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Archive for the tag “bad fashion”

Today’s fail: Urban Outfitters Celebrates the Holocaust.

Urban outfitters Holocaust tapestry

While political correctness often goes overboard, there are still a handful of issues that are universally accepted and understood to be topics of great sensitivity that should be handled with a certain level of respect.  Genocide is generally one of those topics.

Once again Urban Outfitters missed the class on sensible decision making and released a tapestry with a grey and white striped pattern and a upside down pink triangle.  A fabric that looks strikingly similar to the uniforms worn by concentration camp prisoners with a badge that is clearly stylized on one that homosexual male prisoners were forced to wear to identify themselves.

While the gay community has reclaimed the upside triangle as a sign of pride the use of it in this context with striped pattern is clearly reminiscent of the atrocities of the Holocaust.  It doesn’t take a historian, gay activist or former concentration camp survivor to look at this item and instantly see this obvious imagery it is meant to provoke.  Any average person with any knowledge of what has happened in our past would be instantly struck by how familiar and inappropriate this print is.  How this product made it through Urban Outfitters development process and into the retail chain is a mystery.  It is in-explainable how in their entire operation no one noticed or mentioned the similarity of this item to concentration camp uniforms.

This isn’t Urban Outfitters first accidental step in the wrong direction.  Last fall they printed a sweatshirt with a blood splattered pattern in homage to the tragic shooting that occurred at Kent State.  Before that there is  a lengthy list of other groups that have been targeted with offensive imagery.  This seems to be Urban Outfitters way of staying in the press and developing brand awareness.  Yes controversy does get your name out there but there is a significant difference between controversy and being just plain offensive.

It doesn’t take more a small dose of common sense to know that invoking imagery of the Holocaust to either promote sales or promote controversy to improve sales is one of those instances where the uncrossable line has been crossed.   Yes comedians often poke fun at and use humor in discussing some of our societies darkest moments and actions but those are professionals in a very specific environment using humor as a means of social commentary and they have learned that even they need to tread carefully when touching upon such sensitive topics.  Most fail miserably and pay the price for it.  In the fashion industry there is no place for this level of insensitivity.

Maybe its time that Urban Outfitters customers sent a clear message to the company about what they deem acceptable.  Perhaps if every loyal Urban Outfitters customer boycotted the store for just one quarter, the drop in sales would convince their leadership that a different approach in necessary.  We’re not saying that you should never shop there again.  If its your style and fit and you love their other products then great, continue to be a customer but use your voice to tell them when they are on the wrong path and need to change.

To read another take on the topic check out Lauren Tuck’s article at Yahoo Style:



Men’s bottoms never looked so warm and snugly. If only your pants were made from Afghan blankets.


Lord von Schmitt

Lord von Schmitt

It’s hard to find words to describe this discovery.  Fortunately a picture says a thousand words and these pictures are doozies.

Lord von Schmitt

Lord von Schmitt

From boredpanda:

Crochet’s not just for scarves and sweaters anymore. Schuyler Ellers, who runs the Lord von Schmitt Etsy shop, creates dazzlingly colorful patterned crochet shorts out of recycled materials that are sure to please both the wearer and their stunned beholders (man or woman).

Ellers embraces every style out there, from form-fitting booty shorts to extravagant bell-bottom pants. Most of these fabulous pieces are made of recycled vintage crochet afghans; according to Ellers’ shop, “Afghan blankets are original pieces of folk art, hand made by artisans across America since the 1960’s and well before. With scissors and a sewing machine I transform vintage crochets into wearable sculpture!”

Read the entire post and see additional looks at:

Lord von Schmitt

Lord von Schmitt

Lord von Schmitt

Lord von Schmitt

More Bad Fashion from London

Agi & Sam

Agi & Sam

The horror never stops.  Part two of the best and worst looks from London thanks to

For the full slide show

Craig Green

Craig Green

Katie Eery

Katie Eery

Richard James

Richard James

Nasir Mazhar

Nasir Mazhar




The worst looks from London Fashion week

Sibling at London Fashion Week

Sibling at London Fashion Week

Get ready to laugh.   Fashion week in London hit and thanks to the team over at we’ve got a slideshow of epic proportions.  They include a few of their favorite looks as well, which I don’t necessarily agree with, but they’ve got worst part down.  Take a look and enjoy.

See the entire show at


Topman at London Fashion Week

Topman at London Fashion Week

Astrid Andersen London Fashion Week

Astrid Andersen London Fashion Week

KTZ at London Fashion Week

KTZ at London Fashion Week

KTZ  at London Fashion Week  January 2015

KTZ at London Fashion Week January 2015



Men’s pants are getting to tight and short.

