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Fugly fashion - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Fugly fashion
So, I really need to get new clothes for work. I went to the new version of Filene's Basement, and thought, "Eesh, they've got a lousy selection of discount clothes for fat girls." Found a skirt and blouse, but I was cursing my size and budget.

Until I went to the local over-priced boutique mall and passed a chic, cutting edge store full of clothes for rich, thin people. And the whole display window was populated with the same crappy styles that were in the discount fat section... they looked like 1950s housedresses in horrid colors and patterns! What on Earth are the designers thinking? Let's show solidarity with the plain girls by making even pretty ones look like crap?

I miss the '80s. Not necessarily the big bright neon stuff, but those nice, oversized sweaters that everyone wore. Pretty much one size fits all. These things where the waist cuts off at where they think the waist is supposed to be--never mind long-waistedness or big-bustedness--always end up flashing the belly unless you buy them so big that the shoulders sag.
42 comments or Leave a comment
lilacsigil From: lilacsigil Date: February 13th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Everything's bad at the moment, and the teenagers seem to think it's the big bright legging-wearing part of the '80s! Plus the artificial shiny fabrics of the '70s, just to make it extra fun.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Most of the leggings I remember were plain black. It was the sweaters and other tops that were of interest, though sometimes socks or leg-warmers were pretty funky. Wearing leggings without big floppy tops is a kind of unfortunate fashion choice for pretty much anyone.
lilacsigil From: lilacsigil Date: February 13th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Really tight leggings with a really tight singlet top and thongs (of the Aussie kind, i.e. flip flops?) are the favourite fashion choices of the aging tart and the budding teen around here. Sometimes with a stretchy dropwaist ra-ra skirt over the leggings, just to give me flashbacks to 1985.
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: February 13th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love leggings!

Not bright ones, though. I like wearing plain black or black and white patterned leggings underneath short skirts. Lots of girls at my college do as well.
lyras From: lyras Date: February 13th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think there is anything flattering for anyone in the shops at the moment, except perhaps jeans. At least last year those big, floaty skirts were ubiquitous.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
And even the jeans aren't all that great--they all have these wide ankles that make people look like they elephant legs. Taper, people. Taper.
myf From: myf Date: February 13th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I hate tapered jeans! Way to make my arse look big. Those ankle-tight jeans are horrific, even stick-thin models look horrid.

That said, I'm all smug because I bought the cutest black polka-dot top with an interesting neckline (I'm sure it has a name, but I don't know what it is) for $4. Four bucks! That's completely insane here.
gehayi From: gehayi Date: February 13th, 2007 08:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Personally, I LIKE wide ankles on pants; there's a chance they could fit me. Tapered stuff presumes that the wearer has legs like pipe cleaners and minute ankles. Uh, NO.
verdenia From: verdenia Date: February 13th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to have to go with the other folks here--I like my jeans relatively fitted through the thigh and knees, and flared at the ankles.
But then I do have fairly slender ankles, so... *shrug*
Fashion is pretty weird these days...

and I do hear you on the shirts being a problem with big busts! ;P
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have slender ankles--the only part of me that remotely gets that adjective. That's why I hate hiding them in big floppy pants! That, and the whole elephant-leg thing. I'm just way too short-legged to wear anything with wide ankles. Makes me look squat.
verdenia From: verdenia Date: February 14th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that makes sense. Tights with a barely above the knee skirt, maybe? Or a just above the ankle skirt? I can't believe they make skirts and pants that cut off at the biggest part of the calves. Silly designers. ;S
lareinenoire From: lareinenoire Date: February 13th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I've not been able to wear tapered jeans for years. They just didn't *feel* flattering at all, plus I love boots and they're really difficult to wear with tapered jeans.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: February 13th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nooooo, not tapered! Straight leg instead of flared is fine, but tapered do the same thing as skinny jeans in terms of ass-widening power, but without the snug fit to at least make your knees look thin! I've been very hesitant on the skinny jean wagon, and only bought one super cheap pair for tucking into boots. But this spring wide-leg pants are back, which I actually think are super flattering. Trouser jeans are *awesome.* If the wide leg isn't your thing, straight cut jeans are always chic and flattering.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
No!!!! Not more wide-legs! I thought we'd finally gotten rid of those after several years of wandering around looking like elephants. I hate wide-legged anything. Give me my leggings or give me death! ;p

I think I'll be wearing a lot more skirts.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: February 13th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, ok, fine! This winter I've been totally baffled by how to dress because I'm in NH for the year, and it's too casual and way too cold for my usual uniform: a knee-length skirt, tights, and boots. My brother told me it wouldn't work up here and I didn't believe him. Skirts are a perfect solution for all seasons!
(Deleted comment)
redlily From: redlily Date: February 13th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tapered jeans are the work of the devil. Either watch What Not to Wear a couple times or read the book by the same name. It has to do with the oft-repeated "ice cream cone effect." Not attractive.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I very, very rarely agree with fashion shows. These are the same people, after all, who are bringing us paisley housedresses as the height of fashion. :)

I just hate seeing things flap around the ankles. My ass is going to look big one way or the other, because my ass is huge. I'd rather not spread the hugeness all the way down, so that I'm uniformly huge.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I mean, basically, we're talking about something that's the shape of a leg. The leg is naturally tapered. Leggings, stockings under skirts, shorts, whatever, you end up with a tapered leg, because that's what legs do.

