Tuesday, July 14, 2009

10 Things You Don't Have to Wear Anymore

Like many, Dusty D is sometimes guilty of romanticizing the past. But a peek in the 1902 Sears, Roebuck catalogue soon cures that. People every day decked themselves out in uncomfortable clothing and weird contraptions to an unimaginable degree. Here are the standouts:

1. Dogskin Coat

What could be nicer than wearing dogskin? After all, it's always pleasant when Rex snuggles down at your feet on the bed--ahh, toasty.

Why not cut to the chase, skin him, and make this fashionable, cuddly coat? Aside from the fact that people may want to pet you in public.

"Honey, have you seen Rex?"
"Yes--he's in the closet."

2. Dead Parrot

Meant as an ornament, this contorted dead bird will add a note of dead bird to your finest Sunday hat. For a measly 45 cents, you can avoid those bothersome backyard birdfeeder stakeouts once required to secure your own millinery corpse. Who has the time, these days?

3. The Walton

However, if you prefer to decorate your head with a pork chop on a plate, The Walton is for you. I think that's a strip of bacon wrapped around the middle, there.

4. Jaunty Turban

You could do worse than the Walton, though. How about a hat salvaged from an auto accident? With a handful of weeds growing from the rim.

Perhaps it's useful as a wearable radar dish, for eavesdropping at the church social.

"She said what?" You'll know exactly what she said, with the Jaunty Turban.

5. Rubber Diaper Drawers

What could be nicer for Junior than to have his, uh, accidents hermetically sealed for hours against his skin? Just don't ask me to change him, thank you. And ignore that squishy feeling when you pick him up.

6. Ladies' and Misses' Shoulder Brace

Dusty D strives to be both morally and physically upright, and one way to achieve both these goals is with this shoulder-brace. Like the best-designed straitjackets, it's comfy, and wrenches those recalcitrant shoulders right back into alignment.

7. Abdominal Corset

Not only were early 20th century women's waists sausaged into gaspingly tight corsets--this model also includes an extra, rigid panel over the lower abdomen.

Merely going to the bathroom would entail the removal of more layers than an amorous Arctic explorer. Be sure to pick the color "drab" for extra sex appeal.

8. Armpit Shields

So. You have your chemise, your corset, your shirtwaist, your shoulder-brace, your underskirts, and your dress--why not add another layer? These Armpit Shields promise to seal perspiration securely into the armpit where it belongs. There's a safety feature too: it's like having built-in pepper spray. When a mugger threatens your person, merely raise your hand, just like the preacher making a benediction, and he'll fall to his knees all right.

9. Summer Union Suit.

Let's not forget the gentlemen. Men, it's July--time to get yourself a full-body union suit. Don this head-to-toe protective shield for super summer comfort and you'll look as debonair as this gentleman.

10. Celluloid Shirt Fronts

On top of that union suit, put on this plastic carapace-breastplate. The long one is extra sweat-retentive.

And we're not even gonna touch "Men's Rubber Bosoms." At least, I'm not gonna touch 'em. Eeuw.


Mens' hats. Just look how elegant these gentlemen are in their derbies and fedoras. Ahhh...(swoon). They didn't just slap on a dirty baseball cap over a slovenly T-shirt and wander around looking like some mouth-breathing ape, no sir.

Bachelors of Ypsilanti, here's the answer to your prayers: get yourself a nice new derby and wear it around town.

I guarantee it will be distinctive, and what lady can resist a gentleman of distinction?


cmadler said...

I think the rise of the car headrest was the downfall of good hats. I've tried to wear a hat in the car, and it just doesn't work; you must either remove the headrest or remove the hat.

Dusty D said...

Dear cmadler: what a good point. Of course: that wouldn't work at all; and it would be irritating to have your hat scrooching all over your head while trying to drive.

Phooey. What a shame.

Lisele said...

You must put your headrest way down and sit way up straight. Then your had will clear the top of the headrest. Ahhh! I'm wearing a straw hat right now.

Dusty D said...

Lisele: Ah, that's the ticket!

cmadler said...

For some reason - perhaps their greater flexibility - I can get my straw hat to go over the top of the headrest, but I've never been successful in doing that with my Stetson, or with similarly constructed felt hats.

Dusty D said...

cmadler: Yep, same problem here with my big straw hat. 'Course, usually my hat is a bike helmet, so no worries there.

cmadler said...

There was an interesting article in the Saturday/Sunday Wall Street Journal (online here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574348642041258148.html ) about this. Besides cars, other reasons they mention for the decline of hats are: soldiers returning from WWII didn't want to wear anything on their heads after wearing helmets for so long, longer hairstyles for men, and JFK going hatless.

Dusty D said...

Ooh. Neat article about "trilbies," cmadler, thank you!

Though I HAVE to say whereas Al Capone looks sharp in his hat, Brad Pitt, for all the good he is doing for charity, which I recognize and appreciate, looks like a bum with that ridiculous "doughnut" of hair on his face. Bah.

Bring back hats and hat etiquette (no hats inside, no hats at the table, &c.!) That'll separate the men from the boys.