Sporty Spicing it up [pt 1]

Despite being a recovering pattern-a-phobic, I have always had a major stripe fetish. Be they vertical or horizontal, stripes make me happy to be alive. In fact, about the only thing my distressing junior high years had going for them was a gym uniform reminiscent of this look:

So technically I should find it comforting that the creative team at Levi’s Vintage Clothing shares my prison stripe love. They’re aping mug shots in some of their ads, I’ve got a hallway with mug shots…they’ve produced a line that incorporates new notions about which kind of stripes flatter a woman’s body, I’m sorely tempted to buy said items.

We should all be in one happy fan club, and yet I’m still not sure if I should be doing a Goooooooo GW Junior High alum cheer right now or hypocritically tsk-tsking their rather tasteless Fall/Winter design direction:

Levi's Vintage: "Inside/Out" campaign for Fall/Winter 09

And it’s not as if skinny stripes come with fewer ethical conundrums.

Sure, Breton stripes, originally modeled by oodles of French sailors, seem drama-free compared to their prison-yard siblings. But the look’s most famous fans include Hemingway, Picasso, and Bardot–hot messes, the lot of ’em. I mean who wants to risk channeling THEM when wearing a jaunty striped top?

So thank god there’s Gene Kelly. And no, he wasn’t expressing his personal style when he donned his Breton: he was in costume. I don’t care. In fact, I almost don’t NOTICE he’s wearing stripes given that the film’s costume designer popped him into lusciously tight white trousers. [Mr Kelly humbly labeled his various Anchors Aweigh ensembles among “the greatest dance outfits ever conceived,” and I can’t say I feel much inclined to argue.]

Physique-enhancing qualities aside, his striped top SELLS The Worry Song. With lyrics like the below, there’s a reason his dress blues had to go AWOL:

if you worry / if you worry / if you bother your head

If won’t help you / it won’t help you / it will hurt you instead

Grouchers, groaners, cranks, and moaners / they’re so unfair

If you can’t be gay and merry / lock yourself in solitary”

Having laid the groundwork for my bona fide devotion, then, why the HELL has it been 10 years since I owned stripes, preferably saucily-saturated ones? Especially given my closet’s relatively small and depressingly bland collection of non-black, -brown, or grey items?

I can’t explain my lapse, but now that the first of my Non-Extended Dance Version Fall/Winter Closet Updates has arrived I am be-striped once more. Assuming one is broad-minded about what constitutes a stripe, anyway.

In addition to choosing some horizontal goodness that incorporates intriguing texture and a bit of sheen, I’ve gone decidedly technicolor:

Yes, it was love at first sight for me and this Missoni space dye fabric when I spotted it at a local shop; I knew I had to have a sweater made from it. [About the only way I’ll own anything connected to Missoni.]

I had no doubt that Stripey’s brazen colors would play nicely with my increasingly-decrepit, ho-hum browns and denims and deep dark purples (and my hot pink tweed, should I be willing to Go There). See?

In fact, I was admiring all the colors in it when Mr Vix said:

It’s nice, but it kind of reminds me of that upholstery sample I liked and you vetoed as ‘too rug-like.'”



Missoni Home 2007

You know what? I don’t care if my bosom is bedecked in a wall treatment. Because the second I put on those stripes, I’m humming The Worry Song. I’m thinking maybe I’ll try a few dozen fouettés en tournant. I’m psychotically optimistic I’d make a great sailor. Because with stripes, just about anything seems possible.

Next: Part 2 of Sporty Spicing it up, aka pattern-a-go-go

8 Responses

  1. Hi!
    Just wondering, are you seeing your pics OK? Your flickr photos are not showing up for me.
    Cheers, Struggler.

  2. Ok, Flickr and I are really not friends…this is the second time permissions have changed *seemingly* randomly, though I suppose it could be user error. I know others saw the pics a few days ago, ha!

    Sorry, Ms S!

    eta that: Just to irritate me more, permissions changed on multiple sets and yet were still “marked” as public. Bizarre. FLICKR DON’T BE HATIN’ ON MY PUMPKINS

  3. Hey, Flickr’s also randomly changed my image ids/urls so the images don’t show even when they are (re-)made public!

    I feel a “colorful” post coming on, alright.

    [and thanks for the heads up…I swear I know these photos show when I first post because some of my more privacy-centered readers email me comments.

  4. I can see them now! Just wanted you to be aware.
    Love your sweater, and you’re right, it plays very nicely with all those other fabrics.

    • No seriously, thanks for alerting. I had no idea as I knew others had seen ’em and I only do the “log out/doublecheck from phone/etc” thing right after it first goes live.

      And thank you!

  5. I had a very similar space-dyed sweater in about 1972, when I was eleven (ELEVEN!!!!!!!!), and I loved it and still would, if I had it today. I bet you don’t wear yours with knickers, though.

  6. She has enough fabric to make me matching knickers if I want.

    A wall treatment above and a diaper above…I’d be stylin’!

  7. Beautiful fabric!! I love purples … I wouldn’t mind that as a sweater or on the wall.

    PS – Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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