“Oooh Madge, love those whorts! Where did you get them?”

March 14, 2011 § 5 Comments

We’re not keen on negativity here at Mannequin World. If you don’t have anything nice to say, and all that… But anything that makes it all less exclusive and wanky is alright by us. I’ve always thought that style shouldn’t be the realm of a clique of skinny, monied harpies, or those who seem to roll out of bed and ooze style (when actually all they’ve done is run through Urban Outfitters smothered in glue).

Dressing oneself isn’t rocket science, but there are those who would have us believe otherwise. Take this trend of creating new garments by sticking two together – the legging that looks a bit like a jean is a ‘jegging’ and the skin-tight, stretchy trouser is now a ‘tregging’. It all bands together to create an “it’s all Greek to me” ethos, which is not what fashion should be about. It should be fun, frivolous, creative and daring – not something that means you need a thesaurus before you open your wardrobe in the morning.

Not that I’m condoning this, but purely for illustrative purposes, here’s a list of cut’n’shut clothes that we’ve have made it onto the high street:

Jeggings: Leggings that looks like skinny jeans (specifically, they have faux jean pockets and sometime **vom** zips)
Tregging: Leggings that looks like trousers (not to be confused with jegging)
Coatigan: Cardigan with a coat appearance – not to be confused with the Cardigown
Cardigown: Cardigan, usually long and belted like a dressing gown. “Like a dressing gown” is the key phrase here, when wondering whether to purchase or not.
Mackets: A cross between a mac and a jacket
Shacket: Jacket that looks like a shirt
Shoots: AKA shoe-boots – I’m actually quite a fan as these are far more flattering to one’s ankle than ankle boots
Mandles: Sandals for men
Skorts: Shorts that look like a skirt  – otherwise known to sensible folk (and those who grew up in the 80s) as culottes
Whorts: Thick shorts, normally worn with tights in winter – “Oooh Madge, love those whorts! Where did you get them?” “I got them from my OH the other week!” I don’t think so. Again, I actually love the shorts n tights winter combo, I am merely pointing out the superfluous nature of these definitions.

And let’s not forget the cosmetics: manscara and guyliner; marketing (as Punt & Dennis point out in their new tour) purely by inserting the word ‘man’ into already established products. Genius. Or not.

So this is why I love this glorious sketch the OH found on YouTube the other day. Watch and giggle…


Five things: clogs

March 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ladies, I like to clomp. I will have none of your dainty shoes with their delicate heels that sink between paving slabs and fragile straps that slice into my tender feet. And that is why the fashion mags’ promise that this is the Summer Of The Clog is such sweet music to me – music with a spine-rattling drumbeat of wood on concrete, obviously, but definitely music.

The shoe above is my bet for wooden-soled happiness: they’re from Danish brand Sanita, and they tick all my clog boxes. Neutral colour, flatteringly slanted ankle strap, and a shapely heel – that’s everything I need to make these my regular not-Converse casual shoe (see them here as part of an outfit). After the jump, four more fine examples of carpentry for feet:

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#30 Dusty Mink

March 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

A while ago, I got a follow on Twitter from something called @ModestDresses which led to this website, where all your fashion needs can be fulfilled without breaching LDS modesty guidelines. Obviously I was a bit insulted (Hey! Website! Maybe I like being immodest!) and then intrigued, because some of those dresses are pretty cute. And some of them don’t seem all that modest – this body-skimming confection, for example, is seven shades of Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary and all sorts of buttoned-up sauce. Anyway, the idea of modest dressing must have sunk in, because look at me today. Practically Amish. I mean, I’ve even got an Alice band on.

What I’m wearing

Smock, Uniqlo via charity shop

Clogs, Sanita via TK Maxx

Tights, Gennifer Merino Wool by Transparenze via MyTights

Antler pendant, Tatty Devine

Alice band, Accessorize

…In which Badger Madge breaks a rule

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sorry there hasn’t been much Badger action for a while. I had been challenged to not buy anything during the month of January, and had to avoid shops and online so as to not be tempted. I survived, thankfully, and am rather proud of myself.

Dusty quite rightly supports thrifty shopping and generally getting the most out of your current wardrobe pallet. I, however, am a bit of a magpie and can’t resist a the new and the sparkly (unless the sparkly ends up making you look a bit like a big fat opera singer, of course). So I’m blaming the fact that I broke one of my style rules (“Never buy anything that has been in a shop window, or at the immediate front of a shop floor.”) on the enforced no-buying challenge of January and these magpie tendencies: cage a magpie and sooner or later she’ll go wild with diamonds. Or something.

Anyway, I’ve walked past this cute fit and flare tea dress every day on my way to work, and I knew I had to have it. I lasted a week. I love the fit and flare cut – incredibly flattering for us curvy ladies as it accentuates our tiny waists and skims hips/bums and tums. Basically, they hug in all the right places and are set to be huge this summer. They’re already fighting the body con for shop floor space (and winning) in the high street right now.

