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May 26, 2012

Thoughts on Fashion

by Anne Paddock

Most dresses look better on models than real women but when a dress looks awful on a model, then something has to be wrong. In our fashion conscious society, every woman over the age of sixteen knows that solids generally look better than stripes on the female form, especially when it comes to a dress; the exception being the traditional french sailor top paired with a solid skirt, pants or shorts. When I came upon this striped dress, I did a double take and couldn’t help but wonder “what was the designer thinking?” followed by “what was the buyer of the store thinking?” Even a 5 foot 10 inch, 120-pound, size 4 model doesn’t make this dress look good.  Stripes – especially the large bright variety – belong in Dr. Seuss books, not on our bodies.

There are two items of clothing that most women dread buying: pants and bathing suits. Pants are more forgiving and can actually be slimming depending on the cut.  So, when I came across the pants at left, I wondered why would any store sell pants with an extra layer of fabric on the hips and sides of the legs? Extra fabric adds bulk and no one I know wants more bulk around the hips or legs.

For decades, I thought belts were meant to be at the waist (or on the hips for a low-rise) so I can’t reconcile having a belt around the thighs although I’m sure many fathers of young adult daughters who favor short skirts would think this new design a novel idea. Seriously, even someone with 18 inch thighs shouldn’t wear this skirt. Maybe the seamstress fell asleep at the sewing machine or the stylist just got it wrong and then decided to try to pass the thigh-belted skirt off as the latest new look.

When it comes to horse heads, I’ve never been the same since I saw “The Godfather.” Horse heads, unicorns and the like belong on the under 8 set.

Several years ago, Nora Ephron authored a book called “I Feel Bad About My Neck” which is a humorous account of growing old and what happens to our necks as we age – they crease and sag and cause us to go out and buy turtlenecks. A crochet sweater can be a lovely addition to a wardrobe and for a woman of a certain age, a crochet knit turtleneck is even better (lets cool air in to alleviate hot flashes) but whoever designed this sweater got a bit carried away because there is enough turtleneck on this sweater to cover the whole head and tie a knot on the top.

Back in the 70’s there was a winter (I’m thinking 1972) when the patchwork jacket was the rage. Looking back, the designers must have gotten together and decided to really throw one over on women by taking all their extra bolts of fabric and patching the pieces together to make something they claimed “goes with everything.” The jacket didn’t look good then and it doesn’t look good now.

Designing or wearing clothing with fur is controversial with each side (the anti-fur activists citing cruelty and the opposing side fighting for the right to choose) digging their heels in. I’ve always leaned more towards the no-fur camp and seeing this vest firmly planted me in their court. Even thin women can look like a Neanderthal in this “little” frock.

There was a popular television show in the mid-60’s called “The Adams Family” which depicted the strange antics of Gomez, the besotted husband of Morticia and their son, Pugsley. But the really funny characters in the series were Uncle Fester, Lurch the butler, and Cousin Itt who was a short little dude with hair from head to toe. These boots remind me of Cousin Itt and I couldn’t look at them without cracking up and picturing them moving across the floor on someone’s feet.

We’ve all had our “fat” moments primarily during pregnancy when most clothing beyond leggings and your husband’s button down shirt was challenging, at best.  If you happened to be pregnant during a cold winter, then finding a coat that would button during the last trimester was problematic.  Enter the A-line or tent coat which served its purpose but after that little bundle of joy arrives, I don’t know anyone that wants to wear a tent coat again, especially one that looks as wide in the back as the front.

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