What about sugar-free Starburst?)

and when oh when will they come out with more fat-free, sugar-free COOKIES??

Please comment if you have any more suggestions.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Levi Shrink-To-Fit Jeans and Horses

A pleasant memory of favorite jeans of the past.....

I used to show horses (Morgans, to be exact) when I was a teenager. Every summer (and weekends and vacations during the school year) I lived "at the barn."

Come spring, my friends and I would buy our new jeans for the year. They were ALWAYS Levi's, and they were the "shrink to fit" style. Do they still sell those? (Hey look! Penney's has 'em!.....JCPenneyLevis) still can't remember how we decided what size to get to account for the shrinkage, but we figured it out.

We then would wash them in those giant tumble washers for horse blankets. Then they'd go in the giant tumble dryers for horse blankets.

And they would fit perfectly. Low rise before anyone even heard of it. Just enough give in the seat and legs to let you mount and sit in a saddle. Slim in the lower leg so they wouldn't catch on or interfere with the stirrup. Long over the top of the boot. (We rarely wore actual riding boots when schooling and training. We always wore those ginger colored men's workboots that went over the ankle, although sometimes we wore the shoe variety. Actual riding jodphurs came out of the box only for shows.)

If the jeans shrank too much, we washed them and put them on WET to stretch them out. There is something distinctly unpleasant about wearing clammy, wet jeans around for a day, but it seemed to work.

Those jeans took enormous amounts of abuse. Hours in the saddle. Climbing through barbed wire fences. Haying in the fields (when the hay had to come in, we girls were right out there hefting the wired bales up onto the truck until we couldn't lift our arms up). At horse shows, we would sleep in them more often than not.

And by the end of the summer, they were the most perfectly broken-in pair of jeans you had ever seen. A few rips and tears here and there. Some liniment or hoof black stains. Just the right fading and washed-out look. Some abrading on the thighs, and LOTS on the seat. And that distinctive pattern that all equestrians recognize- heavy wear down the inside of the leg from the constant rub against the saddle, not to mention the horse sweat from bareback riding. Sometimes the seams wore right through, and we'd have exposed inner thigh!

People pay hundreds now for that "distressed" look that we had by the end of every summer at the barn.

I wish I still had a pair of those jeans.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Skinny People Get More Respect

It's the absolute truth. It isn't fair and it isn't right and it doesn't make sense.

But when you are thin, life is a lot easier. People are friendlier. They smile more. There are more offers to help.

I remember that I had a part-time job at a bank for a summer between college semesters. At the time, I was very very very thin. I mean, even with double-pleated, drapey trousers I looked stick thin. There was an upscale produce market across the street, and a guy who worked at it would bring over absolutely gorgeous pieces of hothouse fruit for me, and just hang around the counter, hoping for some attention. Even though I wore glasses at the time!

Now, I'm not stupid. If I had been what was considered "normal" weight, no nice treats.

If you are thin, you get great service at restaurants. You move up in line. You get into clubs. Even nasty saleswomen at boutiques are complimentary.

And it is WOMEN who are the worst offenders when it comes to thin-adoration. Women would constantly tell me how much they admired my low, low weight. How envious they were. And they were always nice, nice, nice. Did me favors. For crying out loud, I was too thin!

I read about the http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/flat3.asp?id=2287 to promote the concept of normal-weight attractiveness Well........it will only work if they can sell the concept to women. Because women are their own worst enemies. They admire the skeletons that model clothes in magazines, and they buy the rag mag. (and I might add, it is FEMALES who put these magazines together and have editorial control over the material and the image. Anna Wintour is a sad women.) The admire the bone racks on shows like Desperate Housewives, and they watch the show. They buy clothing from designers who have no respect for the female shape and create clothes that could only look attractive on teenage boys. Or Joey Ramone (may he rest in peace!)

Women have to stop blaming men, the media, evil business, and any other handy scapegoat for their body image problems.

