Sunday, April 30, 2006

When Black Pants Are Necessary

Hi Jeepers:

Neither Serge nor I can wear black pants. We both feel like they don't
match with anything. They are too black, and we feel cheesy and
self-conscious in them, like: Are those my legs? How do we get over it?
Should we bother?


Dear Austin:

Don't bother. Just keep one pair of black pants in the way-back of your closets for those very few times in life when they are really called for: Miming, cat burglaring, strictly black tie affairs, presenting at the Oscars, and set changing in black box theater. (Note that we did not mention funerals, where any dark color is good.)

Have you seen our Favorite Site of the Week, The Satorialist? What a wonderful idea: stop well-dressed New Yorkers (and visitors), snap their picture, and share the inspiring evidence online, daily. Not many black pants pictured, we've noticed.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Shoes for Shortie

Dear Jeepers,

Great site. Fantastic fashion advice. I am hoping you
can work your beautifying magic on me. Here's my

Although I love summer clothes and can always turn up
a great outfit, I always have a hard time finding good
shoes. Comfort is my biggest problem. Don't get me
wrong: I am not a high-heel foe. Far from it. In
winter, I will drudge about in stiletto boots even in
the snow. But comes summertime, my feet are unable to
sustain wearing pumps: every shoe seems to rub against
my skin and cause me great agony. I am relatively
short and thus can't pull off the flat look. I've got
to have some heightening! Any advice on what kind of
shoe I can buy this season that would look and feel



You can "pull off" anything, because you, my dear, are a pocket Venus! We want to scoop you up and slip you into our front pocket, whether or not you've augmented your height by a few inches in heels. (Is this the kind of sentiment your loathe?)

If you want to be taller, plus comfortable, this is your summer. Wedges, barely there sandal straps, espidrilles, and all manner of heels are available at every price. We've scouted out some good buys for you here, here, here, and here.

Not yet available in stores (because we just invented them, we think): Spring-loaded wedges, the Sole Shoe (an adhesive sole, with no shoe attached, so you appear barefoot while also being protected from hook worm.)

(Please consider painting your toenails a variety of colors this summer. Why do we do only one color at a time? Try blue, pink, racecar red, pale green, and lilac.)


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wear one of these dancing costumes to your next 4 o'clock ballet class, or just for fun.

Black Pants at Weddings?

Dear Jeepers:
If one had a nice pair of tropical-weight tailored wool trousers, how could one "soften" or feminize them, while at the same time dress them up for a special occasion?

I hope you answer very soon, as the special occasion is fast approaching.

"Needing Black Pants Solution"

Dear Black Pants:

We recoil involuntarily from the idea of black pants at a wedding. Maybe because of recent overuse (remember when everyone and her mother thought that black pants with a sexy top and heels equaled Appropriate for Absolutely Any Occasion?), we can't help but see black pants, and especially full-length black pants, as a cop out. And we can't think of anything worse than being underdressed at a wedding. (Well, okay, a few things.) As our mother has always said, "I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed, any day."

But if these are truly flattering and beautiful black pants, here are some ideas:

1) Mannish, all the way. The Victor/Victoria, Marlene Dietrich Solution. Pair the trousers with a severe and expensive, sharp-edged blouse and/or jacket. Carry a mother-of-pearl cigarette holder. You will appear more as a sort of supervisor of the wedding proceedings, rather than a full participant.

2) Supersexy, strange. Remember, it's a spring wedding. Pair the trousers with a fluttery, printed silk blouse and strappy sandals.

3) Understated elegance. Pair the trousers with a grey or otherwise muted, silk, puffy sleeved blouse.

4) Minor Royal. Pair with a First Lady jacket in cream, grey, or pale peach or blue. Wear a hat.

Otherwise, go buy a pretty dress.

(Anyhow, it doesn't really matter what you wear, as long as you are comfortable and not wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with obscenities. We can't wait to see you, and, along with the rest of the family, are thrilled you are traveling all this way to help celebrate the wedding of the century!)

Yrs with love,

Monday, April 24, 2006

What Your Skirt Says

Dear Jeepers:
What kind of skirts are in this spring?

-Mira Grossman

Dear Ms. Grossman:

All skirts! We can't think of a shape or length that would get you arrested, shunned, or beat up this year.

We like to think of the skirt as functioning much as frames do around a painting. Instead of framing art, the skirt defines the general booty area. Thinking about it this way, you see that a miniskirt is saying "See? See? It's right here!" while the giant hoop skirt is saying "With proper fortitude and luck, sir, you may be fortunate enough to find my lower body beneath this copious, yet coy, diversion. Dive in, adventurers and navigators. All others, keep your respectful distance. Also, if there's, like, a fire or a flood, I will come in handy somehow."*

The very long, narrow skirt: "I have interesting hobbies."

