I suppose i'd like to think that i'm a seasoned fashionista, but in truth I am nothing of the sort. Its easy to read magazines and fashion supplements and its almost impossible to keep up with it all. I end up being bombarded with photos of clothes that I can't wait to own, and am left with a feeling that what I do own hasn't got any sort of flare or originality.
So many people stick to what they know, they stay within their comfort zone rather than experimenting with something different. Its easy to go to Urban Outfitters or Topshop and to feel like an alien, these shops lay it all out for us - you can look different and funky by copying what the mannequins are wearing, but when you get home with your bags of purchases it doesn't look like it did in the changing room. I want to look classic and elegant, and yet when I do venture onto oxford street wearing high heels, I long to be the teenager in plimsols and leggings. It is a conundrum that I partially blame on my indecisive nature, and also the fact that I am so often confused for a 17 year old that I think that I still have the right to dress like one. At what point is a girl (woman?/young lady?) supposed to dress her age?
Nobody wants to be mutton dressed like lamb, although I think I am probably still a few years shy of being the former, I still envy those who have their own very individual sense of style and aren't afraid of what people think. This particular point hit home yesterday as I wandered through Zara and wasn't sure if I should be shopping on the Ground floor (Womens) or -1 (TRF Teenage Fashions). What struck me about the womens collection was how old it feels, everything is in muted colours: beige, navy, coral and far too tailored for someone who isn't over 30. Go down one floor and I feel almost octogenarian as I get blinded by the sweetshop colours and ogle the teeny tiny denim skirts I once felt so comfortable wearing.
Where do twenty somethings fit into this mess? I think it comes down to confidence and individual style. In our twenties we have the freedom of experimentation without the teenage hangups and insecurities. Rather than worry about which box or bracket I belong to I intend to enjoy freedom of style while I can. Until of course inevitably the twin set and pearls catches up with me and i'm forced to grow up gracefully.
I have noticed a very strange trend in the suburbs of South East London (North Kent) and as it doesn't have an official name I suppose the only way to describe it is the "black French knickers and 50 denier tights but no skirt and no shame" trend. I couldn't quite believe my eyes the first time I saw a girl in such apparel, I thought that there must have been some sort of wardrobe malfunction. There she was walking down Bromley high street on one of the coldest days of 2008 wearing a white t-shirt, grey jumper, thin black tights and black knickers. Now this isn't a trend a la Sienna Miller, who famously wore some giant granny pants over her tights. This girl was wearing her black French knickers under her tights and appeared to have for all intents and purposes actually forgotten to wear a skirt. As she walked past, I turned to see her bum cheeks on display for all of Bromley to see. Imagine my surprise a few weeks later when this began to emerge as a trend of sorts. More often ascribed to going out wear the knickers, tights and no skirt seems to have become a Bromley staple, and as I am informed by people from other suburban towns, it seems to have taken quite a hold all over the home counties. It also has become clear that you don't need to have a rear of the year in order to wear this trend, pear shaped, large, small any and all derrièrs seem to be clad in this exhibitionist trend. So for those who feel brave enough to try i am suggesting the Bromley look, but with a pinch more class. I suggest the Suzi (pictured above) from agent provocateur as it provides maximum coverage but still displays enough bottom, Charnos 40 Denier tights (from www.tightsplease.co.uk) and enough confidence, dutch or otherwise to walk down the street and face the questioning stares. Good Luck!
Kate Moss for Topshop is back. I can’t help feeling that like its predeceasing collections this is just as big a flop. Ever since the first collection launched to queues of girls waiting expectantly to catch a glimpse of the “designer” herself and to fight each other for a few measly items (only 5 per customer) there was an expectation of great things. After the initial 24 hours where you could only look at certain items online, because everything was sold out – even the ugly t-shirt which made you look like a brown bumblebee – shoppers began to see it for what it really was. I fell for the hype and purchased two items which remain with their tags on in the back of my wardrobe, too embarrassed to admit that no, I didn’t look just like Kate Moss when I put them on my 5ft2 size 10 frame. With the average price of the items being at least £10 more than you’d normally spend for something in Topshop, only the die hard Kate Moss wannabes are really buying anything now. This third collection is much like the others, floaty tops, skinny jeans, gladiator sandals, dresses so long you need to be 6ft to wear them and of course the dreaded hot pants. The one item the British girl dreads as the weather gets warmer and that the Kate Moss collection seems to take great joy in pushing under our noses. It isn’t all bad, some of the clothes are actually very cute and wearable but this is undermined by the ridiculous prices which mean that instead of paying for the clothes we are paying for the name. Despite the negative publicity, I highly doubt that this collection will go anywhere, it will be back in the autumn and probably at least once more in the spring before Topshop get Agyness Deyn to design something because by that time she’ll almost definitely be ready to cash in on her “coolness” too.