Miss April Advises: Herr Shute, shorts on men in a warming world

Hi there Miss April,

This week has been terrible. 40plus degress every day. Im not blessed with Air Conditioning in my daily life. Normally I think it a crime, not unlike SUV’s, but this week I began to revise my opinion. I mean if global warmng doesnt exist then, hey, I MUST have aircon and an SUV and a coal mine and……… .
Anyway, i dont have the means to buy or rudley inherit this kind on unneccesary burden.

Sorry for the rant, its hot and i’m fragile.

My question. when and where is the short acceptable on a fellow? Is there a hem length that should not be breached. I’m quite hersuite from the pelvis up so I need other areas to expose for passive cooling. I dont think a kaftan will cut it at the office but in my inner world I see it as almost manditory.

Quickly please before the next wave of “not global” but local warming.

Yours

Herr Shute.

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Dear Herr Shute

I have lived through many stages of body hair fashion and as such am not one to succumb to a pro-, nor anti-hirsute faction. One is but an ape, if one is to believe the ever remarkable Darwin, and the defining method of separating ourselves from our savage cousins is through proper attire.

To that end I am compelled to declare in unequivocal terms: The wearing of shorts has no place within a civilised society. Unless you are a hurdy-gurdy grinding monkey you must not don the short. Consider your pride. Consider your responsibilities to fellow man. The only exception would be at the hour of exercise, the only ,mind you.

There are many and varied fashion choices for the man of prestige and power during these waves of heat. Some are quite jolly and comfortable for sweltering days, particularly if you commit yourself to the steadfast rejection of the reality of your surroundings. Go on, try it, it works a treat.* I categorize it as Denialist Wear, and it suits my brethren and kin to a tee. I present to you a visual gallery of examples:

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However, let us imagine for a moment that science is real and those pesky extreme heatwaves do return so often they are no longer recognised as ‘extreme’ to our next generation but as ‘normal’ and hopefully survivable. Well, therein lies a tragic dilemma – what to wear? The Denialist line of fashion so thrillingly portrayed by the models above will not suffice in such a scenario, and so I look back to the man I trust the most when I have a seemingly insurmountable conundrum – Jesus. Our Lord wore kaftans. Not wanting to play the race card here, Herr Shute, but is your reticence to don the kaftan implying that you think you are better than Jesus, Shute? Bosh tosh, if not outright blasphemy!

You reveal allure toward the comfort of the holy robe and I am here to assuage your fears and become the wind beneath your wings (so to speak). Go forth Shute, be a man of culture, respect, and comfortable nethers – be that man who makes dresses manly. Stride down the footpath of life as a man of confidence. Don’t worry, they will soon follow (your peers I mean, not those of ill-repute). Why even limit yourself to kaftans? Experiment with the kurta with the array of sumptuous fabrics and colours available from the East. The very sexy sherwani resplendent with silks and gold is excellent for more formal balls and gatherings. Whereby the kilt, aahh, the kilt; well as a single lady from the Empire needless to say I insist my suitors to wear the finest plaid and sporran available to mankind. And yes, they come in summer-weight. As an aside, Herr Shute, just between you and me, if ever I were to surrender my much valued spinsterhood believe me, Mr April-to-be will be donning the glorious kilt of the Highlands.

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I feel it Herr Shute, we are at the dawning of a fashion revolution.

Yours in skirts,
Miss April

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Miss April Advises: Sports Injury – Clothes fit for the Emperor.

Dear Miss April,

I encourage exercise. Its great to see the svelte and the ample doing their bit to
become their ( or societies) ideal shape.
We have come so far but some things are lost is rush on our daily treadmills. We
have lycra to stream line our bodies as we hurtle about on our stationary bicycles.
We have coloured sports bras and vibrant layering options. These possibly a
distillation of Samantha Fox, Courtney Love and Olivia Newton John. Thanks to all.

I need to digress to provide background information that will aide in my enquiry.
Lycra while seemingly other worldly and eternal is still just a textile and like
all textiles, possibly with the exception of Kevlar or 70s polyester, is prone to
degradation. When tightly bracing and stretched around a body in motion it can be
very transparent when old and worn. Many people are unaware of this unintentional
nudity and can lead to quite the eye full in the street.
I know there are lycra fetishists, to be sure, but, all decent fetishists know that
furtiveness is no substitute for indulging your obsession fully and at length with
others who appreciate your particular proclivity. This is usually done in private
for the most satisfying results, so I’m told.

