Monday, February 18th, 2013

Thanks, I’ll Sit This One Out

While no one will accuse une femme of being an early adopter of fashion trends, I do appreciate the fresh perspective and sense of fun inherent in trends. Selective incorporation of trends can breathe some new life into a basic wardrobe. For all but the most outrageous, I’ve learned to give trends a bit of time before I pass judgement. Sometimes familiarity breeds affinity. Given time, I’ve warmed up to pattern mixing, to skinny jeans, and to a little bit of platform.

But after some months and careful consideration, there are some current trends that just leave me cold.

Neon.

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Yes, it’s fun, it’s bright, but all you see is the coat. The woman gets lost. And I suspect that these colors will both a) fade and b) look dated in the time it takes for a puppy to get his Big Dog teeth.

Ripped jeans.

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A little organic fading or distressing I get. But like the “dirty” jeans trend of a few years back, this just seems so contrived. I don’t do well with contrived.

The Gigantic Clutch.

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Especially the big slouchy ones. They just seem so impractical to me. This is the sartorial equivalent of having one hand tied behind your back. And where do you set them when you sit down to eat at a restaurant?

Shorts suits.


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No no no no NO. No matter how many women’s magazines try to tell us this is OK, this will never read as appropriate business wear to me. “Chic enough for the office?” Horsefeathers.

Flatforms.

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I remember wearing a version of these (and constantly twisting my ankles by falling off them) back in high school. Not to mention that they made me clomp down the halls like an adolescent Clydesdale. Nuff said.

Oversized. (And its cousins, Pleated, Baggy and Boxy.)

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While I appreciate the amazing architecture of pieces like this, oversized anything makes 5’1″ me look like a three-year-old playing dress up in mommy’s closet.

What about you? Are there some trends you won’t touch with a ten foot pole?  Or do you keep an open mind?
~

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51 thoughts on “Thanks, I’ll Sit This One Out

  1. silkpathdiary

    Gosh you always look much taller! I do agree with you on the whole though I like to think I can keep an open mind and work around things. For example, I embraced the baggy bf jeans just last year and one pair even has 3 holes in it (small that I don’t intend to grow any bigger). The trick was to make it just baggy enough for my height and frame – I love them and wear them often. I also acquired a new coat that is every so slightly oversized and has given my silhouette a much needed update. The neon thing, I bought a light neon yellow/pistacio cotton cardigan and it goes wonderfully with my grey, navy and white neutrals. Even platforms are do-able for me if it’s the right angle and height which actually look good. So really it’s just the giant clutch, much too impractical I agree, there’s just no getting around that!

    Reply
  2. Cornelia

    It seems to me that all these trends look so much better on the very young and very lean. Being well into my 50s, I think that I look so much better in clasic lines that fit. Iris Apfel always looks a bit silly to my eyes.

    Reply
  3. Judy C

    I am so glad someone else thinks the ripped jeans are contrived. I imagine it all started when someone borrowed jeans from their boyfriend and they were well worn. I also say no to neon and I’ll add boyfriend jeans, see-thru anything, jeggings, and clunky boots with frilly dresses. Just me.

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  4. Lady of Style

    You picked some good examples. There are trends I don’t follow. Sometimes it takes a while to make up my mind whether I like it or not and I need some inspiration first.

    Neon trend: No way I am going to wear a coat or a dress in bright neon. However, I like small touches as seen here A Hint of Neon.

    Ripped jeans and shorts suits remain a no-go for me, I even hate Bermuda shorts.
    I prefer form-fitting shapes and don’t like anything oversized because I am short.

    And the new white pumps don’t attract me at all as I think most of them look cheap. I love nude pumps instead.

    Annette
    Lady of Style

    Reply
  5. Elle

    I agree with all except the oversized look – I still like it on occasion, especially for a jacket. I’m only 5’4″, so I need to be careful here too.
    Anyway, the one I would add is layering – with the shirt /cami/top hanging out beyond the sweater or jacket. I am 50-something, and I just can’t do it. No can do.
    Also, skirts/dresses that don’t come down over the tops of the boots. Being from the late 70′s/80′s, I can’t get used to the look of skirt – kneecap – boot.

