The Million Middle Managers March, Gary Crockett's winner in Week 1225. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down to the winning fictoids about fashion and clothes)

Winner of Week 1225, novel protest marches and slogans: The Million Middle Managers March: If It Were Up to Me, I'd Say Yes (Gary Crockett)

Winner of Week 1215, "X is so Y. . ." jokes: My chiropractor is so unscrupulous, he charges Paul Ryan the same price as people who have backbones. (Jeff Shirley)

Have you ever wished you could just hit rewind on the whole year? More to the point, "ever" as in these past 12 months? The Empress is here for you, at least Invitationally, with our annual retrospective contest — this year spread across two weeks: This week we invite you to revisit Invite contests dating from last December through May — a time when some of us had trouble feeling the funny. This period covers some of our most popular perennial contests: obit poems, foal "breeding," "joint legislation," neologisms, jokes, headlines. And some zingy one-off contests as well.

Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1203 through Week 1229, except for Weeks 1205 and 1206, last year's do-over contests. You may enter multiple contests as long as you don't submit more than 25 entries in all. For contests asking you to use that week's paper, use papers and online articles dated Dec. 7-18. For the obit poems, Week 1208, continue to write about people who died in 2016. You may resubmit non-inking entries from earlier contests.

How to find all these contests: Oh, this is where the Empress really owes the Loser Community. Go to the Losers' own website,, click on "Master Contest List," and scroll allll the way down to 1203 and beyond. Read the contest descriptions, choose one (or two, or 25), then click on the "E" icon for the online version of the week's contest, or the "WP" for the print version. And check the results of that week's contest (usually four weeks down the chart) to make sure your idea didn't already get ink. Please give the week number of the contest you're using. See this week's Style Conversational column at for other ways (maybe better ones for you) to see all the contests.

Submit entries at the website (all lowercase) — NOT the entry forms for those old contests.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a Holiday Snack Pack consisting of one bag each of Ohio Cow Poop and Cincinnati Pig Poop, which are really chocolate-covered peanuts obtained by Loser Duncan Stevens; and, in a six-inch coffin-shaped box, "one deadly tortilla chip," flavored with fiery Carolina Reaper pepper. Loser Edward Gordon actually spent $6 plus shipping to buy this single tortilla chip on Amazon and send it to the Empress. She hopes he wins it back.

Other runners-up win our "You Gotta Play to Lose" Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, "I Got a B in Punmanship." Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, "No Childishness Left Behind" or "Magnum Dopus." First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air "freshener" (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Dec. 18; results published Jan. 7 (online Jan. 4). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline for this week's results is by Chris Doyle; Jon Gearhart wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at "Like" Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress's weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In Week 1253, in The Washington Post's ongoing campaign to deliver lies to its readers, we asked for bogus trivia about fashion and, more broadly, anything you wear.

4th place:

Naugahyde is not made from the hide of naugas. It is from the linings of their digestive tracts. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.)

You'd have to eat just one: This week's second prize. (Pat Myers/The Washington Post )
3rd place:

The suit of armor was never intended to actually be worn, but was rather designed to serve as spooky hallway decorations in haunted castles. (Daniel Galef, Montclair, N.J.)

2nd place

and the custom-knit "Style Ink" ski hat:
The ceremonial sword that is part of the Air Force officer's dress uniform was modeled on the plastic one used to spear martini olives. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

In a show of support for their tax reform bill, Republican congressmen have been wearing wool pullovers. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

Just sew-sew: Honorable mentions

Under pressure from feminist groups, American Apparel has rebranded its white tank top as the "Spouse Discusser." (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Last year, the leading seller of edible gym socks went bankrupt. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

When working women asked for "honest pay" in the 1960s, male executives made an anagrammatic compromise and gave them "pantyhose." (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

"Muumuu" comes from the Hawaiian word for "Your Mama's swimsuit." (Jesse Frankovich)

Leonard Velcro narrowly survived an assassination attempt by shoelace hit men. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Since the debut of Facebook in 2004, the size of most thinking caps has steadily decreased. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)

In response to popular outcry, Paris fashion models are now required to weigh at least four times as much as the outfits they wear on the runway. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

Before the invention of plastic, buttons were made from fruitcake. (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick, Md.)

The first tuxedo was worn by Adm. Richard Byrd, who commissioned the design in 1928 after his voyage to Antarctica. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

"Haute couture" is French for "WTF." (Jesse Frankovich)

If not kept at the proper humidity, snakeskin boots will continue to molt every two years. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

In 1878 the King of Morocco mandated that a tassel be added to the fez after foreign dignitaries asked him why all the men wore wastebaskets on their heads. (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)

When Men's Wearhouse bought Jos. A Bank in 2014, it got three other businesses at no additional cost. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md., a First Offender)

Paper hospital gowns were introduced after patients complained that fabric gowns were too warm, comfortable and modest. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

The highest-quality faux fur comes from free-range fauxes raised without hormones or antibiotics. (Drew Bennett)

Michael Jackson broke his left ankle while wearing just one sequined shoe during a dance number, prompting him to choose another signature look. (John Shea, Philadelphia)

Tinfoil hats will not protect you against alien brain control unless you wear them with the shiny side facing outward. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

The sporran, the leather purse that men wear in front of their kilts, doubled as crotch protection for Scottish warriors. That is why it's positioned in the center rather than the side —nobody wants to come out of a fight "out of kilter." (Bill Spencer, Cockeysville, Md.)

A ten-gallon hat actually holds only about 1.5 liters of crude oil. (Daniel Galef)

The Gap paid model Lauren Hutton a licensing fee for inspiring the store's name. (Karen Duffy, Geneseo, N.Y., a First Offender)

According to a nationwide survey, 97.2 percent of veterans who don their uniforms for Veterans Day pop at least half the buttons off. (Edward Gordon, Austin)

Although many shoes have tongues, they actually taste with their laces. (Steve McClemons, Arlington, Va.)

As a child, Christian Louboutin worked stomping grapes in his family's Bordeaux winery, causing the soles of his feet to be turned permanently red. (Mark Raffman)

TWA's all-first-class Concorde in the 1970s had Birkin barf bags. (Roy Ashley)

Savile Row tailors confirm that Tory MPs always specify "dress right" for bespoke trousers. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

Spanx founder Sara Blakely began her career as a floor manager at a Jimmy Dean sausage plant. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

The band of Roy Moore's cowboy hat is specially constructed to emit the aroma of strawberry ChapStick. (John Hutchins)

The first codpieces were actually made of flounder. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

The jerkin was repopularized in the 21st century by Louis CK. (William Kennard, Arlington, Va.)

Voted the scariest Halloween costume in 2017 was "Sexy Steve Bannon." (Jesse Frankovich)

The feather boa quickly became more popular than its predecessor, the gizzard boa. (Jesse Frankovich)

Nancy Sinatra's boots were actually made for horseback riding. (Daniel Galef)

Hermès abruptly pulled its top-selling Isadora Duncan signature scarf from the market in September 1927. (Chris Doyle)

It is illegal to wear Wellington boots in Waterloo, Belgium. (Roy Ashley)

What was originally called the "foreskin sweater" began to sell much better when it was renamed the turtleneck. (Drew Bennett)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Dec. 11: our caption contest for Bob Staake cartoons. See