Last Friday morning, I decided to do something I usually try to avoid at all costs, and got on a bus in to town with the express intention of doing some clothes shopping.
I really, really hate shopping. And, let’s be honest: clothes shopping is the worst kind of shopping. For someone who has spent a good 25% of her life working in the fashion industry (why? I am not quite sure) this is a fairly radical thing to announce. I just find the whole process embarrassing and demeaning, and if I had my way I would buy literally everything I have to online. Asos is, let’s face it, the best invention known to womankind.
But, I digress. Last Friday, for reasons unknown, I decided to head to the high street and hit the shops. I need some more summery clothes now that the temperatures are slightly less wintery, and I thought I might stand a better chance of using the remaining days of student discount if I actually went to the shops.
Needless to say, I regretted it.
Have you SEEN what the shops are selling these days?! I don’t tend to think of myself as a clothing snob: I like to look, well, normal. I disapprove of leggings worn as pants (*trousers), and anything neon unless you’re a fresher heading to a party. I fully condone the wearing of jeans on all occasions, but am reluctantly attempting to wear dresses and skirts from time-to-time. And despite my five years in fashion, I have no desire to buy clothes that cost more than my tuition.
I’d like to think that I was shopping for the kinds of things normal women shop for. Why, then, was there not a single shop with anything worth buying?
Even Dorothy Perkins has let me down, and I consider her my sometimes best friend.
An incomplete list of things the British high street is doing wrong this summer
- Lace: I accept that this may be a controversial opinion, but I honestly believe that clothing comprising more than 50% lace is only acceptable if you are getting married, or being christened, making First Holy Communion, or some-such. Catholic upbringing is coming through a little too strongly in this one. My bad.
- Slogan jumpers: it is unacceptable for anyone over the age of twelve to wear the words “GEEK”, “LOL” or “DORK” in capital letters across their chest, but the high street seems not to acknowledge this point. As my good friend Jenni suggests, if you see anyone wearing the word “GEEK”, you should approach them cautiously and demand they list their fandoms. Twilight is not an appropriate answer.
- Shorts with pockets or bum-cheeks showing: I should not even have to explain this one.
- Those weird crop-top things: I had one of those in 1997. I was five. It was cute. Now, not so much.
- Primark: this one is less to do with the clothes and more to do with Human Rights. Brief reminder of recent events in Bangladesh. If you can afford to shop elsewhere, do.
- Playsuits: I just don’t understand.
- Neon: anything neon brings back unpleasant flashbacks of my first-year university flat mates and their parties and tutus and body-paint. I honestly can’t understand why someone would choose to wear neons when there are perfectly good colours that don’t cause migraines available.
- Combinations of the above: OH DEAR GOD WHY?!
As I was writing this, I realised how much like my grandmother I am starting to sound. But, honestly, I just don’t understand why the shops are selling these clothes. I have traced trends from the runway to the stores before, and so I understand the basic principals – but why designers at New Look or H&M or Next or TopShop suddenly thought these things were a good idea, I will never understand.
Please, dear God, comment and tell me I’m not alone.
I can’t be the only 21-year-old who is prematurely 78. Surely.