Tag Archives: fashion

Redesigning the College Snuggie

Let’s face it. There’s been a lot of talk about Snuggies in pop culture this year. “The blanket with sleeves” came out of nowhere and gripped the nation. From themed bar tours to the Washington Post’s annual Peeps diorama contest, you’re never far from Snuggie’s influence.

And if that weren’t enough, the brains that brought you the outstanding three-color collection have upped their game and expanded their product line to include… collegiate licensed Snuggies!

If you haven’t seen them in their full glory, take a gander:


Picture Source: Blanket Wars (Even better, this picture is from a blog post entitled “OU Will Choke Versus Texas.”)

How does one make an eyesore like the Snuggie even more hideous? Make it look like it was made from the contents of the clearance rack at the fabric store. That fabric ain’t just for pajamas anymore!

Though I’m not (yet) a member of the cult of the Snuggie, I understand why people would buy them. Who doesn’t like being warm? And being able to eat whilst wearing a blanket? Or the ability to change channels without exposing bare arms to the draft of a room?

I also understand why people would want collegiate Snuggies in particular. Every sports fan relishes the opportunity to show off a little team spirit. I mean, if I got a Snuggie, you’d be darn sure I’d get a college team one. (Looks like I’d have to get Texas though, because the makers of Snuggie don’t offer a UVA one. Good research on that one, I must admit. They know their audience, and UVA alums likely wouldn’t bother with a Snuggie: it would clash with their ties or pearls.)

Well, instead of continuing to mock Snuggie, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and offer a design suggestion: K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid.) Good design should be minimalist, simple and straightforward. Not cluttered.

How should Snuggie go about this? Pretend to make team sweatshirts, just with tons more fabric. Like this:

Or this:
Yes, UVA can have its own Snuggie after all!
Texas should prominently display the Longhorn logo on burnt orange. Carolina the interlocking NC on its signature Carolina blue hue. Virginia Tech would use the interconnected VT. Florida: the Gator. The Jayhawk for Kansas. You get the picture. Make it simple. Make the primary team color the star, not the blinding repetition of several logos.

How would you redesign the collegiate Snuggie? Would you make them like replica jerseys with the ability to personalize a name and number on the back? Add a belt in a contrasting color? Build in a foam finger at the end of one sleeve? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Final two pictures edited from this image.

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Filed under ACC, college basketball, college football, commercials, fashion, graphic design, marketing, mascots, sports, Texas, UVA

Stuff that was cool: Umbros

(This post is a nod to one of my favorite blogs, Stuff That Was Cool, which allows me to reminisce about the glorious decade that was the 1990s, multiple times every week.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I hear.)

Once upon a time, I was an insanely dorky and awkward middle schooler.  I had horrible bangs I was trying to grow out, never left home without a scrunchie in my bag and wore t-shirts just about everyday, tucked in.

umbro-logoIf that wasn’t bad enough, I adored spring, summer and fall weather, though not for the sunshine, or flowers.  It was because it meant it was time to crack out my Umbros!

Though the company manufactured all sorts of soccer clothing and gear, for some reason it was Umbro’s shorts that really took off.  You could find them everywhere:  soccer stores, athletic stores, even department stores at the mall!  There were the shorts with the classic shiny checkerboard design, and the ones that looked like windpants material with a different color piping at the bottom.  Many had bright color combinations that would hurt your eyes.  All had the unmistakable diamond-within-a-diamond logo on the bottom of the shorts’ left leg.

Early on, most people I knew who wore Umbros were soccer players, at least recreationally.  But I hadn’t played the sport since 4th or 5th grade.  I actually hated soccer, but boy did I love Umbros shorts!  Stylish?  No.  But comfortable?  Absolutely.

As you may have guessed by my scrunchie ownership, I was not one for style.  Apparently this is a trait I shared with Jessica Biel.  When quoted in Harper’s Bazaar, Biel said:

“I literally wore Umbro shorts, No Fear T-shirts, and sneakers until I was, like, 15. I didn’t care, and my mom didn’t care. I didn’t have fashion icons.”

Neither did I.  I probably wore them til age 15 as well.  I remember vividly when I made varsity volleyball in 9th grade, I got teased by older (and much taller) teammates and earned the nickname “Umbro girl.”  Thankfully by that point in time I had developed a keen enough fashion sense to realize I shouldn’t wear the shorts for all occasions, though they were certainly an option for warm, lazy days and working out.  But in four years of varsity volleyball and nickname-dom, I never came around to the spandex-y leave-nothing-to-the-imagination shorts everyone else preferred.  I may have been a nerd and the laughingstock of the team, but hey, at least I was comfortable.  And an added bonus:  I could easily gain 1o or 15 pounds and no one would notice.  I could just loosen the drawstring waistband and enjoy the bagginess in the thighs that my Umbros offered.  Take that biker shorts!

umbros

Sexy, sexy, sexy shorts!  Boo-yah!

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Filed under 90s

Fake Indie

Look around you, the world is full of posers. People who wish they were someone else. Someone cooler. Sometimes they talk the talk, or even walk the walk, but somewhere in between or before, they frequently wear the uniform.

One of the most common hats people try on is the one of fake indie. I don’t know that there is one true uniform, but real and fake indies are tough to differentiate on dress alone. One of the many choices they may opt for include “checkerboard” Vans shoes, ripped jeans, and more or less obscure bands’ t-shirts.

I actually like this look and have chosen to rock interesting shoes of my own from time to time when I bother to wear something other than flip-flops. I personally don’t understand why so many chose to wear this particular eyesore (sorry friends who own this model) when there are so many other pretty Vans variations, including some pretty cute argyle ones. Anyway, I digress.

What I’m wondering is, why does everyone chose this particular Ramones t-shirt as their way to assert their deviation from the mainstream?

It can’t be that indie if I’ve seen it shown so much on mainstream media. I’ve seen this shirt worn by quasi-hipster, in the music “know” characters Peyton Sawyer (on One Tree Hill) and Brendan Dorff (from My Boys). (Yes, I admitted some pretty embarrassing TV-watching in the previous statement.) I also see people wear this shirt around quite a bit. Maybe it’s because I live in Austin… who knows. It’s a cool shirt, but it surprises me how many people own it. Is it comparable to the Hard Rock Cafe shirts of the ’90s? Well, not quite, but it’s still interesting to observe its ubiquitousness. I can’t help but wonder if the people I see wearing this shirt are the people I saw milling around ACL and raving about the amazingness of The Killers.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Anyway I guess my point is wear what you want because it’s you. If indie is what you are, be just that… be independent. Aren’t there some unsaid tenets about being indie regarding not selling out and embracing differences? Be yourself. Of course you can and should adopt influences you see and incorporate them into your own wardrobe. But make it you. Oh wait, I’m the last person anyone should be taking fashion advice from.

So this isn’t a complete loss I’ll impart some actual fashion sense: dress to accentuate whatever attributes you like about yourself.

The writer of this post admits to enjoying so-called indie music but rarely remembers the names of the artists and even less often, the words to the songs. Her favorite music groups are “ones that peaked in 1994” and “once-indie bands that sold out.” She even pays for her music on iTunes. How patently uncool.

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Filed under indie