    Reply
  6. California Girl

    You’ve covered the bases!
    1) Loud
    2) Worn out
    3) BIG
    4) Hot pants (they are great for 20 somethings tho)
    5) Impractical
    6) BIG again

    I wore hot pants as they were called in the 70s. I was young, had nice legs & loved ‘em. Not for work ever. Oversized & padded, the 80s (& the 40s). We wore it but it was never a sleek look.
    Ripped jeans? I like them occasionally. Loud colors, trouble is, few of these colors look good on most skin colors. I like them in home decor. Platform shoes, wore ‘em, fell of ‘em, stick with flats. Big slouchy clutch? Never had one. I have enough trouble trying not to buy large handbags with shoulder strap. Been trying to downsize for YEARS.

    Reply
  7. The Style Crone

    Your wicked sense of humor is part of why I keep coming back for more! And I agree with you on the trends that you mentioned. Although I do find myself attracted to the orange coat. If it dropped magically into my closet, I would give it a whirl.

    Reply
  8. Jean at www.drossintogold.com

    Fun post, top to bottom. Some of your “don’ts” also resonate with me. For example, I never wear shorts, period. Not for the last 40 years. Don’t look good in ‘em and refuse to wear them since there are other options! I do love ripped jeans and oversized clothes, though. But then, I’m 5’9″ and maybe that makes a difference, I don’t know. Plus my lifestyle can handle those. Platforms? Eh. Take them or leave them.

    Wear what you love. Period. XXOO

    Reply
  9. Kimberly

    I’m having a really hard time with the no pantyhose ever trend. Even if it’s nude pantyhose? Even if it’s January and you have a job interview and black tights won’t go? Even if they make my legs look better and my shoes slip on better than bare legs and feet?

    Reply
  10. Merry Wife

    Oh, I have such happy memories of the ripped jeans of my youth. One pair had patches of lace showing through the rips. I felt like such a rock star. :)

    I have my eye on a shorts suit, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it to work. It would be weekend wear for me.

    Reply
  11. Duchesse

    Being tall, I can handle neon and oversized, but don’t
    *want* to, because such pieces are hardly ever elegant- by which mean clothes that fit and transmit a sense of ease and grace.

    Shorts with a jaunty summer blazer can look great (but not in 95% of offices; I find the matched suit too studied. My particular head-scratcher is the short-sleeved suit jacket; I think they look silly.

    Reply
  12. Madame Là-bas

    These looks do not suit me and would just look silly. I agree with the no stockings comment as well because shoes fit better and legs look better with stockings. Sundresses and sandals (with pedicure) are great but for business or formal settings, stockings are essential. Double-breasted jackets, tucked in blouses, and pockets on the chest are not good for 5’2″ ladies with ample torsos (me).

    Reply
  13. Val Sparkle

    I agree with your Walk of Shame, but especially the shorts suit. That’s just silly.

    There’s a lot of pattern and color mixing I wouldn’t do, but I’m trying to take baby steps in that direction.

    Reply
  14. Paula

    You nailed it. I am writing from Paris and style trumps trendy, look at me clothing here. Platform shoes just aren’t safe and my titanium nailed together wrist is proof! Feel free to wear a nice pair of boot cut jeans, too. Most femmes just don’t look great in skinnies!

    Reply
  15. Chicatanyage

    I agree with you on most of them. However a friend of mine had wore “big” coat this season and did look good in it. Having said that she does tend to buy designer and good quality. she is not that tall.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    I can’t get my mind around boyfriend jeans. To me they make your legs look wide and short, and I can’t afford that! I suspect I’ll eventually cave, though. (adelfa)

    Reply
  17. tagatha

    OMG the oversized clutches! People look like they’re carrying a pillow!

    One trend I’m waiting for to die is the no-pants look: women wear oversized (again!) shirts and/or coats and then it’s just bare legs all the way down to shoes. Did they completely forget to dress their lower half?

    Reply
  18. Gayle

    I NEVER wear capri pants, cut-off’s .. decided years ago that they
    do nothing for my short self. I just skip over that whole section
    of the store.

    Reply
  19. That's Not My Age

    All of those you mentioned – except for oversized, I quite like the look of that. Fell off a pair of cheap flatforms last year and ended up spending more on physio than the original cost of the shoes. Lesson learned.

    Reply
  20. Patti

    We are very close to overlapping 100%, Une Femme! But I do have a spot for slouchy, at least a slouchy sweater over skinny jeans (and not holey ones : > )

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    I’m with you on nearly everything! I would wear neon for workout wear or a casual tee with jeans, maybe. Ripped jeans I wore in high school, and they were “organically” ripped. Flatforms, I hate. Shorts suits, awful. Shorts are appropriate in NO office I ever saw, no matter what the fashion mags say. Oversized/slouchy I like sometimes, but I am tall, so it probably works better on me than you petite ladies.

