Category Archives: You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Banana Republic + Milly Collaboration, Lady Mary’s Wedding Dress, And Slippers in Public

Hello-Hello, happy new week. We have a variety of little bits and bytes to share today, hopefully you will find some of them appealing.

Our first item involves two brands we like, Milly and Banana RepublicWomen’s Wear Daily reports the two have paired up for a collaborative collection due out this May.

Courtesy Image via WWD.com

Courtesy Image via WWD.com

The pairing makes a lot of sense. Milly’s Michelle Smith designs pieces with clean lines that are retain a pretty, feminine feel. It is the first time Ms. Smith has designed menswear, BR’s Simon Kneen offers his perspective:

“I don’t think Michelle thought her style could be translated into men’s wear. I was excited by the challenge and she was open to the idea. We’re turning the Milly brand into something interesting for our guys.” Kneen said he hopes Smith will launch men’s wear in her own business.

The collection will include jewelry and accessories, prices for the entire line will run from $24.50 to $175. I loved much of what Trina Turk created last year for her collaboration with Banana Republic, and can’t wait to see this line.  BTW, there are some fabulous bargains being offered at Milly right now, if anyone is still looking to supplement the walk-in, it is worth a little look-see.

One other note about Banana Republic’s collaborative efforts, its third Mad Men collection debuts March 1.

Courtesy Image via WWD.com

Courtesy Image via WWD.com

This collection is based more on Megan, Don’s wife.

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Next, a story about what we hope isn’t really a “mini-trend,” the wearing of fuzzy slippers on public, as noted in this NY Times story:

Saggers, slip dresses, lingerie worn as outerwear, pajamas on the street, bed head, Crocs and the dreaded Adidas shower shoes are all examples of the ways a once sharp division between how we dress at home and present ourselves on the street has blurred, probably forever. The days of a hat and gloves for town are gone with the dodo.

This is certainly suited for either (or both) our You Can’t Make This Stuff Up and It’s Just Not Done. (It makes me want to start a Just Say No category as well.)

Photo Montage via the New York Times

Photo Montage via the New York Times

 Back to the piece by Guy Trebay.

So it should not be surprising that a mini-trend previously confined to students at private girls’ schools, the tendency to wear fuzzy bedroom slippers out on the street, has suddenly and unexpectedly crossed over to the adult population.

Perhaps we need to bring back Albert Einstein.

Via Imgur

Via Imgur

At least he had the good manners to confine his use to his home and porch. (To the best of my knowledge, limited though it may be.)

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Our final item of note looks at last night’s Downton Abbey première.  One of the series’ main characters was married, I am curious how everyone liked Lady Mary’s wedding gown…?

Masterpiece Theatre

ITV/Masterpiece Theatre

As described by Real Style Network:

Lady Mary wears an ivory column dress with a satin sash below the waist and sheer long sleeves, which was at the height of fashion for the time. She tops off her look with a long white veil and a headpiece made to look like a crown of gold leaves and dainty flowers.

ITV/Masterpiece

ITV/Masterpiece

It seemed very much in keeping with the era and with the character’s personal style as seen on the show.

That’s it for today, until next time may the sun shine on your days and the stars on your nights!

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Tory Burch & Marc Jacobs Coming to Your Targét…?

Hello-Hello, we thought it might be a good week for some Friday Fun.

We begin with news about an upcoming collaborative effort announced this week: Target and Neiman Marcus are teaming up for a joint collection. Women’s Wear Daily has more:

The Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection will be sold beginning Dec. 1 at all 1,763 Target stores and the 42 Neiman Marcus stores, as well as online at target.com and neimanmarcus.com.

Among the designers included in the line: Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs.  Merchandise will be priced from 7.99 to $499.99, WWD says that most items will cost less than $60.  Below, the logo that you will be seeing when it comes time for promotion of the limited edition goods.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Each of the 24 designers has created 1 to 3 items for the collection, back to the WWD story for what is in the line:

“…gifts in men’s, women’s, children’s apparel and accessories, as well as other categories that some of the designers are getting into for the first time, such as sporting goods, home decor, pet accessories and accessories for electronics.”

