What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

I’ve spent a good deal of time lately picking on the ladies, whether it be their hair, their clothing, or their behavior.  I’ll admit women’s fashions, hair styles, and the like are more interesting by nature than are men’s.  That doesn’t mean men don’t get it wrong as well.  With that in mind, it’s time to turn the table and give a little attention to the guys out there…


This is probably the least egregious of the bunch.  Honestly, the primary reason I snapped a photo of this gentleman was a comment from the bailiff.  This particular gent entered the courtroom and took a seat.  The bailiff, upon greeting him, asked, “Where is your pink carnation?”  That sort of tickled me — I used to play Marty Robbins’ A White Sport Coat (& a Pink Carnation) on the piano back in the day.  I will say, though, that it IS after Labor Day, and we are heading into October.  I was a good girl and retired my sandals for the fall/winter, so it might be time for Mr. Carnation to retire the light-colored sport coat as well.

The same day I snapped the photo of Mr. Carnation, I captured this gem walking into the local Sam’s Club.

There are so many things wrong with this look that I’m not even sure where to start.  I’m just not sure how the basketball jersey and plaid shorts go together.  There’s the t-shirt he’s wearing UNDER the jersey, which is definitely a different sort of look.  I’m pretty sure those are sandals with socks, which I thought was a style that went out eons ago, and let’s all be honest, if it hasn’t, we all hope it does so post-haste.  The hair appears sufficiently well-groomed, but I’ve only accepted the idea of men with long hair in the last few years; I’ve got a long way to go before I’m cool with men wearing buns.  And unless something has changed about Sam’s since I was in there a couple of months ago, that cigarette he’s smoking is going to have to go before he crosses the threshold.  This is an unquestionably unique look — and one I do not encourage others to duplicate.

This was a photo I did not know was being taken.  I am actually to this gentleman’s right, standing in front of the judge’s bench during a recent hearing.  Another attorney in the room snapped the photo and told me about it later.  He explained he took the photo because, to him, the Defendant looked like Danny DeVito as The Penguin in Batman.  (Thanks, Matt O.)  I can see it as well, and that earned DeVito’s Double a spot in this post.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say everything about this outfit is wrong.  I saw this gentleman walking down an open-air shopping mall last weekend.  (Note the second appearance of the “Great Pumpkin” in the background.)  From the too-tight button-down over a dark t-shirt, to the black socks and white shoes, this look is a mess.  With his hand in his pocket, and looking over his shoulder, he looks as if he thinks he’s got it goin’ on.  He doesn’t.  Bless his heart.

I am all about the American flag and patriotism and “mom and apple pie”, but I’m a traditionalist about it.  Note: I am offended when a singer of the Star-Spangled Banner “makes it his/her own”.  Some things just shouldn’t be messed with.  Consequently, it probably isn’t too difficult to guess how I feel about clothing with the flag draped across it.  I may be incorrect, but I just don’t think that is what our forefathers envisioned.  And I’m pretty sure that if they did, they didn’t envision it with those white socks and black shoes, to say nothing of the hat (that in all fairness, does go with his shorts).  

And lastly, I give you this gem, snapped last evening in the parking lot of a professional office building.  As someone who was previously in private practice, I just want to thank my lucky stars that I never had a client pay me a visit topless.  GROSS.  I’m sorry, but I truly can’t think of a situation where this would be appropriate attire for visiting one’s attorney’s office.  Ever!  Yet, there stands Dude — I’ve named him “Dude” — in the parking lot of his attorney’s office with two small children and what I presume to be his wife/baby-mama, shirtless.  Heck, it isn’t even as if he has a smokin’ physique.  I was appalled when I saw this.  And of course, I went straight for my iPhone to take a picture.  I’m pretty sure I’d welcome any, yes ANY, of the looks above over Dude’s.  Yikes.  Put on a shirt, Dude!

So the moral of the story is this: Guys, you are not exempt from my camera’s view-finder.  With that in mind, I recommend that you listen to your respective ladies when they offers “suggestions” on your wardrobe, lest you end up the subject of a Judged by Jenn critique.  (Of course, if your lady has the fashion sense of a colorblind turtle, you’re both in trouble!)

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A Word on Proper Sizing

It seems a lot of folks believe closer-fitting clothes are slenderizing.  This (erroneous) theory is similar to the notion that black is always slimming.  Trust me, black isn’t always slimming any more than tight clothes are.


