Swift: Slouching models, hidden coatigans
I am beginning to understand the woman in my hometown who wore a towering, perfectly manicured beehive in 1984. No, she wasn't paying homage to the B-52s. She had found a year she really liked - 1962 - and so she decided to stick with it. It's li...
I am beginning to understand the woman in my hometown who wore a towering, perfectly manicured beehive in 1984.
No, she wasn't paying homage to the B-52s. She had found a year she really liked - 1962 - and so she decided to stick with it.
It's likely she had grown tired of trying to decipher the latest trends. In bold defiance of the world's trendwatchers, she decided not to dress herself like a 53-year-old Valley Girl.
And so, religiously and unapologetically, she marched herself to Mr. Terry's Golden Comb once a week to have her hair washed, set, backcombed and shellacked into a bullet-proof wasp's nest.
I feel her pain. You see, I have become that woman.
I no longer understand fashion. I have little desire to read the Elle style watch. Everything that's supposed to be trendy looks weird to me. When I leave the house, my main concerns are that I'm clean and wearing something that matches the dog hair.
As a young woman, I was much more fashion-conscious.
But it was easier back then. Fashion information came from only a handful of sources (prime-time TV and Cosmo). And fashion was just a lot more straightforward. All you needed to be considered stylish was big hair, an all-pastel wardrobe and formidable shoulder pads.
It was all about matching. We meticulously coordinated our outfits so that our white earrings/beaded necklace sets matched our white belts, white shoes and white purses.
The rules were clear cut. Gold and silver were never worn together. You didn't wear white after Labor Day. You never wore a skirt without a slip. Designer names were ostentatiously displayed on jeans, purses and polo shirts.
In retrospect, the looks were kind of embarrassing. Everyone looked very blond, very preppy and very boring. Even so, the average woman knew what was expected when she got dressed in the morning. Style was easy to figure out.
But that has all changed. We are exposed to more fashion than ever before. Beautiful, curvy, healthy-looking supermodels have been replaced by angry, emaciated, slouching mannequins. Young women have become so fashion-savvy that they can identify an original Marc Jacobs at 50 paces.
Clothes have become increasingly complex. I was recently chastised by my niece for being too "Garanimals." I naively asked what she meant. She sighed and told me that today's clothes and accessories aren't supposed to be "matchy matchy." They're simply supposed to "go."
Women are expected to wear layers and layers of clothes, all of varying lengths, textures, weights and colors. Twenty years ago, anyone who dressed like this would have been suspected of shoplifting. Today, she's a fashionista.
Not only that, but garments have become hybrids. There are jeggings - leggings that look like jeans. And coatigans - a coat/cardigan combo. And boots that fit more like tights.
It's all very confusing.
I wonder if Mr. Terry is still in business?
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525 or firstname.lastname@example.org