Category Archives: Fashion

Baseball Records of Another Kind — When the Spaceman Was the Posterboy For Stereo Speakers

Just stumbled across this advertising masterpiece in my 1975 Boston Red Sox souvenir program, the same precious archive that stores the Bob Montgomery denim leisure suit from Jordan Marsh.

Spaceman Stereos

Spaceman Stereos

Strangely, I never knew the real origins of Bill Lee’s “Spaceman” nickname. But it’s the “cool guy” hat (reminiscent of Rudy from Fat Albert) and the turntable that make me smile.

Bill Lee has long been a media darling for saying what’s on his mind, demonstrated on this autographed baseball below:

Staying (Kinda) Classy -- Red Sox legend Bill Lee sometimes autographs baseballs "Yankees Suck Pond H2O."

Former Red Sox star Bill Lee sometimes autographs baseballs “Yankees Suck Pond H2O.”

I caught up with Lee recently for an Atlantic Magazine story on the waning Red Sox-Yankees T-Shirt War.

This quote from our conversation has nothing to do with stereo speakers or 1970s fashion, but it sums up life:

“Without rivalries, there is no game,” Lee adds. “You have to respect your opponent, but when your opponent is down, you must step on them and never let them get up. You want to make sure the enemy isn’t still breathing.”

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Filed under advertising, Fashion, Red Sox, Red Sox Schlock, Sports, Sports Psychology

Fashion Flashback: Carlton Fisk Apparently Didn’t Want to Pose in This Denim Suit

Jordan Marsh, now part of Macy's, had no idea the 1975 Red Sox would become American League Champions when they signed backup catcher Bob Montgomery as a spokesmodel. (Click to enlarge).

Jordan Marsh, now part of Macy’s, had no idea the 1975 Red Sox would become American League Champions when they signed backup catcher Bob Montgomery as a spokesmodel. (Click to enlarge).

This was almost three decades before Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield went on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to makeover their wardrobes.

I love the 1970s — people took you seriously when you wore clothes like this.

Bob Montgomery is a classy guy, but I can’t imagine that the backup catcher was the first choice of Jordan Marsh or Haggar to walk the runway.

Carlton Fisk must have said “No way!”

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Filed under Fashion, Red Sox, Red Sox Schlock, Sports

Political Fashion Watch: Yet another reason to LOVE the Boston Herald

Will Gov. Patrick's fashion sense influence other politicians to be more daring?

Long before I started writing for the Boston Herald, I have been in love with its front page layout staff. Perhaps it is a symptom of my obsessive hoarding of newsprint, but I seriously have a collection of “classic” Herald covers and back page sports covers.

Mocking Gov. Deval Patrick for his gorgeous purple scarf proves yet again that the Herald is the Boston newspaper with a sense of humor.  Capturing the governor’s pursed lips and look of disdain only reinforces his image as an elitist who looks down upon the gray scarf-wearing masses.

Some might say that Patrick is daring and self-confident to wear purple in a world where politicians stick with the dark blue suit, red tie and gray.

But face it, he looks ridiculous.  If he were wearing it in a tongue-in-cheek context to say, promote Newbury Street Fashion Week, he could pull it off.  Instead, he comes across as a combination of:

  1. Fred, the ascot-wearing Mystery Machine leader on Scooby Doo.
  2. A contestant on Stacy London’s “What Not to Wear.”
  3. A character in a Christopher Guest mockumentary.
  4. A colorful villain on the 1966 Batman series. Both the Riddler and the Penguin favored bright purple in their wardrobes.

If you want the back story on Gov. Patrick’s purple scarf, the Herald is reporting that his wife did not make him wear it.

Boston Herald photo by Matt Stone

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How come I was never issued an emergency gas mask like this?

Which gas mask would you rather wear?

I’m clearly not the only one fascinated by the gas mask bra, a serious product developed by Dr. Elena Bodnar — a physician who discovered that victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster were just as likely to be harmed by particle inhalation as radiation.

But science really has little to do with why the irreverent and attractive Bodnar is getting us to ponder the nuances of emergency preparedness.  Isn’t “Cleavage in a Crisis” the ultimate fantasy news crawl for Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and the rest?

And then there is Bodnar’s habit of taking her bra off during press conferences and wrapping them around Nobel laureates. No wonder why CNET’s Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is smitten by the inventor’s “alluring Ukrainian accent.”

Celebrating Cleavage in a Crisis (Source:

My flippant enjoyment of this story is a dramatic 180-degree turn from the brief time in my life that I needed to wear a gas mask. In January 1991, I was in Jerusalem when the first Gulf War broke out. I had my very own mask like the one at the top left of this post, complete with its own Hebrew-decorated carrying case (I couldn’t read the disclaimers, but I know I was supposed to stab my leg with the syringe if the guy on the radio said so). I wrote in my journal through the foggy lenses while the freaky air raid sirens were wailing at two in the morning.

