Hide & Go Seek

I’ve finally found the cure-all for those days I’m feeling frumpy and utterly down and out about my wardrobe. One would think you just need to go down to the shopping center and pickup a darling new silk scarf or shiny bracelet to perk up an otherwise drab ensemble. But the little secret I have to share with you is guaranteed to lift your spirits and WON’T COST A DIME.

What’s the trick?

Well, just yesterday afternoon, as I was socializing with fellow ‘street fashion’ bloggers (see previous post), I walked by this woman in her early 20’s holding a clipboard and sporting a bright pink vest. Before I could avert my eyes and scamper to the other side of the sidewalk in passive aggressive ‘la la la can’t hear you’ aversion she said “Hey look at you! You’ve got great style!”. I quickened my pace and looked back only when I felt I had achieved a safe distance. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw someone else hooked into her speech.

When the fear had faded, I paused a moment and felt the positive words begin to sink into me. “You’ve got great style!”, “You’ve got great style!”, “You’ve got great style!”… The phrase echoed over and over again inside my mind and a warm fuzzy tingled from head to toe. Then it hit me!

This same exchange happens to me so many times and I always take it for granted. These young folks working various causes are out there every day on the street corner looking for charity, and meanwhile, all of us needing a little ego boost could be gaming this whole enterprise for free compliments and fashion encouragement!

I’m telling you folks, there is a huge source of positive vibes right here ready for the taking! Here’s a testimonial from a friend who tried it:

“Wow! Thanks for your help! I went and tried your methods and a dude pointed out my muted tones and said that they made me ‘look like a rad caring person’. ”

See! If you want a quick way to feel good about what you just haphazardly threw on in the morning, take a stroll downtown past the brightly colored folks with clipboards and make sure to strike a few poses in case they miss you the first time. This is a tried and true free alternative to just adding more accessories to your wardrobe.

P.S. Not guaranteed to work with Lyndon LaRouche tablers. Mileage may vary.

My name in lights

Today as I was walking back from sushi I spotted this woman crouched down and shooting some dude in yellow galoshes on the street. After she was done packing up her camera and getting his contact info, I wandered up to her and asked her if she ran a’street fashion’ blog. You gotta be willing to confront the competition, right?

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She said she did, and handed me a business card for Shot By Rain. I told her that I too had just started my own take on Seattle style and gave her my web address.

Then there was a long pause.

I looked down at my shirt and shoes. I coughed a little ‘ahem’. Reluctantly she said “oh, right, I can see why you have a fashion blog. I totally noticed you on the street, mind if I take a few snaps?”.

I blushed and said “really? In these rags?” and then quickly took a pose, with my Starbucks paper cup prominently displayed in my hand. She took a few photos, or at least convincingly seemed to do so, and promised me they might make it onto the blog.

So folks, my dreams may be coming true. I highly encourage you to keep going back to Shot By Rain and let her know you’d LOVE TO SEE GARRETT KELLY (that guy in the purple cordorouys and festive vest) up on her blog in short order. Maybe you should leave an obsessive amount of comments? (I will be) This would be my first Seattle street fashion debut and really, don’t you think it’s a bit overdue?

My Name Is Garrett Kelly, You Stole My Style, Prepare To ….

OMG.

This is my first actual fan submission – my sister-in-law Sasha texted me this shot of herself posing on the street trying on a new jacket and hat. Its got sparkles, sequins, rhinestones, and plenty of pizazz. So shouldn’t I be excited about it?

The problem is: THIS IS ALL WRONG. A big old Tic-Tac-NO.

You see, Sasha and I work together and ever since I hopped on the job there has been an unspoken battle between us, a daily duel waged beside the water cooler. Every morning we circle each other in the kitchen like a scene out of West Side Story, sizing up our opponent, snarling out ‘compliments’ about the articles of clothing we’re most jealous of: “nice bolo tie…..”, “what’s that thing in your hair … love it…”, then privately go back to our cubicles to stew and plot another day.

