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Cool Nights Summer Knits


The weather here at the international House of Hot Pants has been delightfully cool in the evening. We’re going to a seaside clam bake later.  We think this calls for some colorful graphic knits and some (not so short) hot pants.

Happy Hot Pants Friday colorful cuties!


He’s Into Cars


…just in case you wanted to strike up a conversation with him while he’s hanging out by the tool shed.

Happy Hot Pants Friday!


Oh, Gia!


Things to do this summer: wear hot pants, go swimming, enjoy the outdoors, read Thing Of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia.

Things not to do this summer: hurt shoulders doing uncomfortable supermodel poses, heroin.

Happy Hot Pants Friday!

Hot Pants Reflections by Helmut Newton

Nice shades!

No sun in Chicago today. Boo.

We all want to garden this weekend and it’s cold outside.  Glad I haven’t put away my parka–even though it was in the 80s this past week.

Image via Pinterest, 1971.

Sigh…Happy Hot Pants Friday!  (With wool tights and sweaters.)


Gangsta Doll in Hot Pants

Yo! Friday.

Yo! Snow be happening.

In April.

For realz.

Yo! Hot Pants overalls on this doll.


Happy Hot Pants Friday.

Yellow boots, yo!

Like a Corn Field in Palm Beach

I’ve lived in the Land of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Corn my entire life.  Because I wasn’t raised by hippies, I didn’t really have a solid connection to food stuffs and how they’re conventionally grown. My grandparents were dairy farmers. All I knew was that they worked hard and didn’t go on vacation until they retired. They had fields of grain and corn and soy. They had a large barn full of cows that smelled like poop, but looked really cute when they were calves.

Now, like most of us who pay attention to food, I’m aware that my imbicillus notions of farming were, at best, shallow and naive.  My land–no, this land–our land! is not a simply a gorgeous swath frilly tassels of acreage that surrounds hilly country roads. Our land and our food is now a political maelstrom that I’m asked to enter every time I shop for groceries. And that’s only because I’m not as seduced as I once was by “knee high by the 4th of July.” Instead, I’m wont to wonder, “What the hell is in this food thing I’m about to buy? Can I afford to get this without that side of GMO? I really can’t afford not to, can I?”

When this gem of a 1960′s Lilly Pulitzer shift dress showed up online at Lulu’s, I didn’t hesitate to email the proprietor (our dear Anne) to let her know I wanted to buy the thing.  I haven’t had such an immediate connection with a dress since. And, that was about two years ago! Can you hear the quartet of sad trombone players outside my window right now? They are wearing boater hats, and if I’m not mistaken their boxy shirts are festooned with a red, white, and blue Americana bald eagle print. What a bummer that I don’t often get that rush of “OH GOD! This dress IS PERFECT for ME!” when I see a vintage item that’s for sale.  Geez. Those are some sad bald eagles. But, I digress.

Lilly Pulitzer died recently. When she did, I was saddened because her creative contribution to fashion, with its humble (and by humble, I mean monied), juice stand beginnings says something cool and kooky about the American dream. Never mind that Mrs. Pulitzer was entirely comfortable financially. Her American dream wasn’t exactly a big, scary gamble.  Bald eagles were probably smiling at her the whole time she was dreaming her  juicy fashion dream.

But, think about it. Lilly could have just as easily decided to do something less interesting than wear her homemade shift dresses in those splashy patterns that hid the juice spills.  She didn’t have to wake up and say, “I’m gonna go make some juice today!”  Oh, Look! Jackie Kennedy is wearing my dress! No, she didn’t need to create a cult brand and pump out quirky, preppy prints that were destined to become fashion fodder for denizens of Palm Beach. Given her circumstances, it wouldn’t occur to me to do what she did.  Hell, I’d just open a Pinterest account and sit around pinning things and drinking wine insisting that I was a creative genius. (Did you see my Pinterest board on weird fingernail art? Holy crap! The things people will do with their nails!)

I’m glad I came to know Lilly Pulitzer’s singular style and her stylish rise to fame. And I’m exceptionally glad I had the foresight to throw two easy payments at this dress just so that I could own what I deem one of the most strangely exotic Lilly prints I’ve seen. (I’ve seen a lot of them.) Who better to own this than me–a corny midwesterner who dreams of being GMO-free in Palm Beach?

Thanks for finding this dress for me, Anne.


Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Hot Pants Friday!

Happy Hot Pants Friday, all you super heroes!

Wishing you blue skies and a whole lot less cheek peek. It’s still winter where we live.

(Cheek peek? Did that just come out of my keyboard? Ew…)

[image via]

The One that Got Away

Ask anyone who’s a vintage fanatic and he or she can probably tell you a story about the one vintage thing that they wanted to buy, but for some cursed reason, they didn’t.

For me, it’s this sweater.

I don’t honestly believe that my life would be significantly better if I owned it.  I can’t imagine that I’d instantly accrue major style points and street cred if I wore this (unless I was at a ham radio convention.) I don’t think this sweater will cause people run up to me to say “OH.MY.GOD. IT’S a RADEEE- O-WAVE sweater?!” (That is what I said when I chanced upon the ebay auction for it years and years ago.) Moreover, I don’t expect that this sweater is going to get me a table at Alinea or the money to pay the check.  This sweater isn’t going to comfort me the way that a hot bubble bath would on a cold rainy day. It’s not going to be the one thing I grab from my apartment when it happens to be burning to the ground.

Wait. I believe that all of these things are true! I FUCKING love this sweater.

Years ago, I found this wonderful, whimsical (yet very serious) thing on eBay. I bid high enough to make the “buy-it-now option” disappear. When the auction ended, in the final minutes….nay, seconds…the thing shot through the roof! It realized at least twice the seller’s original buy-it-now price. Why didn’t I click BUY IT NOW?! WHYYYY?!!

I was grumpy for weeks.

I still am.

My friend send me a link to this fish sweater worn by Jessica Fletcher on  Murder She Wrote. That made me think of  my long lost radio wave sweater. (Aren’t you thrilled to know a blog about Jessica Fletcher’s closet exists? You are? How about this, then?!)

P.S. I don’t know why I didn’t save a better photo of the back of my radio wave lover. (You can see it up there in the corner.)

You know Terry Gross would see me wearing this cardigan and want to talk to me on the radio about sweaters and other vintage things. As you are aware, that Terry just loves to talk to regular folks like me who haven’t really made more contributions to the world other than wearing a good sweater now and again.

Tell me, radio listeners and vintage lovers alike– do you have one that got away?


Friday’s Muse

Peggy Moffit and the International House of Hot Pants wish you a very Happy HOT PANTS FRIDAY!

Paging through The Rudi  Gernreich Book this morning, I’m reminded of the stellar contribution that Gernreich, Moffitt, and photographer William Claxton made to the world of fashion. Each page yields a wonderful surprise that looks as innovative now as it probably did when the photo was originally taken. Special thanks to my friends who sent this exquisite book to me in 2003.


International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day. Why spend just a day on this? Let’s smash the racist, homophobic, patriarchal bullshit paradigm every day!

International House of Hot Pants wishes you a Happy Hot Pants Friday!