Over the weekend I had occasion to spend some time at an outdoor shopping mall, and observed some disturbing examples to prove my point. 

Under no circumstances should one’s top be so tight that the outline of one’s navel is visible, as seen here.  When I took this photo, I was actually trying to snap one of this girl’s buddy, “the Great Pumpkin”, but the first thing I noticed when I looked at the photo was the navel outline.  Yuck.  I’m thinking a different size, a different style, or both would be in order here.  The fact that her shorts are riding up in the crotch is a whole separate issue, but the combination is not a good one.  Bless her heart.

Part of the problem with wearing one’s clothes too tight is that the material tends to roll or creep up, as seen here.  This lady was pushing a positively adorable baby around in a stroller, while wearing this unsightly ensemble.  

Besides showing one’s every bump and bulge, fabrics have a tendency to roll when they are too tight. The unfortunate result is that the rest of us end up being exposed to the wearer’s escaped fat roll. I don’t think I am going out on a limb when I say that no one needs or wants to see that.

Look, no one knows what size garment you are wearing when you are wearing it, and a garment with a given size label is not guaranteed to be the same size, or fit the same way, as another garment with a tag reflecting the same size. Don’t buy it because the tag says it is what you believe your size to be. Buy what fits. (Yes, Mother, sigh… You were correct about this, even though I didn’t/don’t always want to admit it. You will look smaller when wearing something that fits your body than you will wearing something that exposes too much or that rolls up so as to allow your parts to escape.

Consider this a public service announcement. You are welcome.

Friend Contribution — Court Dress Code

I am working on a new post, but in the meantime I am sharing another court dress code. My attorney friend Matt sent this to me last week. Note that once again, it is necessary to tell people that pajamas are not appropriate courtroom attire. I also like that it necessary to tell people that tobacco products are forbidden. This sign comes from juvenile court. By definition juveniles cannot legally possess tobacco products. (Yes, I understand that parents, guardians, etc, also attend juvenile court.) It amazes me that people need to be told these things, and yet I know they do.

Fifty-Fifty Shot…

There once was a time one could ascertain whether another individual was a male of female based solely upon his/her clothing.  Women wore skirts/dresses and men wore pants.  While I am supremely grateful the days of having to wear a dress all the time are behind us — I love my jeans and my pantsuits — there are days when this causes, um, confussion
More often then not, the mere act of wearing pants does not create confusion for the observer.  After all, I’m hard-pressed to say I’ve ever seen a man in a suit — or even jeans, for that matter — that look like mine, and I’m pretty certain no one has ever called me “sir” because I had on a pair of pants.  Additionally, there is usually a shape difference that gives it away, even when the wearer’s attire includes something that is pretty gender-neutral, like jeans and a sweatshirt.  Sometimes, though, it’s a tough call.  (By the same token, I have encountered a few skirt-wearing men in my time.  Usually, it isn’t hard to tell, but every once in a while…)
I remember a day in court several years ago when a now-retired judge got bent out of shape at a criminal defendant who appeared before him because the defendant was wearing small stud earrings.  This person had on jeans and an orange polo-style shirt, had very short, closely cropped hair, and earrings.  The judge in question got a case of the ass and told the defendant not to appear in front of him wearing earrings again.  Imagine the judge’s chagrin when he learned that the defendant was not a male, as he presumed, but a female.  Oops!
This week in court, I watched as the judge summoned a defendant forward.  It was not my case, and I was seated off to the side talking with another attorney who was present.  All the sudden the attorney I was speaking with said, “That is a female?”  I’d scanned the room for blog-fodder, but had clearly overlooked that individual thinking she was a guy.  I immediately reached for my phone and went into covert-photographer mode.  These are not the best photos I’ve ever snapped, due in part to the attorney whose arm is stretched across them, but I think they clearly convey the “Pat-esque” nature of the subject.

