Fashion – Who Cares?

red silk dress

So apparently it’s London Fashion Week. Or LFW as those in the know seem to be calling it.

Now, I like to think of myself as a fairly open minded kind of person, with a broad range of interests. But when it comes to the F word, I struggle to count how many damns I do not give.

It really, truly, genuinely baffles me that otherwise quite sane people can go into raptures over a heeled shoe, a hat or handbag.

For me, clothes are functional (and some of mine are barely that). They are to keep me warm and cover my wobbly bits. End of. I have a vague sense that some colours are probably better on me than others but beyond that, if it’s comfortable and fits, then that’s all that matters.

The whole ‘thing’ *waves hand around airily* around fashion is so alien to me. How do you write about it? How is it possible that entire magazines are packed from cover to cover with articles about clothes? Not just once, but month after month. Is there really so much more you can say about cotton over cashmere, or micro over mini? Does it matter if a particular shade of blue is kingfisher or cobalt? And how can anyone get excited about the length of a shirt or the shape of a sleeve?

I have a degree in art history. I promise I’m not a complete philistine. I can appreciate a pretty thing when I see one but, even in my lack of domesticity, I’d far rather read a feature about dainty tea sets or patterned wallpaper than one on carefully co-ordinated catwalk outfits or – save me from the madness – this season’s street style.

I wonder if it means I’m lacking, in some way? Should I care more than I do? Would my life be better if I had eyebrows like Cara Delevingne or shoes from Christian Louboutin?

I doubt it, but I’m willing to be persuaded… hit me with your thoughts, fashionistas.

27 responses

  1. I don’t mind clothes, they keep the cold
    out and prevent the naked in public thing, but fashion is outside of my realm of interest. Catwalks are a diverting display of bizarreness that from what I can see bears little relation to the leggings/dresses I buy in Dottie Ps! Plus the cost of clothes scares me. Too cheap and probably dubious production methods are involved, but at the other end I am left gasping ‘how much? For a t-shirt?!?’ Plus at nearly 40 I am not even sure where I fit- too old for New Look, too young for M&S? The whole shopping thing is a dilemma full stop! Best avoided!

  2. I like to read about fashion and I do like to look nice but I’d far rather spend £100 on make up and wear an old dress rather than trawl the shops, searching for clothes, when I know nothing will fit me because I’ve got size ten shoulders, size fourteen boobs, size eight waist and size sixteen bum. I’m not even joking. Also ‘LFW’ is just an excuse for women to be horrible to each other, manifested mainly in ‘what were they thinking?!’ features in magazines when these poor souls left the house thinking they look pretty sweet. Sigh x

  3. I remember when I was about fifteen, wearing a coat that I loved. It was a white puffer jacket and really warm and snug. Some girls my age walked past me and one said “Somebody call the fashion police”. It hurt my feelings at the tender age of fifteen and I stopped wearing it. However I recently noticed that I STILL have and still wear, clothes I had when I was a teenager! I don’t tend to buy the really diverse fashions, I tend to buy stuff that is wearable for many years and whilst I doubt I ever look like I’ve stepped off the catwalk, I do like a lot of the modern fashions. Sadly my budget doesn’t like them. I am DEVASTATED about Republic going into administration and closing their stores and have no idea where I will buy clothes now?

    My version of fashion is… if it looks nice on me and it feels nice on… I will wear it! xx

    • Oh that’s horrible 😦 People (especially teenage girls) can be such cows, can’t they?! Thank goodness for that time when you leave school and realise there’s more to life than wearing Kickers shoes… if I could still squeeze my bum into them I’d still be wearing the clothes I had as a teenager too, but sadly there’s not much chance of that. Sounds like we have fairly similar views on it all though! xx

  4. I had time to ponder this, when Chanel announced it was holding one of it’s annual catwalk events in my hometown of Linlithgow last December.
    Plenty of locals were against it, seeing it as just fashionista bigwigs taking over their town, flashing their wealth and providing no real benefit to the area.
    Then I was asked to write about the whole hoopla for my local community magazine, and I learned a lot – the most surprising thing being that the fashion industry provides £37 billion to the UK economy and more than 816,000 jobs.
    Chanel has purchased 10 small specialist textile manufacturers – which were in danger of going bust – to save jobs and preserve local craftsmanship. Their most recent purchase was Barrie Knitwear in Hawick in the Scottish Borders, which makes cashmere and tweed.
    The event also brought so much free publicity to my town, I imagine we’ll see an increase in tourism because of it.
    Do I know or care anything about fashion? Nope. I’m a jeans and T-shirt bird and have been for most of my life. I wouldn’t have a clue what is fashionable and what’s soooooo last season daaaaaahhhhhling!
    But if it’s an industry that benefits the economy and employs people when we’re having such a slump, by all means let the skinny models strut their stuff at LFW and sell overpriced clothing to those gullible enough to buy it.

