Fashion disappears up its own orifice

Hot on the heels of the 80s revival is the 90s revival. Where will it end?

Just as I am trying to get my head around the 80s revival in fashion, and fearing the ghastly outcome, comes an article by Emma Sibbles in the Guardian, noticing a return to 90s fashion. Oh Lord, where do we go from here?

It’s usually a sign of recession that trends look back to the past – witness all that Laura Ashley milkmaid cobblers in the 70s and the country-house-style swags and tails of the 80s. But when we get two such recent decades piling up on themselves in this manner, you really wonder what on earth can come next. 

Do modern designers really have nothing NEW to say? Must we always return to the past (some of us have actually been there and done that, thanks)? I would really like to see, now, something more radical in fashion, something that nods to global warming, recycling, protection of third-world labour, true comfort, style and beauty. 

Oh well, enough whingeing. Since it will soon be upon us in all its glory, here are the trends that Sibbles notes, should you wish to follow any. 

1 Kitten heels

Good news on the whole for women over 40, who may not be so comfortable in high heels as once they were. A kitten gives you a bit of elegance without the height, thank God, and is a great alternative to the godawful clumpy orthopaedic shoes that have been cluttering up the runways for a couple of seasons. 

2 Cycling shorts

Strictly to be avoided, IMHO, unless you’re actually on a bike. 

3 Sportswear

When wasn’t sportswear a trend? It is simply one strand of fashion.

4 Safety pins

As in holding your dress together – another one to avoid, girls.

5 Bum bags

Convenient, but a great way to draw attention to a wide beam end, and let’s face it, gravity does tend to take its toll with the years…

6 Neon

Avoid avoid avoid. Even in accessories.

7 Layers

OK if you’re skinny and fancy a bit of grunge, but avoid if you’re of normal or above-average weight – you’ll look like an escaped mental patient. 

8 Bodies

Oh yes, please. Provided they have a proper wide crotch and grab hold of your bum properly (no thongs please). A decent, long-sleeved body (like a leotard with poppers) used to be my first layer of dressing right through the 90s and I almost wept when you couldn’t find them any more in the shops.  I would seriously welcome the return of these if they went with a slightly low-waisted jean, but of course we’re also heading back to paper-bag ruffles at the waist, so can tuck in a short t-shirt anyway.

9 Rave whistles

Never went to a rave (too busy, you know – working), so this one passed me by the first time, but I can’t imagine it does much for a mid-life woman’s level of chic. Leave it to the kids. 


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