Vinay Menon: The ultimate marriage of fashion and function: a Ziploc tote bag
The older I get, the more I value fashion that is functional.
However nice the fabric, however flattering the cut, what good is a blazer without internal chambers for a wallet and phone? And don’t get me started on the abomination that is skinny jeans, a trouser category foisted upon our vulnerable circulation systems by an industry prone to sadism and shaming.
You can either use a spatula and industrial lubricant to squeeze your thighs into spray-on denim or you can sheepishly ask the clerk to fetch you something from a dusty shelf marked “Comfort” or “Traditional.” So you can be stylish or you can accept that your “Relaxed” and “Vintage” body is forbidden from partaking in about 94 per cent of all new trends that value agony over comfort, form over function.
You ever try to jam a fob into the pocket of skinny jeans? It can’t be done. Not unless you plan to stand all day, not cry out in pain and never again open your front door.
The crazy part is that, as a species, we now carry more objects while out and about than at any time in recorded history: keys, gadgets, water bottles, sunglasses, bags, lotions, mints, chargers. But evolution is lagging behind lifestyle. The truth is, we need eight octopus arms. We need kangaroo pouches. We need bovine digestive tracts that would allow us to swallow possessions and then regurgitate as needed: “Hang on, officer, I need to put my finger down my throat to get my licence. I know I put it in one of my four stomachs this morning.”
Or, alternatively, fashion can give its snobbish head a shake and help ease our quotidian burdens by forging new corporate super brands that combine street style with garments so functional, you’ll be the envy of all your friends – even if you suddenly bear a striking resemblance to a ham sandwich.
Yes, in what is either another sign of the apocalypse or the most brilliant idea since Omarosa decided to secretly record her frenemies, the good people at Ziploc are bringing a half-century of food storage expertise to couture. In partnership with Japan’s Beams, Ziploc has unveiled a new line of accessories, including a fanny pack, visor, purses, umbrella and multi-pocket apron that may or may not make you look like a police evidence room during your next BBQ.
Online sales begin on Monday. But if you don’t feel like dropping 9,720 yen on a Ziploc cap or 11,880 yen on a Ziploc tote, the genius is this new line, totally lends itself to DIY knock-offs. With a little imagination, your kitchen is now your closet.
At long last, fashion has never been more affordable and functional.
I can’t wait to transform a Ziploc freezer bag with “easy open tabs” into a utilitarian satchel for my wife. She can affix it to her neck with twist ties and never again will I need to lead a search party for her errant spectacles. I can’t wait to make my daughters boots from Ziploc nesting containers. Now their feet will be protected and I won’t be asked to transport all of their ridiculous crap to Chuck E. Cheese.
And since fashion is a game of imitation, who knows what dazzling new apparel this Ziploc-Beams union will inspire. Imagine if Calvin Klein and Bounty join forces to create the world’s first Sexy Quicker Picker Upper underwear. Imagine the potential market for Saran Wrap yoga pants from Lululemon or a new Condiments necktie from Armani and Heinz that comes in squeezable splotched silk.
Are you a fashionista or a messy eater?
Now nobody will know. And you’ll always have ketchup.
Granted, it will be a little daunting at first to arrive at work with sensitive documents in your see-through Ziploc messenger bag. When you show up for Little League in a Ziploc jumpsuit, another parent may well call the cops. But looking like you just escaped from a lunch box is a small price to pay for the liberating freedom of this game-changing fashion; in one Beams illustration on Instagram, an otherwise nude animated figure is ladling tomato sauce directly into her Ziploc shoulder bag.
Try doing that with your Hermès Birkin.
Until now, the only people who wandered out in public with sandwich bags filled with things other than sandwiches tended to be drug dealers or NBC’s Hoda Kotb, who in April arrived at the Time 100 gala with a Ziploc clutch. At the time, I chalked this up to the startling amount of wine she guzzles each morning while on-air with co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.
But as it turns out, Hoda was not a half-soused and frugal kook who accidentally put her lipstick in a Smart Zip Plus Seal bag. She was a trendsetter.
And now that anyone can wear Ziploc, fashion has its most useful product since the return of cargo pants. Now you can have a wardrobe that’s so easy-care, it’s disposable. Now you can earn hipster bona fides while enjoying the wearable storage possibilities of a bulk barn. Now you can leave the house with everything you own and still be ready for the pages of GQ or Vogue.
Thank you, Ziploc.
I can’t wait to finally look like last night’s leftovers.