Extra Special Trends for Summer.

I walked into Nordstrom Rack on Wednesday, realizing as I walked that I was literally a walking Rack.

I was currently wearing the following that had been bought at Nordstrom Rack or HauteLook:
– Shirt
– Shoes
– Sports Bra
– Pants
– Sunglasses
– Purse

Literally the only things I had on or with me that I hadn’t bought from Rack/HauteLook were:
– Underwear
– Socks
– My children

But though I go to them for nearly my entire wardrobe, it’s the things I don’t purchase that give me the most joy.

Like, for instance, did you know that you can buy partial legs with your pumps now?

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It’s as if they wanted to repurpose the Wicked Witch of the East’s shoes and what was left of her body after that house dropped on her.

Although personally, I’d be much more likely to wear the original.

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It’s just less grotesque to wear someone else’s legs when they’re covered in black and white stripes, don’t you agree?

If you’re not ready to wear someone else’s calves, though, how about stitching tiny pairs of underwear all over your jeans?

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They’re almost as if the witch who met Hansel and Gretel liked to add patches to her clothes to commemorate all the gingham-clad children she’d stuffed into her oven.

I mean just think – originally, those jeans looked like this.

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Clearly, baking children improves denim choices.

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But you know what else improves denim? Three words: Ruffles, Suspenders, and Grommets. Oh and a tube top.

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If you’ve always wondered why the Red Cross was repeatedly asking you to come in and donate platelets, it’s because they had a quota from the fashion world.

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“Feel like the life’s been drained out of you? For just $110, wear other people’s life blood – guaranteed to perk you up and make you feel like you’d just been at the receiving end of a giraffe birthing process.”

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(As an aside, I refused to follow the whole April the Giraffe drama, but wouldn’t that social media hussy know just when to start giving birth so that the whole world was playing on their phones while their kids watched Saturday morning cartoons. I had no idea so much afterbirth could come out of one being. And that placenta could’ve fed a hippy army for a year.)

If you were to find yourself at the receiving end of a giraffe placenta, may I suggest a garbage bag jumpsuit.

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You can just slip out of the jumpsuit, tie that baby up in it, and voila – immediate HAZMAT situation contained.

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Do you have some denim cloth napkins left over from 1984? Have you considered stitching them onto your favorite black sweater? If not, why not?

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I have trouble keeping Kleenex around – especially in the car. They seem to disappear constantly, and I’m left having just sneezed all over my steering wheel and nothing to sop up the mess.

But fashion has come to save the day.

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Now, with built in BOOB TISSUES!! They can reach your nose, reach your steering wheel, reach your kid’s grubby cheeks in the backseat, and cover up those embarrassing breastfeeding mom leaks.

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My Great-Grandmother always kept three Kleenexes in her bra for emergencies (tucked in next to that $5 bill) – she would have TOTALLY understood this dress.

But if your problem is that your boobs have been naughty and you need to put them in time out, this dress is here for you. Guaranteed to not allow your boobs – or your arms – to move an inch.

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Hey Mom – can you reach the cereal on the top shelf?
No, no I actually cannot.

And finally. If your teenage son is a little bit goth and a little bit country and just CANNOT hurry up and decide what to wear to school tomorrow, I have found his token look. His black lipstick and rebel flag trucker hat will BOTH work perfectly with it.

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And now, you’re prepared for summer.

The Resurrection of Long Butt: Finding a Better Swimsuit.

When a fashion trend troubles me, I find myself studying it intensely, attempting to mentally work out a solution. How could we keep this look but ditch everything that makes it absolutely horrendous? These questions plague my mind in dark, subconscious corners until I concoct a solution. That’s how, in 2009, I found myself publishing the first of many posts about the terrible plague of Long Butt caused by the wrong blue jeans.

And, in many ways, those problems have been solved. (And in many ways the fashion industry is trying to convince us that Long Butt is back in style. But it’s not, y’all. IT IS NOT.)

However, there’s a new long butt in town. And it is seducing both moms and non-moms, convincing them that it can solve all their problems.

But they lie. To solve one problem, they create two more problems in their wake. Do not believe the lies.

Let me introduce you to the Dastardly New Long Butt, and then give my proposed solution to fixing it.

It is…The High Waisted Swimsuit Bottom.

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Oh sure.

It’s vintage.

It’s mod.

