Wednesday, January 31

The Fashion Police

When I was younger, I would always bristle at what I considered to be fashion faux pas.
I took them as a personal affront to me and my good taste.

Here a few cardinal regulations that I felt were inexcusable to break:

*You all know how I feel about fur- I love it.
I always think of the happy animal souls floating upon high, secure in the knowledge that their sacrifice is keeping a Mitzvah loving Jew warm. It’s a win/win situation except, and here comes the Kasamba policy:
A fur coat should never be larger than the animal it was ripped off of.

*Then there are two things I never wanted to see on men, unless they are channelling Carmen Miranda and going to sing any song by Judy Garland. These two things are jewellery and long hair. I’m afraid that men with hoops in their ears always forced me to resist the compulsion to tug and see what happens. To me, rings, bracelets and necklaces make a man look like a pirate at a dress up party. And about the long hair- the problem is, men with hair past their shoulders, require them to follow strict hygiene rituals, which I really think is an unmasculine pursuit. And what’s with the pony tail? Eww, gross. All that does is make me want to find an inkwell to dip it in.
Why can’t a man be a man and get a normal fuss free haircut?

*Now here’s a fashion no-no that would be simple to correct, had the perpetrator invested in another mirror. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about -people who look fine from the front but from the back they look like they are sausages bursting out of their wrappers- in other words, their poor overworked clothes are busting at the seams. Most of the time this offence is committed by pregnant women who are so enthralled by the shape of their bumps that they wear poured on clothes (do I really want to know if they have ‘innie’ or ‘outie’ belly buttons?) not realizing that they also regale the viewer with every ounce of freshly acquired cellulite visible from the rear.
Yup, way too much information.

I would walk along my merry way thinking:
(This is interactive- you have to fill in the blanks)
“Hey ___________ called, they want their ___________ back”
Sonny & Cher .............................fuzzy vest
Seventies ....................................Afro
Eighties ......................................shoulderpads
Tevye ...........................................tatty hat
Ringling Bros. ...........................clown makeup
Diana Ross ................................sequined monstrosity

Then it came to a point where I appointed myself, self proclaimed ‘Fashion Police’. I don't think there would've been enough forests in the world to produce the paper necessary for all the tickets I would've been handing out, because every fashion offence would deserve its own penalty and punishment.

Small offences like dressing for summer in the height of winter or dressing thirty years too old or too young for your age would get a £20 fine.

Larger offences such as wearing more than six designer obvious prints at once, or overaccessorising would be punishable by a £100 fine.

Heinous offences such as ill fitting suits with sleeves up to the wrist and pants to the ankles would be a felony requiring clamping.
This would entail immobilising said perpetrator, until someone else can bring him suitable clothes.

Of course, any Tznius crime would require enforcing the felon to take a one way trip to the care of the Mullahs in Saudi Arabia where they put immodest people in burlap sacks and beat them round the head with dried salamis.

I think I would have run out of citations.

Then one day, I saw the most interesting woman in a department store. She was wearing a purple and orange ensemble, with co-ordinating purple and orange accessories.
Her blouse was a bright tangerine orange, offset by her choker and earrings of purple plastic. Her deep purple slacks (they were definitely ‘slacks’ as in ‘leisure suit’ slacks) had an orange belt, and a matching purse.
Even her lipstick was orange.
I was riveted.
She was a vision.
I had never seen anything quite like it before and I doubt that I ever will again. “My goodness”, I thought, “What was she thinking when she got dressed this morning? Or was she thinking at all? Ha! Snort!”
Then something strange happened top me, I noticed the obvious care and attention this woman had put into her outfit. All that effort just to find exactly the right shades of purples and oranges.
Why, she thought she looked great!
I then took notice of her evident pride in her demeanour and I felt duly chastened.

Um, exactly who had made me the Fashion police?
Why did I have the urge to point out what I perceive to be other people’s fashion failures?
Looking deep in myself, I realised that in order for my way to be right, someone else’s must be wrong.

Like playing see-saw, I would have put her down so that I could have felt up.
We all do the same thing in one way or another.
We condescend to other people because they don’t share our vision of the way we think things should be.

Relaxing standards can be very frightening because we are taught at an early age that life is black and white. Something is either ‘good’ or it is ‘bad’, someone is either ‘right’ or he is ‘wrong’.
It’s only as we mature that we recognise the shades of grey.

As Jews, not only do we have to learn not to condemn differences, we must actually learn to embrace them, because to do otherwise is to exclude other Jews and we cannot afford to that, even those shades of grey don’t match what they’re wearing.


At 2:30 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Yay I am first on the one and only Kasamba's blog!!! Hysterical you would be the perfect police officer for the job, I am sure you could make time for it. Oh the images I had in my mind while reading

At 2:38 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

im so glad i kept reading :) i almost stopped half way thru, thinking.. pfft how judgemental.. i hope i never bump into kasamba - i'll go bankrupt from all the fines and tickets ill get..

but then.. you made it all better..

personally the orange and purple lady make my days much more enjoyable than the burberry lady! :)

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...
Speaking of Judy Garland, there is an amazingly popular new group on Yahoo called THE JUDY GARLAND EXPERIENCE. The group features ultra rare audio files, photo's, lively discussions and more, the only thing missing is you!

