Why Are Some Clothing Items So Universally Reviled?


Have you ever wondered why certain items of clothing become fashion pariahs? In particular, I am quite concerned about the fate of Crocs and Scrunchies. Why are they so loathed? Did you know there is even a Facebook group called Why Would You Wear A Scrunchie? Honestly.?

What’s wrong, examining afresh, with a velvet-covered hair elastic? My favorite one is gray, and well-worn. What, in the context of gardening, is wrong with Crocs? And, beyond gardening, why are Crocs (of the tasteful color variety) any worse than Danskos? Is not a clog, really, a clog?

My theory is that we’re looking at a phenomenon known in grammar studies as metonymy. Metonymy means using a part to represent the whole. For example,

“The Crown decreed that no one should wear Crocs.”

In this case, the Crown means the King or Queen. A part, to mean the whole.

I think when we hate the Scrunchie we are reviling the entire big hair, hot pink off-shoulder-cut-up sweatshirt and purple Lycra leggings look. I also think some people say Scrunchies are the devil as code for “I am stylish and in the know.” I think when we hate the Crocs we are shaking our fingers at cargo-pant and camp-shirt, undone hair,  middle-aged women who appear to be wearing garden clogs to the mall because they just give up.

We may wish that teenagers didn’t en masse start to wear odd, ugly clothes combinations. We may wish to nudge, and to help, midlife women who find personal style overwhelming. But we shouldn’t really blame it on the accessories, now, should we? Are poor, innocent, Scrunchies truly at fault?

85 Comments

  • 07/27/11
    6:13 am

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    Jan said...

    Reviled? Not on MY watch, as I have a scrunchie in my hair and a pair of Crocs on my feet (albeit not the clogs, but a black ballerina flats that are the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve EVER owned) as I type this.

    I have reached an age where I am unwilling to be a slave to fashion if it means I will be uncomfortable. You’ll take my Crocs when you pry them off my cold, dead feet.

    07/30/11
    1:44 pm
    Dizzy Comet said...

    AMEN! I wear Crocs every day, and I work at the Pentagon. No one is none the wiser, and my feet thank me at the end of long weeks walking around the enormous building.

  • 07/27/11
    6:22 am

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    The gold digger said...

    Sorry, Jan, but any shoe that can be washed in the dishwasher is not fit for public use.

  • 07/27/11
    6:27 am

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    ms Givens said...

    The new Croc ballet flats are cute!
    I have scrunchies even though I dont need them.

  • 07/27/11
    6:31 am

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    A Gift Wrapped Life said...

    I was more than happy that I had an old pair of Crocs with me last week. Swimming in a lake with all kinds of spooky things at the bottom (not to mention the rocks) and I wear them for gardening too. Fun post.

  • 07/27/11
    6:46 am

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    Anna said...

    You’re right, it’s the association that is so strong and that plays tricks with the human mind. Scrunchies bring my mind back to the nineties when a lot of things happened I just don’t want to think about. Same goes for padded headbands in the strangest patterns. And I say no to crocs simply because I belong to the a Birkenstock clog camp.

  • 07/27/11
    6:54 am

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    The Preppy Princess said...

    What a great point you make. I think you are absolutely right, it is the overall issue, not the item symbolizing the issue. Frankly, I don’t think a thin, tiny scrunchie (all I ever wore, I never wore the big ones)that matches your hair is a crime against fashion. I just don’t. (However, you do know where I am on the crocs.)

    Sending you a smile Miss Privilege,
    tp

  • 07/27/11
    7:10 am

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    Candy Dye said...

    In my early fifties I went back to 12 hour shifts as a nursing instructor. After purchasing several pairs of “in” shoes, none were as comfortable as the pair of hot pink crocs my husband brought home for me to try. They were the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I bought pink scrubs to match! It’s all about comfort now. I will say that a matching scrunchie would have taken my “look” to another level, though! Lol!

  • 07/27/11
    7:28 am

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    Brohammas said...

    Perhaps the scrunchie is reviled by loving husbands and fathers who find the hair accessory not in loved one’s hair, but on doorknobs, the stick shift, the couch, wrapped around the remote… Why does the shifter in my car need four scrunchies? It doesn’t ever have a ponytail.

  • 07/27/11
    7:36 am

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    Shelly Gregory said...

    I agree, it’s all how and when the “wearer” presents the item! Utility, comfort, simplicity does not mean “ugly”. In fact, those three words are actually apart of describing great fashion and accessories.

  • 07/27/11
    7:41 am

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    mary anne said...

    Spot on, as always! Crocs are for gardening, or strolling in murky waters, not for lunch and shopping. Scrunchies? Well, they do conjure up visions of “Flash Dance” and that is probably why they are not favored. Tell me, can you even buy scrunchies anywhere? Still, they are not the devil.

  • 07/27/11
    7:46 am

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    Ameriscott said...

