One of the good things about being born and growing up in the 70s is that, yes, I may have worn some of the clothes, but it wasn’t my fault. I’m not sure how old I was when I got to start exercising my own judgment (which, to be fair, was disastrously flawed for a number of years – I wasn’t always the epitome of well groomed chic y’all know today) but I’m pretty confident we were into the 80s by then. And, as far as I’m aware, there’s nothing about 70s style that needs revisiting.
So, I’m finding this autumn’s clothes extremely depressing. I love autumn. Bring me colder weather, and fresh breezes, and leaves whirling from the trees. It’s an invigorating change after the summer, and I like chilly mornings, brisk walks and cozy evenings as the sky darkens earlier. I also, usually, look forward to stocking up on sweaters and trousers and new boots.
Not so much this season, which has apparently won the triple of vile fabrics in vile colours in vile shapes. If I was 20, I might be having a lot of fun with micro miniskirts and fringing, but I’m not. I basically need stuff for work that is simultaneously stylish and not cut up to here or plunging down to there. I also have a body type that requires my clothes to have some shape to them. Make it ‘unstructured’ and I may as well done a cardboard box and paint it paisley.
Let’s look at some key style trends for this season as evidence.
Culottes – are you fucking kidding me? I don’t care how many magazines are throwing their models into them, there is nothing flattering about a wide leg pant that stops at half mast. Nothing. Everyone looks rectangular. Plus, they’re just plain stupid. In real life, people need coverings all the way down their legs, because we have this stuff called weather.
Flat shoes – this just breaks my heart. It’s a continuation of the summer theme that saw skate shoes and orthopedic sandals foisted on an unsuspecting public with the rallying cry ‘They’re really comfortable!’ I had to look high and low for a pair of CFM heels when I needed them over the summer, and my autumn search for brown ankle boots that aren’t horrible is proving similarly troublesome.
Granny chic – words fail me. Ok, they don’t, but the only ones I have left are expletives. The shapes, patterns and colors all make me want to cry. Pussy bow blouses; ankle length pleated skirts in 70s orange; angrily patterned fabrics, of the sort that is usually left over at jumble sales. It’s defiantly ugly, and maybe if you are awesomely cute and you live in a movie, you can pull off the look. I am not and I have to go out in public without being afraid that I will traumatize passing strangers by reminding them of their deceased grandmother’s curtains.
Polo necks/roll neck jumpers – Do they have ribbing too? Super. So, these actually work if you are a size triple zero model in a black and white shot that’s pretending to be 60s Paris. Smoke a Gauloise. C’est bien. If, on the other hand, you are a real person then you may have breasts, in which case your options are: the fitted, ‘here are my tits but I don’t have a neck’ look, or the ‘I am a shapeless blob and I don’t have a neck’ look. If you want, you can try tucking a roll neck into your dubiously coloured flares, thereby giving yourself an artificial roll around the middle too.
I’m heading into the cheapest A/W season in years.