Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2020

Today I wore my deerskin dress shoes. They’re probably my favorite pair; not only do they look good, but the leather is particularly soft and supple, and really comfortable.

However, I’ve found that they provide zero insulation against the cold. I had already discovered this on a past trip up north, when I froze my feet off during winter. I guess I forgot, though. And it was chilly enough this morning that I got a good reminder.

Still, they do look good. I ought to wear them more often, weather permitting.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/28/2005 10:58:46 PM
Category: Fashion
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Tuesday, December 27, 2020

If you’re looking for pure fluff to accompany your daily news mix, you could do much worse than a report about the current fashion ascendancy of redheads.

Because you never know when a kooky juxtaposition will crop up:

“Caucasians aren’t the only ones with red hair naturally,” [sociology professor Druann] Heckert says. “Malcolm X had red hair.”

I’m sure Brother Malcolm would be thrilled to be cited for such an enlightening purpose.

Pro-black-radical mix, and folical highlighting. Fight the power! (And no, I did not know that he was redheaded.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/27/2005 08:12:38 PM
Category: Celebrity, Fashion, History
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Wednesday, December 07, 2021

Upon arriving home yesterday, I discovered that the maid had accidentally dropped and spilled my bottle of Eternity for Men.

I promptly fired her. So, if anyone knows of a good maid in town that works fairly cheap…

Kidding, just kidding. I didn’t post anything about it when it happened, because I didn’t want to come off as one of those cranks who vent on their blogs about the slightest misfortunes — and this one was certainly among the slightest (it was just Eternity, after all — even if it seems particularly potent for me). I didn’t completely blow it off, though: I took her up on her offer to replace it, instead of just dismissing it as I might usually do. I’ll be shocked if she actually follows through with that.

In the meantime, my bathroom is laced with the scent of Eternity. I’m waiting for the line of chicks to start forming outside the door (maybe I’ve seen one too many AXE Body Deodorant commercials)…

I guess I’ll pick up something else the next time I’m out (it was my only bottle of cologne). Maybe another Calvin Klein concoction. And if anyone’s thinking of a Christmas trinket for me, feel free to pick me up a bottle of something special.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/07/2021 08:27:33 PM
Category: Fashion
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Thursday, December 01, 2021

If the fashion fluctuations in women’s undies are the signposts of climatic change, count me as glad that I wasn’t around during our planet’s frigid past…

(Via RaSchi)

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/01/2021 09:39:00 PM
Category: Comedy, Fashion, Women
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Thursday, November 24, 2021

warming up
Since I’ve had bunches of visitors in recent weeks looking for Triumph International Japan’s microwave-heatable eco-bra, I figured I’d oblige.

Personally, given the choice, I’d go for the previous, non-heatable model with the clever Planet Earth motif. Far more colorful, and educational. But I guess it’s a question of saving the world, or wearing it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/24/2005 09:11:54 AM
Category: Fashion
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Saturday, November 19, 2021

(Slightly) cooler weather has reached the Tampa Bay area this week, prompting the need for warmer clothing.

I never did like the Autumn season, even while growing up in New York. And here’s why: The temperature swings during the course of the day make dressing up a real chore.

Put on something fairly weighty, like an undershirt and a long-sleeve dress shirt, and you’re set for the cool morning. But then, as the sun rises and heats everything up to the customary 80-degree range by noon, and you find yourself sweating like a dog when you step out for lunch. As the evening approaches, things get cool again.

Yes, I’m familiar with the concept of layering, along with easily-removable jackets and such. But I hate fussing with that stuff. I feel that, once I put on my clothing for the day, I should be set. I don’t want to put stuff on and take stuff off all day long — what am I, a runway model?

As much as I dislike cold weather, I’d rather it just got cold already, so we could break out the sweaters and overcoats and stick with those. It’s better than this shifty season.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/19/2005 06:20:00 PM
Category: Fashion, Florida Livin', Weather
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Wednesday, November 16, 2021

So everyone and their mother has heard about the DKNY leather pants on eBay (and if anyone hasn’t, they will):

These were not cheap leather pants. They are Donna Karan leather pants. They’re for men. Brave men, I would think. Perhaps tattooed, pierced men. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say you either have to be very tough, very gay, or very famous to wear these pants and get away with it.