Then again, I've never been a big fan of slacks in general, and the less something looks like slacks, the more of a fan I'm going to be. I've never seen wide-legged pants look good on anyone, from short-legged fat me to stick-thin tall models on the runway in Milan. I'd always prefer a skirt or a dress, or at least fitted pants that don't seem to be spilling. I like the shape of the leg, and don't want to hide it.
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: February 13th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nooo! I have skinny legs and wide-ish hips (cross-ways, I have no arse either), so if my trousers are cut close at the ankles I look like a toffee apple. Bootcut jeans balance my hips and mean I can wear my hiking boots in town without looking ridiculous.

What ought to happen is that we should throw out the idea that such and such a cit is in style this season, and have a rack of bootcut, one of straight leg, one of flared, etc. Of course, the clothing producers would lose the opportunity to force the shepple to buy new jeans every season instead of when they wear out, so...
keestone From: keestone Date: February 14th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going with the others on the jeans. Please no taper. Please. Ice cream cone effect aside, I'm 5'5" and have size 10 feet. I could show off my thin ankles, but I'd look like a bloody jackrabbit. I want jeans that I can take off over my boots navy-style. I want bellbottoms. If I can't get my bellbottoms, flares will work, or boot cut jeans at the very narrowest.

I'm totally with you on the too-short tops though. I have a long torso and an ample bust, and my tummy is always cold. And how am I supposed to look professorial with my midriff showing? I've given up on button-down shirts, because they all gap at the chest.
verdenia From: verdenia Date: February 14th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Lulz. I'm 5'4 and size 10 feet--at least for close-toed shoes, I can wear some sandals in smaller sizes, but my third and fourth toes are so long that I have to go with a ten in most things. I'm all about the flare jeans. When I wear jeans; I'm actually all about the flare velour track pants. ;P

I could see taper jeans for boots that are meant to be shown off, though. ;P

And yep--there are a very few people that actually make shirts long enough, but not many. I've actually been wearing one of those mossimo target ones, and it goes down to my hipbones.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: February 13th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
The 80s really are back, too, but mainly in a focus on bright colors and sharp lines. Have you tried Old Navy? They usually have a good selection of good deals in all sizes. I just checked the website and they have some nice v-neck and scoop neck sweaters that would be cute over a t-shirt or button-down.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
It's worth a shot, though I like to shop for clothes physically, and there's not one in my work or home neighborhood. All I miss are the floppy shirts. Also my little neon-purple polka dot mini dress, but that's a whole 'nother issue, and fashion trends aren't going to help the problem there...
lucie_p From: lucie_p Date: February 13th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Fashion - it's never what you want it to be.

When I was a teenager, I used to browse catalogues and shop windows and be sad that I did not have the money to buy all the cool stuff.

Later, when money was no longer as tight, it made me sad that all the good stuff only looked good on slim bodies.

Nowdays I only glance at fashionalble clothes occsionally and ask myself whether there are really people who think it looks good. This stuff is so ugly that even with a top figure I would not want to be seen dead in it. And am very, very happy that I can wear what I like - mostly jeans and "timeless" shirts.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wish there were jeans I liked out. It's sad when there aren't even jeans.

But the dresses! Egads! It was like, brown paisley housedresses in unflattering cuts. They looked bad on mannequins!
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: February 13th, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now that's an accomplishment.

Not a good accomplishment, mind you.

I was thinking I hadn't noticed this problem of shirts cutting off at the waist, but then I realized that (a) I haven't shopped for shirts much in quite a while and (b) I'm short-waisted to the point that pants with a waistband falling above my hipbones are likely to run into my ribs.

I think I need to weed my wardrobe, but I don't want to, because some of my favorite shirts are wearing out on me. The fact that I'm currently wearing a shirt that appears in at least two of my high school yearbooks is probably a clue as to why.
sixth_light From: sixth_light Date: February 13th, 2007 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Word. All my t-shirts are way too short, and it's impossible to find any that are the right length. Especially when you add in the fact that my waist is significantly smaller than the trouser size I fit is designed for, and my legs are shorter. Which means it's a belt or long sweaters, and sometimes neither is a practical option. I just want clothes that fit, dammit.
lareinenoire From: lareinenoire Date: February 13th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Fashion has always baffled me. Every few years, I manage to find a nice niche of clothing that I like, and that happens to fit me. But at the moment, I can't find anything at all. Sweaterdresses? I mean, really. I'm of the opinion that those don't look good on anyone unless you don't believe in eating.