Although as I said , taking excise is to encouraged it has some side effects. If
done properly it requires effort resulting in perspiration and its bi-product,
pong. Thats why they have showers at gyms, I presume. Its what happens after that
disturbs me. I have seen people in there sports attire in cafes winding down over
large milky caffeinated beverages.

This begs the question, have they exerted themselves sufficiently, showered and
redressed in fresh gym clothes to demonstrate a love of fitness? Its more troubling
if this is not that case. Then why are they shopping for home-wares and high end
furniture in these fecund invisible undergarments?

Do you think we should lobby the garment industry to put used by dates on these
clothes? Like cream and meat for instance. Im sure this would have the same effect
of reducing retching in the street as the sanitisation of the food industry has.

I’m eager to hear your opinion and possible other solutions.

Regards

Sports Injury

Dear Sports Injury

What a colourful portrait you paint! This world of lycra fetishism astounds me, surely such things are nonsense, but when I searched the world wide web of information I came across such a disturbing array of fetishes that lycra seemed so innocent in comparison. Who knew swimming caps and goggles caused hearts (and loins) to flutter so!

What is acceptable and what is not? Wearing tight-fitting lycra while shopping or relaxing in a cafe is not in itself unacceptable, it is one of the grey areas of modern society whereby personal expression through fashion is so much more experimental than in my day. However, if we try to claim that there is no dress code, we are deluding ourselves. Abolishing expectations of dress in public is not a freedom, it is moral anarchy. One’s dress is not purely an individual expression of taste, personality and status; like Manners, it is an expression of our relationship to fellow man.

A person’s dress reflects a relationship with themselves and their community. We are a shared society, and pride in appearance, whether it be the time it takes to create a perfectly pointed Mohawk, to coordinate a desired nonchalance, or commit to the highest of fashion, we say to each other, I care enough to make the effort. It says to our neighbour “I see you, and this is how I would like you to see me”. We are connected.

It is unequivocally and entirely unacceptable to wear a sweat drenched exercise costume to eat or shop in public. The mere thought of a lady testing various sofas in her threadbare fabrics steeped in sweat and Impulse sends me a shudder, the implications of hygiene alone – eek. They should be ashamed.

Your suggestion of a use-by date is an excellent idea, are you in marketing? They would double their sales much like shampoo manufacturers did when some genius decided to put ‘repeat’ on the bottle’s instructions. However, my personal conviction is to work toward reducing our consumption, I would not like to recommend for people to discard clothes perfectly suitable for exercise, ironically their very raison d’etre. Perhaps a warning label might suffice?

WARNING: This garment may cause social disgrace if worn in public.
WARNING: People hate you shopping in these clothes.
WARNING: Research shows that you stink after exercise.
WARNING: 20 washes = Emperor’s New Clothes.

The likes of you and me though are in a quandary when it comes to pointing out these miscarriages of dress. How does one do so without seeming rude, or even unkind? It is an art form, truly, and that is why those with such good manners appear so elegant. Perhaps you could discretely follow the culprit around said furniture store? As you witness the derriere bearing down onto the unsuspecting sofa – voila – you kindly insert a water resistant padded cushion betwixt them. “For your comfort, Madam” you say with a dapper smile. After following her around a few more times, she might begin to realise the expectation of herself you are kindly alluding to.  

If you notice a lady drying off at a nearby cafe, pass her a scented wet towelette and a travel hand sanitiser – “you’re welcome” you say to her companions. Do you witness her virtue being threatened in a public street by worn threadbare fabrics? “My lady!” you say with urgency as you run to her aid, wrapping her in whatever comes to hand, towel, street sign, balloons, Thomas Dux bag. “Your honour is being threatened by those underclothes, never fear; I will escort you to your car.”

Thus, you are fortunate to display to the world your generous wallet, community spirit, good character, and one can only hope others will follow your fine example.

To avoid such direct intercourse you might prefer a more clandestine approach – print out this response and post it in pertinent neighbourhoods, on suspects automobiles, in shop windows, etc., etc. A public education campaign could be just the ticket!


Yours faithfully, Miss April

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