Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Where has tailored summer fashion gone? It seems that women's clothes are polarised more heavily by the seasons every year. During the Autumn and winter months it's easy to find sharp, textured and heavy clothes, materials that hang from the body in interesting ways, creating shapes that flatter the human form. Summer arrives and suddenly all of the tops cling to the least attractive part of the body, in my case the stomach, as if the fashion industry expects everyone to drop a stone and spend all of their spare time in the gym or running around the streets like newly born lambs. With the extremely hot sun on your skin making sweat slowly appear on your face it's difficult to feel attractive anyway, unfortunately even those criteria weren't fulfilled this year, there was little sun, less heat than expected and as a result the illusion of attraction formed by moderate heat and even the swelling, clammy sweat that makes you feel ugly whatever you're wearing were absent anyway. Who wants tight, stomach hugging clothes in chilly weather? Our other options, the dreaded smock dress, tops that pretended at an empire line while failing to be made with empire friendly fabrics and belted tops that absurdly often have the belts in the wrong place to look even moderately good. Very little opportunity to wear other styles existed for anyone who couldn't spend a fortune, it doesn't matter where on the high street you looked this year, every affordable shop was doing the same thing. Summer fashion in 2007 was unsatisfactory. What is the point of capitalism and the choice that it espouses when every store is trying to catch up with every other store? A little variation would be welcome in 2008, hopefully someone will strike out to make clothes that are a little different, a bit interesting and a lot less formulaic.

Will Autumn/Winter be any better? Well the answer is yes, autumn and winter fashions invariably look better on anyone above a UK size 8. In cheaper shops you can find clothes that conceal all of the bits you want to and expose all of the other bits and you can pick and choose in a price range that the vast majority of people can afford. This year the high street seems to be continuing along lengthy lines. I've noticed a few tops around that fall to mid-thigh (based on the catwalk, McQueen, Allegra Hicks); Too shapeless to be dresses, a large, stylish belt works for people with good waists, the rest of us do best to ignore clothes that hang like curtains from our shoulders. There are some jumpers that will work for my body shape, cowl necks are a particular favourite and I've already seen a few adorning the shelves of my local Dorothy Perkins. It's difficult to complain about the skinny jeans that seem to be continuing on, they seem to suit everyone, making even the flabbiest thighs appealing because they generally use a pleasantly heavy material. Tailored trousers are reappearing as the autumn fashions start to appear, satisfying flattering on all of our legs and deep rather than acid colours are more prevalent than they have been over the past four or five months. The change in season is once again a relief to anyone who is sick of the 80s flourescent shades that have been omnipresent for the past two summers, I'm looking forward to wearing deep reds, browns and ivories again and shedding the Whamtastic horror that has haunted me.

Now if only a shop would rip off some Ann Demeulemeester (my eternal favourite) I would be really happy:

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