And most importantly, it tempts viciously with the promise to conceal our post-baby-having pooch (or our pre-baby-having pooch – I’ve had both.) Furthermore, those of us who suffered through all of our abdominal muscles and tendons being shoved and severed for our c-sections especially appreciate the value in having a pooch smoosher.

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However.

I just got back from several days at the beach and have seen many of these suits in person, and here’s what I’ve observed.

1. Even in front view, the bottom half of the woman in question always looks awkwardly larger than the top half, even when it is clear that the woman’s bottom half isn’t actually larger. The funhouse mirror optical illusion graciously provided by the super length (when a wearer hasn’t been airbrushed) is not delightful.

2. The butt. Oh, the butt. The problem is, you cannot fully tell in an unmoving picture what horrors the rear of this swimsuit does to ones backside. It’s when the backside is in motion that you can assess with wide-eyes, watching as the three-foot-long butt waggles back and forth. And, since it’s generally considered rude or at least a little weird to stare at another woman’s backside for a prolonged period of time, I’ve done all the staring for you. And no matter what the woman’s body shape, the butt is never flattered by the high waisted bottom. It’s not the lady’s booty’s fault – it’s the swimsuit.

In fact, most of the time you can’t even find an honest enough swimsuit company to show you the full view of their high waisted backsides – because even on the size zero model, that booty lengthens into a full-on Grandma-Butt. Even from this side view, though, you can see that they’ve taken her butt (which I’m sure is lovely) and stretched it long then pancaked it flat like they were rolling a pizza dough out of a full can of polka-dotted play-dough.

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Here’s one that showed the entire backside tragedy, only multiplied by the ever widening polka-dots:

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And here’s another that was even a bit more honest to the actual shape of an actual woman:IMG_7185 2This delightful lady’s butt deserves so much better, y’all.

Also, don’t fall for the high-waisted front gimmicks.

More Coverage! More distractions from your belly!

You know what this artsy little tie-waist becomes on a normal human? A pooch hammock.

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You know what this trendy vintage buttoned look becomes when it’s not on a perfect model? Mickey Mouse pants. And I know you do not want every toddler at the pool running up to you for autographs.

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And the ruched look, in real life, is a pooch beach ball. Play with the beach ball, don’t become it.

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So. What, you ask, is the solution to this obvious fashion conundrum? Can we have our high waists without the long butt and maximization optics?

Yes, I believe you can.

Note: I’m not willing to try these on myself and show you the comparisons on the same body as I did in my denim posts – blue jeans and bathing suit bottoms are two VERY different animals. So you’re just going to have to trust my intense staring at the women I’ve seen and my dedicated study of the products on the internet. (Unless one of you wants to volunteer your assets for the sake of this post – I’ll gladly photograph you in all the bathing suit bottoms. No? Okay then. Let’s continue.)

Here’s the solution: a wide waistband.

A big butt may be in style right now, but a long butt is not. Nor is a long butt a naturally occurring feature – it’s only a lie of clothing that creates the catastrophe of long buttedness. So give yourself a waist instead. Wide waistbands in all areas of clothing have long been known to minimize width, provide support, and give a defined separation of butt and waist, thereby eliminating the eternibutt that high waists can cause. There aren’t many high-waist-wide-waistband swimsuit bottoms on the market yet, but my prediction and hope is that this is where the trend will head – because it’s the perfect solution.

Here’s a great example. Even though the waistband is subtle in the back, look how flattering both the front and back are when there is clear separation of waist. Study her butt and see how it doesn’t elongate it at all – it just cinches her waistline and offers an hourglass figure.

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Note: white has to be the most dangerous swimsuit color for a myriad of reasons and I am not recommending the color, but there are other colors available – they just don’t show back views.

Let’s look at a couple side-by-sides and admire the ability of the wide waistband to limit the amount of butt perceived.

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Here’s another great example. It is admittedly cheekier than I’m willing to be, but the extra-extra wide waistband is such a nice look. Notice how it cinches and provides that visual separation that is so vital to the proper length of our backsides.

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How wide is wide enough?

This next one is not wide enough. A narrow waistband makes everything worse, giving the impression that your swimsuit is desperately trying to cinch your butt into a velvet satchel but can’t quite get it closed.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.52.20 PMYou’ve got to go as wide as possible to get the benefit. Wider than yoga pants. Wider than palazzo pants. Wider than the English Channel.