Again, they’re men’s pants, but they’d probably look great on the right lady. Ladies can get away with leather pants much more often than men can. It’s a sad fact that men who own leather pants will have to come to terms with.

The quirky buyer’s remorse story made for primo joke-email and blog fodder, and the buzz grew as only Internet detritus can. The sizzle sold the steak, so much so that some think it’s an exemplary piece of marketing finesse.

Here’s the thing, though: The pants sold for only $102.50. That’s peanuts, considering they cost over twice that. Granted, the seller wasn’t looking to make a killing — he just wanted to ditch the pants. But for all the rage his prose created, you’d think it would have translated into more bids, and an inflated sale price. Not so.

So before Mr. Leather Pants Regret gets annointed a viral marketing genius, let’s pay heed to the tangible results. The ad can be as catchy as can be, but unless it pulls in the dollars, it’s not doing its job.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/16/2005 11:00:35 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Fashion, Internet
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This morning, I opted to go to work unshaven, as I do at least once a week. (Yes, I’m a wild man.) As I usually do when I go this route, I splashed on a bit of Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Men, which I can’t do on a shaving day because I need to apply alcohol-free aftershave balm instead. (Yes, I’m a somewhat fussy wild man.)

I thought I had applied a modest enough amount of cologne. I could smell it on me, but I didn’t think it was excessive. And I didn’t get any feedback at the office about being over-scented.

And yet, on the way home tonight, I could still smell the Eternity on me. After some 12 hours, you’d think the potency would subside. But even now, as I write this, the scent remains.

Good thing I like it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/16/2005 08:25:56 PM
Category: Fashion
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Tuesday, November 15, 2021

If fans of “America’s Next Top Model” are expecting to see the show’s winner attain supermodelhood, they’re heading for a letdown. The consensus among fashion insiders is that all the contestants on the reality show are too old, too fat, and — the kicker — too American to make it in the current modeling game.

I’d be surprised if most “Top Model” fans really think the show’s going to produce the next Cindy Crawford, though. Like any reality show, the appeal is in all the manufactured drama. The fact that the protagonists are catwalking Barbie dolls instead of faux survivalists just gives it a hook among the likeliest 18-34 audience:

“I see girls sitting on the No. 4 train to Brooklyn saying, ‘Omigod, I have to get home because the Tyra show is on,’ ” said Wayne Sterling, the editor of Models.com, a slick Web site that obsessively rates model status. “The show has become their spectrum, a Midwest, middle-of-the-road simulation of what the business is like.”

I was unaware of the exact order of non-Americans flooding the modeling ranks: First Brazilians, then Belgians, then Eastern Europeans. (If anything, I’d have guess the opposite order of procession.) And who knew that the classic American look was poised for a comeback (even if it’s not coming from “the Tyra show”):

Whether a banner season for one young mannequin augurs a major taste shift in the modeling business and perhaps even a return to what some forecast as a resurgence of classic American sportswear it seems early to predict. “Does it mean we’re going to see a comeback for American models?” [IMG president Ivan] Bart asked. “Who knows? But I can tell you that nobody but nobody wanted Hillary [Rhoda] until Paris, and then Nicolas [Ghesquiere] cast her. And then suddenly this whole American in Paris thing kicked in and she was totally, totally the top girl of the week.”

All I know is, you’d better work it, girl.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/15/2005 09:29:42 PM
Category: Fashion, Reality Check, Women
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Saturday, October 15, 2021

What’s Mattel to do to revitalize Barbie, which is losing its traditional base of little girls to upstarts like Bratz?

It launches a Barbie line of clothes for women, hoping designs by Anna Sui and Tarina Tarantino will create build a fashionista coolness cache that results in more doll sales.

What Mattel hopes will happen: Fashion-forward thirty-somethings will adopt the look.