The A-line: "This is my day off. I'm a women's restroom."

The pencil: "Hey, Bucko, is that your bicycle?"

The miniskirt: "Huh? Oh, yeah." (Our favorite miniskirt this very second, here.)

The Bubble skirt: "Who cares? Now let's go!"

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Prettiest Dress Ever?

In the May issue of Vogue, we found the above Vivienne Westwood dress, photographed by Mario Testino. We've cartooned over Keira Knightley's face because 1) She starred in maybe the worst movie in the history of movies, 2) we wanted to see what a thinner, creepier version of Jeepers would look like in the dress, and 3) this is not a site for photographs.

Coming soon: Jeepers answers one reader's question about black pants, another's question about What 2 Wear in space, and a few shout-outs to doomed fashion experiments.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Your Shopping List

Dear Jeepers:

I won the Mega Millions lottery! More than $200 million! After taxes, I figure I'll have at least $40 thousand left over. Since I've always said, "If I win the lottery, I'm going to get all new clothes!" I came straight to you. What's in?

Rich, rich, rich in Ohio

Dear Ohio:

Unfortunately, you've found your fortune at the very moment when the New Spartanism has come into vogue. The best looks today embody the spirit of a Peace Corps volunteer taking her four-day vacation on a walking tour of Morocco. She's tan, slim, she packs light, she loves cotton, and she's beginning to hate the vulgar consumerism of her homeland and hoping to trade it in for a more ascetic aesthetic. Lucky for you, this look can be achieved by spending tons of dough. Basically, buy lots of tan, dove gray, black, and faded blue stuff.

No, we aren't really telling the whole truth. The best looks this very second are not confined to the Peace Corps pose: Also huge is a look that embodies the spirit of a wood sprite heiress visiting Venice in the 1890's: To her, there is no such thing as too blousy, too silky, too bejeweled, too silly, too fabulous. All we're saying is that it takes very thin legs to carry this off.

So, if you only buy 18 things today, make it these 18.

1) Gumball jewelry (fun, gorgeous, slightly African, makes you look edible)
2) White, slim (but not tight) trousers, with or without cuff
3) A little shirt dress in cotton
4) A comfortable your-skin-tone bra and panties
5) Blush and lipstick in a bright, delicious color
6) A trashcan to get rid of almost all the clothing in your closet
7) A madras or otherwise funky, colorful pencil skirt to wear with black t-shirt (A note: in searching for such a skirt, we encountered what might be the first-ever padded skirt! Because women demand to look look puffier down there.)
8) A t-shirt featuring a message of your own composition
9) A light colored, neutral bag with pockets
10) A black, cotton or silk, bubble skirt to wear with barely-there sandals
11) flat flats
12) A thick headband
13) A babydoll dress
14) A chow chow
15) flip flops
16) A spiralbound notebook for recording funny things you and friends say to each other
17) Wedge espidrilles
18) Real silk stockings (WWII is over!), sheer

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Can't We All Just Get Along?

It's camping time. Make sure you have what you need:
silk long underwear
zip-up fleece vests
cargo pants
a bear plan
roll-your-own cigarettes
a thermos
many ziplock bags

We found this email, from Aunt Toddy, in our inbox: "I need advice on what to wear to Kate's wedding. Length of dress,
measure of formality (dressiness)....things like that.
"Sunday-go-to-meetin'? Cocktail-ish or tea length?
Garden-party-esque? Long and formal (doubtful)? Hat/no hat? Etc.
Etc. I suppose I should have posed this question on What to Wear This
Very Minute, but I'm not sure my question would have been treated with
the required seriousness and aplomb that is required..... However, I
would have been treated to some fun art, that is for sure.

What are YOU guys wearing?"

Well we never! The required seriousness! The aplomb! Our sister Kate is getting married on May 6 and we certainly take it very seriously and will be internally assessing the appropriateness of all guests' attire. This (above) is what our Aunt Toddy should wear. Note that we've even provided a variety of options: a tea-length strapless number is fuscia silk, a gorgeous puffy-sleeved blouse (must be extravagant to make up for trousers) over light wool, specked trousers, or an Auntie Mame suit with fabulous hat. Feel free vote for your favorite in the comments section. God, we are such girls today. Antidote link: here.