At 3:56 PM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

it's great that you can always see the best in things... even if you initally question their style!

as a designer, i'm waaay too judgemental about fashion but i keep it to myself because you never know what effort the person has gone to, to acheive the look.

but i do embrace differences... i like patterned tops and coloured tops and plain tops and green shoes and purple shoes and casual skirts and fancy tops and they all live together in harmony in my wardrobe until the day comes for their turn to be worn in their specially matched outfit.

and the phenomenon you talk of people 'bursting like sausages' out of their clothes/over the top of their jeans/skirt is commonly called 'muffin top' in australia. as in 'oh my, that is a bad case of muffin top over those hipster jeans'.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger exsemgirl said...

lol-you crack me up!!
I have this great gift-I dont notice what ppl wear! Someone could walk past me in bright pink and purple with all the accessories and I wouldnt notice.

Makes life a lot more peaceful!!

At 4:45 PM, Blogger The Dreamer said...

Boy, do I feel the same sometimes.
Nice realization you came to over there.

I like the line about when you get older, you see the gray.
It's funny, when you think about it.
SOrta double meaning over there.

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Jewish Smörgåsbord said...

LOL - there was a time when I thought I was a member of the fashion police, I once asked 2 teenage girls who were dressed in a punk/rock mix, with broken tights and wholes in t-shirts WHY, why do you dress like this, is it cause you think you look beautiful? or you feel belonging to a certain group? The thought they looked cool and probably thought, who´s the old lady (I was like 25) to ask us.....

Anyhow, men with women accessories are the worst, I will never get it and never like it.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger yingerman said...

HEY that orange lady was wrong, why second guess yourself.

I totaly agree with the belly button comment but I wonder why you dont mention the way-worse offenders like too tight jeans on men, or the not thick enough sweaters when it cold outside for women
Im familiar with the anatomy, thanx, i dont need any visual confirmation.
And I really dont wand my kids learning stuff they have plenty of time to find out!

At 5:01 AM, Blogger Mrs. Jude said...

two words...Stretch pants.
I like where you went with the article, and it is true... It is all too easy to make someone turn away feeling judged, and sometimes that can have really unfortunate consequences.

At 5:19 AM, Blogger Nemo said...

Also glad that I finished the article... I was going to hop on a defunct Concorde and come up to your place. I'm the interior designer police, the car in the driveway police and the look how dirty her kids are police.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

Good post.

Glad the chances of me coming under you radar are pretty slim.
I pay absolutely no attention to what I wear, as long as it's warm and cosy and Jewish I'm good.(Pragmatician,remember)

Just as you learned to discern the shades of grey, after much drumming from your (former?) colleagues I realized what you wear is more important than I thought it was.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

Hello Hello!!!
I'm back from NY
finished shopping - lol
great post to come back to...
(i think this might have been the funniest ever! LOL)

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

Bravo! There are lots of people out there who like to feel "up" all the time-- and to do so they look down their skinny noses and pick everyone else apart. Unfortunately we all do it once in a while (think Miss America pagent)and I do believe few of us really want to feel superior while we are doing it.

However,I also agree with you on another issue-- Just WHAT are some peopel thinking when they get dressed in the morning. Didn't their mothers teach them any sense?

At 7:29 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

you know whats interesting.. the comment you made about the pregnant lady. ive become so used to pregnant ladies wearing fitted clothing that now when i see women wearing tents to hide their tummies i think its weird.. and then i realize that they are doing what women have alwyays done..

it just goes to show you how fashion and waht's acceptable is based on what you're used to.

personally i dont get why pregnant ladies should wear tents and hide their belly buttons.. they look so much prettier when they arnet buried under miles of plaid!

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Amishav said...

the punks called they want their spikes back

the rappers called, they want their saggy pants back

the cholos called, they want their bandanas back...

it goes on and on.

Thanks for the laugh.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

So funny..
my pet peeve is guys..that are so into their image they almost look like a caricature of themselves...

At 2:13 AM, Blogger Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

If only the Puple/Orange lady would know what a lucky day she had. Not every day is the police kind enough to let you go without a ticket...

And don't be too hard on yourself. We can't help it. There are laughing opinions in our heads that go crazy when they see such sights! You can't always shush them...

At 3:19 AM, Blogger Bas~Melech said...

I'm also a fashion police. The ending was really sobering... Won't stop me from being critical of others' styles, but it's food for thought and a great place for a lesson.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Thanks!! You're always number by me!

Thank goodness you read until the end!

Let's hear it for Judy!!!

Training myself not to be judgmental was the hardest thing I've ever done!

You are so lucky!

The Dreamer:
Well spotted!

Jewish Smorg:

I see you didn't quite GET what I was saying...

Mrs Jude:
You got it!

You see? You must always read until the end!

That so pragmatic!!!

Welcome home!

I forgot about those pagents!

There is a probem with pregnant ladies showing everything- it's called tznius and 99.9% of the time they look disgusting from the back!

glad to see you went with the thread!


Yes, but those opinions don't make us into better people!

Thank you for 'chapping' the gist!

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Small offences like dressing for summer in the height of winter

That is the beauty of LA. We never have to worry about such things.

At 12:43 AM, Blogger Chana said...

HP called, they want their down arrow back

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