October 20, 2005

Hell no, I won't gaucho.

It's Fall 2005, the time of year when I put away my summer clothes, pull my winter stuff out of storage, get disgusted and toss half of it out the window, and then go shopping. But I'm thinking that this year I'm gonna skip the shopping part. Why? One word: Gauchos.

The hell, people. Gauchos? GAUCHOS? At least capri pants have that kicky "Annette Funicello at the beach party cookout with all the wacky cool kids" vibe. Do you know what sort of vibe gauchos have? They have the "mid-70s shag haircuts strung out hungover why do I look like a cross between a pirate and a South American cowboy" vibe!

I do not understand why these fashion types have to go around messing with my pants! Either I'm showing more crack than a drug dealer or I have pants that can't determine whether they want to be Really Long Flared Shorts or a Mid-Length Skort.

I suffered through gauchos as a third grader. I particularly remember a pair of bright orange polyester gauchos that I paired with a matching vest over a rainbow striped polyester turtleneck, and topped off with brown boots, buck teeth and an ill-informed short shag haircut. I do NOT need fashion flashbacks to that particular era, people. It was like everyone was on the bad acid, even elementary schoolers.

Can someone call me when we've returned to the Land of Pants that Don't Endanger My Buttocks, My Calves, or The Eyes of Innocent Passers-by? Thanks. I'll just be over here in my sweatpants awaiting your call.

And do not get me started on the flowing bohemian look. I do not "flow." I do not "boheme." There are no shawls, lace tops, bell sleeves or gypsy skirts in my closet. I do not see the point in paying $100 for something that makes me look as though I live in my car with a colorful band of minstrels and mischief makers, or as though I wandered out of the Renaissance Faire and forgot to take off my costume.

Hey, designers? Remember the 30s and 40s? Clean tailored lines that made people look pulled together? Remember when looking like a bag lady, an unemployed mystic or a polyester throwback was something to be avoided? I do. Fondly.

I have suffered through the retro turbo-slut wear, telling myself that it too shall pass. I have managed to ignore the shrug, because it's just too bizarre for words. Heck, I've even cautiously embraced tweed and the color orange! So don't think I'm not trying, here. But I've gotta have some help, and you're not being forthcoming.

I am begging you. Go into rehab, get clean, and then return to your drawing boards. America will thank you.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at October 20, 2005 03:09 PM

My god that's an ugly shrug. It should be sealed up in a mountain like nuclear waste.

They have gauchos at Walmart. I don't think anyone has bought a pair; the rack looks untouched. What makes them extra hideous and unwearable by anyone with normal human dimensions is the fact that they are made of bulky jersey knit. Hello, this is Florida, and hello, all the women who shop at the Mart of Wal (myself included) have hips that do not need any more help in the bulk department.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 20, 2005 09:20 PM

We must have been raised by the same mother or something, because in the 3rd grade (it might've been 4th or so), I had that SAME EXACT outfit. Not to mention the buck teeth. Think Laura Ingalls Wilder character on Little House on the Prarie TV show.

Amen to this post!!!

Posted by: angie at October 21, 2005 12:31 PM

I only have one question: When are mini-skirts coming back?

Posted by: snopercod at October 21, 2005 05:39 PM

Mini-skirts? Come back?
Only over my dead body, snopercod... and preferably over the dead body of the designer who wants women over the age of 18 and size 2 to wear them.

PS: and I can sew. Rather well, as it happens. And the Vogue pattern people have released a number of their vintage patterns from the 30ies, 40ies and 50ies... very sleek, pulled-together suits and dresses. Knowing how to sew and never throwing away a pattern means never looking at the clothing racks in the stores and wincing. For whatever reason, price or horriblness of it all.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at October 22, 2005 03:54 PM

The simple issue is this: designers and clothing manufacturers have to induce people to buy each year. Short of making all clothing out of materials produced by the Kimberly-Clark company, so that they will shred in the closet over the summer and be unwearable, the only way to do this is to create a sense of need.

Unfortunately, lately, it seems designers have been remarkably tone-deaf to what American women feel we "need." I guess they're having to recycle the 70s because it's on the calendar - just like part of the 70s was recycling the 20s (There's probably a mathematical algorithm that would allow one to predict which Year of the Past is going to be the inspiration for clothing, but I'm too lazy to figure it out).

I dunno...I kind of like the Bohemian look. It's a damn sight better than the plumber-crack pants of two years ago. I still haven't forgiven the designers/clothing manufacturers for those. (Perhaps I like the boho look because it's stuff I actually can make myself, thus bypassing the designers and clothing manufacturers whom I have still not forgiven for plumber-crack fashion).

I will not be wearing gauchos now. Didn't wear them the first time they were cool; won't wear them now.

Posted by: ricki at October 22, 2005 03:58 PM

I had a high school Spanish teacher who was originally from Paraguay.

He had a *real* gaucho outfit, but he got it honestly, since he'd worked cattle with real gauchos in Paraguay and Argentina during summers while he was in college.

Somehow I never saw the clothes as something women would intentionally wear, though.

Posted by: steveH at October 27, 2005 05:18 PM