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How to dress your child: Rules and Regulations April 16 2014

It’s never too early to introduce ones infant to the rules of dressing.

These days kids choose what they wear with mixed results. When picking up the cherubs from the local child daytime internment facility I see a lot of this kind of thing.(see below child bricolage rtw.)

That is fine but so very pedestrian. If you want your child to be a pedestrian then fine. If you want them to be a triumph of culture and style then read on.

Boring. (Acceptable with bright boots.)

Shows good potential but not exactly breaking new ground with her color palette.

Rule one:

NO BRANDED CHARACTER GARMENTS! Time Warner has enough of your child’s soul without wearing the t-shirt as well. Don’t worry you needn’t actually purchase branded character apparel as it is a well known but little understood mystery of childbirth that; that stuff will come to you. It will find a way. One day your toddler will be wearing a Disney princess cardigan and Despicable Me socks and you won’t remember ever having brought it.

(Image below) Unpalatable but inevitable side effect of parenthood.

 

Rule Two:

No mega designer labels. Spend that stuff on yourself! God knows you deserve it! Anyway five minutes after finally getting your preschooler into said garment, you will pause to wipe the sweat from your brow and acknowledge the bruises on your shins, before the little darling will have already had ample time to cover the sleeves and bodice in glitter glue and Nutella.

 

Guaranteed even if you don’t keep liquids in the house.

 

I reiterate: no mega label pieces! (no Gucci, D&G or Chanel, they are for Donatella hopefuls and Rupert Murdochs ex 5th wife.)

This child of the Corn is off to deny her mothers friend request on Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

 

This is acceptable only if the child chose it themselves.

”I’m on soundcloud, you should check our LP out...yea its our new shoegaze ABC not that I'm into genre labeling or anything.”

NO. NO!

Rule Three:

No Pumpkin Patch or garish Warehouse style apparel unless your child is lucky enough to be one of their production workers and gets a staff discount.

So dress your child in a waterproof jumpsuit or locally owned labels and sleep well at night.

Any questions contact me.

 


Holy Christmas! What to wear. December 18 2013

(Deep breath.) CHRISTMAS! Yay! An excuse to dress up?! Not in NZ. The only time its acceptable to dress up in NZ (or the Southern hemisphere in general), is at a funeral or job interview. Thus the negative association with shining oneself up. Well I've never been one to follow social normative conventions anyway, and as I see it nothing can be improved so much as with a good outfit. Being as we are in sub-hemisphere climes, we have the favored season for Christmas: summer. AND ISN'T IT AWESOME?! I pity the fools that have to suffer through a cold wintery Christmas! Sucked in!

We get to have our traditional Christmas beach BBQ in our swimsuits as God intended. So why not take advantage of your extreme fortune and mix it up with resort wear (beachwear) meets formal-wear? (No I'm not talking about that t-shirt with the bow tie print. Although that is cool.) No I mean with the simple application of a single factor.

Stay with me dear reader, I shall explain.
As you should have learned by now: the unbearably tedious can be made pleasant with the right shoes. So if you have office functions to appear at, shouts to attend, ancient aunts to placate by carols, why not sail through it all by focusing on what really matters: your outfit.

Exhibit One: Loafers

Now I know Loafers are a broad spectrum; from our canvas ones to Michael Jackson to Gucci to Penny, but for the purposes of this blog roll I am referring to middle-of-the-road suede or canvas loafers. Loafers can be the pin on which your resort to formal outfit hinges. One good thing about them is they can convey smug indifference and intellectual superiority in a socially commendable way. But there is a downside too. You can risk straying into frumpy land if you are female, or Tenenbrum level callousness in the wrong context.

Say you have a prize giving to attend at your nieces school: What happens when we apply loafers (henceforth x) to this situation? If you are male they will most likely have a stress reduction effect and signify your calm indifference to the child's educational outcome.(success) However what if you are female? You will most likely be mistaken for an overworked member of the staff or even a parent! (Fail) see below:

Correct: (X + worn jeans)polo = Classy, over-educated, but remote

Correct: this drips privilege. The gold buttoned Regan blazer is a nice ironic touch.

 

     

Incorrect: Even without that dress, and that cardi, this says: Junior teaching staff. Correct if you wish to take on work as a teachers aid or presenting toddlers mid morning television.

X(f + short skirt)= fail

Next lets apply loafers to a Christmas BBQ situation.

Do: wear at a work BBQ.

DON'T: wear at a family BBQ. See below

correct: to wear to WORK RELATED functions or anywhere you wish to impart the sentiment; "I don't even need the money. Why do I put up with you people?" but in a NICE and ambiguous way.

Correct for FAMILY Christmas BBQs. It says: "I may be better than you people, but I am related to you and I may actually notice your absence."

Acceptable for work functions within the clergy, council departments, ONLY. Problematic collar issue. Not with white Dino!

 

Incorrect

For the love of God man! Have some humanity! They're your family!

Correct: in the context of school functions.

 

 

 

 

 


The need to know: All Types of Stripes December 10 2013

Today's lesson will be on: the not insubstantial topic: stripes. In particular; le breton stripe.

