Dear Fashion Media

Yes, I mean you, ASOS, and you, Marie Claire, Cosmo, etc. All of you who try to give us advice on ‘how to wear’ the new season’s looks.

Advice like this on the new way to wear grunge, from ASOS, just will not do:

‘mirror the white fleeze with a simple cable-knit snood’.

‘perfect for glamming down floaty mini-maxi dresses’. What on earth is a floaty mini-maxi dress? Surely it’s mini, or it’s maxi, right?

‘show off long, lean legs in ribbed socks’

I love ribbed socks. But I would hardly say they were a way of showing off my legs, even if said legs were lengthy and lean.

‘a harness may not be the obvious choice but worn over a slouchy jersey top it can add real interest to an otherwise basic outfit’.

A. Harness. I’m sorry, I would normally eschew the use of full stops between every word as a literary device, but, well, really. No, ASOS, you’ve lost me altogether now.

The thing is, right, yes – those models look gorgeous in their madcap assortment of aviator jackets, floaty long dresses, clumpy boots, long, clingy jersey and strange accessories. But they would. They’re six foot tall and they’re in a photoshoot and they’re really rather thin. The rest of us are mainly not that tall and thin and we have life to attend to which cannot be done in ankle length jersey or strange leather strapping or six-inch-heeled backless clogs, frankly.

The sort of fashion advice I want for ‘A/W’10’ is in the form of answers to questions like ‘how can I get away with wearing a vest/leggings under every outfit in order to stay warm?’, ‘is there a pair of boots out there which is comfortable and good for my feet whilst also looking good with every item of clothing I own because believe you me I am going to wear boots for almost every day of winter because have you seen how much it rains around here and anyway what happens when it seemingly inevitably snows and then ices up for ages?’, ‘when it does snow am I a total pariah if I take the leap and decide to wear walking boots to the cinema?’ (the answer, sadly, to the last question, is probably yes, which is not to say that I haven’t done it anyway), and, perenially, ‘shouldn’t fashion be about what actually looks good, rather than about looking as weird as possible? If I look good in skinny jeans or a black woolen pencil skirt, and Flossie’s hour-glass shape means that that floral 1950s-style dress from the mid-noughties looks stunning on her, and Nora is actually rocking DMs and an original Regency dress, what is your point, Fashion? Why do you try to make us feel inadequate?’

I think I lost my way a bit there. The thing is, I do want to look good, I do want interesting new things, as and when I can afford them. And I do quite like the idea of slimline ankle-length skirts being back in, they look fun. But still, I just don’t get fashion. Some years have been so over-run with the most terrible style they’ve passed me by altogether. And some years I’ve dressed terribly myself. I don’t know.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Dear Fashion Media

  1. “But they would. They’re six foot tall and they’re in a photoshoot and they’re really rather thin.”

    And the photos have probably been photoshopped as well… 😛

  2. teacherface

    Fashion + me = non-existent.
    Plus it’s ridiculous when you start looking like a TopShop trendster. The very fact I used the word ‘trendster’ shows how well I fit the mould…

  3. I find that with some of the sewing pattern magazines I get. You need to look past the frankly ridiculous styling to get to the garment underneath. That said, some of the garments underneath are also, well, ridiculous!

  4. Jenny

    These days I try to look at what the ‘silhouette’ or basic idea is in fashion in a given season, and see what I can do about trying to look good and stylish without being a fashion victim. Style rather than fashion, that’s my thinking.

  5. Mia

    I agree: style rather than fashion. Some of the things that are “in fashion” are things I can’t wear for either health reasons (i.e. reluctance to break my neck while trying to walk on massively high heels) or simply because, well, I think they look hideous. And they’re uncomfortable (hello, stuff without pockets? Not happening, unless absolutely necessary!)

    I tend to stick to pretty basic stuff, in general: jeans and a top/jumper. And that’s why it’s so easy to pack everything I own and move, which at this stage is very important.

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