My Gulf War buddies in Jerusalem.

I was in Israel doing volunteer work for the phenomenal Project Otzma with other goody-two-shoes Americans. My friends all took the gas masks seriously, but they didn’t get too uptight about it. They posed for endless pictures with the masks, bought satirical gas mask t-shirts and did their best Darth Vader impressions.  I was too pissed to join in the fun. I was pissed that we all had to carry around gas mask boxes slung on our shoulders like purses. I was pissed that we were supposed to pretend that Israeli kids decorating their boxes with crayons was uplifting and defiant.  I was pissed that Iraq was sending missiles into Israel to retaliate for the United States attacking Iraq.

Anyhow, I refused to pose for a Tacky Tourist Photo in the mask and don’t regret it.

But years later, my humorlessness about possible poison gas attacks dissipates when we are talking about hypothetical scenarios and hot pink bras.

Congratulations, Dr. Bodnar for bringing your unorthodox idea to market and selling the hell out of it!

Sex appeal aside, does the gas mask filter work?

The Emergency Bra Website claims its lingerie is “a public risk management tool that can provide a person with a critical time window that might be sufficient to escape from life threatening environments.”  The bra “can reduce health consequences of accidents involving harmful airborne particles, such as those released by fire, explosion, terrorist, radiological, biological attack and natural disasters.”

As for the logistics, here’s what happens when the bra comes off… It’s very airline stewardess-esque:


UPDATE (9/28/10): Just learned first hand from Dr. Bodnar that her Emergency Bra is NOT meant to be a substitute for military-issued gas masks or specialized respiratory devices used by emergency responders.  So, in retrospect, thank you Israel, for hooking me up with your gas mask instead of a bra.

(RELATED STORY: “Austin Powers” Fembot Fashions Thrive in Syria)


Filed under Fashion, Lingerie Gas Masks

Adventures in Litigation: Naked Cowgirls & Buttsketch Bragging Rights

Could this "Buttsketch" be confiscated as trial evidence?

Wow, what a month for asinine litigation!

First, it was the Naked Cowboy vs. the Naked Cowgirl, the ultimate battle in Manhattan tourist cheesiness. The Cowboy says he wants a franchise fee from the Cowgirl, because apparently, he holds the copyright on nudity.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t own the copyright for crassness.

And now, there’s the soon to be infamous Buttsketch vs. Rear View Sketch lawsuit, which you can savor in a 90-page court document posted here.

Both the Buttsketch and the Rear View Sketch artists specialize in flattering fashion drawings of the human posterior, which are a huge hit on the trade show entertainment circuit.

Either battle would make a sweet Supreme Court case. And yes, that is my rear end, vintage 2006, pictured above at a Boston trade show. As anyone who knows me will attest, once I stumble across an extremely offbeat character, I will write about them for life (see “Supreme, Vermin“).

I also profiled the Buttsketch founder at a New Orleans convention in 2000.

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Filed under Fashion, Supreme Court Cases I'd Like to See

Lady Gaga: “Classless Songbird?”

Going Gaga Over Baseball: The Fast Track to Getting Autographs? (Source: NY Daily News)

EXCLUSIVE: Get a sneak peek of what Lady Gaga will look like 50 years from now!

(For the record, Red Sox-crazy celebs like Jennifer Garner show up to Fenway Park in much classier outfits!)

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Filed under Fashion, Sports, Sports Psychology

Going ga-ga over fake celebrities

Every day, dozens of brides line up to marry George Clooney — having no fashion qualms whatsoever with a one-size-fits-all wedding dress.

Our culture is so starstruck and celebrity-obsessed that we even get a thrill meeting wax figures of famous people. Take a look at my friend Ilya, co-founder of Tacky Tourist Photos, who seems a little too excited about meeting the fake Jessica Simpson.

Or Heather, who likes to flirt with both the fake Clooney and the fake Tiger Woods.

Hey, I’m not suggesting that I’m above the peasantry. I’m included in the above slideshow and I also relished the opportunity to pose with the fake Elvis and the fake Evel Knievel.

I could be the most Wax-Museum-Obsessed Writer in America.

I’ve defended the right of Yasser Arafat to be in New York’s Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum — because evicting wax terrorists is a slippery museum slope — and I have endorsed the beheading of Hitler at the Berlin branch.  Much heavier stuff than flirting with George Clooney or Jessica Simpson, I know.

How about you?  Anyone have any funny wax museum stories or photos to share?

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Filed under Fashion, Wax Museum Weddings