    I think you have nailed it…especially with the crocs. The scrunchy is, perhaps the lesser offender here overall, but as you say, it is the massage. As someone whi is forced into wearing plastic surgical clogs by career choice for hours at a time, a would issue a caution to my sisters on Privilrge who are extolling their virtues in the comfort arena. Be careful with these. They are not really shoes. Swim, wear them to the beach, the garden, if you must, but wearing them daily can make your feel spread out over time, they lack proper support, and children get caught in escalators all the time. They are basically foam. If it is comfort you seek, try Sofft or Bjorn or even Clarks, to name a few.

  • 07/27/11
    7:47 am

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    Ameriscott said...

    And apologies for the typos folks, have not yet mastered my new iPad…

  • 07/27/11
    7:53 am

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    Mise said...

    A good point, and I’m certainly against those two things – crocs for being so very clumpy without any redeeming elegance of sturdiness, and scrunchies for the little static spark of polyester I can almost feel (a memory of the eighties) when I see them. Perhaps they are all classy and cotton now and I’m in the wrong.

  • 07/27/11
    7:53 am

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    the gardeners cottage said...

    maybe they are reviled so much b/c they are kinda ugly. that’s my guess.

  • 07/27/11
    8:00 am

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    Stephanie said...

    I still have one scrunchie exactly like the one in that picture (scrotty black velvet!) from when I was about 13. It lives at the bottom of the plastic shoebox housing all my cosmetic junque. I can’t bear to throw it away, but I also rarely use it.

    I don’t have any crocs. They don’t look comfortable. I also do not own a single pair of blue jeans for the same reason. Neither do my son or my husband! (My daughter has a few pairs of jeans. She likes ‘em.)

  • 07/27/11
    8:02 am

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    Stephanie said...

    OH! One more thing: in high school in the 80s, I used to hand-stitch my own scrunchies. You might guess that my favorite were blue/white seersucker ones. Hah!

  • 07/27/11
    8:08 am

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    Duchesse said...

    Gold digger, “Any shoe that can be washed in a dishwasher…”: brilliant!

    I don’t dislike these items for *messy, utilitarian tasks* like gardening, wrangling toddlers or washing windows.

    I’d rather use my accessories quotient on good jewelry; if one needs hair control a barrette or coated elastic that vanishes would not clutter up the look.

    My sons, usually mute on the subject of my style, have said, “Anything but Crocs, Maman.”

    And I dislike even more hard plastic headbands on women over 16 and sweat pants with letters on the butt.

  • 07/27/11
    8:17 am

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    Preppy 101 said...

    Great post. I agree. I do see Olivia Newton John singing “Let’s Get Physical” when I see a scrunchie. :-) xoxo

  • 07/27/11
    8:23 am

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    Susan Tiner said...

    I had no idea! But I’ll be on the lookout now. I did think scrunchies were only for running and going to the gym. And maybe housework.

  • 07/27/11
    8:27 am

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    RoseAG said...

    I don’t mind scrunchies. They’re better for your hair than straight rubberbands. I don’t wear my hair in that style so my tacky hair accessory I’m never without is a plastic headband.

    Crocs have a place, but it’s not a city look.
    The DC Metro warns against them on escalators because they get caught in the stairs.

    I see lots of little kids at the YMCA camp with crocs. I wouldn’t have ever sent my boys in such a shoe because they were active and needed something that stayed on their feet and enabled kicks to soccer balls. Sometimes I wonder if the obesity crisis could be diminished if we outfitted everybody in tie-up shoes. It’s awfully easy to kick off slip-ons and be a couch lump.

  • 07/27/11
    8:29 am

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    valentine said...

    I try not to wear plastic or polyester on my old body.

  • 07/27/11
    8:32 am

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    Marsha @ Splenderosa said...

    Oh, Lisa, does this mean I can’t wear my hot pink off-shoulder-cut-up sweatshirt and purple Lycra leggings look? And, OMG, Crocs. NEVER !!!!

  • 07/27/11
    8:50 am

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    Patsy said...

    I love my crocs on and in the water.

    If someone wants to wear them as shoes, well, go for it! Life is too short to waste time mocking the croc wearers, when there are people out there wearing jorts and japris!

  • 07/27/11
    8:57 am

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    Ruth Johnston said...

    I think there is just a place for each, as you say a scrunchie is great for gardening or to hold you hair up when you want to sleep and have volume in the morning.. a soft one.. I prefer a hair stick if I am going out of the house.. or something hidden… Crocs are great for the beach.. hot tubs.. and people who work in hospitals seem to like them.. but they are particularly ugly xx

  • 07/27/11
    9:01 am

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    toad said...

    My crocs and I are doing fine thank you. Considering teens odd ugly clothes did you happen to notice this?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/man-woman/Trendy-moms-wish-to-look-like-their-daughters/articleshow/9381890.cms

  • 07/27/11
    9:04 am

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    Katelyn said...

