What’s in a Name?

Vintage labels by any other name would not nearly be as sweet

Anyone who has combed the racks of Salvation Army or dug through mounds of rayon at a by-the-pound knows the thrill of finding vintage labels amongst the overpopulated Old Navy, H&M, and Talbots tags that cycle through community thrift stores. As a vintage clothing picker, sifting through thousands of pounds of clothing a day, styles and labels can begin to meld together and repeat themselves until everything seems like a big clump of deodorant stained polyester. That is until, every once in a blue velvet moon, an unusual vintage label catches my eye. While some may fawn over finding a Dior or Lanvin, the labels that tickle my sartorial fancy are not the designer, but the obscure and borderline ridiculous.

Move Over Sean John

Nowadays every celebrity and their pet Chihuahua have a clothing line, but here are a few celebrity labels that were around way before we were elbowing our way through Target for that MK and Ashley headband.

Your body might be a wonderland, but it would look super stylish in this plaid button down. Who knows, Taylor Swift might even write you a song about how she is never, ever, ever giving back your shirt or sweater.

Wool and Paris are two things I would never associate with Zebra and Pickle loving Snooki, but I’m sure the Shore gets cold every once and a while, and what girl from Jersey (or anywhere, for that matter) doesn’t want to pull a Carrie Bradshaw and have Big chase them through the city of love.

Like Adidas going back to the flower, do you think they’ll drop the Draper Price to regain their old school cred comme Mad Men season six?

So Fash-pun

If you’ve noticed anything about WORN (besides our modest yet wildly attractive and intelligent staff—thank you, BTW) it’s that we love our fair share of puns. Coming from this background, it’s hard not to find myself chuckling when I come across ones as good as these.

While some might say putting a specific sport in the name of your sportswear company is limiting (think how many less Air Jordans Nike would have sold if they were Bik-e), I still think this marketing is pure genius.

I just really want to go back in time and sit at the round table with the marketers that made this one, and eat all the donuts while scrolling down a dictionary.com list of all the words with ‘knit’ in them.

Honourable (and in some cases dishonourable) Mentions

Though I don’t remember the particular garment this label was on, you just know the guy wearing this was totally jamming to Flock of Seagulls while cruising in his Delorean.

There’s so much going on on this label, it’s hard to know where to start. I mean, like they say in the copy, obviously the first thing I notice is Fun and Fashion. But let’s remember that all that great capital F stuff must first come with the courage it takes to assert yourself and say NO! I feel there’s a lot of life lessons packed into these denims, ladies.

And from saying ‘No!’ to saying, well…No, is ‘Mr. Thomson…please!’ The most disturbing in ’50s office fashions, and coming to an HR rep near you!

Hot Fuzz: Behind the Scenes

Alyssa Wornette gets mascara dabbed on her armpit hair by a complete stranger

Arriving at the Belljar Cafe in Toronto’s west end on a warm summer evening, I felt wretchedly nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I was proud of my armpit hair: so proud in fact I was worried the photos wouldn’t do them justice. I wanted to look sexy, sophisticated, and not at all ashamed like I would’ve been in the past. I was terrified my confidence just wouldn’t come through.

But as my body slid into ’50s party dresses in pastel shades, and my perfectly curled hair was coated with hairspray, the nerves turned to excitement. Somewhere between fresh brewed coffee, dabbing mascara on my armpit hair, and cuddling an ADORABLE puppy, we snapped the perfect photos to accompany Hot Fuzz, issue 15‘s article on learning to love my pit hair. I’ve never felt so pretty and proud.

text // Alyssa Garrison
video // Daniel Reis
end animation // Barry Potter

The Motherloads

Everything we know about fashion, we learned from our TV mothers

Television opponents like to accuse parents of letting the boob tube raise their children. I gotta say—what’s wrong with that? For decades now, TV has been home to some effective mothers, from the lax and laid back to the strict and tough, with the wardrobes to match.

In deciding to profile some of the most stylish TV moms, we didn’t, of course, imagine this to be a comprehensive list—just a picking of some of our staff’s particular favourites. Want to gush about Jane Jetson or Peggy Bundy? Tell us in the comments. But first, sit down, read what we have to say, and don’t forget to eat your vegetables.

1 > Roseanne Conner from Roseanne (1988-1997)
Although comedian Roseanne Barr succeeded in turning her “Domestic Goddess” standup routine into a half-hour sitcom, the look of her character on Roseanne was anything but divine. Sweaters, simple button-downs and jeans made up Roseanne Conner’s wardrobe—that is when she wasn’t wearing her retro-kitsch waitress uniform.

The costumes were a way for the show to reflect the everyday authenticity of Lanford, Illinois. Roseanne battled with the wardrobe master over pricey clothes which made her “look like a show pony rather than a working-class mom.” As she wrote in New York Magazine, “I wanted vintage plaid shirts, t-shirts, and jeans, not purple stretch pants with green-and-blue smocks.”