I’m not usually one for red, but couldn’t resist the art deco-esque print. I’d dress it up with pearls, a jacket and heels (whatever my other half thinks, I reckon it would be fine – avec fascinator – for a wedding) or dressed down with a cosy cardie and brogues or boots. It would even go quirky on its own with a bowler hat and heel brogues. 3 for 1 – surely that’s worth being a rule-breaker for?


January 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

January is a month to purge. Not your own body, in a tedious, dysfunctional bout of penitent self-denial, but definitely your wardrobe. Christmas outfits, Christmas presents and sales bargains meant that some of my drawers were getting damnably difficult to close. Some stuff had to go. A whole bootful of it had to go, in fact. (Not all clothes.) The things that didn’t quite fit – either on me or with my other clothes – got black sacked and hauled to the charity shops.

I’m not the only person thinking this way, which means that now is a good time to nosey around your local thrift outlet and see what you can find. I returned with a small bag of new-old goodies to replace the things I’d ditched, and even came alarmingly close to re-purchasing one of my ex-possessions. (I nearly slipped up  on the brown patterned knee-length corduroy skirt in the rack above – still nice, but too much a part of my postgraduate student life to every be zipped around my waist again. Just touching it made me come out in a rash of Victorian poetry and close-reading criticisms.) What will you be getting rid of this year? And what bargains have you picked up?

#29 Dusty Mink

January 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

I love me some stripes and I love me some pockets, so full marks to Mr Mink for putting this cardigan in my Christmas stocking. I note that The Hairpin is lining up nautical stripes for style execution this year, which I can only respond to with a shattered cry of, “Nooooooo!!!” I refuse to give up my stripes, and if I have to become an actual sailor in order to wear them, then godammit I’m running away to sea. The woodland jewellery doesn’t have anything much to do with the ocean-faring colour scheme, but I like the way the little faun on my chest seems to be running towards the pendant antlers, as if to reclaim them.

What I’m wearing

Cardigan, Sessun at Urban Outfitters

Racerback vest, American Apparel

Shorts (not seen), French Connection via Boundary Mill

Tights, Gennifer Merino Wool by Transparenze via MyTights

Boots (not seen), Dr Martens

Antlers pendant and faun brooch, both Tatty Devine

Ask the Mannequins: winter warmth v winter chic

January 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m off to New York and I hear it’s rather cold there at the moment. During the winter I tend to hibernate in jeans and jumpers. But what can I wear that’s also warm so those chic Manhattan-ites won’t laugh at me?

Erin, via text

Having just survived the Great NYC December 2010 Blizzard I can report that it is indeed rather cold over there. Most Manhattan girls are currently favouring the duvet coat and scary hardcore snow boots like these.

A hardy winter coat and warm boots are, of course, a must. But I find the devil’s in the details, and – especially in New York’s case – the layering. Once you get this right, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing on top, because you’ll be snuggly underneath!

First some killer leggings – not just any leggings, but these rather lovely tuxedo-style leggings from M&S. Warm enough for wearing under jumper dresses and tucked inside your scary hardcore snow boots whilst trekking around Manhattan, but gorgeous enough to go with killer heels for the evening when you find a cool bar miles away from your hotel. See?

Tuxedo leggings, M&S

Next your head and ears. If you haven’t heard about The Hat Sandwich, then head over to Project Egghead’s website and brush up on Madge’s tips for using layering to keep your head warm. If you’re not a hat person (and many aren’t) then ear muffs are both a cute and functional way of fending off winter ear ache. I liked these from River Island as they’re uber-sweet and preppy.

Grey pearl ear muffs, River Island

Legwarmers were my staple during last weeks crazy NY weather. Worn peeping out of your boots exudes pampered-sloan-girl chic plus they’re soooo warm when trekking around a snowy Central Park.

Leggings, M&S

OK, so far, so straightforward, right? Here’s a secret I’ve been rocking since last winter. Grandma Badger got it right with her silky slips – and H&Ms basic body cons are the modern equivalent. They’re awful on their own if you have a bit of a pot belly, but worn underneath pretty much anything and everything, and they provide substantial warm layering and a smooth silhouette – something that’s tricky to achieve with a thermal vest tucked into your tights. Plus they prevent that annoying static cling that happens with jumper dresses and tights.

Black body con, H&M

Enjoy your time, and may I recommend going to 508 for the cheese fondue and lamb ragu; the Tirimisu cocktail at The View on top of the Marriot Marquis off Times Square (the bar rotates as you sit, so you take in a 360 view of Manhatten); Shorty’s 32 for nibbles and cocktails – and if you want something uber special and have the money for it, The River Cafe

PS Chic Manhatten-ites don’t laugh at those who are (in their eyes) sartorially challenged. Most of them are far too busy exuding an air of absolute boredom they barely have time to notice.