Though what's even more amazing is seeing people on the street, wearing the clothing I can't wrap my brain round. The undergrads here are far more fashion-conscious than I ever was...my priority was getting as much sleep as possible and still making it to class on time!

And I don't understand the housedresses either.
ivylore From: ivylore Date: February 13th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
The 80's are a fad at my school. That means jelly bracelets, shoulded pads, leopard print dance-skins with acid-washed jeans and hot pink belts and silver ballet slippers. It was horrendous then. It is still kind of horrendous. The leg warmers are the only fashion accessory that were worth revisiting. Now that everyone is knitting, some of them are pretty neat, and they are actually handy under long skirts during the winter - although, the way to wear them and be 'cool' is let them slouch around your ankles all day long.
myf From: myf Date: February 13th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
sreya From: sreya Date: February 13th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad I'm going into a career that calls for professional wear - I look much better in the fitted blouses and nice slacks than I do in anything considered "hip" these days. Though sometimes I surprise myself in clearance racks.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
The big bust makes button shirts iffy for me. Grr. :P

But I'm also glad that my job allows for a lot of skirts, as I haven't liked pants-styles a lot ever, and not at all since roughly the mid-'90s.
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: February 13th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Same here on the bust issue.

I lucked out a month ago on finding this white blouse at Dillards. It's rouched right over the bust and expands perfectly. It's one of the most flattering shirts I own. I hadn't planned on buying much that day, but this shirt was too perfect not to snatch up.
mincot From: mincot Date: February 13th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
YES. Thank heavens I can wear skirts. It's enough to make me consider dragging out my sewing machine again, except that the fabric stores are now mostly craft stores and it's hard to find decent fabric.
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: February 13th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have no love for the "hobo" look currently popular. Yech. And I actually fit into them. They're just...yucky. Anyway.
rikibeth From: rikibeth Date: February 13th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm having my post-divorce second adolescence, and Im doing it in skinny jeans (oh bless whoever brought those out, I HATED flares SO MUCH) and band T-shirts and black hoodies, with Doc Martens or Converse. I'm enjoying myself.

Of course, at work I am in chef pants and a shirt from the linen service, so "professional work clothes" are not an issue for me.

I have a couple of nice sweaters from thrift shops for when I need something dressier than a hoodie. And some fancy evening clothes.

And a lot of clubwear.

So the ugly paisley housedresses entirely passed me by, I am grateful to say.
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: February 13th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure if what I'm thinking of is the dresses you're talking about. Do you mean the dresses with surplice V-necklines, flutter sleeves and empire waists? (I had to check on a dress I'm lusting after for that description, fyi, because it's the type of dress I see everywhere). I'm petite, curvy, and busty, and those dresses are insanely flattering on me. Some of the patterns are crazy, but a lot of the neutral ones are cute.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
That sounds about right, but I didn't see anything in a neutral pattern. They were all just awful. (I don't like empire waists anyway--they always strike me as looking like maternity clothes--but it was the plain, frumpy patterns that made me go, "Huh? What?" It was neither neutral nor extreme. It just looked like... you know the playclothes that Maria makes for the children in The Sound of Music, out of the curtains? I thought that was the pattern inspiration.)
aebhel From: aebhel Date: February 13th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I've liked a single fashion trend that's come out in my entire lifetime. It's like we ran out of ideas and just decided to revisit all of the old, ugly things from the sixties and seventies. I will say, though, that I love boot-cut jeans, because my legs are already freakishly long and thin, and skin-tight or tapered jeans make me look like I'm walking around on stilts. I generally just wear men's clothing and be done with it; it's more comfortable and looks better on a stick-thin body than most of what passes for women's fashion.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
On the bright side, I haven't seen so many of the low cut jeans that let you know if some girls shave in areas other than their legs, if you know what I mean (and sometimes you knew that they DIDN'T).

I've often just wanted to grab the fashion folks and say, "Let's pretend for just a moment that their are women out there who want to project something other than 'cheap' and 'desperate.' What would their clothes look like?"

And, while I'm dreaming, let's pretend that not all women have whatever body it is the fashion designers think we have. How about a little variation so those of us with too much here or too little there can find something that looks good without a few thousand dollars worth of plastic surgery?

reihla From: reihla Date: February 14th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I, too, lament the death of the (80's) Oxford cloth shirt under the oversize sweater. I even liked the plaid skirts, but levis button-ups were preferred. :)



Some of their stuff is a little "old" for me (and at 38, that's saying something), but I've been able to buy work clothes there, and jeans depending on the season.
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