    Scrunchies remind me of a period in my life when I felt like nothing I wore, said, or accomplished would make me a social success. The more popular girls were wearing scrunchies– so was I! Couldn’t people see? And yet somehow I hadn’t figured out the magical Way To Wear A Scrunchie. I was in elementary, middle, and a little bit of high school during the 90s, so maybe I’m a bit younger than other commenters– I associate scrunchies with my own naivete and a painful coming of age.

    Less about the accessory, more about the associations. You’re right.

  • 07/27/11
    9:17 am

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    Marcela said...

    I don’t like either of them for myself, they are too big, I’m too small, etc.
    Crocs are a big fashion item in Argentina these days…my husband says that’s because Argentinians still dress as in the 80′s ;)

  • 07/27/11
    9:32 am

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    Ida said...

    I love my linen,velvet scrunchies so easy to tie my hair back,often carry one on my wrist on a hair down day ready to bundle up if necessary!!

    Crocs ugggh so ugly. Ida

  • 07/27/11
    9:52 am

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    Missy LongHair+Gardening+Camping+Beach said...

    Well thank GOD some one has finally written this manifesto. ALL HAIL ye VELVET SCRUNCHIES!!!! (many of mine, I might add…match my Crocs :))

  • 07/27/11
    10:13 am

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    Jean S said...

    So very funny; thanks for this! It is a matter of association.

    I don’t hate on scrunchies, as I associate them with my 20-something nieces. That was their thing, back when they were 10 and 12 and so damned cute.

    As for crocs, yep, they’re ugly, though they are great for gardening. (I hate them, though, and don’t wear them.) I also hate Birkenstocks–and I live in the Portland (OR) area, which gives me plenty of opportunity to roll my eyes. Birkies with socks in the winter? Oh yes, it’s a “look” here, God help me.

  • 07/27/11
    10:33 am

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    mary jo said...

    This is really so timely because I just ventured to the mall near my new home last night (ostensibly to find a MAC store) but I find malls at once horrifying (I was catcalled by 3 teenage boys) and comforting (there was a 3 story Target). Anyway, there was also a Croc store filled with plenty of moms buying stuff for their kids and I marveled that this phenomenon is alive and well…I also felt so humiliated for adoring my faded black scrunchy that I recycled it as an ode to comme de garcon as my Blythe doll’s skirt last year. You can’t really overcome society’s idea of what is in and out but you can always bend the rules a little…

    xo Mary Jo

  • 07/27/11
    10:40 am

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    Marsha Calhoun said...

    I am struck by your reference to metonymy, and think you have isolated a Very Important Concept as regards fashion in general. When something that is sort of flashy and noticeable becomes the trend, its perceived horridness after the trend has passed is in exact proportion to its original popularity. The horridness becomes associated with all the other looks that accompanied the wearing of the item. This is particularly interesting to me because I have recently been wondering about the difference between wearing dated clothing (apparently this is quite wrong) and wearing retro clothing (apparently this is okay), particularly if the dated-or-retro article in question is in itself beautiful regardless of its age. Your thoughts on this would interest me.

    Also, when my mother was quite an old lady, she wore brilliant scrunchies in her long white up-done hair, coordinated often with her favorite fuschia jacket, emerald green silk blouse, and vivid lipstick. She looked magnificent, and elicited compliments by the bushel.

  • 07/27/11
    10:46 am

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    Pam said...

    My sweetie really misses the scrunchies I used to wear: he loved to steal them and start a giant wrestling match as I tried to retrieve them. (I’m not at all competitive, no.)

    As for Crocs, unless they’re in the garden, or you’re Mario Battali, I have to say, blech. Besides, any footwear that gets caught in escalators and costs people toes does not belong in the mall, IMO. Safety first!

  • 07/27/11
    11:03 am

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    Princess Freckles said...

    Well put, and I agree, we tend to categorize people and judge them based on really silly things! While, I no longer wear scrunchies, I do own a few pairs of crocs. I wear them on boats, at water parks, while washing my car, in Disney World because they’re really comfy while walking a lot, and other places where waterproof shoes are a plus. I wouldn’t wear them other places, but I don’t judge people who do.

    People are also very against Uggs, and I don’t care, because I live in hell and it snows here a lot! I need something warm to wear to work that is easy to slip off and put on my other shoes. Honestly, mine are black, and they’re way less ugly than my LL Bean boots that I wear when shoveling the driveway. I also bought some Hunter boots this Winter, and admittedly they’re a little more stylish than the Uggs, and I wear them all the time in appropriate weather.

    I think people in general should stop judging, myself included, because I do it all day long! I just base my judgements on the way people treat their kids or if they’re dressed like they’re 19, not 49! Still, not my best quality.

  • 07/27/11
    11:04 am

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    Jennifer said...

    I don’t own any Crocs (I’m a Birkenstock girl) but I do agree they should be relegated to water sports and gardening.