Grass Actually Greener

Dear Jeepers:

I'm a city girl about to visit my sister in the country. What should I wear? I don't even own a single pair of overalls.

City Slicker

Dear City:

Wear wrap dresses, low wedge heels, and jewelry like gumballs. Keep saying, "Your life out here is so cute! All this fresh air!"


Friday, April 14, 2006

A Crying Shame

Dear Jeepers:

I recently got a lot of plastic surgery: cheekbone implants, breast reduction, eye lift, fishtail-to-leg reconstruction, plus a curly perm and dermabrasion. But now I'm regretting my choices! I want my old tail back! Before the surgery, I could cover vast distances in a few short hours, plunge to the ocean floor, leap from the water to the sky like a dolphin, coax men to their watery graves, etc. Now I'm stuck on this rock and the sailors don't give me the time of day. What can I do?

Neither Fish nor Fowl near Fiji

My poor dear erstwhile mermaid,

Presumably the lack of underwater television kept you ignorant of the Jennifer Grey plastic surgery fiasco. Had you seen what her nose job did to her career, you might have thought better of plastic surgery in the first place. At least your hair looks cute. (We really support the resurrection of curly perms.)

Here's what you should do, sweetheart: Get some high-quality foot fins and ditch the jeans. Get off your rock and get back into the water.


"But I Am Not on Fire, Sir."

Co-winner of the Fashion Based Constitutional Law Analogy Contest "Walt" suggested that wire tapping American citizens without any judicial review is like strip searching women suspected of wearing knock-offs and SOMETIMES, with no warning, stripping women who are NOT suspected of wearing knock-offs, saying in your own defense: "But the woman's clothes were on fire, we believe." Phew.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gwyneth's New Baby

Did you hear? The beautiful and lucky Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth today to her second child, a son. The couple's first child is a girl named Apple. The new baby? A boy, Moses. Here are some of the names on our short list, for our own future lovely munchkins:

Hartley Poe
Stationery Bike

Coif Watch

Dear Jeepers:

You've mentioned recently that short, messy boy-cuts are on their way back. Really? I'm trying to decide what to do next with my hair, but should I follow advice given out on a suspiciously tongue-in-cheek website? I mean, you could just be joking, for all I know.

Tell me where you really stand. And do you have any evidence to back up your claims?

Undecided in Iowa

Dear Undecided,

We have just endured (or enjoyed) an unprecedented stretch of No Hair Style Whatsoever: May 2000 - April 2006. All attention has been on boobs, lipgloss, gorgeous clothes, and shoes, shoes, shoes, with no collective brainwaves left over for hair.

But our long, national nightmare is over. By this summer, a few brave souls (maybe you?) will finally lead the way toward more structured hair. And what better antidote to long floppy nothing than super-short, crazy, bad girl cuts? Practically shaved in the back, with long messy bangs, that's the way forward, comrades. This will be followed by all sorts of other haircuts that are full-on, unabashedly about shape--like superstraight bangs, bowl cuts, and yes, mullets for the bourgeoisie. So fun!

(The punk cuts will swing the pendulum back to more ladylike Marilyn Monroe looks by next summer.)

Yrs utterly sincerely and with our hair in a bun,

Thursday, April 06, 2006

You've Quacked

As promised...the same dress, in color.

But where are the contest winners' drawings????? They're coming!

Black is the New Color

Dear Jeepers:

Why are ALL the couture lines completely colorless this year? Even Old Navy is now advertising a new line of colorless, beige clothes. Personally, I look best in bright colors like true red and royal purple. What should I do?

Not drab in Detroit

Dear Detroit,

Fashion is our own damn fault. When jackets get all military, it usually means (the fashion anthropologists say) that we civilians feel guilty for not helping out on the front lines. Headbands denote a kiss-ass relationship to government ("See, my forehead's clean and my eyes are in plain sight!") And t-shirts with words on them are a cry for some human contact for the love of god.

Maybe the gray and black you mention means that we're collectively depressed. No, that's not it. What it means is that we don't want to be caught red-handed TRYING TOO HARD. Since the silhouettes this season are a bit preposterous (bubble skirts, miniskirts, tunics, frayed edges, military boyish meets horsey slut first skipper),the colors had to be subdued, otherwise people would be walking around looking like Pippi Longstockings (of the New England Longstockings). This is Jeepers' theory, anyhow.

If you insist on bright colors, keep your lines simple (to stay current), otherwise, wear whatever you want, darling. (Duh.)

Here's a dress we doodled recently, in all grey. Later, we'll recolor it brightly, just for you, Not Drab. You decide which version you'd rather wear to a firing range.