Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fashion Victims

Anyone who has ever seen me or the way I dress can probably figure out that I don't have a very keen sense of fashion. I don't know what's "in" right now. I don't know if I'm a "winter" or a "baseball season." I am not clear on when you're supposed to stop wearing white or why. The best I can do is distinguish between "attractive" and "screamingly hideous." So when someone makes a fashion mistake and I can tell it's a mistake, then that means it is a glaringly obvious mistake.

When I stumbled upon an article on The Ten Best and Worst Dressed Comic Book Characters, I was intrigued to see who was picked because even with my myopic eye for fashion I could think of at least a dozen superheroes who look absolutely terrible. For instance, remember when they changed Superman's costume? I do. However, when I read the article, I found that it was full of errors that I, as someone familiar with these characters who can also dress himself, felt the need to correct.

Wolverine showing off his fashion sense

First off, I was a bit surprised by Wolverine making the best-dressed list. It's mostly because I'm not a huge fan of yellow spandex, but I am willing to concede that's really a judgement call. What I'm really offended by is something deeper than the fashion - the arithmetic. Check at the beginning of the blurb how old our fashion critic says Wolverine is. Now check when he says Wolverine was born. As those of you who weren't in the same math class as Grant Morrison (see below) probably already know, the late 19th century was less than 200 years ago. Honestly, if your expertise with numbers is that bad, you really should avoid using them altogether.

Quick! Count how many eyes Jamie Madrox has. Now count how many limbs he has. If the number of limbs you came up with is four times the number of eyes, then congratulations! You are as smart as one of the most popular writers in comics!

Bruce Banner in what's left of his clothes

I also object to the Incredible Hulk being on the worst dressed list. It's not that I think Hulk is a particularly snappy dresser, but considering that it's all Bruce Banner can do to wear pants with enough elasticity in the waist and seat that Hulk's genitals are covered, I don't think fashion is the real issue here. This is like putting a child on the worst dressed list and making fun of his helmet and rubber pants.

Heroes for Hire
Aside from those minor criticisms, I don't have much more to say about the men on the lists. Honestly, I'm not sure what makes a man more or less attractive. I don't know whether Luke Cage actually does look better than Iron Fist as this article claims. Frankly, if either one of them tried to pick me up in a bar, I would probably run away screaming. I also don't know through what sublety of fashion The Question (Rorschach) can be on the list and yet John Constantine, Dr. Occult, or any of the dozens of detective characters who dress exactly the same way missed out. However, as someone who is attracted to women, I can tell when women look good, so I take great umbrage to the women on this list. The fact that Zatanna is listed as one of the worst dressed and Emma Frost as one of the best is an insult to anyone who has ever worn clothes. For those of you who are blind enough not to know this, first of all, how are you reading this blog? Second of all, you should know that Zatanna wrote the book on what it means to be sexy and Emma Frost took off her pants and took a huge shit on that book. Allow me to elaborate:

Fishnets! Top Hat!
(Click for a larger image)

This is Zatanna. She wears fishnets and a top hat. For those of you whose brains just blacked out from an overload of awesome, I will reiterate: She wears fishnets and a top hat. This is the Michaelangelo's David of superhero costumes, but hot! Clearly, this is the greatest thing that any person can possibly wear. I'm not sure why the day that Zatanna was created, the entire fashion industry didn't just throw up their hands and quit, because there is obviously nothing more they can possibly do.

I'd hit that.Then there's Emma Frost on the other hand. When we first met her, she was the headmistress of the Massachusetts Academy and wore the smart and chic suit shown on the left. What's interesting about this in retrospect is that at this time in her life, having other people take her seriously was a priority for her. As you will see, this would later play a much less important role in her fashion choices. In addition to being an academic, she was also a member of the famously decadent and amoral Hellfire Club. In her capacity as a fetishistic supervillainess, she dressed like this:

This was the first superhero costume I truly understood. I couldn't honestly tell you why Superman wears a cape, but thigh-high high-heeled boots and a corset? That I get!

In the mid-nineties, after emerging from a coma, Emma gave up supervillainy and quit the Hellfire Club in order to teach at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters (home of the X-Men). No longer having that outlet for her sadomasochistic impulses, she decided to seemlessly blend her dominatrix and schoolteacher looks with this outfit:

Hot for Teacher
It's both tasteful and kinky! I assure you for every one reader who questioned why she needed a riding crop to teach high school, there were at least five who wished they had a teacher like Ms. Frost. This was the apex of Emma's fashion. Only a few years later, tragedy struck. As near as I can tell, Emma's wardrobe got caught in a thresher and rather than buy new clothes, decided to wear what remained of her mangled outfits. This is the result:

Why?  Why?!
AAAAAAAGH!!! Take it away! It's horrible! HORRIBLE! I really hope this wasn't an attempt to be "sexy," because if so, it is the saddest thing in the world. Notice the glasses?  See?  Glasses?Also, I don't know if one of the moronic new powers she was given (in addition to diamond skin - no, seriously, they gave her diamond skin) was to turn Asian, or if she's squinting to read something because she's not wearing the glasses that she apparently needed in her first appearance but everyone since seems to have forgotten about. Maybe her deteriorating vision helps to explain how she could look at this outfit and then decide to wear it. There's a reason that women in real life don't dress like this. In fact, there are at least twenty.

In summation, I have been told that Coco Chanel once said, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory." I would like to amend that. If you look in the mirror and see this:

then you should definitely put on more - enough to cover that awful thing you're wearing - or maybe just take it all off and start over, because you have fucked up egregiously.