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mental_floss fashion week: Curse my metal body!

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Judging by the breathless reaction to the Balenciaga show yesterday, the Next Big Thing will be dressing like C-3PO. We'd like to take this moment to point out that while Nicolas Ghesquiere's tailoring is unequaled (just because we can't afford Balenciaga doesn't mean we can't appreciate it), the "protocol droid" look is likely to end up on the same list as the other ridiculous fashion fads from this year's January-February season issue:

  • Bermuda Shorts. Once the uniform of British soldiers stationed in (not surprisingly) Bermuda, the shorts were first appropriated by American tourists. Then fashion magazines got involved, and Bermuda shorts became the summer office wear of the 1950s -- tastefully paired with jacket and tie, of course.
  • The Conical Bra. Movie producer Howard Hughes touched off a decade-long fashion fad in 1943 when he designed a state-of-the-art cantilevered bra for actress Jane Russell -- thus allowing women to stride confidently into the 1950s lifted, separated, and pointed toward the future.
  • Leg Makeup. In 1941, the U.S. government banned sillk stockings. Why? After Japan cut off American's silk supply during World War II, it became apparent that parachute production outranked women's fashion needs. Fortunately, however, the gals on the home front were a crafty bunch. Women resorted to DIY hosiery, rubbing liquid foundation onto their legs to simulate the color of pantyhose, then using eyebrow pencil to draw a "seam" up the back.
  • Neon Hypercolor Shirts. Hypercolor blinded America with science in 1991. Using a revolutionary dye process, the shirts overlaid a traditional neon dye with a special dye that became colorless when hot, exposing patches of bright color underneath. But Hypercolor often stopped working after a couple of washes, which helps explain why the company that owned it was bankrupt by 1993.
  • Zoot Suits. Sometimes, youth rebellion requires just the right outfit. The zoot suit, popularized by African-American and Mexican-American teens during the late 1930s and early 1940s, didn't look like your average workday attire. It had broad shoulders, a tapered waist, and baggy pants that ended in neat, pegged cuffs. All that tailoring (and all that fabric) made the ensemble a kind of defiant luxury item -- a sign that the wearer wasn't affected by Depression-era poverty, World War II fabric rationing, or disapproving looks from Mom.

By the way, here's proof that all fallen fads eventually rise again: Hypercolor manufacturer Generra is currently having a comeback, and the originals appear to be doing well on eBay. (Star Wars, of course, never went out of style.)

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
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Space
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.

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