So when I got this text message I flinched. This is a test right?

Granted this coat is made out of sequins – the bread and butter of this here blog – but does Sasha really think I’m so naive? That I would not see this for the forgery it is? Where is the taste? You cannot just simply pick up whatever flashy garment you find on a $1.00 rack outside of an overpriced vintage store and call it good. It needs to SING.

Which makes this even more devastating. Because if you look at Sasha’s Etsy you’ll see that she does have impeccable taste and craft. She would not be my arch-nemesis if I did not find her a worthy opponent. So this photograph… I must chalk it up to a clever ruse to try and shame me in front of my new fan-base. I can’t look at this image and not think it’s an attempt at mocking me. Well not this time Sasha. Joke’s on you.

P.S. I actually love the gemstone hat. Dammit.

Cursed with poor eyesight and a need for prescriptions glasses, I don’t usually usually find myself wearing designer shades. But I’ve quickly made an exception when it comes to the VoyagerXL by Theta Technologies. These spectacles – and they certainly are! – come straight from the 1990’s and yet they still ooze with style. They were recently given to me as a wedding gift a friend who told me that back in the day, he and his CyberArts buddies used to hold concerts where a whole audience of folks would all don the glasses and get mind altered together!

Basically, these glasses play some tripped out music and flash LED’s straight into your eyelids – all in an effort to reach new mental states. With settings like “relax”, “explore”, “change”, you have a lot of options to mix and match your moods. I don’t know if I’ve had any mood shifting effects to report as of yet, but they do create a fantastic light show that feels like you’re travelling through Bill & Ted’s time warp. You really do feel like you’re being bombarded by visuals, sometimes physically feeling as though you’re falling through geometric astral planes!!! Take that RayBan.

Anyway, I don’t know much about the science behind these things but I do know they look slick as shit. Imagine packing a pair of these puppies at the night club. Just slip the controller box into a back pocket, dial up the flickering red lights and turn into the most dazzling wallflower around. You’re not supposed to open your eyes while the machine is running, but who says a good fashion accessory has to be functional? They’re black and they’ll go with anything. And most importantly, you’ll be the talking piece of the night – GARRE-UN-TEED. Instead of chit chat or being bored to death by some shitty band, you can TRIP BALLS AT THE BACK OF THE ROOM & drive home without worrying about getting a DUI. Looks like you can still purchase these babies at the official website. Well worth it.

Seattle musician Macklemore is about to blowup, and part of that success comes from his recently debuted anti-consumerist video ‘Thrift Shop’. Rarely does a song so deeply resonate with me. ‘Thrift Shop’ codifies into words feelings that have been bubbling inside of me since Kurt Cobain wore that sweater on ‘Unplugged’. This is the manifesto of the second-hand revolution.

It doesn’t hurt that this video features one of the best places for ‘digging’ in Seattle, the Goodwill Outlet (also known as ‘The Bins’). I plan to feature this establishment in future postings, but for now I wanted to write about something the video sparked inside of me –  a chronicling of my favorite finds from there, particularly of the ‘sweatshirt’ persuasion.

First up, we have this teal hoodie emblazoned with the words “Camp Enumclaw”. Apart from the remarkably breathable fabric and the neckline (obviously scissored by a previous owner) – what really makes this sweater shine is the context of the words. For those outside the Pacific NW, or even folks from the neighborhood out of the loop, the nearby town of ‘Enumclaw’ is darn near synonymous with ‘bestial relations’ (especially those of an equestrian nature). Specifically in regards to this tragic incident: NSFW AND PROBABLY WILL BUM YOU OUT. Morally repugnant, yes, but let me tell you, this sweater is nothing if not a conversation starter! I wear it to any and all formal dinners, wrinkles and all!