Here is the other designers participating:  Alice + Olivia, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders, Brian Atwood, Eddie Borgo, Derek Lam, Judith Leiber, Lela Rose, Marchesa, Philip Crangi, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, Robert Rodriguez, Rodarte, Skaist-Taylor, Thom Browne, Tracy Reese, and Jason Wu.

As with so many of these partnerships, executives believe things will sell out quickly. (At the risk of sounding cynical, can you say ‘eBay’?)

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That is not the only news about a high-end retailer teaming up with a lower-priced chain: Nordstrom and Topshop have announced a partnership as well. This September the upscale company will start offering Topshop merchandise in 14 of its stores, some of the pieces will be exclusive to Nordstrom.

Business Week offers this:

To get women excited about shaking up their wardrobes again, Peter E. “Pete” Nordstrom, 50, the president of merchandising, has cut a deal to sell clothes from Topshop, a London-based retailer known for mid-priced trendy styles — punk-inspired pinafores and ladylike tweed — that defy easy characterization. It’s the sort of fashion people don’t expect to find at Nordstrom. And it could draw in new customers — or turn off existing ones.

And why we are seeing so much of this now? Back to Business Week:

At a time when wary U.S. consumers obsessively comparison-shop online and open their wallets only for must-have products, retailers are falling over themselves to lock up merchandise shoppers can’t find anyplace else.

Hmmm. Thoughts on either or both of these? Will it cheapen the brand for either Neimans or Nordstrom, or is it a savvy move for the discounters?  Too soon to tell?

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Two final tidbits today, the first one of those “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” kind of items. Behold, the Sock Sandals.

Via Geek Alert

Thank heaven Geek Alert was all over this:

Meet the Silly Sock Sandals. No need to rub your eyes, seeing is believing. Now for the first time socks and sandals have joined forces and have melded into one. Imagine the smiles you’ll receive as you sport the silliest socks known to mankind. Furthermore, you’ll save valuable time getting ready for the day.

The time-saving benefits are something we somehow overlooked. Heh-heh-heh.

Our final morsel comes via the Times, it was too cute to overlook, a story about posh dog houses.

Drew Kelly for the New York Times

The article looks at a number of different styles, including this one that model Rachel Hunter commissioned.

La Petite Maison via The New York Times

Evidently it was intended to look like a miniature version of her Mediterranean-style home.

Then there is this one, intended to look like the Grant Humphreys Mansion in Denver.

La Petite Maison via The New York Times

Having lived a block from the house for years and years, I was surprised the replica didn’t resemble the real deal a little more.

Via About.com

Regardless, they are all fun to look at, there are even abodes for other pets. Oh my.

Stacy Sodolak for The New York Times

To enjoy the slide show in its entirety, click hereJennifer Kingson’s story is not only a great read, it offers some great resources for those interested in upgrading quarters for the four-legged family members.

We want to thank everyone for the lovely comments and email the past few days. They mean more than you might realize, we can’t tell how much we both appreciate them.

May everyone enjoy a wonderful weekend!

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Filed under Collaborations, Friday Fun, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Big Doings Across The Pond

Today’s topic is fun, perhaps frivolous by some standards, a look at some of the goings-on surrounding the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Celebrations commemorating Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne get underway this weekend, some will be massive. The Sydney Morning Herald:

…the Queen’s diamond jubilee is drawing an estimated 1 million people to London for a four-day festival starting on Saturday that, in terms of sheer pageantry, will dwarf last year’s nuptials of her grandson, Prince William, and his bride, Catherine.

Below, a new official portrait in honor of the event.

