Wednesday, 11 April 2012


 From Balenciaga......

Balenciaga c.19502

Disney Stitch Adult Onesie Tigurumi*
                 If you can’t afford next season’s ‘Must Have’,  be grateful. You’ve possibly avoided the next most embarrassing fashion catastrophe. Alice, my teenaged fashionista from The Runaway Children, may one day cringe at the thought of her specially designed, impossibly OTT, rainbow-coloured ball gown but at least she avoids the Crocs – unlike little brother Joe and his friend Odi, but that’s another story.........

      Just for fun (and heaven knows, there’s little enough of that around these days) I started musing about clothes, especially those sad rags that have now (hopefully) been thoroughly recycled.  “What’s brought this on?” thinks I who can usually brush aside such frivolous thoughts.  Perhaps they were triggered by memories of a special 1950s couture exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, which I took in some time ago.  Apart from the fact that none of the skirt hems or seams were pressed (good news for me, this being the only ‘couture’ feature of my own humble wardrobe), the suits and gowns on display were truly exquisite. Women certainly knew how to dress in those days. Elegant lines, clinched in waists, skirts either full and feminine or beautifully tailored into leg-stretching pencil shapes....oh joy!
      But I’m not here to bewail the past. Let’s just say that if humans have evolved over the last 60 years, it’s hard to see how when you look at the saggy, baggy, skinny, crinkly, wrinkly and wildly chaotic styles we’re been foisted with ever since.  Eclectic some call it. Downright messy I’d say - were I in any position to judge.
      Take leggings for instance - or rather don’t if you know what’s good for you! These have to be top of the list. Comfy?  If all you want is comfort, stay in bed all day, but, Girls! Please, PLEASE – unless you’re an Olympic gold medallist with the thighs of a whippet – make sure you take a long, long look at yourself in a full-length, rear-view mirror before venturing out in these unforgiving and unflattering garments. Trust me - buttocks are not best displayed when battling each other for space like two flaccid or overinflated balloons. Ditto Lycra shorts. Double ditto those thin, footless tights that everyone can see through!
      Shell suits and track suits of ANY description. The incidence of sporty outfits seems to be in inverse proportion to the wearer’s lack of exercise. Originally designed to slip on over shorts and tennis skirts after an artery pumping session in the gym, on court or running track, these items are now regarded as de rigueur by people whose greatest feat is managing to reach the Pringles single-handedly. Ditto jiggly jogging bottoms.
      Puffa jackets. Okay, they’re nice and warm and ideal for temperatures 40° below freezing, like in the arctic for instance. Yet, for some years, the commonest sightings of such heat-preserving windbreakers were on hip-hop concerts and rap videos. How the artists managed under fierce studio lights without fainting is beyond me. Looking cool should never induce perspiration. 
      Platforms.  Actually, I have a confession to make. I honestly think platform shoes with stilettos can be real head-turners. Unfortunately, they tend to turn ankles as well!  In fact, there have been so many breaks and sprains from wearing them it’s a wonder they don’t come with health warnings. If you must show off your pins in these excruciating instruments of torture, be sure to avoid high places such as kerbs! And be sure to carry pills for altitude sickness!
      Crocs. The antithesis of stilettos. Far from flattering your legs, these cumbersome clodhoppers reduce your extremities to unappetising stumps as you clump across the street, soles sweating from the polyurethane or whatever passes for rubber these days. You may look like a Hobbit, but at least Bilbo and his ilk went in for natural fibres with their hairy uppers. Okay, so all those holes were specially designed to ventilate the feet and were not, as I once thought, created by rodents attracted by the irresistible smell of cheese! Ditto trainers, unless they’ve never been worn before.
      Beany hats. Gross! They remind me of sweaty, dandruff-ridden nightcaps worn by Scrooge and other seedy characters from Dickensian dramas; the sort of thing to ‘pull on’ when your hair’s a mess, leaving everyone to wonder whether you ever get round to actually washing it. Some youths I see regularly never appear without one of these monstrosities glued to their heads – which maybe they are after several weeks of natural grease has accumulated.
      Crop tops. Model girls with nicely toned abs may just about get away with this look, as long as it’s summer and they’re cavorting on a beach. Unfortunately, when it comes to the sins of the flesh, it’s not so much survival of the fittest as flaunting of the flabbiest! Cellulite dimples are not cute, so anyone older than....ooh...fifteen should really leave the little girly tank tops where they belong. On the shelf.
      Low-slung jeans. This droopy-drawers trend is hard to describe – or fathom. When boys go flashing their Calvins you wonder whether their Mums ever taught them to get dressed properly. Can they tie shoe-laces or is that why they wear Velcro-fastened trainers? Personally, I blame Dick Van Dyke. His penguin dance in Mary Poppins has inspired a generation!
      Cropped trousers. Fine on women but on MEN! Sorry guys, but this is not a good look for Mr Macho. Half-mast is only forgivable when normal-length strides have been rolled up whilst you wade heroically into a raging river to rescue your beloved’s dog! Failing that, a gentle paddle by the seaside will do. The same goes for shirts; short sleeves are definite no-nos. Long-sleeves only please (rolled up for action) or, if you really must, a well-cut T may be acceptable – minus logo!  
      Overlong flairs. Considering the price of a good pair of Levis, it seems a criminal waste to let them dangle through mud, tar, and other unmentionable substances. If you’ve ever had cigarette butts and doggy doings wafting across your carpet, courtesy of teenage children, then you’ll know exactly what I mean. Hosts who insist that visitors remove their shoes should also measure trouser-lengths to avoid contamination. Ditto overlong sleeves, especially those that bell out at the knuckles. Useless for storing paper tissues, they should NEVER be worn on dinner dates as they tend to fall in the gravy.

     This list seems destined to grow longer as increasingly grotesque garments proliferate! Spotted today, flowery 'Rompers' - i.e. all in one 'sawn-off Andy Pandy' suit with baggy short shorts held up by straps. On a beach in Jamaica over a deep tan, the wearer might just get away with it, but not in the middle of a city street, and definitely not worn with black tights and shocking pink baseball boots! (Be warned teens! You may think such apparel is cool but one day you'll look at photos of yourself and groan while your grandchildren howl with glee. Worse, far worse than bell-bottomed loons and platform clogs!) And let's not, of course, forget the Onesie, set to cool passions as fast as it warms up our toes!
       As I write yet another horror is predicted to reappear during 2013 - Harem Pants! Yuck! Like nappies due for changing! 

*If you really MUST opt for comfort and the ubiquitous Onesie, you can find the above sample at:



  1. I used to think I was really cool in a pair of salmon pink bell-bottomed loons! I break into a cold sweat at the thought!

  2. Louboutins, please.... I mean the spelling, ha ha!!! I've got a chav girl in my latest WIP talking about her 'labootings' and it takes her friend a while to work out that she means her Christian Louboutin shoes... I'll read this and comment later, it looks right up my rue!!

  3. Heee hee. So much so true, though personally I like short sleeve shirts on men. But not cropped trousers. Definitely not cropped trousers. And not on women either unless they're the aforementioned skinny model types - in which case they should desist anyway, out of consideration for us mere mortals and our pangs of jealousy!

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