What probably will happen: Forty- and fifty-somethings, who have more of a nostalgic attachment with the doll than their younger counterparts, will buy the clothes, and look so obviously out-of-place in such girly clothes that the whole enterprise backfires.

No word on if these clothes will fit only women with Barbie’s infamously exaggerated proportions. Actually, with that kind of track record in influencing female body images, I question if Mattel is the ideal company to push couture.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/15/2005 08:58:23 PM
Category: Fashion, Pop Culture
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Monday, October 03, 2021

Nowhere is China’s officially-sanctioned xenophobia more blatant than in Beijing’s strictures on foreign-owned and -orgined media. But the authorities have made a notable pop-cultural exception:

Vogue is not alone in its gamble, and in fact the race to create lucrative fashion and lifestyle magazine franchises based on successful Western publications has never been more crowded, with Elle, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire already bulging from vendors’ racks.

On the men’s side of the newsstand, grinning models baring rippling midriffs peer out from the cover of the Chinese edition of Men’s Health magazine, first published two years ago. Last May, the competition for the male fitness and lifestyle market was joined by FHM magazine, and there are persistent industry rumors here that two other foreign publications, Maxim and InStyle, will be introduced soon.

“How to pick the right tools and the right girls,” was how the editors of FHM described their magazine, which puts scantily clad women on its covers and features purportedly candid talk about sex and relationships from single women. “We court the metrosexual,” said Jun Jin, the editor. “That’s our reader target, 22 to 45, with high education and high salary. They are crazy about new technology, and they like dating pretty girls.”

By reputation, China is all but closed to foreign news media. After years of involvement with the country, Rupert Murdoch said recently that his efforts to expand in China had “hit a brick wall,” adding that Beijing was “quite paranoid about what gets through.” In August, China’s government announced a tightening of controls on foreign media, saying this was necessary to “safeguard national culture.”

But for now, it seems that Chinese authorities have decided that the fashion magazines, which promote whiter skin - a popular theme - Western styles and an obsession with brands, and the men’s magazines - which promote toned bodies and carry lifestyle and sex advice that would not be out of place on a newsstand in New York - are safe.

It’s a peculiar state of mind. You could surmise that China’s culture watchdogs don’t see a threat in these glossies, despite their decidedly pro-Western sensibility. It follows a general guarded openness that’s come with increased economic liberalization — especially in the development of consumerism as a microeconomic engine — but seems to be a curious exception.

By comparison, within the Western cultural sphere, places like France maintain rigid controls to avoid a flooding of outside (usually American and British) media from overwhelming native content. China’s position seems to assume that there’s a fundamental barrier between East and West anyway, and any cross-pollination won’t stick, and is therefore harmless.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/03/2021 09:41:22 PM
Category: Fashion, Publishing
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Wednesday, September 28, 2021

Wal-Mart’s trying to give itself a high-fashion makeover.

Tommy Hilfiger Corp. is looking for a buyer.

Yup. An unholy marriage appears to be in the making.

I bet those fashionistas who scoffed at my suggestion of a Sean John-Tommy merger are having second thoughts now. Who would you rather have helming your house of style: Sean “Diddy” Combs or some yokels in Arkansas?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/28/2005 10:39:19 PM
Category: Business, Fashion
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Friday, September 23, 2021

While rifling through the newspaper today, I surprised to come across a slick, heavy-stock, slightly oversized advertising flyer for some forward-looking men’s and women’s fashion.

I wasn’t so much surprised that it would be in the newspaper. But I was surprised to see the Target logo, planted in the bottom corner of half the pages. Glancing at it absently, I’d have assumed it was for Saks 5th Avenue or some other swanky joint.

I guess the home of the Big Red Bullseye is ramping up the marketing on its Design For All line of products. It’s definitely an eyecatching concept, even if professional designers are lamenting this as a degradation of across-the-board standards.

And it’s been working, which has prompted Wal-Mart to inch toward the same hoity-toity territory. The reaction’s going to be predictable: The current high-end retailers will have to get even more exclusive, and aggressively show that off.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/23/2005 06:39:25 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Fashion
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Thursday, September 22, 2021

I just bought a new pair of pants, chinos (I think — I can never keep the styles straight) by Tommy Hilfiger. Today’s the first day that I’m wearing them.

