Jul 12, 2011
Is Thom Browne a genius or what? This fall, I am adding fringe to my lampshade.
Friends, sometimes I think we dwell too much on fashions of the past here at MPB, and in ways both subtle and not-so-subtle, write off the present. It's easy to criticize what's wrong with fashion today: the excessive trendiness, the sameness of so much of it, the constant focus on cost-cutting (sew it cheaply!), the endless re-hashing of vintage styles.
So let's take some time today and remind ourselves of what's good -- or at least, what I think is good, no, great about fashion and style today. If there are things I've missed, I expect you to add them below!
1) Dressy is back. I've been critical of the whole Mad Men fashion phenomenon, but isn't it great that we have these kinds of tailored, sophisticated options available to us today? How much longer do we really want to wear saggy jeans and t-shirts?
Which leads us to...
2) Today, you can wear what you want to wear!
Express your inner flapper! This is easy to take for granted. In decades past, when styles were dictated by a few major designers and most fashionable people followed the rules slavishly, there were very few options. As a result, people tended to dress the same. If the season called for tailored suits and hemlines 18 inches from the ground, guess what:
If you were an Forties co-ed...
How lovely these 50's models look. But how would you like to have to recreate these looks every day?
Here's a bunch of casual New York Forties kids, and that is my Dad in the lower right hand corner, no joke. Is it me or do they all look...the same? Conformity -- at least on the outside -- ruled.
3. Fashion today is accessible to (nearly) all.
Thanks to the internet, the proliferation of thrift stores (and people's creative take on thrift store looks), and globalization, there is simply more available, in more places, and to more people. It's not just about having the money.
You don't need to live near an Anthropologie or J. Crew to get these looks. With sufficient funds of course, you can order the clothes online (provided you have a computer and an address or PO box). But you can also assemble a similar look at any of the dozens of stores that are selling the exact same look elsewhere.
4. Comfort is king.
It's easy to forget -- though so many of you keep reminding me -- how much work it used to be to make yourself presentable in the past. OK, slightly more than presentable, but still.
Today, you can wear your Nylies if you choose to, but you don't have to. You are allowed to bounce and bulge.
Truly, for both men and women, you can make comfort a priority and still look good enough for work (looks below from J. Crew).
Are there more options for people who are young, thin, and flat-chested? Yes! But wasn't this always the case?
I think it's easy to look at an old photo and think, How glamorous, how well-groomed, how Grace Kelly-like! You can still dress like Grace today if you care to.
The beauty is that tomorrow, you can dress like Britney. And no one will care.
Honestly, in 100 degree summer heat, which appeals to you more?
Friends, in closing, what have I missed? What's great -- or at least better -- about fashion today?
Do you ever get dressed in the morning and think, Thank goodness I don't have to put on ____________ (constricting, welt-producing undergarment of yore)?
To quote composer/lyricist Jerry Herman -- and I often do -- The best of times is NOW.
Labels: clothing and culture