Next on my list of high-brow cotton pullovers, the inevitable Christmas print! I’m not a particularly festive chap, but this particular article of clothing really spoke to me. Because if you read carefully the message Mr. Kris Kringle is sharing, you’ll see that this sweater is layered with much deeper and pressing issues than the consumerist Black Friday $2 dollar waffle iron kind of Yuletide.

“Greetings from Santa to the People of the World ‘Protect Our Oceans’”

Powerful words from a powerful man. And the best part about it (other than the quite valid message to care for the planet) – it gives a new reason for ANY Season! That’s right, I can pull out this treasure any time of the year and thankfully saving the Earth while in a sleigh pulled by a narwhal NEVER goes out of style!

But perhaps the greatest sweater find of my digging career goes to this humble beast. You may not think it much – a dark navy with a large print of a horned creature. But for some reason this particular Elk spoke to me and so I picked it up, going with my intuition. It never fit quite right on my body but I knew I had to have it. Because ultimately size does not matter. The single greatest fashion tip I can give you – no matter how it looks on you, if a piece of clothing can start a conversation or create a new human interaction, then IT HAS VALUE.

And now I know the purpose of this garment.

If you watch the Macklemore video ‘Thrift Shop’ one more time, there is a scene where he and producer Ryan Lewis are walking in the Bins with a large piano sticking out of a shopping cart. If you look closely you will see: MACK IS WEARING MY SWEATER.

What does this mean? Well, I’m not entirely sure, but here are the facts as I know them:

a) Macklemore filmed that scene at the Goodwill Bins.

b) I found my identical sweat shirt sometime within the last year at the same place.

Could this be the EXACT SAME SWEATER? Or could two identical vintage prints have ended up at the same clothing facility within the same year? Entirely possible. Likely even.

But to reflect the possibility that yes, perhaps this is the SAME SWEATER MACKLEMORE IS WEARING IN THE VIDEO (AND I’M NOT SAYING THAT – JUST OFFERING IT UP AS A POSSIBILITY – BUT REALLY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT – I MEAN WHAT ARE THE CHANCES)-

I am now opening up the bidding at $200 on EBAY

Get it now before Macklemore really breaks out and the value of this sucker skyrockets!

Behold! A versatile sequin toque!

Of course we need to start this fashion blog off right and get straight to those little glittery spangles. This particular bedazzled hat came as a Christmas gift for my wife from a one, Aunt Theresa. It never felt quite right on my partner, but as soon as I donned it on my noggin it was clear that it had a higher purpose in the fashion world.

According to Wikipedia: “Evidence exists that gold sequins were being used as decoration on clothing or paraphernalia in the Indus Valley as early as 2500BC.

This comes as no surprise – will there ever be a time when these ingenious glitter disks won’t be used to spruce up a garmet? Notice from the pictures how the hat can shimmer in both the Seattle street sunshine or the depths of the Westlake bus tunnel escalator.

Originally this item came in a strong gold color that some would say has “faded with time”. Instead, I prefer to look at this treasure as having achieved a high-end “washing machine influenced” patina; a sheen of loving wear that only those who’ve rocked this style for many years can appreciate. 

A friend recently posted this picture on her Facebook wall, with the tagline:

Attention men who wish to be sexy: In case you didn’t know what you were aiming for, here is your new fashion/physical beauty ideal.”

Heaven forbid me to tell anyone who or what they should find attractive, but could this really be what the pinnacle of men’s fashion has become? This guy who looks like he just stepped off the Dave Navarro assembly line? 

I so wanna Jackson Pollock his ass in neon. I want liberation from the black box. I want full garment self-expression. A revolution in ornamentation.

This is the purpose of our fashion blog – I reveal my favorite fashion finds, unapologetically. We learn together which taboos we’re willing to transgress. I dig through piles of thrift clothes and teach you how to make a wardrobe out of leftovers. You submit your favorite find that no one else understands. 

Together we see that each of us is a peacock yet to unfurl our tail.