Noughties Fashion Comments

Just a minor observational round-up.

This decade was obviously the first decade in which I really got into clothes and fashion. Starting at the age of ten, when I was still wearing various bizarrely dated outfits from charity shops, and didn’t yet own a pair of flared jeans, by the age of fourteen things were a bit better although I was still wearing the same old jeans and a selection of tops in a range of dull blue, grey or brown hues, I always had a certain sense of what did or didn’t work even if it was a very mousy dress sense. By the time I left school I was getting more confident and had a bigger disposable income and more friends and a good hair cut, as well as contact lenses, so I started to buy nicer and more fashionable clothes; went through a few years of dressing slightly outrageously, and now I dress, well, I don’t know. Reasonably well. Stylish, toned down, but edgy, I like to think. I probably still look a bit drunken 30-year-old clown sometimes but never mind.

So yeah, over the last decade I gradually became aware of fashion, gradually followed it more and more slavishly, and then less slavishly again. And what I noticed was that this decade, in some kind of 20th century retrospective, we’ve had ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ as major themes. Since 2005 we have worked through, roughly in order, fashions harking back to the Fifties (prom dresses and swirly big skirts in about 2005), Sixties (shift dresses, later that same year, and Amy Winehouse’s beehive), Seventies (remember that whole gypsy/hippy thing?), eighties (bright colours and this years Huge Shoulders), and now we’re doing the nineties again, or at least the late eighties (body con, grunge/rock (all though this time, girls, it’s all glam, doncha know?), antifashion, calf-length skirts, ankle boots). We’ve also had moments from the Twenties and Forties but as far as I’m concerned the Twenties and Forties should be harked back to at all possible moments anyway.

I think my favourite thing though was maxi dresses with empire lines – it’s the nearest I’ll ever get to actually being in a Jane Austen novel, although I’m never brave enough to wear mine, it needs mending and adjusting a little bit, and anyway, back at the beginning of the nineteenth century they (honestly) used to drench them in water to make them as clingy and see-through as possible. And there you were thinking that the regency was all lace parasols and subtle signalling with fans… .

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