Service of Puzzling Popularity in Fashion, Architecture and Digital Aids

November 18th, 2019

Categories: Architecture, City Living, Fashion, Fashion Accessories, Garden, Transportation

The usefulness or wisdom of some popular products or devices baffles me. Here are a few examples:

Vested Interest

I like the look of vests and own some but not the quilted ones for use outdoors. Sure they look great but don’t people’s arms get cold when they wear them without an overcoat or jacket?

On a Tear

While I admire jeans that are worn from use over years–I have some myself that I wore for years to garden [when I had one] and to clean house. I’ve not seen one person who looks good in jeans with faux rips, tears and holes. They are obvious and sad.

Romantic Garden Elements

When I bought my house eons ago I thought a gazebo would be a wonderful addition to the pond surround and envisioned picnics and early evening meals there. An interior designer friend warned me that I’d never use it, would have to maintain the wood and that because of its design the weather would soon destroy it. I never bought one but still think some are stunning and romantic. They remind me of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies–didn’t they dance in and out of one?

Last summer I attended a luncheon party in a gazebo that was equipped with screens–an essential addition: We didn’t share our meal with one fly or mosquito. I still question the practicality of these elegant wood structures.

Where’s the Bus?

Passenger information display systems indicate the number of stops away a bus is [or the expected wait time]. They are terrific when they work: You can determine whether to wait at the express or local bus stop–they often are a block apart in NYC and you can miss a bus if you’re not waiting at the right spot. The information is handy in decision-making: Do I give up waiting and walk or take a taxi to get to an appointment on time?

The problem is they are unreliable and often don’t work: You don’t know when to rely on them. I took the photo below early one weekday morning. In fact, a limited/express Select bus showed up first–none appear on the screen. And while the nearest bus stop was in sight of where I stood, there were no other buses in view even though the digital sign indicated two locals were one stop away.

Are there popular clothing styles, architectural elements or transportation improvements that puzzle you and make you question why people buy them?

4 Responses to “Service of Puzzling Popularity in Fashion, Architecture and Digital Aids”

  1. ASK Said:

    Cropped pants, jeans or otherwise, with ankle “booties” are all over the fashion pages…what about those 2 or 3 inches of bare skin during the cold weather? Is one still to remain bare-legged? Even more distressing, the look makes short or long legs look awkward.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    SO TRUE and great example. I thought I was buying tights last year but because I didn’t pay attention to the packaging I have a few pairs of these. They are too hot to wear in summer and I can only wear them in winter if I add socks. PLUS, bare feet in shoes isn’t always a comfortable option.

    And speaking of awkward, women’s shoes with straps across the top make legs look stubby and unattractive 98 percent of the time yet we see them year after year. Unless used by a dancer to keep shoes on I can see no excuse for them.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Fads can be impractical, ugly, and often a waste of time and money. Regardless of their uselessness, they become beloved members of society. I like the “Angry Birds” not to speak of “Despicable Me” figures which appeared a while back. Not everyone is so smitten. The sleeveless vests might have a practical side, and is popular with hunters. I would ask one before passing judgment. There appears to be little to no excuse for the tattered jeans, since they go for many dollars with their appearance serving as a slap to those who can ill afford necessary clothing. Love or hate them, going for one fad or another is part of the human condition. Other than the hula hoop craze, which caused many dislocated hip bones, few, if any are harmful.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I loved my hula hoop! But wasn’t at an age to pull a hip out of line when they were popular.

    I think sleeveless vests LOOK GREAT. What I don’t get is freezing my arms–though I will ask a hunter–good idea.I never thought of the ripped jeans as mocking people who can’t afford to buy new ones that aren’t in tatters but that is a very good point–far better than how crummy they look when ripped by a manufacturer.

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