The wardrobe master admitted that head office instructed her to ignore what the star wanted to wear because they did not approve of how Roseanne was portraying the character (despite the fact that the character was obviously based on herself). While not a trendsetter, Roseanne deserves credit for sticking to her guns and bringing some realness to ‘Must See TV.’ WORN celebrates Roseanne for wearing what she wanted, even if we never found out what the deal was with that ubiquitous chicken shirt. // Max Mosher

2 > Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show (1984-1992)
As a kid (and, okay, kind of recently) we’ve spent many a sick day watching re-runs of The Cosby Show and wondering how one family could be so sartorially spot-on. Mr. Huxtable had his iconic sweaters, and Denise—well, Denise’s style was clearly not dreamt up by mere mortals. But the one family member who is most deserving of our nail art-embellished and bracelet-jangling applause is Mama Huxtable (Phylicia Rashād) herself—er, let’s just call her Clair.

Clair was a hard-ass, capital ‘M’ Mom (and lawyer) who could make you clean your room whether you liked it or not—and she’d wear a pile of jewels and a brightly coloured onesie while she did it. Then she would throw a matching apron over top and whip up a roast dinner without scuffing even one of her immaculately manicured nails. Even when she was working in the garden, Mama Hux was put together; she pulled weeds with style in oversized dungarees, a plaid shirt with rolled-up sleeves, and a straw hat.

It’s impossible to pick a favourite of Clair’s outfits, but a recurring look she owned and we’ve always envied was the oversized blouse and skinny trouser combo; there were usually shoulder-pads involved, and there was always a carefully selected set of jewelry on top, with the occasional belt to pull it all together. Mrs. Huxtable’s knack for style is simply undeniable. // Stephanie Fereiro

3 > Vivian Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
Two actresses may have played Aunt Viv in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but it was the original who was the most memorable. Janet Hubert played matriarch of the mansion from seasons one to three. She was spunky, stylish, and a rare sight as one of the few dark-skinned, black women on TV.

Will Smith’s dayglo tanks were no match for original Aunt Viv who stole scenes with her classy, luxurious style. The sitcom mom was rarely seen without a piece of gold jewelry. She wore suits that were masterfully tailored and jumpsuits that cinched at the waist. Her nails were always manicured, her hair always full. Even when she was cuddling in bed with Uncle Phil (that’s her husband, Will’s uncle), the woman always looked beautiful. Producers eventually fired Hubert over contract riffs, replacing her with Daphne Reed from seasons four onward. And Aunt Viv was never the same. Her wardrobe wasn’t as fly, she wasn’t as forthright, and she probably couldn’t pull off this dance in a pink unitard. // Mai Nguyen

4 > Morticia Addams from The Addams Family (1964-1966)
Morticia Addams is the spooky mama of the Addams Family; played by Carolyn Jones in the ’60s sitcom that paired creepy, gothic sensibilities with a sense of humour. Morticia (the Frenchies amongst you will recognize the word “mort” means “death”) is the ultimate domestic housewife with a demented twist. Her dark yet refined look was a fixture of the show, and she is considered a style icon for classy goths both inside and out of the fashion world.

Morticia was never seen without her cascade of sleek, black hair, cat-eye make-up and clingy, floor-length black gown. She ruled her household with cool (yet perfectly manicured) hand, in contrast to her excitable husband Gomez, who could barely contain his sexual attraction to her. Morticia’s trademark style oozed glamour, and was somewhere between a silent movie star and a grim funeral-goer. // Isabel Slone

5 > Florida Evans from Good Times (1974-1979)
Florida Evans, played by actress Esther Rolle, was the lead character and fiery mother of three in Good Times. The series followed the Evans family and their lives spent in a housing project in a poor, inner-city Chicago neighbourhood. While working class families had been shown on television before, depicting the lives of black characters living in such impoverished conditions was a breakthrough in the genre.

So what’s a ’70s housewife in the projects to wear? Polyester, and lots of it. Florida’s outfits may have been tame compared to the funky wardrobes of her children, but she still had mad style. Her most memorable looks had her dressed in head to toe orange—just as fresh and bright as the fruit. Though this might be a clever comment about the state that Florida shares her name with, perhaps the choice was just a compliment to the autumn hues of the Evans’ ’70s living room. Dressed for a wedding in her “JC Penney Original”—a vibrant orange dress complete with matching bakelite necklace—Florida declares that her outfit for this uptown occasion is a little tight downtown. Like a good mother should—ain’t we lucky we got em!—Florida speaks the truth. // Jenna Danchuk

6 > Marge Simpson from The Simpsons (1989-present)
Marge Simpson has become so ingrained in pop culture as one fifth of the most iconic animated family, her style has become taken for granted. Sure, one could argue that she’s meant to represent the typical housewife (though what does that mean, really?) but quick—how many small town stay-at-home moms do you know who rock a green strapless dress, orange pearls, and a bright blue Bride of Frankenstein-style beehive? A mother of three, she understands the value of clothes to the extent that she can stop a counterfeit jean ring operating out of her car hole by recognizing their faulty stitching.

