Boy oh boy is it tempting to get that brand-spanking new, never-seen-before design from your favourite shop?! It’s just so damn exciting, and novel, and different from everything else you’ve seen out there.
But one of the reasons that our op-shops/thrift stores are so full, and why our ‘vintage clothing’ stores are full of ugly 80s finds, is because the super trendy details and exaggerated shapes date quicker than you can say “Hammer Time”.
Trends have been moving faster than ever these past few years too; moving from 80’s fluoro to 90’s grunge in a matter of a year. A decade worth of trends and styling truncated to a mere four seasons. And we seem to be on a chronological movement too; this time next year we’ll be wearing the Millennial styles seen on boy bands and nu-metallers. And what happens when we catch up to the current year? Will it be some sort of Fashion Y2K, where the pages of magazines implode into a cacophony of styles? Or will we just rewind, and start again? We’ll never be done referencing the past, but do we have to feed the kids such literal translations? It seems to be a weird cycle of ironic clothes-wearing, that then becomes a desirable trend adopted by the masses, and so chuck that one out and find the next ironic trend to start.
I implore; BUCK THE TREND!
And here is my first target: Winter 2014.
Boxy Woollen Jacket with Contrast Leather Sleeves.
I’m all for contrast detailing, and quality natural textiles such as wool and leather. But this concoction is set to date lightning fast. Soon these 90’s ‘minimalism’ garments will be hanging alongside the cracked leather bodies of Michael Jackson-esque cropped leather jackets in our vintage stores. There is no coming back from contrast leather sleeves; you can’t disguise them, you could probably remove them, but a sleeveless boxy jacket would make even less sense. Steer clear, and instead invest in a woollen OR leather jacket, in a cut that is flattering to your body-type and a colour that will go with EVERYTHING you already own. OR start afresh with a flattering signature jacket, in a bold colour, which you can team all your quieter separates with. Look for classic cuts, quality fabrics, and your jacket will have a lifespan fitting of the work that went into making it, and the work you did to save up for it.
Yes I’ve covered this one before in my All the Ugly of the 90’s post, but they are that damn ugly that they deserve a second mention. There is nothing classic or long-wearing about a flatform. It might be ‘classic 90’s’, but ‘classic’ it is not. They do not flatter the foot, ankle or leg, and they make walking on regular surfaces difficult. Aren’t the two major rules about shoes that they are either practical or drool-worthy gorgeous? And if you strike both, MIRACLE SHOES alert! Flatforms are neither. If you want to put part of the 90’s trend on your feet, opt for Docs. If you need a sandal, find one that comes without the phonebook on the bottom. Soon we’ll have bins of flatforms available at our local op-shops to pick through. Perhaps there is an opportunity to start a Flatform Rehab, where the soles are sanded down to a manageable thickness. You can have that one for free.
The Peplum T-Shirt.
On little girls, yes. Tweens, maybe. Teens or adults, not on your life! Where someone has taken an oversized boxy t-shirt, cut the bottom-half off it, and gathered the bottom-half of a much bigger boxy t-shirt onto it as a skirt. An idea of femininity in the detailing and pastel fabric choices, but the masking of all physical femininity in shape. They make every single wearer look frumpy, no matter what they have going on underneath. And can even lead to the awkward “is your baby going to be a boyyyy?” questions. Opt instead for something with a smidge more tailoring; a couple darts here, a curved seam there. A garment with a little more pep and lift, and a little less mopey-looking sag.
Exceptions for Eccentrics: If a fleeting trend comes around and happens to fall in-line with your core-being, your choice of lifestyle, or really speaks of your wildest fashion dreams, then go nuts! Trends are cyclical and you’re bound to see yourself on the fashion pages at least once or twice. Stock up on your punky, gothy, retro delights while you can, and then don’t worry about the rest when the fashion-cycle shifts course again.
Save your pennies, and invest in a wardrobe that will love you back for years to come.