Wednesday, September 03, 2008

10 Things I Hate About Fall

What's going on with fashion these days? Who the hell knows. I liked the return of vintage and a little dabbling in '60s retro mod. Fur seems to have made a comeback and cashmere is in everything now, even underwear. Arguably, we've seen a lot of instant hits. So what's up with so many misses?

Many of the biggest offenders are thoughtfully borrowed from the wasteland that was the '80s and early '90s. Others are modern creations. Here's my take on the good, the bad, and the utterly inexcusable:

1. Polyurethane leggings. The unfortunate re-entry of this ridiculous excuse for a fabric into mainstream fashion is unforgivable. Even more unforgivable is how much some stores are charging for a material that should only be used to coat floors, provide thermal insulation, and produce pipes. Um, $405? Are you high on paint thinner? Suffice it to say that this combustible polymer's decomposition products include include carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and hydrogen cyanide. Chemistry aside, it's just plain disgusting to wear. For any price.

2. Leggings, period. Just when I finished reusing the leggings from my adolescent days as rags, a new bumper crop just had to proliferate. Why oh why must we encase our meaty thighs in constricting elastic when there are so many stylish pant options? It has never been acceptable in my book to leave your house in leggings and a tee shirt unless you're going out for a run. And I don't mean to run errands. But really, isn't the widespread availability of yoga pants (even at Target and Walmart) along with an attractive array of Juicy-inspired velour track pants enough to get you through your rigorous workouts and shopping trips? Here's a thought. Unless you're a stripper, it's not really appropriate to pair leggings with stilettos. And please don't wear leggings under dresses. Been there, done that. We don't need to revisit granny dresses and Doc Martens unless you live in Seattle and are the offspring of platinum recording artists from the 1990's.

3. Open-toed booties. Am I missing something here? What possible purpose could it serve to make my feet sweat while freezing off my toes? I can't really wear these in the early fall when it's still warm, and I sure as heck don't want to leave my toes hanging out there in the cold by November. I supposed I could wear tights or socks under them, but wouldn't that sort of defeat the purpose of showing off my toes? C'mon people, think.

4. Dark teal and deep fuchsia. I'm not kidding. I've walked into some departments at well-known retailers that consist almost entirely of the aforementioned colors. Exactly what about these shades channel fall? Or any other season, for that matter? It's possible that small numbers of the female population actually look good in broad expanses of these largely unflattering hues draped across their bodies. The rest of us would prefer to substitute dark aqua with pleasing shades of azure, subdued turquoise, and uplifting greens. Maybe bold berries, a range of reds, and sunny oranges instead of deep fuchsia. I don't mind a top here, a little accessory there. But is it really necessary to define an entire season's collection in dark teal and deep fuchsia?

5. Campfire plaid. Okay for eating jerky and beans. Not okay for the office (unless your career involves making bales of hay). Look, it's not as if plaid is entirely bad. Showcased in more refined incarnations, it can be darned cute and even pass for sophisticated. I love to rock a nice tartan skirt with tights and a fitted sweater. But in my humble opinion, campfire plaid belongs on a blanket, not a dress. And men: come out on a first date donning a plaid flannel shirt and you'll look like you just woke up from the couch - in the late '80s, after watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I would probably suspect your hygiene to boot.

6. One-shoulder tops and dresses. The toga party is over. Please go back to the '80s. I don't know about you, but dresses with only one shoulder strap make me look like a deformed alien. Will you just make a decision already? Either go strapless or use both straps.

7. Runaway fringe. No one loves tassels more than I do, and I can understand a little fringe trim, but designers have gotten lazy. Can't you come up with any other detailing? Unless it's in my benefits, fringe needs to be pared down.

8. Homeless-style long puffer jackets. It was never attractive, and it's frankly not necessary to look like a street residing bag lady to stay warm. Have you tried a nice shearling, svelte goose down, cozy fur, cozy faux fur, or luxurious cashmere-wool blend? Even fleece is preferable to shiny, puffed, and quilted garbage bag. If you're going to sell us garbage, just recycle it, okay? Don't charge us $235. Yes, J.Crew, I'm talking to you.

9. Ombre. Just when I mistakenly rejoiced after having finally found the perfect taupe bag and a killer burgundy patent shoe, it started to bleed all over into various, unwanted shades. Now, why would you take a perfectly nice color and purposely make it look dirty or like it was tie-died by a pre-teen in camp? I supposed this looks artsy and can have limited uses in a knit sweater or tee. But please, leave my $2390 Prada satchel one color. I intend to carry a bag to places other than a rave, and I'm hoping to hold onto it for more than one season -- even if it is discounted to a mere $1912.

10. Knits gone wild. For the love of God, would somebody please take away the knitting needles from high-end designers? I'm thrilled that the mass population has once again discovered knitting. Let them knit baby socks and mittens. But don't insult our intelligence by attempting to peddle ugly, bulky knits as haute couture. The sooner you acknowledge that the homemade look is simply not intended for formal occasions or for business functions, the faster we can all move on. Which means I'm not going to pay over $100 for a long cardigan or sweater-vest-dress that my grandma (and now 3 of my friends) can knit me -- even if it is made by St. John and modeled by Angelina Jolie.
Let's hope the next season properly puts an end to these 10 heinous trends.


Zahra said...

This post made me laugh out loud! I totally agree with the leggings and open toed booties! I just want the first to disappear from the fashion scene already and I predict a short lifespan for the booties.

3-Penny Princess said...

Let's hope you're right! Maybe we should enlist Juicy Couture to help us fight the resurgence of leggings!

Yes, there have been a few shoe styles that have baffled me this past year. But open-toed booties take the cake.

_,.-+~ said...

Hmm...I agree with most of this, but I actually love the shape of open toed booties. I find they look really chic - in terms of feet sweating, and toes freezing, I find most closed toed shoes will make them sweat after a while; the toe sticking out never bothers me temp wise.
The only other thing I am not completely agreeing with is the fringe. I love the shoes in that picture actually. Tho i agree that those purses made entirely of dangly suede tassles is a little odd looking.