This month’s focus on fall fashion has taken me on a long ride down memory lane – not the memory lane that calls to mind dreamy, wistful, idyllic imagery of the past, but the kind of hot, dusty, pothole-laden memory lane that reminds you you’ve worn the wrong shoes for your journey.
I’ll offer an early disclaimer to state that you shouldn’t look to me as your go-to advice source for fashion in any season. Consider my take as a well-placed warning – a flashing alarm that urges you not to make the mistakes I’ve made in fashion’s vast wasteland during my formative years.
Several fashion trends this fall have broken free from the dark corner where I’ve tucked away many unfortunate snapshots from the bygone years when I’d considered myself to be “on trend.” Allow me to serve as your fashion sherpa, guiding you away from certain wardrobe regrets that are destined to live on wayyyy too long in photos.
Topping the list: denim everything.
All God’s children wear denim. Nothing wrong with that, but this fall, many of those folks are jean-clad from head to toe! The “cowboy tuxedo” (complete with the ruffled tux denim shirt) is making a big entrance – and, hopefully, a hasty exit.
Equally gasp-worthy: acid-washed denim has leapt right off the pages of a 1987 calendar and back into mainstream apparel. If you’re young, you won’t know better, but I warn you: acid-washed anything will immediately expose you to a life of Debbie Gibson cassettes, banana clips and mall hair.
Also rising up from the murky depths of the “jean” pool over the past couple of years, Mom jeans are back to mystify us with their existence. They flatter no one. Not you, not even your mom. If you don’t believe me, set this magazine down, go to your mom’s house and put on a pair of her jeans. Take a long, objective look in the mirror and tell me you don’t look just like she did in 1988, the last time she bought a pair of jeans to wear with her blinking Christmas lights sweater.
Next up: faux leather.
Whether or not you wear real leather, this fall, you must come to terms with faux leather. Before you commit to pleather, consider a test drive by putting on one of those rubberized sweat suits that a wrestler wears to pull weight in a hurry. Go ahead … own your sweat mustache, smell the locker room and feel that river run down your back as you sashay across the dance floor in your personal plastic sauna.
Steel your bladder for the one-piece jumpsuit.
One-piece jumpsuits aren’t new this fall – they’ve just multiplied, which defies logic. Nothing says, “I just need to run to the restroom. I’ll be back in 20 minutes!” like an article of clothing that requires fully undressing to answer nature’s call. With practice, you could perhaps up your Houdini game or learn to stop drinking water. Even so, you’re destined to lose the battle for bladder control with the impractical one-piece jumpsuit.
A fringe accent? Mais non!
If I were to make a guess, I’d say that taffeta and ruffles got married, had a baby and named it “Fringe.” Unless you’re dressing as a flapper for a murder mystery game or you’re an 8-year-old in a tap recital, when is fringe a good idea? By noon, it will be caught in the car door, caught on your jewelry, caught on someone else’s jewelry, stuck in your car seat, accidentally submerged in the toilet and scrunched, stretched, twisted and pulled beyond recognition.
Fall 2021 heralds the grand return of the sweater vest. Until now, odds are that no one in your orbit has ever committed more fully to the sweater vest than your dad or granddad, and why not? They may be the sweater vest’s easiest prey, but they can pull off the look better than any other demographic. But look around; the revived sweater vest has taken all its cues from Grandma’s tissue cozy! Crocheted from mothball-preserved skeins of rainbow yarn to match every color in a fistful of paint samples, the sweater vest is a throwback that’s equally at home at a political sit-in or draped along the back of Grandma’s harvest gold-flocked couch.