I must say, they’re doing an excellent job of accentuating my… bulge. Even in my non-bulging state. Almost too good; had I noticed this feature when I was trying them on at the store, I probably wouldn’t have taken them. But of course, now I’m committed.

As if that weren’t enough, my ass also looks great in them (that part I did know about at the store). So whether I’m walking at you or away from you, it’s all good.

In short: I think I’ve found my new favorite pair of pants.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/22/2005 01:16:54 PM
Category: Fashion
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Saturday, September 10, 2021

That Lacoste alligator? So last century. If you want to be tres sportif, you need to don a polo from Harmont & Blaine, with its signature dachshund logo on the left breast.

Wish there was a store in my area; the closest is in Bal Harbour (actually the only one in North America, I believe). I’d love to see the looks I get when I proudly display my weinerdog shirt!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/10/2021 04:12:46 PM
Category: Fashion
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Wednesday, August 31, 2021

desperately measuredSo when I heard about the knockout Shay Todd dress/swimsuit worn by my most favorite of “Housewives”, Eva Longoria, at the MTV Music Video Awards, I knew I had to get a gander myself.

Now that I’ve seen it, I’m wondering what all the fuss was about.

I mean, sure, it’s skimpy, and would raise eyebrows if it were worn to the Oscars. But essentially, it’s a bathing suit. She definitely looks great in it, but it’s not like she’s naked. I’m thinking MTV stoked a lot of the noise itself, because I really don’t see why this was considered so scandalous.

Still, I’m looking. It is Eva, after all.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/31/2005 09:36:01 PM
Category: Celebrity, Fashion, Pop Culture
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Monday, August 29, 2021

If you’re a big Elizabeth Hurley fan, be sure to pick up the September issue of Shape magazine. Not only is she looking good on the cover, she’s looking good on a two-page Estée Lauder ad spread just inside the cover, and on an editorial page promoting a “Win Liz Hurley’s Cover Look” contest, prompting raised eyebrows over the rampant editorial/advertising synergy.

All involved are denying any shady dealing, of course. But whether it all came together intentionally or not, it’s an further, uncomfortable step toward blurring the lines. Not that Shape or parent company American Media is a bellwether for the industry, but every little bit, no matter from where, has a cumulative effect.

Hey, wait a minute. I’m a Liz Hurley fan! How can I resist: Brunette, killer bod, British accent… I’d better run out and grab my copy.

UPDATE: Sheesh. Despite having the cover image right in front of me, and reading the article a couple of times, I boneheadedly flubbed the title of the magazine — from the actual Shape to Self. My only defense: Ms. Hurley’s distractingly pretty figure obscuring the title on said cover. Still, I think my fixation on a cutesy headline for this post overrode my eye for detail.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/29/2005 08:45:40 PM
Category: Celebrity, Fashion, Publishing
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Sunday, August 28, 2021

Do men with blue eyes live better lives? This hard-hitting report — citing Jude Law, Brad Pitt, Adam Grenier, and even the late Frank Sinatra — argues that blue-eyed gents use their peepers to score more with the ladies and glide to professional success.

Amy O’Connor, deputy editor at Prevention magazine, recalled her first date with her husband, [New York] Observer food writer Bryan Miller: a picnic along the Hudson River.

“He reached over to pour me a glass of wine and took off his glasses, and the sun was shining in his eyes, and they were so intensely blue-aqua, actually,” said Ms. O’Connor, 39. “I remember thinking, This is a beautiful man. I don’t think that that would have happened if he had brown eyes. They look like jewels. Women like baubles… I think the same thing that makes us like diamonds makes us like blue eyes.”

Ms. O’Connor suggested that Mr. Miller’s eye color had given him more breaks in life. “He never had to work very hard,” she said…

At least one man bragged that a sultry blink of his blue eyes greases the wheels at restaurants and nightclubs, sending him flying miraculously to the front of the line-like a genetically built-in, folded-up $20 bill.

