I love fashion. Clothes, shoes, boots, accessories, handbags…all shiny and new, promising, if not actually a better life, certainly a better-dressed one.
Which is not to say that I’ve always made good choices. Closet purging over the years has unearthed mortifyingly large piles of Goodwill donations that have included clogs (clunky wooden shoes. Yeah, those got me a lot of dates), a one-piece cat suit (during my delusional period, when I thought what worked for Halle Berry could also work for me), a wildly expensive cowboy hat (which looked totally ridiculous in downtown Vancouver, BC, where I lived at the time, but I was crushing on a cowboy from Calgary), and several bags of disco bling from the late 70s (still referred by my family to as my “unfortunate Afro era”).
One of the benefits of aging is the discovery of what works for you and what doesn’t. We’re less easily manipulated by the fashion industry into buying clothes that are unflattering, silly, or just plain stupid. We understand our bodies, what we want to show off and what we would prefer to keep between ourselves and our bathroom mirrors.
But there are some fashion statements that don’t work for anybody and that need to be taken out behind the barn and shot. How they originally came to be is simple. New trends are continuously streamed to the public, so stores can continue to sell clothes. (Who needs a new black skirt when the one you bought last year is still in style?) But why they remain prevalent is a mystery. Often, even the designers are baffled. They know a trend is universally horrible, but they assume it’ll sell out quickly and be replaced next season with another new must-have. Sometimes the designers are wrong.
Following is my list of Fashion Trends I’d Like to See Die in 2014:
1. Low-rise jeans on most women. Low-rise jeans introduced the concept of muffin top. When your waistband cuts straight across the middle of your belly (the trouble spot on millions of women worldwide), it’s going to squish the excess fat up and over the top. There’s just no where else for it to go. And every time you lean over, we all get to see the Great Crevice, often highlighted by your hot pink thong that has crept up your butt crack and now lies snuggled in the roll above your jeans.
2. Low-rider gang banger jeans on men. This is the longest-running male trend ever, and it’s hideous. This one continues to surprise me, since it was originally developed by convicted felons who used it as a prison mating call to show their availability to other inmates. Guys, you don’t look tough. You look like an idiot who needs to pull up his damn britches (and this means you, Mr. Bieber).
3. Crocs. Yep, I’m still seeing these. I recently saw a bright orange pair on a 50-something gentleman. With socks. Some things can’t be unseen. If you’re over the age of 4 (or a male, at any age), for the love of God, toss these.
4. Nail art. I’m sorry, but this is just tacky. While it can be cute on little girls who want flowers on their tiny pink nails, if you’re over 23 and you simply must have daisies painted on your nails to celebrate spring, put them on your toes.
5. French manicures. These are so over. They’ve been around for 30 years, and they’re tired. Even Tim Gunn remarked that once you’ve seen a trend take over every trailer park in town, it’s time to let it go.
6. Tights worn as pants. When leggings became hot, apparently people became confused about the difference between leggings and tights. Leggings are heavier and more opaque, providing the same coverage as pants, just skinnier. Tights are much sheerer, clearly showing the rest of us your cellulite, your underwear, and your lady bush. Huge difference. Huge.
7. Camo print. Especially in pink. If you want to look like a soldier, join the military. Even if you’re a shotgun toting, mud wrestling, female trucker with a gun rack, this is a tough look to pull off. And adding in a pink motif just makes you look confused.
8. High-low skirts and dresses. Above the knees in front, draping down to the floor in back. Fashionistas call this a “mullet skirt.” ‘Nuf said.
9. Any item sporting a logo from the Hello Kitty Collection on any woman old enough to called “Ma’am.”
10. Printed tights. Looney Tunes, skulls, food products, black and white checks, stripes, All guaranteed to make the average woman look shorter and wider. Unless you’re an anorexic gazelle, pass on these.
11. Uggs boots with shorts. It’s unclear who originally decided to pair sheepskin boots with shorts, but it looks stupid. Leave this one to the high schoolers. They’re young enough to look silly and still be cute.
12. Harem pants. Looking for an extra 10 pounds, stumpy legs, and a saggy butt? These are for you. The rest of you, run.
13. Cropped tops on women over 30. I don’t care how thin or fit you are. Too MILFY, and not enough class. And worn with low-rise jeans? I’m assuming your t-shirt says “Honk if You Think I’m Hot.”
14. Leg warmers. They’re back, unfortunately. Let’s just nip this one in the bud.
15. Cheap Faux leather. It looks like vinyl. And many women, inexplicably, like to wear this in one size smaller than they actually are, which unfortunately makes you look like an overpacked sausage, ready to burst at any moment.
16. Short-shorts (a la Daisy Duke), with the pockets visibly hanging out. Even if you’re young enough and thin enough to pull this off, why??
17. Peplums. A little flare of gathered fabric around the widest part of your body. These make supermodels look hippy. The female version of the fanny pack.
18. Wedged sneakers. The one pair of comfy shoes in my whole closet now has heels. Awesome.
19. Sweat pants as “real pants.” Unless you’re in college and your only concern is comfort, these are just wrong. Think Pajama Jeans, but baggier. With elastic waistbands and ankles. Bulky, shapeless, and unflattering. The trifecta of “What the hell was I thinking??”
20. Baseball caps on women. Especially bedazzled, be-logo’d, or bejeweled. Just, no.
Now, if you’re wailing “But I LOVE my camo pants!” remember, this is just one woman’s opinion. If you can rock the Hello Kitty faux leather jacket with matching nail decals, keep on going with your rebel self. I won’t say a word.