The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan gives up a well summed up look at the state of the ever shrinking men’s pant.  We agree fully with her, slimmer cuts are a good thing but taken to far is just well, to far.  Unless you are wearing shorts we don’t want to see your ankles when you are standing up and we certainly don’t want to be able to tell if you are circumcised through your pants.  If you are short it’s even more important to make sure you have the right cut.  If you pants are to short and start showing off to much ankle it will only make you look shorter.  And while to baggy of a cut will be unflattering, there is huge difference between slim and tight.

This is the era of ever-shrinking men’s trousers — they are tailored and shorter, tighter and shrunken, too tight and too short. And even occasionally veering into: Pitbull, exactly how are you breathing in those high-­waisted white pants?

The look of menswear changes at a snail’s pace, and sometimes it takes years before a not-at-all outlandish idea trickles from the runways, which are now hosting the spring 2015 collections, to the mass market. But when a fashion idea finally reaches the vast middle ground, it tends to stay a while, putting down roots in the menswear landscape.

Thus we are deep in fashion’s equivalent of an old-growth forest — surrounded by men in aggressively tailored pants.

The ubiquity of this trend, even in offices far away from the expected crucibles of creativity, had an executive at a Maryland real estate development firm recently marveling, with some chagrin, that the men in her office were given to wearing particularly close-fitting trousers, which she described as “tight.” While that is a judgment call, it’s true that the cut of men’s pants — the more fashionable cut, that is — has gotten snugger, much snugger than what it was back when Giorgio Armani’s loose Italian tailoring defined power and President Bill Clinton was wearing roomy Donna Karan suits.

To read the rest of the article follow the following link:

Bad Fashion: Bottle Rock 2014 edition

A little to coordianted

A little to coordinated

The summer festival season is upon us.  That means warm summer days, cold beer and a few outfits worth raising an eyebrow over.  This summer the Shortees team hit Bottle Rock in Napa California and we weren’t disappointed, in the music or the fashion.  While we weren’t able to capture every outrageous look, here are a few items that caught our attention.

Our opening look is quite the stunner.  We are always captivated but never impressed by the onsie look or those who take matching to an extreme.  Yes your friends can find you in a crowd but do they really want to?

A little to much national pride

A little to much national pride




Ok we get it.  You love the USA.  Maybe you should love it a bit more and not sit on it Malph.  And if you get that reference perhaps you to have a neon tank top in the bottom of your dresser drawer. (Yes Weezer did play and while it took 45 minutes for us to realize they weren’t animatrons, they sounded great)




These next two gentleman were kind enough to spend a set or two reminding us why there is a certain population of men that would rather not associate with.  I’m sure they spend their days comparing card stock and perfecting their Christian Bale American Psycho impersonations.  We all felt sorry for the girls in their group.

Bottle Rock 2014 American Psycho 1

Bottle Rock 2014 American Psycho 2









There is so much wrong with their shorts.  One highlighting a pair of Izod pants that look they were stolen from his grandfathers closet and the other still clinging to the notion that they can make tight jean shorts cool again.  Both failing miserably.  As for the fanny packs.  It doesn’t matter how ironically, throwback cool you think they are, just throw them away.

We wouldn’t forget the ladies.  While events such as this are an opportunity to pull out your wildest costumes, and we often appreciate it, sometimes it would just be better to pull it back a bit.

Bottle Rock 2014 bad girls fashion

The latest in apparel materials.

            First came polyester.  Then Lycra.  Then Gore-Tex.  Now there are new fibers and materials finally making their way into clothing thanks to a renewed interest in material technology by both major brands and small start-ups.

PALO ALTO, United States — When Patagonia was in search of an eco-conscious alternative to neoprene, it considered wool. But then the outdoor apparel company came across Yulex, an Arizona-based supplier of latex-free rubber. Though the start-up was primarily focused on the commodities market, it had the tools to develop wetsuits that rivalled the performance, insulation capacity, stretch and durability of those made with traditional neoprene, but were better for the environment. Over a four-year period, Patagonia shouldered the costs of product development and guided Yulex on the needs of its consumers. By the end of 2013, the unlikely pair launched a plant-based wetsuit, using a desert shrub native to North America, on Patagonia’s website and in a limited number of surf shops. Shortly thereafter, the license was opened to the rest of the market.

Read the rest of the article at

Bad Fashion: Santa Cruz

santa cruz bad fashion 1 croped

Following the rules of fashion is a tricky thing.  Sometimes they need to be observed.  Sometimes they should be broken.  The trick and art is knowing when to break them.  In this case today’s fashion victim broke one of the most sacred rules that rarely if ever should be broken.  Mixing strong patterns is a dangerous game and not one to be fooled with by amateurs.  This young man is forgiven because no one has ever taught him that green horizontal stripes and plaid shorts are a combination that no one should ever attempt.

santa cruz bad fashion 2 croped


Now as for the taller gentleman, he doesn’t get a pass for those cuffed jeans shorts.  I hadn’t realized this abomination was attempting a return and I pray that this is a rare and non-repeated sighting.


Flocking, differentiation and generic fashion. Uniqlo’s CMO Jörgen Andersson gets it.

