Stripes Strip Sense? / by Joe Baz

two wrongs don't make a right Earlier, I reveled in the one gift that warm weathers' end brings us, Crocs put away for the season. But, alas, something else has taken their place in the, "Someone parted with perfectly good money to wear this?!" category. The soft goods answer to the Croc, the ubiquitous, horizontal striped shirt. Looks good on practically no one, worn by practically everyone.

Where did this legion of body-expanding, torso-distorting wear come from and how did its stripes get a hold of so many good people? As I discovered, the Gap is largely to blame... it's an incubator. On a hunt for new jeans for a client I entered the Gap only to come face to face with Shelob’s web. I was frightened, but knew I had to be strong- the fate of all of humanity not looking 20 pounds heavier than they are was in my hands.

I had unwittingly entered their breading ground, an entire table covered with them, like poisonous spider eggs ready to hatch and attack the masses. But how do they get people to buy them? Perhaps the striped-shirt-spider-egg-babies lure their victims initially with their bright colors. Once up close their human prey is rendered powerless by the hypnotic garish, repetitive patterns. The next and final step is then assured, attaching themselves to their new host bodies and going home with them.

I was onto their trap, but out numbered. Fighting the urge to destroy them (since I learned in last year's court-appointed behavioral management class that setting something on fire is not a valid resolution) I can only warn others.

Here's the take away: just because something is sold in a popular store, in massive quantities, does not mean that it's going to look good on the masses, including you. So next time you're surrounded by horizontal stripes, ask yourself, "what look am I going for? Accentuate the stomach? Look disproportionably top heavy? Appear shorter and wider? If the answer to any of those is yes, then by all means take one home in every color.

Stripe shirt nest