John Swannell/Royal Household

Buckingham Palace has grown increasingly savvy about its image, a splendid demonstration of the Monarchy’s media acuity can be seen in the official logo for the Jubilee, as shown on the Official Diamond Jubilee Site:

The Diamond Jubilee

The splashy artwork, casual font, and touch of whimsy are worlds removed from that staid, stiff upper lip royal image many of us grew up with.  That same sense of optimistic fun is obvious in the artwork for what could be the biggest event this weekend, the Thames River Pageant:

Thames River Pageant

Saturday’s flotilla on the Thames promises to be extraordinary, more on the enormous floating celebration via the Daily Mirror:

Organisers hope to recreate scenes not seen on the river for more than 300 years – since the reign of Charles II, when all boats were made of wood.

Thousands of musicians and singers will be aboard 10 accompanying barges.

Vessels large and small, including a procession of boats used in the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation, will sail within yards of each other under 14 bridges.

The event will finish at about 5.30pm when the last music barge stages a Last Night of the Proms-style tribute – playing Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and, finally, the national anthem.

Aboard the Royal Barge will be the Queen, and Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, William and Kate (and the Middleton family, oh my!), Prince Harry and others. (Psst, if interested in watching the flotilla live, BBC America’s coverage begins at 8:30am.) Below we see an artist’s depiction of how the royal barge will look on the river this Saturday.

Via Sky News

Tonight ABC airs a special with Katie Couric, “The Jubilee Queen,” the two-hour program features interviews with both Prince William and Prince Harry, it begins at 9pm.

ABC

Monday is the BBC Jubilee Concert, a huge event being held in front of Buckingham Palace. ABC also has broadcast rights to that. Below, how the stage will look.

The BBC

Performers include Elton John, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Annie Lennox, Madness, Cliff Richard, Ed Sheeran and West End star Alfie Boe.  ABC’s recap airs Tuesday evening.

The actual Jubilee is Tuesday, with a National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a Diamond Jubilee lunch in Westminster Hall with 700 guests and other events.  To see the entire program for the St. Paul’s church service, click here for ITV’s screen grabs with details. CNN plans live coverage of the day’s events, and BBC America begins its coverage at 3:30am.

There are amazing exhibits and events planned all over the UK, including an exhibition of what some refer to ‘royal bling.’  Here we see the Imperial Crown of India made for King George V in 1911. (6000+ diamonds and other precious stones. Worn once.)

The Royal Collection via CNN

More from CNN’s story on the new exhibit, “Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration

They are some of the most spectacular diamonds, rubies and sapphires in the world, and they have graced the outfits of monarchs for centuries, now — just in time for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee — Britain’s Crown Jewels have gone on display in a new-look exhibition.

While this next item might look like an upscale version of a patriotic symbol, there’s a little more to the story, back to CNN:

“British monarchs are symbolically “married” to the country during their coronation. This coronation ring was made for Queen Victoria, as the traditional one was too large. However, this version was too small, and became stuck on her finger.”

The Royal Collection via CNN

A change of venue for this spectacular show, it is at Buckingham Palace, not the Tower of London.  To look at some of the fab photos with the CNN story, click here. The folks at Born Rich also have a nifty story, they have paired up some of the static photos of jewels with images when HM actually wore them.

Via Born Rich

It’s rather intriguing to see the padding inside the tiara, I had not previously noticed that.

There is no shortage of whimsical approaches to the big event, below we see model maker Giorgio Pastero at Legoland Windsor replacing the usual model of Queen Elizabeth with a new one that actually has real diamonds on the crown. HM joins the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William & Kate), the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip), and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (Charles and Camilla) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Via the Telegraph

The Telegraph has a collection of Unusual Portraits of the Queen created in honor of the occasion, including this one, made entirely of toast. (Perhaps an entry for our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category?)

The Telegraph

Keeping with the food theme, this was made entirely of cupcakes.

The Telegraph

This one made by the British Cheese Board, you can surmise its primary ingredient.

British Cheese Board via The Telegraph

We leave you with one more ‘portrait,’ this one is primarily of Buckingham Palace. Made of duck rolls.

The Telegraph

Here’s the star of the show among the duck rolls, HM.

The Telegraph

That is some amazing stuff.

Until next time, may your tiara be sparkling!

