More on academic fashion, updated Sunday, Sept. 26
Last night I was watching What Not To Wear (the American version, not the British version) as I was falling asleep. What the two brigthly-smiling, heavily unpleasant, bitchy fashion advisors do is publically humiliate a woman when introducing themselves, send her to their NY studio, make her bring all her clothes to the studio so they can throw away all the clothes while making (yet more!) humiliating snide comments. The 2 advisors then give her a debit card with $5,000 so she can shop in Manhattan for a wardobe of elegant flattering clothes.
Last night’s victim was a woman that just finished her PhD in psychology who would be working as a psychology professor (isn’t she a little young for that, I wonder?) in Canada. They sent her out to shop in nice SoHo boutiques where the average price of a pair of slacks is $300. They insisted she wear high heels to work. They told her she shouldn’t wear bulky sweaters. They admired her long legs and told her she should wear short skirts.
Seems to me the advisors have been inhaling the heady fumes of the fashionista for too long.
One thing they forgot: it gets cold in Canada. That’s one basic, unescapable fact: Cold. Cold like you can’t imagine if you haven’t been there. Cold enough that placing your bare warm hand on a cold piece of metal will remove the top layer of skin. It stays cold, too. Then it gets really hot for two weeks before it gets back to cold again.
At $300 a pop per garment, no way you can have an entire wardobe with only $5,000 if you live in a cold climate. You spend about that much in warm underwear alone. The bulky sweaters are only the top layer of what is an onion-like array of warm clothing. Long johns, flannel-lined trousers, socks with sock liners are the everyday “musts” of Canadian winter fashion. I lived in upstate NY for 3 years and can attest to the fact that a short skirt in winter is Not A Good Idea. Anyone in Canada vain enough to insist on wearing thin figure-flattering silk blouses and short skirts in winter gets a Darwinian award and either perishes or leaves for warmer climates. Even the geese have left Canada and are roosting in NJ. The Canadians think the geese are an endangered species because there are no geese left in Canada — there are no geese left in Canada because the geese realized it gets warmer in NJ so they settled here. But I digress.
The high-heeled boots won’t do too well in walkways covered with ice and snow. I have yet to see any professors wear high heels in class, either, but the world is full of possibilities.
I can’t tell you the results of the fashion advice (or wether they followed-up with her after one long Canadian winter) since I fell asleep before the end of the makeover. Then this morning I woke up and came across this makeover nightmare. One wonders if the What Not To Wear couple had a hand in that. Hopefully they had nothing to do with Cybill Shepherd’s coiffure.
Update: Kathleen likes the British What Not To Wear.
A friend saw the Cybill photos and sent some hangover cures.