Tag Archives: Fashion

AndrewChristian.com’s Poor Customer Service

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For many years, I have always tried to support LGBT and LGBT-friendly businesses. One of those companies is 10percent.com, which started out giving 10 percent of all their profits to LGBT organizations and charities. I also frequent Starbucks when I can, since they are very LGBT-friendly. Amazon.com is another LGBT-friendly business that I use a lot. Another company that I have enjoyed being a patron of is AndrewChristian.com. However, I am beginning to change my mind.

I love Andrew Christian products and have never been dissatisfied with anything I have received, but I have to admit that I have been disappointed with how long it takes for an item to ship and whether or not the products actually are shipped. I was especially disappointed in my latest order because I will be leaving for a cruise in 3 days and believed that I had ordered a swimsuit in plenty of time for it to arrive to take on the cruise, since I placed the order on December 29. Two weeks should have been plenty of time, especially since I could have ordered it from Amazon and been guaranteed 2-day or overnight shipping. This is quite frustrating as I have sent one email to AndrewChristian.com previously, nearly a week ago, and have not received any response, and after sending another email, and as of the time I’m writing this, I still have not received a response.

The thing is, it’s more than just a swimsuit order. I received a shipping notification of two of the items I ordered, a pair of underwear and a bracelet I though would look cool to wear on the cruise. Since they were an incredible price on sale, I was supposed to get all three items for $20, which included shipping. The shipping notification showed that I had been charged for the two previously mentioned items and the swimsuit. However, it was not shown to have been shipped. AndrewChrisitan.com’s policy is that you are not charged until the item ships. Since I had been charged, I hoped that e swimsuit would be included in the order. When the package arrived yesterday, the swimsuit was not included in the shipment that I received, even though my order is marked as complete when I checked my account on the Andrew Christian website. I checked my bank account, and I was charged for all three items. As I previously stated, I wrote AndrewChrisitan.com’s customer service and still no response.

I would not be as bothered by this if it was the first time that my order had not been fulfilled correctly. This is the second order that I have placed with AndrewChristian.com in which only a partial shipment of the order was filled, and the other items never shipped, though they are still for sale on the website. The previous order was placed a month before. However, in the case of the earlier order, I was not charged for the items that did not ship, as I have been this time.

I am a loyal supporter of LGBT businesses, and as previously stated I am a fan of Andrew Christian products, but I’ve just been so disappointed in the poor customer service. I have often recommended Andrew Christian products, but the quality of the products doesn’t really matter, if the quality of service is so poor. No matter how sexy the models (see above picture) or the hotness of their videos, I feel that I can’t trust AndrewChristian.com enough to order from them again. Since I have had this problem, I wanted to write this post to warn my readers that if you have been contemplating ordering from AndrewChristian.com, I would suggest that you don’t. The customer service is very poor; the reliability is nearly non-existent; and the communication is absent between the business and the consumer. If you decide to order anyway, do so at your own risk. I, for one, will not be ordering from the Andrew Christian website again.

Below is the Andrew Christian Guarantee, do not believe it. The truth is, it’s not “that simple” because Customer Service at AndrewChristian.com won’t communicate with you.

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UPDATE: Though it is too late to order a new swimsuit before the cruise and over a week after I sent the first email (not to mention blogging and tweeting about it), I finally received the following response from a Customer Service Representative of AndrewChristian.com.

I am very sorry that this happened.
We appear to be out of stock on these items. I have refunded you $**.** for the latest order. For order [previous order #], you received store credit accessible on the checkout page of your AC account. We are restocking items and have great new items now available on the website as well as a great promotion. We hope you will stick with us. We certainly appreciate your orders.

By the way, I tried to use the store credit from the previous order when I checked out for my latest order and it refused to process it. I have to admit, I’m still not entirely satisfied. Shipping is too slow and customer service is slow to respond to emails.


The Codpiece

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One look at Leonard Whiting’s Romeo in Frank Zifferelli’s 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet and I fell in love with the codpiece and Leonard Whiting. I will also admit that Whiting’s codpiece was not the only thing I liked about him, what gay boy sitting in English class watching Romeo and Juliet can forget seeing Romeo’s beautiful naked butt. However, this post is not about the beauty of Leonard Whiting, it’s about the history of the codpiece. If you are not familiar with this piece of Renaissance fashion, a codpiece (from Middle English: cod, meaning “scrotum”) is a covering flap or pouch that attaches to the front of the crotch of men’s trousers and usually accentuates the genital area. It was held closed by string ties, buttons, or other methods. It was an important item of European clothing in the 15th and 16th centuries

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One may well ask, if the button fly preceded the zipper, and the codpiece preceded the button fly, what preceded the codpiece? The answer is, quite literally, nothing. Leather leggings, the antecedents of Renaissance hosiery, were merely tubes of animal skins held on by strips of leather and connected together rather perfunctorily at the top. In fact, the crotch was most often left almost completely open, for ease of access during those “privy” functions. One was protected from exposure of one’s “person” by tunics which reached the knees or beyond.