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“Sexy Preps”? & Those Chanel Bandages (Really)

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Wednesday here at the Prepatorium, we hope your week is going well.

For someone as busy as your trusty scribe, staying up on all of the celebrities and their businesses, endorsements, 72-day marriages for money and what-not can be a daunting task.  So you’ll forgive us for not being intimately familiar with a gentleman named Brad Goreski. But repeatedly seeing his name followed by the words “sexy prep,” a term some might say is an oxymoron,  made our fingers do some walking, and we toddled off to visit his blog. This picture is on his “about me” page. (Darling!)

"Bradley"

Mr. Goreski hasn’t posted anything since August but he has other photos of himself scattered throughout the existing posts, including this one. (Double darling!)

"My First Post"

At any rate, on that ‘about me” page Mr. Goreski describes himself as a stylist in the fashion industry. That narrowed things down. We did some more online looking and discovered he used to be on a program called The Rachel Zoe Project every week. (We realize that in the time it took me to sort all of this out you have re-read War and Peace.)

It turns out Mr. Goreski is also the new face of Tommy Hilfiger’s just-launched Eau de Prep. (Because we’re big people here at The Prepatorium, we are temporarily setting aside our personal distaste for ‘preppy parfums’ in the interest of journalism.)  The accompanying PR blitz is what has prompted all of the stories about “sexy preps.” Here is more from Refinery 29‘s story about the perfume debut, “Brad Goreski Talks Sexy Preps And His (Almost) Hip-Hop Career“:

“…being the impeccably put together prepster that he is, Brad was the obvious choice to host. True to form, he was sporting tartan plaid pants, a polka-dot bow tie, blazer, and pocket square.”

The story has a Q&A format:

Did you wear the original Tommy fragrance?
I did. I wore all things Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy almost made me hip-hop.

What is so attractive about the prep lifestyle?
I like the idea of looking my best at all times. Whether it’s a wearing a bow tie, a blazer, and plaid pants or a polo, jeans, and lace ups. I think it’s important, no matter the time of day, to put that extra effort in and look your best because you never know who you’re going to run into.

Hmmm…hip-hop and preppy? Below we see Mr. Goreski at the Macy’s launch for the scents last Thursday.

Albert Michael/Shadow PR via Refinery 29

Back to that vital question in Refinery 29’s interview with the stylist:

Who would you say is the sexiest prep in history?
Jake Ryan from 16 Candles. He’s like the end all, be all.

People magazine also covered the launch:

“I consider myself extremely preppy,” stylist Brad Goreski tells PEOPLE. “I always have been. I’ve been looking at a lot of my baby pics, and I’m always in a three-piece suit and bowtie.”

In all seriousness, Mr. Goreski looks like a nice young man, evidently he is going to have a new show on the Bravo network in 2012.

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Here is one that is overqualified for our You Can’t Make This Stuff Up files, the oh-so-buzzed-about ‘Brandages’:

Via Sugoilife

Described as ‘all purpose designer bandages,‘ you can purchase your very own set for $7.95. Sadly, it took me a moment to make the leap: brand name + bandages = brandages.

Brandages via Sugoilife

Because nothing says tasteful like a Chanel bandage on one’s breasticles chest area.

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Because we like to end on a positive note, we leave you with this:

Scottish Fine Soaps

That is the Welly Boots soap from Scottish Fine Soaps, at $7.50 a darling hostess gift, no?

On that, goodbye until next time!

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“Preppy Clothes Under $100,” & Don Draper on Four Legs

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Thursday here at the Prepatorium.

We have many headline-style tidbits to share today, we start with a look at FabSugar’s feature, “10 Key Pieces to Give Your Look a Preppy-Cool Spin For Under $100“. Below, the Asos Short Duffle (on sale at $74, originally $123) and the Lucca Couture Striped Cardigan ($41 at Revolve Clothing).

FabSugar

From the story:

…preppy pieces with a twist give our Fall wardrobes serious pep. The look we’re seeking is a cross between classic and a touch of the nouveau pop…

Below we show Anthropologie’s Sans Collar Blazer ($98) and J. Crew’s Deck Stripe Boater Tee ($39.99 on sale).