Inside Uniqlo - SOHO NYC

Inside Uniqlo – SOHO NYC

An interview with new Uniqlo CMO Jörgen Andersson in today’s Business of Fashion begins with a reference to a legal paper, “The Law, Culture and Economics of Fashion”.  In that paper, authors Scott Hemphill and Jeannie Suk address the concept in the world of fashion of differentiation and flocking.  Individuals want to express their individuality.  They want to present a style that is unique to themselves, a personal brand.  At the same time they want to belong to a group.  Be identified as a certain type of person and fit in with others that they want to be associated with.

Why flock?  We have an innate desire to fit in.  To be part of the group.  To be accepted.  For some it is a social status issue.  Certainly high-end brands communicate wealth and exclusivity.  Street brands communicate coolness and rebellion against any perceived existing establishment.  Athletic brands exude lifestyle choices.  There are countless boxes which can be used to describe the general groups, movements and communities which people want to flock to.  For some just being an accepted part of the group is the end goal.  Others wish to disappear within the group.  For many, within the context of a particular style and sub-culture there is a desire to still express an element of individuality.  Working from a foundation of a general style, individuals can then express their own uniqueness via a personal style that allows them to be part of a trend but not an exact replica of everyone else within the trend.

Billions of dollars are spent every year promoting these concepts of flocking and differentiation.  We call it branding and trend building.  Thousands of students take marketing classes on how to brand and hundreds of agencies promote themselves as experts in how to achieve this.  We hold up billion dollar brands from Nike to Lululemon to J.Crew to Gucci and more as examples of both how we want to be perceived as well as how a brand should impact society and consumers.

When I entered the apparel industry as a total neophyte I was armed with a transcript full of business classes on marketing and branding.  I thought my secret was going to be that I solved a unique problem that cut across the various subcultures.  Years later I still think that is the case but have to admit that I held, still do hold, certain brands in my head as examples of how I would like the business to one day appear to the public.  It’s part of the reason why this topic always resonates with me.  Fit issues always prevented me from embracing any brand and style that I wanted flock to.  It made me think about these same issues and for a period of time, feel like I was the only one expressing the struggle between the individuals desire to fit in and look like everyone else while also expressing individuality.  Of course now I know that there was nothing unique about that insight and I was just one of many who noted the issue.  While I can not say that my closet contains a single item from Uniqlo it does make me enjoy the refreshing honesty of their CMO, Andersson.

To read the full interview with Andersson follow this link:


Bad Fashion: South Lake Tahoe Ski Edition

Fashion rules on the mountain are a bit different than other places.  Skiers and snowboarders have their own set of rules and they often include looks and styles that wouldn’t be considered appropriate anywhere off the slopes.  Bizarre patterns and loud colors often work wonderfully on the slopes in ways they don’t work on the street.  That said, there are still looks that don’t belong anywhere and in that spirit we bring you today’s bad fashion: South Lake Tahoe edition.

Don't get caught looking like this, anywhere.

Don’t get caught looking like this, anywhere.

Despite an exceptionally lax set of rules on the mountain that allows tremendous freedom for individual expression some people still get it totally wrong.  This poor fellow thought his bad holiday pajamas would make us all smile on the mountain.  Unfortunately he was wrong.  Very, very wrong.  This photo doesn’t begin to capture the tie dye nightmare that was his shirt.  A combination of patterns that is beyond unforgivable.

Hey bro, I'm awesome.

Hey bro, I’m awesome.

Off the mountain casual fashion continues to rule.  Everyone is tired, dirty and just wants to eat and have a beer.  That said there are still some basic standards that should be followed and our friend above didn’t get the memo.  He may think he is fabulous but that brings the number of people who do to just one.  Yes he’s a bro and that means a blissful ignorance of what anyone else in the world thinks except for your fellow bros who are lost in a cloud of self-induced awesomeness but it’s not an excuse.  This shot was caught at a  South Lake casino during Saturday nights MMA matches.  While it may be exceptionally warm for March, sweatpants shorts, a pinkish tank top and sandals  have no business being out of the drawer let alone put together.  This is a sad case of “I’m awesome and want everyone to know it” and as usual, a monumental failure.  Don’t even get started with the hat of irony.  Its anything but a statement piece with the exception of saying please give me attention because my personality doesn’t deserve it on its own.  Its one look to absolutely not follow.

Acid wash gone horribly wrong

Acid wash gone horribly wrong

I apologize for the poor quality of this pic but it’s good enough to introduce a topic that I’m sure we will revisit, again and again.  There was a time when acid wash jeans were the thing.  Nothing spelled cool more than just the right fade and wash on a pair of well-worn jeans.  Acid wash was a signature look of the late 80s and has been on a comeback but like most things, less is more and some brands have just gotten it all wrong.  Today’s sample shows what happens when acid wash goes bad.

Three looks to avoid at all costs.  You’ve been warned.

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