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I am always at Up and Down Town, an illustrated on-line journal of obtuse musings and observations, featuring mostly fictional fashion, presented as individual cartoons, meant to be enjoyed as a continuous story that gets updated 5 days a week.

Walk a mile

what do you think?

if you were forced to wear an outfit that you had not liked on someone else, would you gain appreciation for it in some way, or dislike it more?

yesterday i underestimated how bad i'd feel today. next new post will be on monday.


name one thing you would add or subtract here (you can't do both).


when someone steps out in a garish outfit that is utterly bizarre and pushes the envelope, observers might wonder what possesses someone to dress in such a way. "what was s/he thinking? they have all the choices in the world, they wear that?!"

but what of the pride of clothing? the beautiful things that are out there, hanging on hangers, or lying on shelves, waiting for a day out. hoping for a fun time, nice weather, compatible friends.

if clothing had feelings, what would it not want to do?


i love deadlines. i work best under pressure. and i'm always most productive in the eleventh hour. but work is work, and shopping is not.

If you shopped the way you worked, then how would that go?

Either or

while interacting with a sales person (right then - no time to remedy the problem!!):

1. would you rather be wearing ill-fitting pants, or noisy shoes?

2. would you rather have bad skin or bad breath?

Size matters

speaking of belts, when i was selecting mine, i felt i was dangerously close to cliché territory: my choices were skinny belt, medium belt, wide belt. yes, in every imaginable color, but since i already knew i wanted black, the choice really came down to these 3 widths. i got bored with staring at my options, realizing that i was admiring more than deciding and just instinctively grabbed one.

it's the perfect belt for me (i can say with certainty now that i've held it up to all my clothes). a teeny tiny part of me was disappointed that i went with a medium width, wondering if i had wimped out. but the medium will actually serve my style, needs and imagination the longest. the beauty of the belt lies in the material, the quality, the simplicity, and not the neutrality of the belt (and by "neutrality" here i do not mean a high probability of compatibility. i mean "middle of the road").

and while i am not someone who would ever consciously aim for middle-of-the-road (frankly, i prefer to be off on the shoulder, sartorially speaking), it raised questions for me. what would make an item be defined as a style neutral? merely not being an extreme? merely not being trendy? is "trendy" applied to anything that is painfully, nauseatingly popular? if i had found this belt a year ago or 5, or 10, it would have been perfect for me. the appeal of it is not based on ephemeral and fictional standards of rightness. i do not like "in" and "out" lists since the very existence of the list is what makes the definition (things are not "in" or "out" until they are on the list - and then their status only matters to list makers and list readers. that's my theory anyway.).

is being unpopular the only way for an item to not be trendy?

do all items have a "middle of the road" option for people to retreat to when they (pants, blazers, hemlines, etc.) are rendered in "trendy" styles?

Bring it on

i had come to accept that i was not one to wear a belt. i gave up on belts. i no longer owned a belt.

yesterday i bought a belt.

would you rather (if you had a choice) make peace with items you are conflicted about by mastering them, or find a way to move on?

The best laid schemes...*

a friend recently washed a new dress.
100% cotton.
she let it air dry.
now she has a new top.

when a new item disappoints, do you blame yourself, or do you blame the manufacturer/retailer/designer?

(*Gang aft agley - from "To a mouse" - r. burns)