Marge is never more conscious of clothing than in the episode “Scenes from a Class Struggle in Springfield.” After rationalizing the purchase of a dramatically discounted Chanel suit (“It’ll be good for the economy”) she gets invited to a country club inhabited by Springfield’s elite. Marge desperately wants to be accepted by this new crowd, for whom living on a budget and meatloaf do not exist. It’s a world that the always resourceful Marge doesn’t understand, but nonetheless runs her sewing machine ragged trying to get the maximum mileage out of her Chanel suit. Eventually she learns that clothes are just textiles, capable of getting destroyed with the wrong amount of pressure on her sewing machine pedal, and that while they reveal a lot, they can never truly compensate for one’s values. Plus, let’s be real—her hairdo is way more chic than anything the women at the country club were sporting. // Anna Fitzpatrick

7 > Betty Draper from Mad Men (2007-present)
Ice-cold blue eyes shoot daggers through cat-eyed sunglasses, while fitted waists and full skirts cause children (even her own) to run in the other direction. January Jones as Betty Draper, or Francis rather—if we are able to picture her outside the golden era of her and Don and that blue velveteen headboard—is the ultimate in ’50s housewife style. If Grace Kelly put on an apron and went to therapy, she would be Betty. Never a blonde strand out of place or a smudged rouge pout—even while in a nighty, shooting the neighbour’s pesky pigeons.

To the world outside her suburban windows she is perfect. Her anxiety cramped hands hide in white day gloves, and as an audience we rarely see her looking dishevelled. Even sulking in polka dotted chiffon, she still manages to look way more put together than I would after a marathon Kleenex fest. For the most part, however, Betty’s costume is just that. A suit of tafetta armour, protecting the ideal she upholds.

And while the fashion thirsty Mad Men watchers in the past few seasons may have—like Don—found a new muse that’s more their cup of Scotch (cough, Megan), I would urge you not to overlook some of Betty’s sartorial adventures that prove she’s not just a cookie cutter gingham clad housewife. Remember when she recalled the story of being a muse to an Italian designer and pulled out that racy silk romper from the back of her closet? Or the time she bought that yellow bikini from the auction and confronted Don about wearing it outside (Hi, Feminism!…That is until he shamed her out of wearing it by saying she looked ‘cheap’—not cool, Draper). And, ummm, hello, this hair!? // Casie Brown

8 > Jo McGuire from Lizzie McGuire (2001-2004)
Lizzie McGuire was always one of the coolest 13-year-olds who managed to rock some the most flamboyant outfits the Disney Channel ever did see (your move, Hannah Montana). Her mom, Jo McGuire, on the other hand, was much plainer and often deemed by Lizzie as uncool. And yet, Mrs. McGuire was awesome—her look was former-hippie-turned-soccer-mom, who although plain, never lost her quirky flair. Jo’s hair was always in a simple yet complex up-do that even sometimes supported bright bandanas intricately laced. She also seemed to have a cardigan in every colour imaginable, and wore poignant thick rimmed glasses before they were the hip, go-to accessory. Still, what especially put Jo McGuire within the high ranks of super cool moms was the fact that she took Lizzie bra shopping with an enthusiasm and active motherly support that isn’t so common on television. She helped send a body-positive message to young girls wherein lingerie was seen as a part of growing up and womanly empowerment instead of a tool for male seduction with voyeuristic connotations too often seen in teenage dramas. // Paulina Kulacz

image compilation // Zoe Vos

Book Review: Preppy

I like cardigans—a lot. And I have a particular weakness for the camel-coloured wool variety. My penny loafer collection is gaining ground. I find argyle bowties to be the perfect accessory. It’s time to come clean: My name is Jenny and my wardrobe is heavily under the influence of prep. And while pearls may not win any attention in a crowded bar, Jeffrey Banks and Doria de la Chapelle’s Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style helped me feel more loving towards the boring (I mean classic) garments that have overrun my closet. Their book explores the roots and history of the classic collegiate look and its evolution into a clean-cut staple that’s, well, kind of everywhere.

The book has the basics to share: prep was born and bred in the early 1900s by Ivy League boys on the East Coast who paired athletic clothes with refined classics and emblems of their school pride (pins, ribbons, badges). To be a true prep, conformity was key, and often membership to the exclusive clubs came down to getting the details just so, like the roll of a cuff or the colour and print of your necktie. By the 1930s, the style was adopted by women and quickly spread to the leisure loving upper class who wore kooky, clean-cut frocks to Palm Beach and the golf course. In the book Thrift Score, Al Hoff perfectly describes some of prep’s most iconic looks, when she suggests throwing a preppy themed party where attendees should don “blazers, madras shorts, polo shirts (Lacoste only please, Ralph Lauren is an interloper), green belts with whales, monogrammed crewneck sweaters with a pattern of little ducks,” and anything nautical.

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