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September 17, 2013

Michelle Miles: The Slobs of America & Haute Obscure

I was watching a CBS Sunday Morning episode a few weeks ago and they had a spot about how America has turned into a bunch of slobs. I admit I was riveted to the piece because I couldn’t agree more. When did it become okay to wear pajamas and slippers to the grocery store? Or ripped up jeans?
And, along the same lines, there was a photo posted on Facebook of a woman wearing jeans that looked like they’d gone through a paper shredder. I think the comment was something along the lines of how silly she looked and how “fashion went wrong.” The woman also wore one of those tank tops with her bra straps hanging out.
This is a pet peeve of mine. I detest seeing women or girls running around in public with their bras and bra straps showing. This is not a peep show, ladies. It’s not sexy or cute. Please cover up.
And I dislike short-shorts, too. For the very obvious reasons that your butt cheeks hanging out is also NOT CUTE.
And PJs at the store? Come on.
There’s a college course at Notre Dame taught by professor of history and master dressmaker, Linda Przybyszewski, called “Nation of Slobs: The Art, Ethics and Economics of Dress in Modern America.”
The professor is quite passionate about teaching the proper form of dress and is very quietly trying to remove the slobs of America. I applaud her. I applaud that she makes every stitch of clothing she wears and that she uses vintage 1940s and 1950s patterns to do it.

I would totally take this class. I would love to see all her vintage patterns.

I’m not saying we should never leave the house without a hat and gloves. Remember when girls wore those? But maybe put in a little effort? One of the college girls on the show said she laughed when she saw a fellow student in the dining hall wearing PJs…and makeup. So the girl had time to put on makeup but NOT actual, real clothes?
I have another fashion pet peeve: flip-flops. I love mine as much as most people. But at the beach. Or watering the yard. Not in the office. I work in a fairly business casual (sometimes that’s stretching it) office and 90 percent of the women who work there wear flip-flops. Just cuz they have bling on them doesn’t make them appropriate. And the attire? Sometimes I want to ask these women if they were planning to go the disco after work. And clogs. Don’t get me started. They are NOT office appropriate.
Granted, I don’t dress up like I used to. I don’t wear skirts as much as I should. And I’ve all but abandoned the idea of 4-inch heels. My feet just can’t take it anymore.
My point is – can we go back to simple dressing? Something that isn’t PJs or holey clothes or bra straps hanging out? Wearing appropriate foot attire?
Can you tell it eats at me?
And while I’m on the subject of fashion…I was browsing Dictionary.Com’s app the other day and ran across “Haute Obscure: 8 Terms for Fashions Gone Extinct.” I laughed at some of the fashions but then found myself longing for a gown with a bustle. And a parasol. And gloves.

Let’s play a game. Let’s see if you can match the word with the definition. If you get anywhere from 6 out of 8 to 8 out of 8 right, I will give you a copy of any of my backlist in ebook. :)
Match the Word with the Definition
Example: 1 – A; 2 – B etc (these are NOT the answers, merely an example)
1. Pannier
2. Bustle
3. Merry Widow
4. Jabot
5. Houppelande
6. Wimple
7. Hennin
8. Hobble Skirt
A. Elaborately decorated hats
B. A garment covering the neck and chin worm by women throughout medieval Europe as a sign of modesty
C. A long skirt that emerged toward the end of the Edwardian era that was so narrow at the bottom, the wearer had to walk with short, mincing steps
D. A long robe or tunic with billowing sleeves and often trimmed or lined with fur
E. A decorative burst of lace or ruffles around the neck. Worn by pirates. ARRRRGH!
F. To achieve a dramatic hourglass figure of a corseted waist and fullness at hips, women began padding the banks of their skirts with THIS rather than the sides
G. An oval framework made of whalebone or cane worn under the skirt to achieve a mile-wide silhouette.
H. A pointy hat worn by European noblewomen in the Middle Ages
Michelle Miles writes contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance for Ellora's Cave and Samhain Publishing. She hates exposed bra straps and flip flops in the office environment. For more information about her books, visit her website.


chris keniston said...

wow - did you hit on one of my pet peeve subjects -

I'll skip the story of the girl in work out cothes going to lunch with former pres of the US (seriously) and my grandmother refusing to leave a burning house until propertly dressed and skip to a visit of mine to france where as an american I spent several days being blamed for the rude new (okay this wass a few good years ago) youthful and rude american trend spreading in Paris of wearing a baseball hat all the time.

Sorry France - and to all men and women in the US -Just for the record - there is no sun shining and no baseball lobbing through the air inside of Dennys.

for the quiz - the only thing I know about a wimple is in the sound of music they sang how underneath her wimple maria had curlers in her hair - still not sure what it is. lol

great post Michelle- I hope it goes viral!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Michelle! I agree. And I wear flip flops, but not for an a special occasion. That's called sandals. And houseshoes? Inside. No bra straps. No slits. No cheeks. No droopy pants.

I think Handsome in a suit is the sexiest thing ever.

Liz Lipperman said...

Loved this post, Michelle. I agree with everything you said, and I wanted to add a few more.

I hate seeing boys with their shorts hanging down to their knees and their underwear showing. (We all know about male underwear and skid marks!!!!)

And what's up with overweight women wearing t-shirts that don't cover their belies?? Come on.

Michelle Miles said...

I couldn't agree more, Liz!

Michelle Miles said...

Men in suits ARE sexy!

Phyllis said...

Yes, Yes, Yes! Michelle, you hit ALL my pet peeves, too!

You know, I didn't give thought to flip flops in the office, but yes...totally not appropriate.

Great post. Now where did I leave those gloves...

Michelle Miles said...

LOL Chris - I always loved that line too. A wimple is answer B. ;)

Linda Steinberg said...

When I was growing up, one of my neighbors wore a shirtwaist dress, hose and heels to go to the grocery store. Thank goodness we've gotten away from that! But I agree the pendulum has swung way too far. Like Liz, I hate seeing teenage butts from boys wearing Pants on the Ground. I do love my flip flops, however.

As for your quiz, like the others, I'm pretty sure a wimple is B. A Merry Widow is a corset, probably F, if so, G is a bustle. I think a jabot is the pirate thing, E. Never heard of a hobble skirt but common sense points to C.

Alisha said...

I HATE seeing the boys with their pants handing down, over their bums, showing ALL their underwear! It absolutely blows my mind! Either I'm really old and out of fashion or this is just the most disgusting thing ever! I have even told some boys to pull up their damn pants before! Yes, I did! Great post!!! :)

Karilyn Bentley said...

Great blog, Michelle!!! I feel the same way about boys' Pants on the Ground. What's worse is when an adult who should know better lets his rear and BVDs hang free. . Bra straps showing are another pet peeve of mine, but I've gotten used to it since everyone does it.

As far as the quiz, hmm, Wimple is B, 8C, 2F, 4E, 5D I give up! :)

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Hi Michelle!
This was fun! I thought I knew all my historical fashion words. But Houppelande stumped me. (I must bnow confess - I was so vexed at not knowing that I cheated and looked it up.

One note for readers attempting the matching challenge: beware... a merry widow has two definitions - you tricky girl.

This was so much fun I tweeted it. Excellent post Michelle.

Taylor Bara said...

All I ask you is to go here and make a review!