Anthropologie & J. Crew via FabSugar

Perhaps our favorite item was the BDG Satchel, $58 at Urban Outfitters.

BDG Satchel

As always, many things aren’t going to work for this old crankenstein your faithful correspondent, but we do enjoy seeing how others perceive the style.

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Next, word that Brooks Brothers is going to be offering merchandise on home shopping channel ShopNBC. (Perhaps today’s “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up“?) From the Home Shoppingista:

This just in: The odd couple of Brooks Brothers and Carson Kressley are on their way to ShopNBC. The No. 3 home shopping network will debut merchandise from the the retailer of upscale preppy clothes in November.

This all happens November 18, more on the event(?) via Yahoo Finance:

Debuting during ShopNBC’s All Star Event, the one-hour show will be the brand’s first foray into TV home shopping. As part of the Brooks Brothers’ premiere on ShopNBC, the one-hour show will feature elegant leather handbags, cashmere wraps, and silk scarves.

Really?

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We’ve known it was coming but hadn’t really accepted the sad news about from an American classic until today: Steuben is shutting its only factory November 29 and the liquidation sale is underway. For those interested in a bargain, the sale is online as well as in stores.

Steuben

Although the company hasn’t been what it used to be it’s still a shame to see it close.

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Finally this afternoon, we simply have to share a few images from this year’s annual Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square Park.

Timothy Clary/Getty via The News Observer

Tilly was especially taken by ‘Tank,’ sporting “The Runaway Bride” style.

Timothy A. Clary/Getty via The News Observer

Knowing how many readers are eager to see the return of Don Draper, we wanted to include this look.

Via Huffington Post

While the longer hair is a new look for Don, we like it. To see more four-legged friends in their Halloween finery, click here.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Sales & Savings, Tilly, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Some More Friday Fun with The Consort

Hello-hello, all.  The Consort here striding confidently mikeside in an effort to dazzle, or at least baffle, you.  The Princess has asked me to step in for the day while she attempts to run to ground a contest that is spinning wildly out of control on our sister site.  She’s handling that with her usual aplomb so I am pleased to share some Friday Fun today.  Before we get started let’s have a snack…

Courtesy Heart Attack Grill

This 8,000 calorie behemoth graces the menu of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas.  You’ll find it listed as the “Quadruple Bypass Burger”.   I can hear my arteries shutting down even as I write these words.  The sandwich (and I use that term loosely) is made up of four half-pound beef patties, cheese, bacon, tomatoes and all the usual suspects.  Since this beast couldn’t possibly fill you up you also get a milkshake made with “the highest butterfat content” and a side of “Flatliner Fries” deep-fried in pure lard.  You know, they must use pure lard because they are concerned for your health.  The 8,000 calories are equal to about one week’s worth of meals for the average person.  I can hear what you’re saying: “Oh sure, I can just walk off the calories”.  Of course you can.  Walking one mile burns about 100 calories.  Do the math.  I would have liked to have had a comment from the Heart Attack Grill on this but, sadly, the spokesperson passed away in March.  Of a heart attack.

The Princess tells me she still hurts because she did not have a Barbie doll when she was young.  I know my sister had one and even had the Barbie Dream House.  But my sister’s Barbie dolls never had tattoos until my brother and I got hold of them.  Now, thanks to LA-based Tokodoki and Mattel, Barbie has her own ink.

Courtesy Tokidoki

For only $50 you get a tatted-up doll with pink bobbed hair, stacked bracelets and a dog named Bastardino.  Apparently the doll is targeting “adult collectors only” and that has me a bit unhinged.  This is not the first time Barbie has been sporting ink.  There have been two previous editions and this particular model is limited to a run of 7,400 dolls.  I guess you probably don’t want to miss this opportunity.  I know I won’t miss it; I likely won’t notice at all.