    Scrunchies and I have a more complex relationship. I have very long, very thick hair and elastic bands don’t cut it. That said, as a child of the 90s, I always despised the frou frou-ness of scrunchies, but I couldn’t find a good substitute that would actually hold my hair.

    Enter my ex boyfriend. He taught me to take old stockings and cut the toes and top off, leaving you with a 10″ cylindrical tube that can be rolled up and used as a classy “scrunchy” that matches your hair tone, isn’t poufy and doesn’t snag your hair.

    Ta-da! :)

  • 07/27/11
    11:14 am

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    Joy said...

    It’s funny how scrunchies are totally OK in Japan. They think it’s cute with a chignon…so it’s really all just cultural I suppose?

  • 07/27/11
    12:02 pm

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    Legallyblondemel said...

    Mmm. You may be on to something, but I still abhor the Croc anywhere outside the home or garden, on its own aesthetic (de)merits. I’m told, however, that as the mother of a toddler I may have to buy him a pair soon; I’ll roll my eyes a bit as I hand over my credit card to do so, but I’ll do it.

    I don’t care for the huge, poofy scrunchies of old, again on their own merits, but I’ll allow a small one. Like that use of “allow”? ;-)

  • 07/27/11
    12:09 pm

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    Lara of Long Beach said...

    My, what a spirited discussion! There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground here regarding Scrunchies and Crocs. Good to see such diverse opinions:)

    Crocs: for the garden, housework when I’m not barefooted, “wet” work/play, running to the store, etc (and they really do make more styles than the ubiquitous clog).

    Scrunchies: I make my own from scraps of cotton print fabric left over from quilting. I also changed the style a bit making them one inch wide and much longer so I can double it up for a pony tail, or arrange it artfully through upswept tresses ala Greek Goddess. They’re particularly useful (and gentle) for wearing to bed, reducing tangles and preventing entanglements with whoever or whatever else is in bed with me, including my own limbs.

    Someday they’ll all be retro and in style….just like poodle skirts:)

  • 07/27/11
    12:28 pm

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    Rhonda said...

    I think its all like the emperor’s new clothes. We think they are unfashionable, etc….because we are told they are. (Much like why we wore them in the 80s) Else, why could today’s teenagers not look at pictures from the 80s and 90s and realize how unflattering certain styles are!

    (and in the interest of full disclosure, I don’t have a scrunchie, but I do wear crocs when gardening)

  • 07/27/11
    12:35 pm

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    Sylvie said...

    My lack of appreciation for the scrunchie is somewhat personal I think. It’s not because of 80′s-ness or the bandwagon. Truly. It’s mostly because I’ve seen so many dirty abandoned ones on playgrounds, in parking lots and floors of public bathrooms. Ew. Another reason is that they seem rather unintentional- which is to say, the scrunchie seems oft installed without thought of coordination or peacefulness; but, rather hastily/hurriedly pulled from the back of a drawer, brushed off and put in to place as an afterthought. On the other hand, I get that a particular scrunchie might hold sentiment and emotional comfort for some. Lastly, I think (and this might be my self-diagnosed OCD kicking in) that they look a like a messy little pile of fabric smashed against the wearer’s head where a comfortable clip, nice barrette, or smoother elastic/spandex-based band could serve the purpose.

    Like Jennifer, I cut the legs of any damaged clean black tights into 3 to 4 inch bands. They work really well to keep my hair together without causing breakage – not to mention the benefit of repurposing/recycling My sisters and I call them our “hair hose.” (I’m wearing one right now as a matter of fact.)

    Regarding crocs, I don’t own any myself although my sons have had pair after pair for the last few years. They are great for them for outdoor or warm weather activities – not for citywear/malls. They look really unelegant (relaxed or otherwise) on me and I find that my rubber slides from the drugstore or a pair of old Donald J. Pliner leather slide flats are super comfortable and feel a little more right for me. (I have to confess that I’ve borrowed my 10 year old son’s crocs for getting the newspaper or stepping on scary bugs in the kitchen from time to time.)

  • 07/27/11
    12:38 pm

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    J.W. said...

    Scrunchies yes.

    Crocs belong in the garden.

  • 07/27/11
    12:44 pm

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    Laura said...

    scrunchies and crocs are 2 things that I will never own. Neither is aesthetically pleasing. To me a ponytail elastic is like underwear: it should do its job quietly and without being seen. It should just enhance the over all appearance of the wearer and not compete for attention. I always wear elastics that are the same colour as my hair so they blend in and almost disappear.
    Crocs just don’t have anything good about them appearance wise. They are big and bulky and have holes in them. I don’t pay for clothing or footwear with clothes in them. That being said, I know gardener’s love them, so rock on, as long as you don’t wear them out of the garden!
    whew. there’s my schpeel for the day.

  • 07/27/11
    2:15 pm

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    Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

    I’m not a fan of the croc, but it isn’t the scrunchie’s fault. I really think you hit the nail on the head when you point out that it is the woman who has given up who gives them all a bad name.