    —Jill Ann

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  22. Deb

    You nailed it! It was sort of like the child who actually spoke out and said the Emperor had not clothes on. These are unwearable looks and its just to get women to buy more clothes. NYC Fashion Week just ended and 99% of the fashionistas wore only black to the shows and events. There is such a disconnect between what the fashion editros tell us we MUST have and what they actually wear.

    Reply
  23. Connie

    Hmmmm….I am currently wearing slightly ripped jeans with sensible platforms and a chic Eileen Fisher over-sized top. I think I look pretty cute. To each his or her own!

    Reply
  24. materfamilias

    With you on almost all of these, although I also like some oversized/slouch despite my short stature. I’ve been guilty of wearing a short suit to an office, but I was 20 at the time, and I promise it won’t happen again!

    Reply
  25. Eleanorjane

    Yup, I’m with you on all of those. I think if we’ve been through the trend first time, we should be very careful about revisiting it too obviously.

    Also, I broke my foot falling off a pair of ‘flatforms’ first time round – I stumbled down some stairs and my foot just bent over in a way it shouldn’t. Owch!

    Reply
  26. Veshoevius

    Neon?! Why do they keep pushing neon!?
    I can’t deal with most of these either bar two – I don’t mind a short suit as a smart alternative to a summer dress at a party or outdoor do but as you say NEVER at work – unfortunately I DO see girls wearing them to the office! And I don’t mind ripped denim in the right context either.

    Reply
  27. RoseAG

    A lot depends on what you’re likely to wear so much in one season that you’re ready to toss it as soon as it gets old looking. I could go for an inexpensive light weight neon coat because in another month I’ll be wearing one daily for 2-3 months and be tired of last year’s coat.

    I don’t do heels so the flatform concept appeals to me. My summer sandals usually get trashed by late afternoon rain so if I wear them constantly and toss them after a season they’d done their job.

    The short-suit, the frayed jeans, the oversized clutch (is appealing but I’d never carry it) — they might fit into someone else’s life and be something they’d be happy to wear for a season and then be done.

    Reply
  28. Susan Partlan

    So funny. I wouldn’t personally participate in any of these either but I have to say I do enjoy seeing the younger people in my life exploring cool trends.

    Btw, I tried commenting on the previous post but it seems to have disappeared.

    Reply
  29. Maryl

    Great assessment. I have to agree with you on all examples….especially the shorts, which we called “hot Pants” back in the ’70′s. And my ankels are still sore from those platform sandals. I had them in red. Thanks.

    Reply
  30. Coco Love

    God no I wouldn’t wear any of the above……ripped jeans WHY!!!!! To me shorts belong at the beach no where else. I also will not wear anything flowery or skinny jeans or capris. Classics all the way for me.

    Reply
  31. Michelle Braverman

    Since “Never Say Never” might be the tattoo I would get if I ever got one (but that is the one thing I WILL never do), picking up on trends comes down to “Does it look good on me?”. And for whatever reason (mentally or physically) you knows when it does. Blessedly we’ve earned the right to pick and choose. Far worse to me would be never looking fashion in the eye and saying ‘I’ll try some of that.” Could frumpydom then be far behind?

    Reply
  32. Closet Coach

    My concession to the neon trend was a skinny yellow belt. Just enough without being too much. Plus I won’t cry when the trend ends since I only invested about $10 :)

    The other one I haven’t gotten on board with is peplum. I don’t mind it, it just hasn’t been for me.

    Reply
  33. Sarah

    Agree to all of those.. did try a little rip in the jeans but felt a tad daft and mutton to be honest! And that shorts “business” suit – no, no, no! Which brings me onto a huge thank you for being such a gracious and very helpful I hear, interviewee for a certain undergraduate student! So kind of you. S x

    Reply
  34. Crystal Hammon, ABC, MLS

    Right there with ‘ya girl! Of course, at this point, I couldn’t wear the short suit if I WANTED to, but surely no sane woman would actually wear the short short version to the office! I can’t do the skinny leg thing either because of my waist/hip/bust ratio, but that’s okay. There are other things that flatter!

    Reply
  35. Anonymous

    These are all bad 80s flashbacks – in other words, I already made these mistakes :) I could counsel my younger friends to avoid…but like dating jerks, I think we all need to make these missteps ourselves. I can only hope neon passes quickly.

    Short suits have looked bad on everyone in every era. Its just a bad idea that needs to be staked.

    Sue K

    Reply

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