Fall Fashions–Dressing For Depression?

A couple of looks by Martin Margiela for Opening Ceremony

I’ve always looked forward to Fall fashions. I’ve never been a fashion plate myself, but I enjoy back to school season, and since I’ve spent most of my life in 4-season country, I like to change the closet around twice a year and add a new item or two.  It’s fun to see what designers think women will want to wear this year.

From what I’ve seen so far, this year, it’s less fun, more funny.  Or sad.  Or both. I culled these photos from very recent issues of the Minneapolis Star Tribune to show you what I mean.   I know times are tough, but could we possibly look any worse off?  The first photo is from the grand opening of the Superdry USA store in the Mall of America.  Never heard of Superdry—probably because it’s a “hip British retailer known for vintage American feel.” I know they’re targeting the younger woman, but I’m vintage American, and I can’t place this look in my lifetime.  Except for the boots—I’ll take them in both versions.  Otherwise, de-press-ing.  I do remember hip British designers—Mary Quant and the whole Caranby Street craze…

mary-quant-4255 …when “hip British” styles were fun and colorful and, yes, satisfyingly shocking to the oldsters.  (This photo from the ’60’s.)

But this is 2011?


The theme of Macy’s “Glamorama” style show in Minneapolis last week was “the art of style.”  Both art and style, pretty much in the eye of the beholder.  Sign of the times, too.  I wore argyle in the 70’s.  I get a good laugh out of pictures of me during that period, particularly in the argyle pants that were so comfy.  And so ugly.  I was pretty skinny back then, but I have to say…well, a person can overdo the argyle.

How about this?  Also from the Star Trib on Glamorama…


My suggested caption:  Cruella Deville’s Stepdaughter Swallowed Whole By Suit

Maybe the best of the least bad is…


Or this…


Yes, I think the guy gets the best in show ribbon.

And this must be what came of…


a pair of wingtips sleeping under the bed with a pair of spikes.

I’ve been shopping for school clothes for the 7- and 9-year-old granddaughters, and I’ve never seen so much gray and black for little girls.  Racks and racks of it. 

What do you think?  Am I being too harsh?  Are you shopping for fall clothes?  Seeing anything you like?  Or will you be sticking with old favorites?  And what are your never-out-of-style favorites?


About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in fall fashion, style, women's clothes. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Fall Fashions–Dressing For Depression?

  1. The 70s are better left in the 70s (Pink and orange TOGETHER? Argyle was bad enough on socks!)and anyone younger than 30 has no business wearing black … unless it’s shoes.

  2. Marcia in OK says:

    I believe that some styles are just best left as WTF memories from the past. Anythiing that Davie Bowie would have worn on SNL in the early to mid 70s should just be left alone!

    Shopping for little girls is just crazy these days. Some of the stuff I’ve seen while shopping with my 10 yo are not appropriate for the high schoolers. I must say at least 3 times per week – “You are 10 and you will dress like a 10 yo”. The problem . . . the stores are filled with this crap. Little girls are NOT supposed to be flashing their underwear!

    I’d shop for her in the boys department if I could get away with it. Especially for the gender neutral t-shirts and hoodies.

    • No kidding, Marcia. I almost used WTF in my post, but little pictures have big eyes. One of the little girl shirts I passed up in the store had OMG emblazoned across the chest. I thought, “WTF!” I mean, really.

  3. Cindy Gerard says:

    Seriously Kathy? This is the NEW hot look? I’m … underwhelmed. And you’re right. It is sad.
    Speaking of sad – is anyone watching Project Runway this year? Not seeing any real talent to date. I’m hoping they will still rise to the occasion.
    As for tried and true – give me black. Seriously. It meets all the criteria and you can jazz it up with a punch of color if need be

    • I’m watching Project Runway, Cindy! It’s hard to tell who’s got real talent when they start out with stuff like “the pet store challenge.” But that was fun, and it’s amazing what you can make out of aquarium gravel. (Thought the bird seed dress should have won that one.)

  4. Cait London says:

    I’m noticing a lot of military styles, which they say is a reflection of the times. And like Kathy, note a lot of little girls dark colors. I’m pretty much basic, I did wear a slimming all black top and pants to see my grandson and thought I looked pretty nice, esp. with big hoop earrings/careful makeup. So feeling confident among teens. I shouldn’t have asked what he thought: He said I looked like I was going to a funeral. 🙂 BTW, I like Riding’s new blog look. 🙂

  5. michelehauf says:

    As long as the men’s style does not include baggy jeans, I’m all for it. Bring back the nicely fitted pants!
    Myself, I don’t think I ever know what the current style is at any given time. I just wear what makes me happy.

  6. Keri Ford says:

    wow. Thank god for last year’s clothes in my closet. and I have a boy. it’s pretty well standard to find NOTHING cute for them.
    I can’t believe you’re finding so much black for little girls!

    • I took my 8-yr-old grandson shopping yesterday. I can almost connect fingertips to fingertips, thumbtip to thumbtip when I put my hands around his waist, so it’s next to impossible to get pants to fit him. Found slim Levis with adjustable waists that don’t fall down if we pull the tabs in all the way. Long-sleeve t-hirts and hoodies were all he wanted on top, and they, too, are mostly drab. He agreed to a cute red hoodie with a smallish eagle on, but warned me not to call it “cute.”

  7. Helen Brenna says:

    Well, shows you how much I’ve been shopping lately. Thanks for the heads up, Kathy. Guess I’ll hold off until the next round of fashions!! lol

  8. Kylie Brant says:

    Too funny, Kathy, especially your comment on the last pic. Wouldn’t you know…I finally lose all the weight I’ve been working on and I go to the mall…and that’s the kind of crap they’re selling. Seriously those designers have to have a sense of humor!

  9. MJ says:

    I like the military style, and I bought some cool oxfords for the fall, and a cool steampunky skirt, but mostly I make my clothes. I do see fun things in boutique shops that look very vintage, like a skirt make out of ticking, and jackets with ruffles that look Victorian.

    I have to say this almost made me spit Diet Coke out of my nose: Cruella Deville’s Stepdaughter Swallowed Whole By Suit

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