  • 07/27/11
    2:55 pm

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    Maggie said...

    These things are despised because there are folks who have nothing better to do than disparage what others find comfortable and/or convenient. It’s scrunchies and crocs today; it’s be something else tomorrow. Sigh.

  • 07/27/11
    2:55 pm

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    Maggie said...

    That’s *it’ll*

  • 07/27/11
    3:09 pm

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    Marj said...

    I have maybe 5 pairs of crocs. The ugly clog ones, which I got in obnoxious green to discourage using them anywhere but my own yard, a few pairs of ballet flat style ones, and a pair of wedge heel ones. I love them. People can make fun all they like. I don’t wear scrunchies because my hair is about 2 inches long, but I understand the appeal. They are against hands and head and do not pull at your hair. However, they are so reviled that before I lopped all my hair off I only wore the much less comfortable small bands, often in shades that were not dissimilar to my hair color. I guess a certain amount of public shaming goes into fashion or we’d all be wearing clothing decades out of date and fashion designers wouldn’t be able to sell their merchandise.

  • 07/27/11
    3:19 pm

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    Buckeroomama said...

    I’ve always loved the way you deconstruct and you nailed it again with this post.

    No Crocs for me ever, I think, only because they’re not my style, but I have to admit that they feel comfy, the pair that I’d tried on. I wear a scrunchie almost every day –especially in the summer when it gets really hot and humid here.

  • 07/27/11
    3:46 pm

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    hostessofthehumblebungalow said...

    I do not like crocks but I do like scrunchies and have 2 fur ones from Finland that mette of the metscan blogged about a year or more ago….

    Where do you stand on frumpy polyester pull on pants?

  • 07/27/11
    4:26 pm

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    Darla said...

    No scrunchies, no Crocks for me. For some reason both seem a little childish to me. Mind, I don’t care if you or others wear them.

    Darla

  • 07/27/11
    7:23 pm

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    Sydney Shop Girl said...

    There’s a time and a place for everything. I love my Crocs and wish I could find my scrunchies.

    SSG xxx

  • 07/27/11
    8:45 pm

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    Scarlet's Mom said...

    It’s not the scrunchies that I find so obnoxious. It’s the large plastic claw-styled clips that hold up a wad of straggly, unkempt hair.

  • 07/27/11
    10:12 pm

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    KBG in DC said...

    It’s a question of “appropriate”, n’est pas? Crocs are not appropriate in public because they are plastic shoes, and the well-dressed in any country or age group (withe the exception maybe if those under 3) will never be caught dead in plastic shoes. The same for scrunchies. Scrunchies are appropriate for anyone performing morning/evening ablutionsand those under 14. They are too cutesy for anyone over 14 to wear in public. Really, at 50, do we want to be described as “cute”?

  • 07/28/11
    1:27 am

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    Tabitha said...

    Luckily crocs haven’t really made it over here, they are just so ugly they remind me of ice hockey masks. I’d rather wear Kevlar boots.
    I still pull my hair back with a scrunchie, I have a lot if hair so it works much better than a skimpy bobble.

  • 07/28/11
    3:09 am

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    ADG said...

    Dansko clogs…even I have them. Crocs…I have one pair for the beach. I have no scrunchies. And LFG just uses these fabric covered rubber band thingies that I buy at CVS for three dollars per card of twenty.

    But here’s the thing that sends me over the edge. And I can’t defend my edge teetering disdain. That elastic head band with a bow that proud parents put on their little baby’s noggin’. I’m sorry, it looks like that thing on a Burlesque gal’s thigh…you know…the stretchy bit where the dollar bills are placed. It’s just creepy.

    Oy. And Onward.

  • 07/28/11
    4:57 am

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    Joyce Lau said...

    There’s an episode of the old Sex & the City (the good TV series, not the awful movie series) where Carrie teases her aspiring writer boyfriend for creating a character who wears a scrunchy, because, realistically, no fashionable New Yorker would be caught dead in one.

    She makes her point later when she sees a lone woman in a scrunchy at a NY bar, and that woman turns out to be a tacky out-of-town tourist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B-e6UsrOsM

  • 07/28/11
    5:00 am

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    Joyce Lau said...

    I haven’t owned a scrunchy for a decade, and even then, it was just for use at home. And I’ve never worn a pair of Crocs – I didn’t even know they made ballet flats. But maybe they’re just not as popular here in Hong Kong.

    Though I finally gave in on one of my own style rules. For the first time in my life, I appeared at work / in public in flip-flops. But that’s only because I’m 8 months pregnant and suffering from edema. But as soon as the swelling goes back down, I’m back to my old shoes!

  • 07/28/11
    8:33 am

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    That's Not My Age said...

    I used to wear a scrunchy back in the eighties with big hoop earrings, ripped jeans and Dr Marten’s but I go for a more pared-down look these days!

  • 07/28/11
    9:27 am

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    Lisa said...