Although you can’t see them, the defendant had on a pair of black jeans in a decidedly unfeminine cut and a black belt that was very androgenously styled, to go with her shapeless, black button down shirt.  She had a slight spare tire around them middle, and nothing about her shape that would have caused me to guess she was female.  Those of us in the peanut gallery looked at the docket after agreeingwe would have called her “Sir” or “Mister”, and saw immediately how the judge knew the difference: her first name was decidedly feminine.  (I’m not going to tell you her real name, but it every bit as much of a “girl name” as “Angela” is.)
Look, I am not knocking the girl for how she was dressed.  I’m not.  It’s not a look that I would go for by any stretch of the imagination, but she has the right to dress however she pleases since her outfit didn’t violate the court’s dress code in any way.  (Note: As evidenced by my other posts, dressing as one pleases does not in any way exempt one from being photographed for this blog.  Just sayin’.)  I don’t know the girl, I don’t know her background, and I don’t know why she dresses the way she does.  All I know is this is how she appeard in court.  Stick a gender-neutral name on her like “Pat”, and what looked to be a pretty smooth court appearance could have been far more interesting.  Granted, if you are a female and you have a figure that honestly could go either way, and you dress in a manner that completely obscures your femininity, you are probably accustomed to being called “sir”.  But how awkward is that for those who are dealing with you?  And why do you want to look like that or put others in that position? 

Hair ‘Dos and Hair Don’ts

It is really funny how different hairstyles one and go. Think about it.  Many years ago the beehive was popular. 


How women teased their hair so as to achieve that amount of height and volume and how they kept it from wilting throughout the day is beyond me, especially on a consistent basis.  Heck, my hair fixes differently from one day to the next, even if my styling technique is the same.  That it is different from day to day is good on days like today when I am having an unfortunate hair day; one stellar hair days, however, I wish it could look the same every day.  

Some years later, the mullet became a popular style.  

 



How in the work a hairstyle described as being “business in the front, party in the back” became a popular style eludes my grasp.  Likewise, how a style that was the same for both men and women gained such popularity bewilders me.  Even more bewildering are the days when I encounter someone wearing a mullet.  It always inspires me to ponder what self-respecting hair-stylist would agree to cut a client’s hair in such a style.  I mean, really?  My hair-stylist would not only refuse, she would probably consider dashing up the street to the courthouse to file a mental commitment alleging I was gravely disabled or a danger to myself if I sat down in her chair and asked her to give me a mullet.  (She should consider this my formal permission to do so in the vent that I ever make such a request.)

Well, today while waiting my turn during court, I glanced around the room to see if there was anything I deemed “photo worthy” or “blog fodder”.  Imagine my delight when this young woman stepped up to the bench.

That was a serious 80’s look she was rocking.  I’m not sure I could tell you when I last saw someone wearing a banana clip.  And paired with the letter jacket?  Well, I might have guessed that it was Spirit Week at the local high school and she was dressing in theme, except the docket for the day dealt generally with breach of contact cases, which clued me in that she had to be at least eighteen years of age.  Folks, this banana clip ‘do wasn’t haphazardly done.  This ‘do was done!  It appeared she put some real work into styling her hair this morning.  After all, she even has the curly little tendrils handing down in front of her ears.  Oh, and those bangs that are spritzed within an inch of their life, and that wouldn’t budge come wind, hell, or high water.  Wow!

Being me, I forwarded this photo some a few friends before posting it here.  One of the girls who is too young to have lived through banana clips back in the day said the following:  “Haha haven’t seen one of those since the last time I watched an 80s movie.”  I informed her that I actually tried to wear such a thing back in the day, and it was not a good look for me.  Mercifully, as I told her, I am reasonably certain that no photographic evidence exists to document that lapse in hair-styling judgment.  

I’m not sure why this young lady appeared for court looking like a blast from a 1980’s Brat Pack movie.  Nor am I sure where she acquired such a hair accessory in this day and age.  I continue to marvel.  Just please tell me the mullet isn’t going to come back around…


My eyes! My eyes!

So, today was yet another court appearance for me.  For a change, I didn’t see anything eye-catching  or horrifying in the Courthouse, but if I’d had a citation book and a Commission from the Fashion Police, I could have and would have issued tickets all around town.  Here are some of the highlights.






















This young lady was walking down the sidewalk in front of the courthouse.  I’m not sure what, if anything she had on under that very large, very long, white t-shirt.  I do know that she was parading up and down the sidewalk in said white t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops smoking a cigarette.  As my friend Shelli would say, “Klassy with a K.”  I’m going to suggest that when wearing a t-shirt that is clearly not intended as a t-shirt dress, it is best to wear bottoms, whether they be shorts, a skirt, capris, leggings, or pants that can be seen under said t-shirt.  Heck! Even jeggings would be preferable to this look.  This t-shirt, I am confident, was not sold as a t-shirt dress.  In fact, I’d wager this one has a couple of identical buddies somewhere that came from the same plastic package at the local dollar store.  This is not a good look, and a cigarette is never an appropriate accessory.  Just sayin’.  