And as for the issues with teenagers and young girls and eating disorders? Certainly some of it has to do with peer pressure, some of it has to do with emulating emotionally disturbed celebrities like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

But a whole lot of it has to do with the body images issues of dear mother, and the ridiculous expectations and demands of women trying to live up to a faulty ideal.

All those women who fawned over me when I was a bone bag had daughters at home. And those daughters had to hear the cutting comments and implied dissatisfactions of women who impose their own kooky ideas on their kids.

Many, many American women have warped ideas of what constitutes "Real Beauty," and an ad campaign ain't gonna cure 'em.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Skinny Jean Fashion

I have to laugh when I read about the re-emergence of the skinny jean http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jeans30mar30,0,7849305.story?coll=la-home-headlines.

Cigarette leg, pencil leg, super skinny, pegged leg- no matter the variation, these are tight mothers.

The frontrunner seems to be the J Brand, although 7 For All Mankind, True Religion, Dolce & Gabbana are also cashing in on the retro trend.

A couple of months ago, when I decided I wanted to drop some weight, I took out some of my old jeans for motivation. I have a fantastic pair of Todd Oldham jeans that I just adore. They are size 10, but a really tiny size 10 with a leg that isn't too tapered. But it's a skinny jean for sure, and I couldn't squeeze into them any more. Time to cut the food intake.

Then I took out several of the pairs of Victoria's Secret London jeans that I bought on clearance in the mid 1990s.

These suckers have narrow, narrow legs. The kind that are so tight that you need to lean against something to pull the legs off your feet and take them off. (Note to self: Do I have fat calves? Hmmm.)

They also have a HIGH WAIST and man, I hate that. Because I'm taller, the rise on these higher waisted jeans can get painful. Even though the butt and thighs fit, the waist digs in (because I also tend to have a straight up-and-down figure, rather than a tapered in waist.) Plus the crotch can dig. Not nice.

But I've been squeezing into them as I drop weight, and wearing them as around-the-house jeans.

Now I realize I could probably get a few bucks for them on Ebay.

Every article about the skinny jean trend seems to mention that they were an Eighties trend. Well, like I said, I got these in the Nineties so I think that this fashion lasted longer than some people remember.

(I want to note here that it was a godsend, a true blessing, for women like me when everyone discovered the low rise jean. Because I had rise issues, I had been going low for some time by buying men's Levis. Problem with that is that the butt and thighs tended to be way too loose and baggy. But then we got LADIES low-rise jeans. Hallelujah!)

ANYWAY, these VS jeans are somewhat uncomfortable, but at least I can rest assured that I am quite hip when I sit at my computer at home.

I have them in some great colors- a nifty deep caramel brown, a luscious deep butter yellow, a light fern green, and some outrageous hot pink, hot orange, turquoise, and lime green. I must have thought these things were a great deal.

I thought back to the originator of this whole trend- the Calvin Klein jean I bought a pair when they first came out. Man, those suckers were hard to get on, but when you did, your legs looked a mile long. Where did my Calvins go? I must have chucked them in a Salvation Army bag some years ago. Those jeans would make these Victoria's Secret cigarette legs look like baggies.

(I think that technically it was the Jordache ("the Jordache loooook") jean that started the whole trend, but where I come from, all that back-pocket decoration was perceived as a little, ahem, white trash.)

The big problem with these skinny jeans is that they can give even skinny people a bit of a meaty look to the thigh and butt. You have to be Joey Ramone (may he rest in peace!) thin to carry these suckers off. I mean no extra flesh at all. This is where men have the definite advantage.

So especially considering the fact that I still want to lose more weight and get down to a solid size 8, AND I haven't been exercising as much as I should, I just don't feel comfortable wearing these out with anything but a nice, oversized man's sweater or buttoned-down oxford cloth shirt with the tails untucked. They still give a great look, though. I should probably get those black motorcycle boots out of the back of a closet.

When these size 10s are a little big, well, maybe then I'll consider tucking in the shirt. And nothing looks better than skinny jeans in a darker rinse, a wide black leather belt (studs optional,) a white white big shirt tucked in, a pair of black sunglasses, and some flat strappy sandals. Motivation!