    Jan – A contrarian’s double!

    The gold digger – Ha! Then how do you explain a recent spate of designer jellies?

    ms. Givens – So you have Scrunchies as cuddle toys:).?

    A Gift Wrapped Life – Thanks. And I would take my Crocs into a lake too.

    Anna – Thank you. And now I imagine the Birkenstocks and Crocs battling it out on the field somewhere. Softball, perhaps.

    TPP – Thank you. And in all honesty, I don’t wear those parrot green Crocs any further from my house than my front yard, or to the tidepools.

  • 07/28/11
    9:31 am

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    Lisa said...

    Candy – And somehow I imagine your patients remembered you happily.

    Brohammas – “Why does the shifter in my car need four scrunchies? It doesn’t ever have a ponytail.” Ha! Very good point, sir.

    Shelly – “It’s all how and when the “wearer” presents the item!” Yes, and so we wonder, why do specific items inspire such hatred?

    Mary Anne – Thank you ma’am! And yes you can buy Scrunchies. I do, at CVS. They are not the big sort, that fan out across your head. Just another covered elastic, and they catch far less of one’s hair in the usage.

    Ameriscott – I agree, I stretched the limits a bit on the Crocs to make a point. Thanks for the warning on long term usage:). I didn’t even notice any typos.

    Mise – I agree, the Croc clogs are ugly. On the other hand, so are the Alexander McQueen shoes, often, and they are revered. As for scrunchies, mine are cotton.

  • 07/28/11
    9:33 am

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Janet – Ha! But so are other things in fashion, and they become highly coveted.

    Stephanie – Scrotty? Scrotty you say? I lub my gray scrunchie. It’s my fuffy:). I think I used to own a seersucker one but have moved on, clearly, to more elegance.

    Duchesse – ABC, ABC. OK, OK. Sweat pants with letters on the butt, heinous. But the little elastics PULL MY HAIR OUT!. Sorry to yell. But those little suckers eat fine hair for breakfast.

    Preppy 101 – Thank you! I will never, ever, wear a pair of shiny lycra shorts again:).

    Susan Tiner – Short hair means you are free of all this:).

    RoseAG – Again, your profound practicality amazes me. Aren’t you a systems engineer? If yes, you must be absolutely fantastic at your job. Thank you for the insight.

  • 07/28/11
    10:48 am

    Reply

    Cate Subrosa said...

    Metonymy! Oh, I love you more than ever today.

    The scrunchie, I agree, is more hated as a symbol of a certain look than as an accessory itself.

    But Crocs, seriously, they’re PLASTIC SHOES. They’re also a symbol of a certain look, but they’d be deserving of the same hatred even if they were worn by the trendiest young things in town, as part of the coolest outfits imaginable.

    Because they’re plastic. Shoes. *shakes head*

  • 07/28/11
    12:22 pm

    Reply

    Velma said...

    I will hereby defend scrunchies.

    My daughter and I both have fine, straight hair. When my hair was long (in the ’90s), I used narrow scrunchies on buns to keep the ends in and for a bit of color, and sometimes on ponytails. They did not pull my hair out or get tangled, unlike the awful skinny elastics.

    If I had long hair, I would probably still wear scrunchies around the house. But now I inflict them on my daughter instead (horrors!). She has hair like mine and says they do not hurt, and she likes the colors. I buy the narrow ones from drug stores and twist them around so many times that they basically look like a ribbon.

    I’m sure they are not comme il faut for young ladies in the city–but who cares? We live in upstate New York, and she looks cute.

  • 07/28/11
    3:19 pm

    Reply

    rb said...

    I’m just seeing this topic probably too late. My hairdresser noted that I had hair breakage right where my ponytail elastics go and said NO MORE! And when Bradley tells me to do something (or in this case, not do something) I generally obey. So I bought those claw clips that someone in the comments above says she reviles…. but sometimes we have to have our hair out of the way, and these work. Except for sleeping. I can’t sleep in a claw clip, and I can’t sleep with my hair on my face, so I use a scrunchie. They’re newer scrunchies, with not too much fabric, just enough to cover the elastic. My daughter also wears one to sleep, and we fight over our dwindling supply. So scrunchies -they have their place in my home.

    However. You will never, ever catch me wearing Crocs outside my garden. Ever. You have my permssion to shoot me on sight if you do.

  • 07/28/11
    3:49 pm

    Reply

    Mary G said...

    I saw some butterfly clips by Scunci recently that I thought might work to hold hair back without breaking it. They are in brown and black and are no more than one inch long. They have a somewhat rubberized covering in the interior that would provide some friction hopefuly without breaking the hair. I an really looking for something that will not break hair and until I find it, I am just going to go without.

  • 07/28/11
    4:52 pm

    Reply

    Stephanie said...

    Hah! If it’s grey to begin with, then it’s not scrotty black at all! It’s just grey.

    (but it’s still a scrunchie.)