I'll have you know the Breton stripe came about by French Law in 1858 to locate overboard sailors.[1] It was a ¾ sleeve knit with 21 stripes each for one of Napoleons victories. It was not until Coco Chanel’s 1917 nautical collection that the navy stripe sweater became synonymous with haute couture and acceptable for bourgeois women to wear as casualwear and with wide leg pants no less.

So fast forward past all the cinematic success this sweater has had, (see below), to how to wear it today without looking like the duchess. (cough, gag!)

(Subtitles: totally redundant. Everyone knows those films. Quick! have a test with you co-workers now!)

What you must remember is this: stripes do NOT make you look fat. (And black is not slimming.) That is a horrible old wives tale probably spun by a little old witch that didn’t want her enemies wearing lovely stripes or bright colours, because she knew they would probably look excellent in them.

As we know stripes are essential to the nautical look this season. But must contain within a note of caution: tread carefully for classic can soon become preppy which can then deteriorate into smug and into Donald Trump, P Diddy ghastliness. But never fear for if you follow my instructions you will be safe. (See below.)

 fig 1.

Caution! This is getting dangerously preppy! (Preppy is only acceptable if one is wearing it ironically.)

This is an example of non ironic preppy= borderline racist.

 

fig 2.

correct

 fig 3.

Partially correct (How does Alexa manage to date this look: 2010?! It's supposed to be timeless woman!)

 

fig 4. Fail

Wrong! Prince Phillip levels of arrogance. Fake smile: Miss America level: through the roof!

(I keep expecting her teeth to shatter like a cartoon character, from all that fake smiling.)

Royalists send your death threats to me at : rene@billitees.co.nz

Enjoy wearing stripes everyone.

 

[1] http://wikifashion.com/wiki/Breton_stripes#cite_note-8 apparently safety orange wasn't their color probably clashes with their complexion)


Jack and who? December 04 2013

The problem with casual menswear is that it can be very samey, uniform and boring. Another blue striped t-shirt, big deal right? Wrong. You and I both know a garment has to do more than look good on paper. Sometimes I've brought a basic which is for all intents and purposes looks pretty and perfect but I never end up actually wearing it because it doesn't fit right or something is off with the fabric. Cheap skating, cutting corners you see. (Both me and the company that designed it.) I often find my favourite clothes are vintage items because they just don't make ‘em like they used to. Well I found a brand that still does. In addition, has made quite a name for itself in the process.

You may not know this but Jack & Jones is one of the fashion success stories of the 00's. Based in Denmark they started as one of Bestseller's (Danish parent apparel company) new jeans wear lines in 1990. It grew to be one of Europe's most successful menswear companies by 2005.

The first thing that struck me was the quality detailing in their t-shirts. Yes actually! I'm not making that up!  It's not the kind of thing I usually see in NZ, when it comes to high-end imported brands. So refreshing to see that kind of attention to detail. Very Prussian.

The brand has 5 lines: JACK & JONES VINTAGE, PREMIUM by JACK & JONES, ORIGINALS by JACK & JONES, CORE by JACK & JONES and JACK & JONES TECH. The brands are designed by independent design teams, each one of them with their own ideas, raison d'etre, concepts and designs.  My favourite is definitely the Vintage line.

It really nails the vintage handmade look. I LOVE the leather notion on the seam and the unusual weave of the cotton. It just looks refined and polished but without the pointless pretentiousness of many 'label' labels. It’s precise. It is the epitome of the kind of thing I would wear until it actually biodegrades.

So: men, those of you on the male spectrum, if you are not the kind of guy that breaks social-sartorial boundaries then stick to your stripe t-shirt and khaki shorts, just don't dumb it up. You will thank me for this in a year’s time.*


Dull but cool.

 

 

 

 

*or earlier.

 


Get the 'beached look' for summer November 25 2013

We have been having such extraordinary hot sunny weather here in the city.
It feels as though summer is well and truly here.
I don't know about you but I'm scrambling around trying to organize myself for summer.
What will I wear? Where will I go? One of those questions is easy. The other not so much.
And what will I get my brothers for Christmas? (It has to be clothes, God knows they don't know how to shop for themselves!)

The look for menswear this summer is clear: 'Bermuda nights.' Think: 80s sun bleached canvas, cotton in preppy pastels, (vintage Ralph Lauren), boat shoes, canvas slip ons   50s Hawaiian shirts (vintage look), and the occasional 90s piece of colour. Above the knee Bermuda shorts are de- rigeur,  striped tees and faded neon. Don't fear! We have most of that here. and here.

In other news it was the anniversary of JFKs death on the weekend...say he made Bermudas very popular indeed.(See what I did there?) Let him be your style icon when dressing this season.- But no 'walking socks' please. That is illegal. See below for a demonstration:

Correct

correct (caveat: pants should be faded green)

INCORRECT! Partial credit for the salmon shorts. (Acceptable only at a Tory conference, or when lunching aboard Robert Maxwells yacht- lifejacket required.)