After seeing the Plain-White-Tee chick, I drove literally half a block down the street — half a block — before I found myself longing for the citation book again.  Here’s why:

In addition to standing slightly in the street yapping on her cell phone, girlfriend was rocking the aqua blue bun.  Wow!  And from the rest of her outfit, I’m hard-pressed to say she looks like the type to go with “cotton candy” when selecting her hair color.  It was quite a day for unnatural hair colors though.  Just a few blocks away I spotted a girl I wish I’d been quick enough to get a picture of.  She had on a black shirt with bright pink polka dots, and her hair was a very vibrant pink to match. Speechless.  



A few more blocks down the road, I observed this gentleman outside what may have been the hospital.  Look, I’m not knocking the guy for being a patient.  I don’t know what ails him, but I certainly wish him the best.  What caught my attention where his printed pajama/lounge bottoms, his hospital gown, and the cigarette he was smoking.  I’m sure his physicians are just tickled pink he is stepping outside breath of fresh, I mean smoke-polluted, air.  Gross.  The way he was sporting the gown, he was showing a good bit of skin, especially when the wind blew.  Oh, and are those paper gowns flammable?  I’m not being hateful; I’m just trying to figure out how taking a cigarette break in a paper hospital gown on a windy day is a good idea.  Okay, maybe the gown isn’t paper, but really?  Someone bring this guy a real robe.  And again I say, cigarettes are never appropriate fashion accessories.

And finally, we have what is most assuredly the most egregious fashion disaster of the day.  And lest you think she caught me snapping her picture, let me assure you she was looking at the folks making noise coming off the elevator directly behind me.  


As I explained to a friend, this deserves more than a citation from the fashion police; it deserves full-on incarceration, with the sentence to be served at fashion boot camp.  There is so much wrong with this outfit, I truly don’t know where to start.  Oh, wait!  I’ll start with this: she was wearing this as a dress!!!  While it might have worked as a dress on someone whom it fit properly, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this young lady was not such an individual.  The fact that every unsightly bump and bulge covered by this dress is also emphasized by this dress, the fact that the cellulite on her legs is on full display, the “matching” house slippers, and the fact that her posterior is just barely covered were among my first clues, bless her heart.  (Note: In the South we say “Bless her heart” to temper whatever unflattering but exceedingly truthful comment we just made.  Throwing out a “bless her heart” is intended to take the sting out of any unking words one might have said.  This seems like a “bless her heart” moment.)  I am pretty sure this “dress” (to use the word loosely) was tighter than her actual skin.  I can’t imagine that such a thing could have been even remotely comfortable or easy to get in and out of.   

After this one, I opted to take refuge in my hotel room for the remainder of the evening.  At the rate I was going, each “sighting” was worse than the last, and I honestly didn’t want to risk seeing whatever might be worse this that last one.  I’m not sure my eyes or my camera could have taken it.  

"1 Like = 1 Respect": A Rant

I am not someone who ordinarily does things just because someone else says I should, or because someone guilts me into it.  I won’t lie; my mother still has the ability to coerce me using guilt tactics on occasion, but otherwise, I’m not overly susceptible to such nonsense.  Maybe that’s why I bristle at what I consider to be the adult version of the old “Step on a Crack, Break your Mother’s Back” bologna from elementary school that often rears its head on Facebook.  (Note: There are sooooo many things that irritate me about Facebook that it is a wonder I maintain an account.  The thing is, it also has a uniquely train wreck-like element that I have a difficult time turning away from.)

Come on.  You know what I’m talking about.  Those ridiculous status updates that drone on and on about how the poster loves his or her mom/child/dog/left-striped-knee-sock-with-the-hole-in-the-toe, and how if you love your mom/child/dog/left-striped-knee-sock-with-the hole-in-the-toe, too, you should repost this as your status as well, and if you don’t, well, must must not that knee sock so much after all.  Seriously?  The fact I don’t repost your nonsense status doesn’t mean I have anything less than the utmost love and respect for my left-striped-knee sock-with-the-hole-in-the-toe, or any of the other options listed above.  (Okay, not my child, but that’s because I — perhaps wisely — don’t have kids of my own.)  It just means I don’t have to behave like a sheep in order to demonstrate my feelings to a bunch of folks who honestly? Don’t care if I love my knee sock or not.  Same thing with the status updates that challenge the reader to repost this status as their own for one hour if they support whatever the cause de jour happens to be?  Really?  You think the only way to know if I support that cause or respect someone fighting a particular illness — or the only way for me to show that — is by my facebook status?  Wrong. 