    ;)

  • 07/28/11
    6:09 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Valentine – Ah, yes, there is that.

    Marsha – Hahahaha. What was it about purple and pink, we now wonder?

    Ruth – I’m working on learning hair sticks etc. So far I’m pretty amateur.

    Toad – You wear Crocs? Do you blog them? I must go search.

    Katelyn – That’s very poignant, really. Accessories are so totemic.

    Marcela – I am trying to imagine Buenos Aires, as my son described it to me, full of people in Crocs.

  • 07/28/11
    6:09 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Ida – OK, OK, I agree. Crocs clogs are ugly. And I keep my Scrunchie in my purse, just exactly so I can whip my fair off my face when it starts to bother me.

    Mary Jo – Not flattered at the teen catcalls?

    Marsha – Why thank you. The Comparative LIterature Degree From The Time Of Structuralists finally bears fruit! As for why things are in style and then so out, and what is dated vs. vintage, I suppose it all has to do with silhouette, line, and geometry. The eye wants what the eye wants. But I will think more. And your mother sounds so striking and beautiful.

    Pam – That is so cute, Scrunchie wrestling:).

    Princess Freckles – Uggs absolutely fall into this category. I think they are dreadful on high school girls in cutoffs. But for surfing, or in the winter, well, that was the point. I am terribly opinionated about style, try to be much less so about people themselves:).

  • 07/28/11
    9:01 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Joy – Absolutely fascinating. Scrunchies in Japan.

    Legallyblondemel – Have you seen the leopardskin Croc ballet flats? I dare you. If you will allow me:).

    Lara – Your scrunchies sound wonderful. And your opinions, so reasonable:).

    Rhonda – Hehe. Some of it is surely group think, some of it is a certain timing of aesthetics, I believe.

    Sylvie – I had never heard of this tights practice. Hmm. My Scrunchies are not very fabric-full. And I think Crocs must be the the bug killing shoes in the world.

    J.W. – And there, in a nutshell, we have it. I probably agree.

  • 07/28/11
    9:01 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Stephanie – Then let none of us give up, unless it’s a sweet surrender.

    Maggie – Sigh. I am not without crime in this court. I just count on amusing people enough that they forgive me.

    Marj – I sense that with hair 2 inches long you look edgy enough that you can wear all the Crocs you want:).

    Buckeroomama – Thank you very much. And your summers are world class…

    Hostess – No frumpy anything. And that’s that:).

  • 07/28/11
    9:22 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Darla – What a very nice position to take.

    SSG – Your Scrunchies are, according to everyone here, either in your purse, in the back of your drawer, or around your gearshift:).

    Scarlet’s Mom – Those things are too uncomfortable for me to even want to wear them:).

    KBG in DC – Yes, it is a question of appropriate. But plastic doesn’t seem to be the barrier – look at designer jellies. Crocs clogs are just a very ugly shape:(.

    Tabitha – If you use Scrunchies, I rest my case, oh Grandest of Dames.

  • 07/28/11
    9:24 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    ADG – I think fabric covered rubber band thingies from CVS are what I call Scrunchies. As for those head bow bands, never used them for daughter, never would. Although I hadn’t previously had that exact image in my mind.

    Shan – The big floppy ones are terrible. But I rather like the way Catherine Zeta Jones looks.

    Joyce – I understand that Carrie killed the Scrunchie, first life. I am trying simply to rehabilitate the good ones:). And when you are pregnant, many get out of jail free cards are granted.

    That’s not my age – Do you still have your Doc Martens? I have mine:).

  • 07/28/11
    9:24 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Cate – I’m so glad! And yes, OK, I was pushing the envelope and I agree that Croc clogs are not, as my mother might say, attractive:). But neither really are most Dankos…

    rb – Ha! Expert justification! Scrunchie victory! Thank you:).

    Mary G – Hmm. I will look. And you are right, Scunci is the brand in the CVSs of the world.

    Stephanie – Thank you for parsing scrotty:).

  • 07/29/11
    12:26 am

    Reply

    Paula said...

    Years ago I gave my best friend a fuchsia pair of crocs at her garden party. She keeps them in the garden and imho that’s where they belong: between flower beds and the pool. Wearing a bikini and a bottle of sunscreen in the left hand.
    I guess people can’t stand crocs because they started to enter the streets, combined with long pants, socks, anoraks … and not much later crocs launched the fur-inlay. ?!?

  • 07/29/11
    2:59 am

    Reply

    shan said...

    Hang on, wait, what is a scrunchie if not one of those ‘big floppy’ ones? There may be something lost in translation from American to Australian English here.

    I have to out myself as a plastic shoe wearer. People here have asked why, and the simply answer is because I don’t wear leather, and I live in the desert, so all the iron ore dust makes fabric shoes hard to keep clean. I have some from Melissa, a couple of Ferragamos, and a pair of Tory Burch. Mostly ballet flats, but one are a pair of heels, and I have maybe two pairs of sandals for the beach/pool.

