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Monday, July 21, 2008

Outfit Analysis: 7.21.8


To utilize a piece of clothing which no longer fits properly, so that I can continue to extract fashion value from it.


Shoes: Brown Nike Air Series 6D. (I can't currently find them in brown on the Nike website)

Socks: Standard white socks (don’t worry, someday something unusual will crop up here, I promise)

Pants: Dark Blue Rocco Jeans from Express. Moderately prominent yellow-brown stitch detailing which matches the lighter tone on the shoe.

Shirt: Pink Paramore concert t-shirt. This is the piece which does not fit properly. When I saw Paramore on Warped Tour in 2007, this was my favorite design for sale, but they only sold it in women’s sizes. I figured a 2X would be big enough, but I was clearly wrong.

Topcoat: Blue Merona sport blazer. A very casual cotton navy blazer with three buttons.


First, you can see how ill fitting the Paramore shirt is. Notice the bunching in the shoulder area, and the absurd shortness of the sleeve.

Now, the full outfit…



The first step to success here is to hide the fact that the Paramore shirt really doesn’t fit. This is most obvious in the arms and shoulders (to a lesser extent the length of the shirt). We take care of this by covering those areas with a longer-sleeved garment, in this case a casual navy blazer.

Even more, covering these areas doesn’t take away any of the impact of such a bold shirt. The unusual font detailing is largely uncovered, and there was nothing on the sleeves that we’ll now miss. The interior edges of the blazer, left unbuttoned, actually serve to frame the graphic on the shirt.

From a color standpoint, we introduce three distinct blue colors, the darkest navy on the blazer, a lighter blue denim wash, and the brighter turquoise detailing on the shirt. While this does seem to violate a monochromatic principle; to house the darkest colors on the bottom pieces of the outfit, we’re OK because the darkest piece is that with the most weight, the blazer (it is the largest in size, and drapes over the body, indicating weight).

The main contrast comes from the two pinks on the shirt contrasting with the blues. Inside the shirt itself, we have significant hue, saturation, and value contrasts (which is why the shirt appears “loud”), while between the shirt and other garments we remove the stronger saturation contrasts. Corralling the heavy contrasts portions to a single garment is a good way to ensure the outfit doesn’t become too straining on the eye. We retain definite borders, but avoid any unpleasant contrasting.

Finally, we have a contrast in fit. The jeans and Paramore shirt are both tighter than average fits. Consequently, the loose fit of the blazer serves to dampen the tightness of the overall look, allowing us to avoid thoughts that our clothes are simply too small/too tight. This juxtaposition simultaneously accentuates and moderates the relative fits (which in both cases are slightly extreme).


While the outfit does certainly achieve its main goal, it is not without room for improvement.

First of all, I’m wearing a blazer in summer. Now, I’ll be the first to say that there is nothing wrong (fashion-wise) with that, at all. However, its really hot when I’m outside. Inside it’s no problem, but if you’re going to be walking around outside or something, I do not recommend you follow suit. You’ll find it to be quite the sadmaker.

Further, I find that the blazer sleeves are a bit too short, which is especially noticeable while I’m typing. It’s nothing drastic, but an inch more would be great. I frequently run into this problem, given my tall frames.

Finishing off the blazer, I hate the little pills/fuzzes that accumulate on this type of clothing. Academically I’m aware it really can’t be seen, and that it’s quite normal, but it drives me nuts. This is a significant point, as if you’re uncomfortable in your clothing, you’ll look uncomfortable in your clothing, and this can make visual difference (perhaps not in a photograph, but in actual life).


Not related to my clothing at all, but while I was at Starbucks, someone ordered a 7-pump caramel latte. SEVEN pumps. That’s more than a little frightening. Also heard a 5-shot skinny caramel machiatto. I’m pretty sure 5-shot and skinny are mutually exclusive. Apparently not.

A few people also asked if I was hot wearing that jacket. The answer, of course, was yes.


Thanks to Tracy, the person who cut my hair today, for taking the picture!

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