Coffee Makes Life Worth Living

When you are denying yourself the thrill of eating, there is nothing like COFFEE to replace it. It's kind of like smoking, which I did for a while in college. The smell, the preparation, the first hot sip. Who needs food?

Caffeine used to be my best friend. On hot summer days, I would start out with a giant cup of caffeinated coffee and follow it with an icy cold plastic bottle of Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. Then repeat as desired. Here's a story comparing various brands of coder fuel http://www.bzmedia.com/caffeine.htm. Makes me miss it.

Then I started having stomach problems and figured out it was the caffeine. So now only decaffeinated coffee and lots of gold label cola products- Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi http://www.dietpepsi.com/prodinfo2.htm or Caffeine Free Diet Coke http://www.dietcoke.com/index.jsp. Whatever's on sale.

(Soda is another obsession that I'll deal with later. Except to mention that when I was a kid we called it tonic. No, I was not born in 1920. Here's a great comparison of regional varieties in carbonated beverage terminology http://www.popvssoda.com/stats/USA.html)

Anyway....COFFEE. How I love you.

I prefer to drink organic, because I read somewhere that there are a lot of nasty chemicals used in coffee production. (Now where was that? Well, this will make you wonder about what they throw on the crops http://www.tesdelsol.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=5)

But it's difficult to find a wide variety of coffee that's both ORGANIC and DECAF.

From the supermarket, I like Newman's Organics http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/prdCoffee.aspx?DeptName=OurCoffees&Name=Newmans_Own_Special_Decaf_K-Cup&Collection=SingleCup.

I love Millstone http://www.millstone.com/pages/ourcoffees/Roasts.jsp?Section=Organics but they don't sell an Organic Decaf.

But I recently found coffee heaven. Online. Quite by chance, while I was casting about on an online search for decent organic decaf, I stumbled across Coffeeam http://www.coffeeam.com/. Holy crap. They still only have one variety of decaf organic, Decaf Organic Swiss Water Peru, but what a variety it is!

They do have loads of varieties of decafs, however, and what will BLOW YOUR MIND are the flavored coffees http://www.coffeeam.com/flavcofroasd.html and they all come in decaf.

Now, this is one of the best tricks that I know of to cut the eating. FLAVORED COFFEE. I can't have chocolate, but I can have Chocolate Macadamia Nut coffee. Instead of a caramel apple, you can actually be happy with a cup of Caramel Apple flavored coffee. Tiramisu packs on the lard, but not a cup of Tiramisu flavored coffee.

Just add some Fat-Free Original unflavored Coffemate Liquid http://www.coffee-mate.com/product_flavor.asp?id=200281211572766149243206 and you're all set. But stay away from those flavored creamers! Even the fat-free varieties have 20 calories in a Tablespoon, and if you drink many cups of coffee a day, you're screwed. So stick to the plain, and measure the creamer!

I intend to work my way through every flavor on the Coffeeam list and will evaluate the results.

Yankee Meets Lit

I guess I'm lucky, weight-wise, because I tend to take after my tall, skinny Yankee father rather than my sturdier Lithuanian mother.

Not that my Lit ancestors were round or fat. They tended to be fair and tall, but the women tended to be heavier built than the Yankees.

But I love to eat. And I guess I'm lucky because if I just think about what I'm eating through the day, and cut my intake down a bit, the extra pounds I don't want just tend to disappear.

And if I REALLY think about what I eat, and use some tricks to cut my appetite and reduce food intake even more, I can get downright skinny.

Lately I realized that in the past couple of years I had gotten lazy, and just was rounder than I wanted. I have nothing against curvy women, but for me, roundness doesn't work and I just end up wearing baggy sweatshirts and jeans all the time.

Time to get to fighting weight.

So I guess I need a place to talk about eating, weight, and clothes.

By the way, I'm 5 ' 11 1/4" and weigh...... ? I don't weigh myself any more because an average or thin weight for a nearly six footer always sounds high, no matter what.

Basically, I just buy or dig out a clothes item in a size I want to wear and concentrate on getting myself into it.