I’m a guy and I confess, like guys everywhere, I have used duct tape to make quick and dirty repairs.  That sticky stuff is part of every well-stocked tool kit.  Now it can be part of every tailgate party…


This is just a sampling of the variety of schools that are available.  Think of the uses… create your own fashions; wrap that annoying brother-in-law who insists on rooting for the other team; securing your adult beverage to your hand when your motor skills begin to flag; the list is limited only by your imagination.  Sound intriguing?  Check them out here for more details.  Just don’t blame me when the males in your house go all slack-jawed when they realize the potential here.

But my time is running short.  Please take good care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today.  The Princess will return Monday.  Thanks for sharing your time with me!  I’ll leave you with a little number by four fellows playing a little ditty you might hear this weekend at a sporting event.

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Filed under Collaborations, Friday Fun, Posts by the Princess Consort, preppy, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Grand Openings and Wacky Costumes

Hello-Hello, what a glorious Friday it has become, these are the days you dream of if residing in The Great Midwest.  Today we have a few news Bits and Bytes, the majority with a retail overtone, we’ll cap that off with a touch of Friday Fun.

We begin with a glance at Wednesday night’s party at the just-opened Brooks Brothers in Georgetown. This one included a good number of notables, as one might expect in the Capitol. Below left, DJ Benjamin Chang with Fox News anchor Ed Henry, on the right, Self magazine’s DC Editor Marc Adelman with his little one. (Although Brooks does not offer infant sizes, the photo serves as a good reminder that really, it’s never too early.)

Photos: REVAMP.com

Naturally The Consort was impressed by this.

Photos:REVAMP.com

The store is on M Street in space previously occupied by Smith & Hawken as well as part of a Pottery Barn, if the memory cells are at all functional today.

Hillary Leeb/The Georgetown Dish

In addition to our fondness for the apparel and accessories at Brooks, we enjoyed seeing some of the furniture showcased in the new digs.

Photos: REVAMP.com

Nothing like a little custom made madras to make me smile.

The party also served as a fundraiser, the Trust for the National Mall was the beneficiary, almost $5000 was raised for that very good cause.

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Also today:

  • LL Bean’s new King of Prussia store opened last weekend, it is the venerable retailer’s 15th shop, located not too far from the Lilly KOP store.

Gene Walsh/Times Herald Staff

  • Marimekko, the Finnish design firm offering amazing textiles (and so much more), has opened its New York flagship.

T Magazine/The New York Times

  • While not a store opening, we have to applaud the folks at Hermès, for the ‘family reunion’ they hosted this week. Women’s Wear Daily reports the upscale firm closed all of its US stores Sunday, Monday & Tuesday so they could fly all 515 employees to a party and recognition ceremony, a very cool (and savvy) thing to do.

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We close today with a look at some of the year’s more bizarre Halloween costumes. The initial idea came via a story in Guest of a Guest; it showcased the ‘Roadkill’ costume, noting that “We can all agree that being run over by a car and disemboweled is every kid’s dream.” The only thing we can offer is the thought “Especially because that’s how all mothers want to envision their child.”

Kids "Road Kill" costume from Halloween Costumes

From its description on the Halloween Costumes website:

“Scrape your child off the side of the road and turn him into real road kill with this funny costume!”

This one can be yours for $48.99.

Here’s one we discovered while idly wasting time when doing research for the post, the Baby Billion Dollar Costume. Originally I thought this was a commentary on the high cost of bringing up a child, until I read the description: “Now your toddler can get in on the family gangster action with this Billion Dollar baby costume!”

Via HalloweenCostumes.com

Fully acknowledging our terminally unhip life, is there something we have missed about “family gangster action”?

Finally, there is this: your infant as roast turkey.

Martha Stewart

More than ideal for inclusion in both our Help Me Understand and You Can’t Make This Stuff Up categories, we pondered the possibility this was what we used to call a ‘sight gag,’ perhaps someone having fun with Photoshop.  Wrong.

MarthaStewart.com

Very wrong.

Martha Stewart

Of course, if you prefer baking over roasting, there’s always this.

Martha Stewart

May your weekend be sunny and bright!

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