If you have to sacrifice one or the other, I’d recommend trying a slightly lower waisted bottom that still has a wide waistband rather than a narrower waistband on a longer waist. Most of us have the pooch low enough that these would cover it, and it still gives a flattering look without any cinching or long butt hangover:

Option 1:

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Option 2 – the printed waistband offers an even more defined and lovely butt cutoff.

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…But don’t get craaaaaazy with your separation – this is not the bottom we’re looking for, ladies.

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So. Treat your butt nicely this summer. And gift it with a waist.


FAQs:

How about a swim skirt? I personally love a good swim skirt, and I do not think that they elongate the butt, if you find the right one. Of all the shapes of swim skirts I’ve tried, I prefer the fitted side scrunch cut. I recently purchased this one and love it:

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What about fitted swim shorts? These usually tend to cut off on the widest part of the hips, giving an unattractive hip line unless you are blessed with slender hips. Not recommended.

What if I pair my high waisted bottom with a tankini top? Will my butt still look endlessly long? No – as long as the bottom of your tankini comes to the top of your butt, it will work as a surrogate line of separation. If you’re going tankini, Land’s End has the most flattering ones out there, in my experience.


I receive no compensation or affiliate credits for any of the links provided in this post. All research is done out of my desire to advance the cause of flattering the already beautiful female form.

The Romper’s Creepy Uncle Has Arrived.

I tend to be a late adopter of new fashion trends. I like to justify that this is with good reason – as trends take hold, they get tweaked and redesigned, and if said trend withstands the test of time, the end result is much more flattering than where it started. Skinny Jeans are a perfect example of this. When they came out, their shape turned everyone into an upside-down triangle drawn by a three-year-old (three-year-olds draw their upside-down-triangles with wiggles and lumps everywhere.) But as their roots in fashion took hold, the fabrics, colors, and cuts became much more of a delight to the typical woman’s body.

I haven’t gotten here with rompers yet, but I will admit that I’m close. I have finally started seeing rompers that give shape and don’t just look like a kindergartener’s favorite outfit and/or a 1985 floral bedsheet with a fitted corner at the waist. Rompers used to make everyone look five sizes too big, but now they’re starting to nearly show kindness to the female form.

That was, until rompers went to a frat party, got totally high, and had THE BEST IDEA EVER, DUDE.

I hereby introduce, the RompHim.

Just launched as a Kickstarter two days ago, the RompHim is, you guessed it, a romper for the fashion forward man.

RompHim PictureSomebody please tell Models #2 and #5 that 100% cotton rips scary easy.

That’s right, ladies: for the tiny price of $95, your husband can look like he just woke up, bleary-eyed, to see Peter Pan at his window.

RompHim Peter PanJohn and Michael Darling! Come down from that windowsill at once!!

Except that it’s not for off-broadway reproductions of British classics. It’s for hip Millennials drinking craft beer and wearing multiple all-access bracelets (or psych ward ID bracelets – can’t read the writing from here.)

RompHim 6Do you think Chip and Alex gave their real names? If you rearrange the letters it spells HELP BEING BLACKMAILED AND/OR WILL BE BLACKMAILED IN THE FUTURE

So let’s discuss the details. What is a RompHim, really? And more importantly, WHY??

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FLATTERING CONTOURS, Y’ALL. As flattering as crochet shorts.

The RompHim is ideal for framing your assets while playing pool, bunching open awkwardly while hanging out at the fence with a neighbor, looking AHH-MAZING in your next street mural selfie, and most definitely for being a nice, thick, barrier from awkwardness the next time you find yourself sitting on the shoulders of another man.

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So if these are situations you find yourself in daily, then by all means buy yourself a RompHim. Or three.

But wait!! For just a measly $190, you can have the limited edition, perfectly wrinkled Southern Staple RompHim and show your patriotism while you romp.

RompHim 7(Secret Edition Confederate Flag RompHim available upon request. Most Likely.)

So, my girls: next time you know your guy is headed to a football game, or a hunting trip, or a multi-day hiking trip, make sure he’s properly outfitted in a RompHim. And maybe with that fiiiiiiine fur jacket on the Mister Model #6.

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And no worries that the RompHim won’t get produced en masse – it tripled its 30 day fundraising goal in less than 2 days.

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So gird your loins and prepare your hearts: you just might be exposed to an in-real-life RompHim this summer.