Lately I’ve been seeing a new one.  It usually includes what is intended to be (and often is) a thought-provoking photograph, and states that “1 like = 1 respect”, or something similar.  I swear, sometimes I don’t click “like” just because the whole idea of these posts offends me.  Yeah, I know; I’m showing them, right?  But these statuses annoy the living daylights out of me.  And it is not like I can escape these posts by “defriending” or “unliking” something I follow on facebook, because none of these things are entities that I follow.  Instead, they pop up in my news feed because someone I am friends with “Likes” or comments on a given post.  I’m not going to defriend someone just because they “Like” something I find annoying.  Consequently, here we are.  

I mentioned this to a friend the other day and she indicated she had not seen what I’m talking about.  In case you haven’t either, here are a few recent examples I took screenshots of.

This one irks me.  So I should “Like” this status if I will always love my child.  Does that mean if I don’t click “Like”, I won’t?  So lest others think you don’t love your kid (unfortunate-looking, ill-behaved, and bratty though he/she may be), you must click “Like”.  Or, here’s an idea: perhaps you could, I don’t know, get the heck off of Facebook and show your kid you love him/her by spending some quality time with the little troll.  Or if you child is older, pick up the phone and let him/her know he/she is on your mind.  I’m pretty sure that’s more effective than “Liking” a random Facebook status.

The next couple of screen shots happen to be military-related.  Before I post them, let me just say that I have the utmost respect and gratitude to those who have served, and those who are serving, in our military.  These are just examples of what I call “shame/guilt posts” that make me want to bang my head against a brick wall, not an indication that I don’t respect the subject of the post.

Or, we could find ourselves a quiet moment and actually say a prayer for the safety of those who are serving.  (And I don’t mean post that prayer on Facebook so everyone knows you’ve done it; I mean log the heck off of the internet and say one the old fashioned way.) I’m guessing that would be more productive than telling someone on the other end of a Facebook account that you “like” their status.  

Next we have:

Really?  The poster — whose screen name is “Bitch, Please” —  thinks if I “like” this photo, I am showing respect, and if I don’t “like” it, I “don’t care”.  To this, I say, “Bitch, please.”  That is ridiculous.  It’s a picture of a soldier carrying a German Shepherd.  If you care about our Troops, maybe send a letter, or a care package, or do something else to actively support them.  If you care about the dog, maybe make a donation of food or your time at the animal shelter, or make a donation to the Humane Society.  Again, these are things that will be far more lasting means of support than simply clicking “like” because someone named “Bitch, Please” posted a photo/status that shamed you into it.  

Before I get to the next two, I should tell you that they are religious in nature.  As with the military-related examples, let me say that I am not in any way disrespecting God or religion.  These are simply examples of posts that make me cringe.  For example:

Okay, I have several issues with the first one.  First of all, I have serious doubts that Jesus Christ has a Facebook page, so for someone, even a religious entity, to so name a Facebook account is something I find offensive.  And really?  The “Jesus Daily”?  Then, to solicit “likes” for the “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, and to suggest one should “Like” this status if one is a believer, or if one accepts Jesus, is just inane.  Here is my thought on this: If you are a “Good Christian Person”, you shouldn’t have to “prove” it by clicking “Like” on a facebook status; it should be evident in your actions.  I once worked with a woman who went around constantly telling us what a “good Christian” she was.  In reality, she was a stark raving shrew who was a backstabbing, judgmental gossip.  She could click “Like” or tell me how good and pious she was all day, but I knew her, and her actions suggested otherwise.  

Here’s the thing: Just as I don’t believe bad things are going to befall me if break the chain by failing to forward a chain letter or chain email, I don’t believe failing to click “like” makes me a bad person, someone who disrespects the military, someone who doesn’t believe in God, or someone who doesn’t support a worthy cause or individual.  I do, however, believe that if I want to show support for an organization or a cause, there are ways to do so that will actually bring a benefit to that cause or organization that just aren’t achieved by clicking “Like” on some entity’s Facebook page.  Also, “Liking” a Facebook page is not going to convince me that you’re a good person any more than telling me what a good Christian you are is going to convince me you are, in fact, a good Christian.  Liking the page just convinces me that you give in to guilt/shame statuses.  Actual actions speak louder than facebook clicks.