After a Fashion

The Style Avatar takes on Reader X's challenge to not say "Wet," and weighs in on cargo pants.

WWJD? What the hell would Jackie do about this? Reader X (no, not the same Reader X from a few weeks ago -- Reader X is a generic term applied to all readers who write in, unless, of course, I want to embarrass or praise them by printing their names) writes in, asking probing questions about the current state of men's fashion. "... With the proliferation of the cargo pant and cargo pockets fad, I wonder if there is an age cutoff for such attire. As a 32-year-old male, I am shocked to see my contemporaries still walking around wearing clothes from the young men's department." An excellent point. When I was a young gentleman, cargo pants were also in vogue, but young gentlemen wore their pants differently back then. And we wore belts, even if they were big, ugly ones. Now, of course, young gentlemen prefer to look like young hobos, with their loins girded in saggy, shapeless folds of wrinkled fabric, and they wonder why it's so hard to find dates. But even when cargo pants are well fitted, it doesn't avoid the question of exactly why guys need to have pockets down at their knees? What is it that we're going to be carrying around in all these pockets on our legs? Cargo? Please. If you have that much stuff to carry around, I recommend a purse. But the worst part is that unless you take an iron to all those stupid pockets, they just wind up looking like you have all these wads of fabric hanging onto your pants. A regrettable style all the way around.

Then, in closing, Reader X gets personal, and continues, "And while we would all love to read yet another column about Wet Salon, SoCo strip, or who attended what fashion show, your words of wisdom about current street fashion are what we really live for." Well! You can't imagine what a burden it is for your Style Avatar to try to be all things to all people. Regarding Wet, I'm trying to cut back, but see, Reader X? You made me mention them again! The salon has asked me to stop mentioning them -- they're overwhelmed with business -- and I'm trying to honor their wishes, but people keep bringing them up! And can I help it if they, along with so many of Austin's finest retailers and service establishments, are located on the chic SoCo strip? Where would Austin be without the likes of Wet, Uncommon Objects, Pink, Güero's, Yard Dog, the San Jose, New Bohemia, Tinhorn Traders, Gallery SoCo, Aqua, Electric Ladyland, Rue's Antiques, Lone Star Illusions, the Austin Motel, Dragonsnaps, Send in the Clowns, Under the Sun, Therapy, Lucy in Disguise, and so many others? And then Reader X has the temerity to bring up street fashion! There are places in the world where "street fashion" means something. Austin is not one of those places. Street fashion in Austin is, like the design of the Convention Center, something we should be ashamed of. Primarily consisting of ratty T-shirts, baggy shorts, and sandals, it is a sexless, soulless uniform that sloughs off of one of life's most basic responsibilities -- that of looking your best in public. "Comfort" is usually the word trotted out in defense of this manner of dressing. B.S. It's laziness -- pure and simple. For exactly the same amount of money spent on dressing like that, you could shop in one of Austin's many fabulous vintage and resale stores, and at least make some sort of personal statement about how you feel other than, "I don't give a damn about myself." So, there, Reader X! Is that what you wanted out of me? A stream of vitriolic sputum? A "vicious screed," as one beloved Chronicle managing editor referred to my work? I hope you're satisfied. What Would Jackie Do about this? She'd paraphrase the mother in Carrie and say, in her breathy little voice, "Let's burn the cargo pants together and pray for forgiveness."

PARTY TIME It's a belated grand opening -- or maybe a grand re-opening -- in any case, it should be very fun. It's at Chimera, 110 W. Elizabeth, behind Güero's (Thursday, Nov. 16, 7-10pm). I'll bet these girls know how to throw a party!

OPEN CALL Submissions from designers of clothing, jewelry, and accessories are being accepted for the holiday season at IDoL Gallery/Boutique, 2026 S. Lamar. Designers are invited to bring samples by on Sunday, Nov. 12, 7-9pm. Call 445-5678 for more information.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Reader X, Carrie, melange, by George, therapy, Shiki, Chimera, Güero's, IDoL Gallery/Boutique, Wet, Uncommon Objects, Pink, Güero's, Yard Dog, San Jose, New Bohemia, Tinhorn Traders, Gallery SoCo, Aqua, Electric Ladyland

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