There is something that compels me each year at this time to buy the fall fashion issue of Vogue. Why I have this compulsion is a true mystery, as I spend sixty percent of my life in generic beige twill pants and a black Gap t-shirt, and the other forty percent in my pajamas – one of the perks of being a writer and working at home. That being said, I also don’t want to show up at an event this fall and find out that shoulder pads are back. Or maybe I do.
There is some bad news on the fashion front, my friends. First of all, big purses are still in, only now they are even bigger. Some look like they could hold a Volkswagen bug or a baby elephant. And all that fringe! I personally have never liked fringe on anything, and I suggest that unless you want to look like a leftover flower child of the sixties, you, dear reader, avoid it.
It seems that every fall the flower child look is re-marketed in a way that will make it more appealing to women. This year you will see the words “bohemian,” “eclectic,” and “global ethnic” used to describe the layers of mismatched patterned fabrics that somehow mistakenly found themselves together on one unfortunate body. Although these outfits might be appropriate if you are thinking of joining a Ukrainian circus troupe or a caravan of traveling gypsies.
Hint: if the word “folkloric” is used to describe an item of clothing, unless you are Joan Baez, please pass on it. Then there is something called “rock and roll chic.” Black, smudgy eye makeup and black lip gloss. Ripped fishnet stockings with leather short-shorts, jeweled pants and a fur vest with no shirt underneath. Where are the PETA people when we need them?
One thing I noticed this fall is that all the models look mad. They either pout or glower, and I think I have figured out why. They are all wearing the new fall trend in shoes – the stacked platform with a four-inch heel. My bunions ached just looking at them. Do shoe designers secretly hate us? And what about the other fall “must-have” – the ankle boot, or “shootie.” Shoot me. Or show me the leg that a mid-calf boot looks good on that is not attached to a six foot tall woman who weighs ninety-eight pounds. One of these boot thingies is actually described as “the armorial gladiator ankle boot.” Perfect for wearing a short, poufy taffeta miniskirt.
If you are like me, and avoid anything that is described as “body-hugging” then perhaps you will have to wait until next fall. Remember, friends don’t let friends wear pencil skirts or layers of fluffy ruffles. Especially together. And especially with lace-up Roman Gladiator sandals.
Perhaps one of the most deplorable fashion trends of recent years has been that of women being told it’s okay to let our undergarments show. A truly regrettable parade of bra strap and thong sightings has been the result of this. But take heart! Now it appears that you can just wear your bra for a top, along with pants or a skirt of course, and maybe a jaunty scarf.
Can we talk about the white wool suit? So pristine, so tempting. I gaze upon this one item and covet it, yet know at the same time it will never be mine. For some reason whenever I wear white I become a magnet for small children who have just finger-painted, dogs who have just frolicked in the mud, and any flying food items within a ten-mile radius. The white wool suit remains an elusive dream.
And where are the men in all this? In the fall fashion magazines, men are usually relegated to the role of shirtless, glowering slacker dude hanging around in the background while our heroine strides off (painfully) in her impossibly high-heeled shooties.
Of course, you may or may not choose to heed fashion commentary by someone who has a photo of herself wearing hot pants and white patent leather lace-up go-go boots. But that was a long, long time ago, and that photo is in the vault and ever shall be.