  • 07/29/11
    8:21 am

    Reply

    windy said...

    I’m fine with crocs as casual wear. Indeed, in many ways they are better than flip flops, for example they are less likely to make that slovenly flup flup flup sound when feet get tired. Their ease of upkeep can’t be faulted and I’d prefer to see a clean pair of crocs to a grotty sweaty pair of trainers any day. I’m calling them a classic now, just like jeans or khakis or white T.

    The problem isn’t the shoes themselves so much as people choosing to buy them in colors that are totally unsuited to the occasions when they will be wearing the crocs. Just because a material has the properties to hold a strong color doesn’t mean it should be purchased or worn as clothes of said color. Why in heaven’s name would a grown adult repeatedly wear fluoresecent orange footwear while doing the grocery shopping if said footwear is also available in black, navy, brown, etc?

  • 07/29/11
    9:18 am

    Reply

    Mary G said...

    http://www.scunci.com

    products – no slip grip – 6th item to right #37414
    products – basics – 6th item to right #16988

    I am now trying to grow my hair out from the breakage point caused by a high ponytail and a narrow elastic last summer. Also hair falling out from the ponytail being too tight and causing extra pressure on the upper hair from supporting too much weight. I don’t want this to happen again so I am considering a ponytail at the nape of the neck and am hopeful that #37414 will hold the hair gently without breaking it, possibly also #16988.
    I thought possibly #37414 could be used in a low ponytail upside down with only the claws showing.

  • 07/29/11
    11:55 am

    Reply

    No Drama Momma said...

    Scrunchies are big and puffy, and I prefer streamlined. They also look childish. So that’s why I don’t like them. But of course, that is a personal choice. People shouldn’t be fashion dictators.

    But suggestions, on the other hand…I might casually suggest that a person looks silly in her scrunchie.

  • 07/29/11
    12:30 pm

    Reply

    Kady said...

    I wear crocs, and the only reason I don’t wear scrunchies is because they are not strong enough to handle my thick hair.

    I think it’s interesting that fashion backlash is only so strong against trendy items that are actually comfortable and useful and might survive for reasons beyond fad. For example, I personally think that witch-pointy shoes and rubber band bracelet (think livestrong) are just as aesthetically unpleasing as either crocs/scrunchy but never do you hear people talking about them with the same kind of dripping (elitist) disgust as they talk about crocs and scrunchies. As a mother of 2 youngsters, who LOVE their crocs (and absolutely live in them in the summer) and their scrunchies (no we don’t ride escalators very frequently – I make them walk the stairs), I think there is something to be said about the fact that in their world, utility >>>> aesthetic. And there is nothing wrong with that.

  • 07/30/11
    3:14 pm

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Paula – Oh, I don’t think I’m ready for fur-lined crocs:).

    Shan – I think of the velvet-covered elastics as Scrunchies too. So not huge, but not invisible either.

    Windy – Call them a classic! I believe in impunity. And I agree, it’s about the colors more than anything. Grownups really aren’t supposed to wear things the colors of Care Bears.

    Mary G. – I hope these work. I am trying many different options now myself. I will report back.

    No Drama Momma – I saw Annette Bening in a movie the other night, wearing a Scrunchie of the sort I find unsilly. However, she had those 1980s bangs, so all was undone:).

    Kady – Utility should trump aesthetic, if needs must. That said, I’m a fan of the beautiful too.

    Dizzy – As you work for the Pentagon, I doubt anyone’s going to question you:).

  • 07/31/11
    3:28 pm

    Reply

    Mary G said...

    http://www.goody.com/

    I have in the last couple of days seen some nice pieces from Goody also. They also have some half-length jaw clips as well as a coil stick and another U shaped stick.

  • 07/31/11
    7:27 pm

    Reply

    AnAmericanGirl said...

    I have a scrunchie in my hair as I type. I sleep with my hair up in one a la Pebbles (the Flintstone character not the pop singer from the era that is being derided) so my hair is muss-less and fuss-less in the morning.

    I never bought Crocs, but my kids had them so I understand the comfort factor for those scooting around the Pentagon.

  • 08/09/11
    6:13 am

    Reply

    Amanda said...

    NO MORE SCRUNCHIES.

  • 08/10/11
    10:21 am

    Reply

    Anon said...

    Just for the record, and not to sound snotty, but metonymy is using something closely associated with a person or thing to describe that person or thing (i.e. “The Crown” is the king and queen). Synecdoche is using a part to describe the whole.

  • 08/10/11
    11:17 am

    Reply

    Lisa said...

    Mary G. – Thanks for the resources.

    Amanda – Never in your presence. I promise.

    Anon – Oh, thank you! I love to be corrected this way. Not snotty at all! I wonder how my professors didn’t correct that, when I wrote my thesis. Or maybe my thesis was so amorphous they thought I meant what you said:).

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