Spandex is a privilege, not a right

It never ceases to amaze me how not only San Franciscans but Americans on the whole are on the butt end of the fashion curve.  According to logic, you would think a country which has a great amount of personal wealth and is obsessed with acquiring the biggest, best and latest material goods would be on the cutting edge of fashion.

Through the centuries, people looked to France and Italy as being fashion forward examples of “what we want to wear”.  They could lose wars, they could slaughter heretics but we still forgive them because they look good doing it.  Of course, we don’t forgive the Nazis but they DID win the “Best Dressed in a World War” prize.  You hate to admit it but those uniforms were sharp.  Ahh yes, Hugo Boss still rocks it.  Granted, we had the Ike jackets which were pretty cool but they were the runner-up in the WWII fashion extravaganza.

Nowadays, I want to hope that the good U S of A would step forward on the global stage with something stylish, tasteful and perhaps “green”.  We could be fashion forward in our own way.  We could start by re-establishing hemp production for cloth.  We could be a leader but instead we look to the world like lazy bums that just rolled out of bed, put on clothes we have worn for 4 days in a row and went to work.  We use to wear hats, smart suits and shined shoes.  Now we wear pants around our knees, dirty knickers and underwear as outerwear.

We’ve talked about pajama jeans and leg warmers attached to flip-flops but I think the most nightmarish thing of all is incorrectly used Spandex.  Now Spandex is great for athletes and for exercise (to a point) and for costume capers.  Here is a good example of Spandex used responsibly:

OK, it is a little freaky but I can see this in a stage show or a night at one of our many fun SoMa clubs.  But things go horribly awry more than they go right.  First is the Cotton Spandex issue.  Cotton Spandex is more casual, less “gym”.  It isn’t shiny BUT it can get pretty thin when pushed past its legal limit.

The transparent butt look is never good even when you don’t have a huge ass.  It is tacky and just plain cheap.  I really don’t want to see your ass and why are you showing it for free anyway? Now if you want to talk Spandex nightmares there are always the banana hammocks favored by hairy European men on vacation in Brazil but since we’re not in Brazil, there are still manly examples of what not to do:

I know, it’s early, you haven’t had the 10 cups of coffee you need to process this but I could have put the female superhero picture up and trust me, this isn’t Halle Berry as Catwoman so be thankful.

Can we please just make a pact to eschew Spandex in public unless you are swimming in the Olympics, are a Romanian gymnast or are in the privacy of your own home?  We would all appreciate it.  If you want to rock your own style, how about developing some first?

Posted on April 20, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I read recently that the TV show Mad Men has led to a rebirth of the slick Dean-O@theSands 3-Martini suits/shoes/hats look. We can only hope. (Dons fedora, adjusts his cufflinks and walks away)

  2. Yet there are many of us who wear stretch-jeans for comfort. The spandex (5-10%) in heavy cotton is not transparent, but allows more give to the fabric for the comfort of the genetically imperfect. Your example is a pair of tights. I would hate to see the thin tights worn in public without something like a dress over them, and indeed, the woman in the photo is holding her skirt up to show the tights. I cannot believe that this woman parades around with those tights showing. I am not advocating skin-tight stretch jeans—far from it! But I am saying that a small percentage of spandex makes for comfort. A large percentage of spandex, and the tastelessness to wear it skin-tight, make for the eyesores.

  3. I wear leggings, I miss the 80’s when leggings were in many colours and wild patterns and my 120 lbs butt…. but now when I wears The Spandex, it is covered with a kurta (tunic).

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