Posts tagged “clothing”

Innovation Ain’t Enough

Fit Technologies designed a clothing sizing system that radically reduces complexity and confusion and helps guide shoppers to a product that will really fit their body type. But a better solution for consumers isn’t necessarily a better solution for retailers or manufacturers, and even though they are giving it a shot, it seems likely to fail.

Retailers that commit to it must find space for more merchandise, train workers to understand the new sizes and explain the new system to customers – a struggle for stores that already have few employees on the sales floor.

Then there is the reality, however counter-intuitive it may be, that retailers and clothing makers thrive off sizing confusion. Consumers who find a brand that fits are likely to stick with it and a standard sizing system would encourage them to visit other stores.

You can dress up a chicken, but it’s still a chicken

Chickens Suit is a conceptual art piece cum product that is as confusing as it is provocative

In the future, The ChickensSuit will outfit the old, familiar house chicken, and future clothes will naturally be offered in different sizes and available in the color combinations red-white, in each case the piece being inspired by the flags of the two countries, Japan and Austria, including one warm corduroy outfit, as well as two disguise versions: in camouflage or as hair fur.

Also see previous entry about tattoos on pigs.

Ben Stein? Beuller? Anyone? Stein?

Ben Stein writes in the NYT about fashion. Or culture. Or something. It’s a strange rant; reminds me of the outrage over shaggy Beatles-esque long haircuts in the 60s from stuffed-shirt establishment types who were frightened of the world changing without them and so frothed and stormed in disgust. Ben Stein is old, out of touch, and really really shallow.

TODAY’S business workplace is not a pretty sight. No, I’m not referring to wildly overinflated C.E.O. pay, although I could be. Nor am I referring to the empty desks caused by outsourcing, although I could be referring to that, too. I am not even referring to modern cubicles and their pitiful fiberboard walls. I am referring to the men (not the women) in those cubicles.

To put it as boldly as it needs to be put, men at work these days all too often dress like total slobs, and it hurts the eyes, the spirit and, I suspect, the bottom line.

Sometimes, I get a clue of this when I go to see my lawyer and am shocked to find that men who should be wearing suits – to keep up their propriety and their sense of dignity – are wearing casual jeans and short-sleeved shirts instead. I get a whiff of it when I appear on television and see employees of major networks dressed in casual slacks and sport shirts with no ties.

But the most stunning blow came a few weeks ago when I did an industrial film on a super-advanced videoconferencing system made by a very large, very successful high-tech company. The men who worked at the company’s campus in Oregon were uniformly smart and uniformly courteous, but they dressed like children at summer camp – cut-off jeans, shorts, T-shirts and sandals without socks. I asked if this was some special dress-down day and they all looked at me as if I were insane. “No,” they said. “This is how we dress.”

I see it in airports and on airplanes. I see it when young people come to me for interviews for a summer job dressed in baggies – gangsta-style long shorts with some of their butts showing – and have no idea that they are doing anything wrong.

I see it even at some brokerage firms, although one of the saving graces of investment banks is that the men who work at them do dress like grown-ups, and even dress beautifully in many cases.

When a man wears a nice suit of clothes, he feels like a grown-up. He is dressed like Gregory Peck or Clark Gable or Gary Cooper, so, naturally he’ll want to behave like a grown-up.

Besides, men at work in casual clothes simply lack authority. We clients really do not trust a man wearing J. Crew casual wear as much as we trust a man wearing a suit from J. Press or the venerable and much-adored Brooks Brothers.

In addition, if everyone is dressed for a game of dodgeball instead of a game of “let’s draw up a will,” how will we tell the bosses from the associates? How will we possibly feel as much confidence in a man who picks an exchange-traded fund if he appears at lunch in shorts instead of a suit?

A suit says discipline, maturity, style, respect for yourself and respect for the people you are meeting. Casual clothes say – well, the word “contempt” comes to mind, although maybe it’s too harsh. Maybe just “too cool for school” is what I mean.

There is a lesson here. Men look better if they dress for work in a uniform of a suit and a shirt and tie. They feel better about themselves, if I can judge from the moods of those marines at the hospital and at the reunion. Certainly, as a citizen, I felt better about the marines being dressed as if they honored their country and their mission. I can certainly recall that when I worked in a law firm and on Wall Street, I felt a lot better about myself and took myself and my work a lot more seriously when I dressed up like a mensch.

Maybe this is old-fashioned, but there is a lot of good sense in those old fashions.

Karma Camelon

Camelon, touted as CLOTHING OF THE FUTURE – IN THE PRESENT is a multi-purpose garment that comes from the Renaissance Faire/SCA community. An interesting piece of clothing design, through pulling some drawstrings etc. you can convert into four different dresses, two skirts, pants, shirts, shorts, capes, a poncho, a tunic, a handbag, a hauling bag, sleeping bag, or a pillow. Aesthetically, I thought the future stopped looking like the past around the time of 2112, but perhaps that’s just me.

Also, be sure to check out the Cameleon aka Bill’s Pants video on this page.

Thanks, Connie!


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