The Fashion Pendulum

I do like to keep an eye on current fashion. I subscribe to a half dozen magazines on the subject, watch fashion shows online and keep up with several fashion blogs.

Fashion trends tend to place focus on one or two body parts each cycle. For example, legs may be the thing one season so skirts are shorter, or waists may be the focus the next so we see many garments shown with a waist area defined by the cut or by accessories.

For the last six or eight years however, it seems like all body parts have been on display at once in a fashion free-for-all and I have to say, it’s become pretty tiresome.  One can hardly go out in public without seeing acres of other people’s skin whether you want to or not.

Like this:

or this:

and on the celebrity front, this:



I’m not a prude, but I find these sights the visual equivalent of too much information.

Needless to say, skin has had it’s day and so thankfully for the last couple of seasons the pendulum has begun to swing back.

There are however some cases where I think the pendulum may have actually overshot it’s mark. Skin is not just being covered, it’s being almost shrouded in voluminous shapes, heavy fabrics and matronly prints.

Case in point; a real Bea Arthur moment for this 23 year old:

And this is how to add 30 lbs to a petite, young frame in 2 minutes flat. Note the really chunky box pleats that may as well be made of cardboard. Sexy ? Who are they kidding?!

Lastly, the same print blouse, unfettered by the restraints of grandpa’s sweater vest, this time with a wide ( as in hippy )  black skirt.  My next door neighbor could hide his beer belly under there.

I go out shopping and I find it so difficult for a mid-forties mom to find attractive, well-fitting clothes.  I’m sorry to see that I’ll be joined in my frustration by a whole new generation this season.

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7 Comments on “The Fashion Pendulum”

  1. I don’t understand most fashion trends. I’ve been trying not to have my shirts hanging out under my sweaters for the past few years, even though everybody’s doin’ it! And bra straps aren’t supposed to show, in my world. Yours can, but I won’t do it. I’m old-fashioned. Or no-fashioned, but I know what I like.

  2. Topaz Says:

    I can’t even find decent scrubs for work– they want to sell low rise scrub pants. I’m pretty sure the last thing a patient wants to be greeted with is their nurse’s “crack of dawn”. The whole show your thong look is not attractive on anyone.

  3. Saralyn Says:

    As a twenty-something, I find myself longing for the minimalist late 90s again, even if mostly everything only came in black. At least the lines of the clothes bore some relationship to actual human bodies. And what is it with this above-the-bust empire waist thing everywhere? Why have the fashion gods decided that “mid-century maternity smock” is a good look for everyone? Is it because of all the pregnant celebrities?

  4. Amie Says:

    I’m so with you on this and I’m at the very tail end of the look-at-my-tail-end generation. As Anne Slowey said on Project Runway two seasons ago, “There’s entirely way too much tootie” being shown. You can show a little skin and still not look like you’ve just gotten off the bus at Hollywood Blvd. and Vine St.

  5. deb Says:

    You said it all, sister! Amen to everything–you are so right! And worse yet, try being plus-sized and trying to find clothes that flatter a “fluffier” body type. Shirts that are cut to high-hip, with so-called sleeves that are so short they look like tiny ruffles off the shoulders, and in fabrics so thin and clingy that they hug like a sausage skin, are in no way flattering! Very frustrating. And the worse part is, women continue to buy all of the clingy, poorly-fitting clothes, which just encourages the manufacturers to produce more of the same! And the whole coin-slot-showing thing—don’t even get me started–LOL!

    Sorry—didn’t mean to rave on into a book, but thanks for saying it all! 🙂

  6. Saint Gothric Says:

    Thank heavens we have a talented designer such as yourself to save us from the HORRORS of shopping for tasteful clothing in a distasteful world.
    Your designs could serve as fine lessons on how to look sexy without looking like one should be working in the red light district.
    I thank you for that, being a woman who is pushing 40 and has NO interest in having her acres of flesh exposed for the world to see.
    I am eternaly thankful that you design lovely Victorian inspired designs that FIT and flatter.

    On that note, I am off to the yarn shop!

  7. Asat Says:

    My imam feels the same way. We know women are beautiful on the inside. Why do we have to actually SEE them?

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