Perhaps a 33-year-old (hazel-eyed) hedge-fund analyst named Ken put it best: “Blue eyes are like boobs for guys.”

Hmm. I wonder how Sinatra would have reacted to being called, “Old Boob-Eyes”?

From personal experience, I have a friend, Tom, who has very striking blue eyes, and he was certainly never hurting for women during his bachelorhood. Wasn’t too bad in business, either. So maybe there’s something to it.

If word of this gets out, get ready for some major copycatting:

Fuck the new black. If you want to be just like Jude Law and Brad Pitt — that is, score yourself some prime ass outside the confines of a committed relationship — go grab your color contacts and your sky blue Lacoste polo.

This brown-eyed guy is sold. I’ve already got the Lacoste shirt, so I’ll get me my colored contacts tomorrow! (Actually, I’d be curious to see just how they look…)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/28/2005 05:27:01 PM
Category: Fashion, Society
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Thursday, August 25, 2021

Wal-Mart’s bread-and-butter has been its appeal to the everyman/woman. So it’s odd that the retail giant should direct major marketing resources toward unconventional outlets. Like:

- Vogue magazine

- An exclusive distribution deal with Garth Brooks

- Destiny’s Child as the centerpiece for a holiday ad campaign

Frankly, I don’t see Wal-Mart embarking on any of this if it wasn’t for rival Target finding success in delving into the higher-end market. Normally, there’s a danger in alienating the traditional customer base. But in the case of the big-box retailer, I doubt there’ll be any negative effect. That’s not to say this push will be successful — I just can’t see the Vogue crowd embracing Wal-Mart for their fashion needs, even for the fill-in stuff.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/25/2005 10:32:02 PM
Category: Business, Fashion, Women
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Thursday, August 18, 2021

In an effort to restore its coolness cache, Tommy Hilfiger Corp. is putting itself up for sale, expecting a payday in the neighborhood of $2 billion.

Who would buy the fashion icon?

Burt Flickinger III, managing director for New York-based Strategic Resource Group, said he believes a financial buyer as opposed to a fashion company will buy Tommy Hilfiger.

“Tommy is a brand that has been a power prestige brand in the past, and there is still opportunity to rebuild the business,” he said. “But the opportunity as an independent brand is stronger than being part of a broad portfolio of a public company.”

Here’s my thinking: With P. Diddy in the midst of a personal re-branding effort, he should capitalize that effort further. Mr. Combs should engineer a merger between his Sean John fashion line and Hilfiger! It’s a great fit: The Tommy brand used to have mad urban appeal. Such a move would revive that.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/18/2005 10:22:26 PM
Category: Business, Fashion, Pop Culture
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Sunday, August 14, 2021

This afternoon, I had to go to the bathroom. To aid the procedure, I started to untie the drawstrings on the Nike swimtrunk shorts I was wearing.

Drat the luck — I pulled them the wrong way, and ended up creating the knottiest of knots. Worse, it wound up making the shorts even more snug around my waist.

Had I really, really needed to relieve myself, I probably would have ripped the shorts right off. But I wasn’t nearly in that much urinary distress. So I tried to undo the knot.

It just wouldn’t budge. My fingernails were way too short to do the job. I pulled out a pair of tweezers, but they too couldn’t separate the melded laces.

Before I knew it, 20 minutes of futility had passed, and the knot remained.

So I thought, screw this.

Perhaps inspired by a recent viewing of Alexander — but only indirectly, since that big-screen spectacle omitted the Macedonian Marauder’s fabled Gordian Knot episode — I grabbed a pair of scissors and snipped my way to freedom. Leaving a pair of ruined shorts in my wake, but a relieved bladder as (temporary) compensation.

I felt kinda bad at first, because I liked those shorts, and they didn’t really look so bad for being a few years old. But upon closer, post-mortem inspection, I can see a couple of tiny holes and other signs of wear-and-tear. So I guess it was for the best.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/14/2005 03:17:55 PM
Category: Fashion, History, Movies
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