However, with the rise of the merchant class at the beginning of the Renaissance, came “Fashion Trends”. Clothing for the poor remained functional, of course, but for the wealthy, changing one’s fashion to follow, or build on, a social trend became a way of displaying one’s wealth, and for men, one’s masculinity. With the use of the newly popular button, fashions became more fitted and tight to the body, (no need to cut a garment loose so that it could fit over one’s head). Thus, the popular look became long, elegant, and youthful.

To achieve this look to an even greater degree, the waistline of the tunic was dropped to the hips to make the body look longer, and the hemline was shortened to make the legs look longer. By 1360 men’s hems rose to mid-thigh. This was a shocking event indeed, considering that the basic design of men’s hosiery had not changed. When a man sat, or mounted a horse, one might have quite a “regimental” view of his state of affairs. The clergy, (those who were not themselves following the fashion), as well as other guardians of public morals, were up in arms. In Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” the Parson criticizes these short garments for their revealing nature:

Alas! some of them show the very boss of the penis and the horrible pushed-out testicles that look like the malady of hernia in the wrapping of their hose, and the buttocks of such persons look like the hinder parts of a she-ape in the full of the moon. And moreover, the hateful proud members that they show by the fantastic fashion of making one leg of their hose white and the other red, make it seem that half of their privy members are flayed. And if it be that they divide their hose in other colors, as white and black, or white and blue, or black and red, and so forth, then it seems, by the variation of color, that the half of their privy members are corrupted by the fire of Saint Anthony, or by cancer, or by other such misfortune.

During the years 1420-40 tunic hemlines reached the top of the thigh and “the occasional glimpse of the male sexual organs that had caused such an outcry in the fourteenth century was now replaced by the permanent exposure of that zone.”

The next fashion trend was to go about in one’s hose and shirt, (the shirt being what we think of as a doublet with a chemise worn underneath), sans the tunic. Measures had to be taken! (Please pardon the pun.) In 1482 Edward IV introduced a law which forbade persons below the rank of Lord to expose their private parts by short doublets. People ignored it. Finally the public outcry became too fierce, and, since men would certainly not be inconvenienced by simply sewing the crotch seam shut, the codpiece was invented.

To begin with, it was simply a triangular piece of fabric tied at the three corners, or stitched at the bottom angle and tied at the top two angles, over the gap in the front of the hose. However, men quickly discovered, as they are wont to do, that what might have been revealed before as somewhat lacking in size and stature, could be easily artificially enhanced under the masque of this new fashion. Over the next century, the codpiece developed from a flat piece of fabric, to a pouch in which the “family jewels” rested in as protruding a manner as possible, to a padded pouch, to a very padded pouch, (some of them very oddly shaped), until finally the pouch idea was discarded altogether, along with any pretense to function, and large padded shapes of bizarre dimensions were tied onto either hose or shirt, the “items of value” simply residing behind these bombastic shapes.

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It has been assumed that the fashion of genital promotion was de rigeur, however, no thought appears to have been given to the possibility that the codpiece fashion developed because of necessity and not by whim. From 1495 onwards a pandemic of a new disease swept across Europe and was a great plague. The disease caused foul and large volumes of mixed pus and blood to be discharged from the genital organs and the swellings in the adjacent groin tissue. The mess would require bulky woolen wads and woven cloth bandages to be applied, distorting the whole of the genital area and the lower abdomen.

The new disease was syphilis, and in all probability was not a new disease; there are descriptions of illnesses involving the fundamental findings for the diagnosis of syphilis from ancient times, though it is most often assumed to have traveled back from the Americas with Columbus’s men.

Though syphilis may have added to the popularity of the codpiece, one need to only look to gay men’s fashion today to see how we still like to accentuate the penis. Whether it’s Andrew Christian or CN-2, underwear marketed mostly to gay men do their best to accentuate the crotch area.

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