    • Ahh now see, there are some EXCELLENT arguments in favour of fashion. Thank you 🙂 And you’re making me admit that when that event took place I followed the ChanelLinlithgow twitter account (thinking it was an official one and not realising that it was just a local fan…). I liked the outdoor setting and the drama of that without having any interest at all in the clothes themselves.

  5. Huzzah Huzzah *one-person ovation*. I never got fashion. I know my colours. I know what looks right on me. THAT’S IT. Practical and comfortable – that’s me! I just don’t get how anyone could become obsessed with a shoe – it was this aspect of Girls in the City that went right over my head and annoyed me with it’s vacant materialism. X. .

  6. Spot on, I could have written this myself (apart from the degree)!
    My fashion is: comfy enough, not too stupid.
    I have 2 pairs of shoes, both identical, found a comfy pair so bought 2.
    I’ve had the same pair of trainers for about 10 yrs
    A high proportion of my tops are of the black t-shirt variety, most with band names or beer
    When I find something I like that I think looks ok, I generally buy more than one, then I don’t have to shop again for a long time.

  7. When I was a teenager I did try and follow fashion but as I got older my interest waned. I started to get more into comfort and practicality particularly when I had my children and now I can be found in black trousers and squashy jumpers. Its not a brilliant look but I struggle to find anything that fits my pear shaped 40+ year old body plus I don’t know where to shop anymore. Deb

  8. Super read as always missus! I must admit that I like looking at ‘fashion’ and would go as far to say that I will have a thorough leaf through a glossy in the dentist’s waiting room. Whilst I enjoy the pleasure of looking, I hate the aftermath – the inevitable realisation that (a) I could never look good in most of it, and (b) I could never afford to become a fashion devotee. *heads home to slip into some threadbare and faded track suit bottoms*

    • I find some of the prices of things – even in the magazines of the broadsheets at the weekend, rather than dedicated fashion mags – absolutely jaw dropping.
      *joins you in trackie bottoms*

  9. I’m with you on this. I am becoming so out of touch I didn’t even know it was London Fashion Week and I am reeling from watching the Brit Awards last night and spending the whole time going ‘Who?’, ‘What?’, ‘I don’t know any of these people!’ but hey, I am still alive and actually happier to be out of all that gubbins now!

    • Oh don’t! The Brits made me feel SO OLD! I have properly turned into my parents – I just kept thinking ‘who are these people? all their songs sound the same…’

  10. Pingback: Learning to Love Charity Shop Shopping | dorkymum

  11. I’m on the fence here. I don’t buy clothes as I always think of what else I could be doing with the money (usually experiences rather than actual material things). I’m not a fan of money so struggle with parting with lots of it on something that I really have no interest in.

    *Buuut* when I get nice clothes – always at Christmas from Gary who could have a career as a personal shopper – they make me feel brilliant, confident and that’s a really really nice feeling. Good clothes can make you feel sexy, make you stand that bit straighter and that’s important when – as a frazzled working mama of two – you can all too often feel like a dag. He is the opposite of me and will spend serious £ on good quality clothes that last him decades (no joke!) which we do clash over sometimes; it makes me feel uncomfortable. His view; ‘Just because I like nice things doesn’t make me a bad person’.

  12. Well, like you, clothes for me are functional and I really go crazy when people dress for form over function. New Englanders (ask DorkyDad) who wear 4-inch spike heals and mini-skirts to walk to work in a blizzard. I know – and admit upfront – that I am a guy, and we have it all so much easier. But now even men are falling prey to this insanity. I wonder if I were matinée-idol handsome, would I care more? … Now, as a man (and one who prefers others like me), I get such a thrill to see fashion on screen at its most simple and elegant. Think Audrey Hepburn in, well, any movie she ever made… Or Grace Kelly, Lauran Bacall, Olivia de Havilland, Jacquline Kennedy to name a few… I melt when I see the beauty, elegance and simplicity of the designs they wore. That should be fashion. Not spectacle. Not this, that we are sold each year. Harrumph.

    • Oh Audrey, yes. It does feel like it was all a lot simpler and more graceful in her day. So much of the attraction of women like that was more about themselves – the way they carried themselves, and that indefinable spark of something – than about what they were wearing. They didn’t seem to try so hard… and yet they achieved much more elegant results.

  13. I think I’m in Scribblingmum’s camp here. I don’t understand fashion, not at all, but I do like to feel good. And, to that end, I do peruse fashion magazines and I do go in search of the TK Maxx version of whatever trend catches my eye. It’s not something I take seriously, though, and not something I’d spend my entire monthly salary on. The only problem is, I live in the countryside and so my Hunter wellies see far more action than my louboutins!!

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