Winner: Everyday pantsuit, Hillary Clinton
One might argue that the theme of Clinton’s entire career is “embrace it.” So it is no surprise that the woman who has weathered multiple political storms — and took full ownership of a joke meme about her texting prowess — is now promoting her long-mocked reputation for wearing pantsuits. This week, Clinton’s campaign store started offering the “Everyday Pantsuit Tee” for $30. The bottom part of the outfit is up to the buyer to complete.
Loser: Upside-down flag, PacSun
On Monday, ubiquitous mall store PacSun was going about its business, selling T-shirts with an upside-down US flag, apparently as a statement of Millennial ennui. Mall rats have no lock on the symbol; it’s part of the logo for Netflix’s series “House of Cards,” and after President Obama’s 2012 election, some conservatives flew upside-down flags in protest. But according to the US Flag Code, the Stars and Stripes should be right-side-up, except “as a signal of dire stress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” On Memorial Day, veterans’ objections trump mass-produced trendiness; PacSun pulled the shirts and apologized.
Loser: “Research Use Only,” drug defendant
The New York Post reported on Tuesday that prosecutors are seeking a harsher sentence for Adam Libby, a Dartmouth-educated chemist who pled guilty for importing chemicals to make synthetic marijuana, because of the T-shirt he wore when he arrested. It said “Research Use Only! Not For Human Consumption,” a phrase prosecutors claim was mocking law enforcment, since it is “often printed on packages of analogue controlled substances when they are imported from China.” As anyone who has ever been stopped by a state trooper can attest, if you know you’ve broken the law, it’s best not to rub it in.
Draw: “Lass kicker,” WWE
The sartorial world meets the realm of ambiguous grammar. World Wrestling Entertainment created a shirt with tartan-style lettering as a promotional item for Irish female wrestler Rebecca Knox. Apparently, they meant to use “Lass” as an adjective, announcing a kicker who is female. But since the shirt also came in men’s and children’s styles, some took the word as an object, and the shirts as an endorsement of domestic violence. WWE pulled the men’s and children’s versions, but it’s still available in women’s sizes, subject to review by the grammar police.