Autumn is sadly knocking at the door and stores have started displaying the impending colder season’s fashion.
I hate cold weather. If I could chose I’d have 28 degrees from January to November with just a break at Christmas. However looking at new cardigans, jackets and skirts is fun, and by far the only activity that makes up for the drop in temperature.
But this year the London high streets, usually so full of fun trends, are displaying a particularly ugly fashion : long shapeless grey shirts, baggy beige sweaters, cropped jumpers, doc martins – all the worst the early 90s ever produced randomly thrown together.
And I don’t mean low cost stores such as H&M and Primark whose main customers are teenagers. I also don’t mean Uniqlo or American Apparel, notorious for only selling “basic” wear. No, I mean Warehouse, French Connection, Mango, Zara, Topshop, Esprit… All full of shapeless jersey in maxi sizes. It’s so unflattering I’m almost missing last year’s 80s revival…
One of the reasons vintage has been so popular lately is that it made us discover clothes that had amazing structure, design and finitures. What’s great about fashion ore-80s is how flattering it was, how fitted, how aware of a woman’s shape, how precise in design and detail. From 40s squareness to 50s tight waists to 60s minis, designs were made for real women, not 16 years old catwalk models, and aimed at making you look at your best. Even the hippie 70s had tight but flared trousers that made you taller, beautiful flowery prints, endless combinations of shapes and materials…
The complete opposite of this year’s loose jersey, a fabric that should be confined to Pilates classes and late mornings in bed watching tv.
This isn’t shabby chic. This is shabby… full stop!. They try to sell it as “new grunge” but at least the first time around grunge included flowery prints together with long jumpers and army boots.
Women who earn enough NOT to be forced to buy oversized cheap stuff from bad charity shops, don’t want to waste their money in order to look like vaguely smelly students who can only afford shapeless baggy stuff from bad charity shops.
I know Urban Outfitters made a fortune glamorising American student fashion, but the clue is in the word “glamorising”… Their clothes “hint” at the charity shop/shabby chic trend but are actually well made so women of most ages and sizes can wear them without looking ridiculous.
But 2013 grunge is like fifty shades of gray, without the saucy bits, a fashion aimed only at the super young who don’t actually bother shopping in overpriced high street stores.
Not everyone’s goal is to dress like a 17 years old. Mostly because the majority of us had a terrible dress sense at 17. So give us back some fun, some shapes and some colour.
We’ll need them to cheer us up during those cold winter’s days.