Editorial: 2021 fashion trends? Yeah, no thanks

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Khaki co-ord (Photo from Pinterest)

I have never claimed to be an expert fashionista, but I know ugly when I see it. Lately, as I have walked through some of the bigger name stores here, I have thought to myself, “That’s it. These people are crazy!”  The thought occurred to me that I was indeed turning into my grandmother as she gave me the side-eye for most of my fashion choices as a teen in the 1980s. 

They say fashion works in cycles, but I thought surely there would be some past mistakes that we wouldn’t dare revisit; yet here we are. I took to the internet to see the top fashion trends for spring 2021 and, oh boy, I am so confused. 

Let’s start with the young men. I love a guy in a nice pair of khakis but apparently, wearing khaki from head to toe is considered fashionable now. I can’t help but wonder, did you buy a zoo? Have you joined the Dharma Initiative? Perhaps you dream of going on safari, but chances are, even the animals of the Serengeti would question this look. 

Continuing in men’s fashion, Vogue recommends pastel and lots of it! The models pictured look like giant pieces of sidewalk chalk. I love color as much as the next person, but can we scale this back just a smidge? A nice pastel shirt is plenty, there is no need to wear pink pants, socks, jacket, hat and shoes. Not everything Versace tells you is true. 

Lastly, extra-large pants are listed as spring 2021 must-haves. No, please, no. I shudder to think how much Armani is charging for a pair of these ridiculous pants. I lived through the 90s and the awful JNCO craze and firmly believe we should learn from past mistakes. The new version of big pants aren’t jeans, they’re oversized dress pants. The models look like little boys trying on their fathers’ clothes and calling it style. 

As for ladies’ fashion, we have traveled back to the prairie or perhaps, the Great Depression. I’m not exactly sure. I loved Holly Hobbie as a kid but I never, not one time, wanted to dress like her. Not then and certainly not now. 

The main issue with women’s fashion trends, for years, has been the lack of focus on actual women. There are plenty of clothes for girls and teens. There are also many choices for more mature women. I’m not exactly either.

I’m also not exactly ready for the matching coordinates by Koret. Now, it looks like the answer is dressing like I am about to fetch a pail to milk the goat before Pa gets home. No thank you. 

Marie Claire insists that the “Carolina Nap Dress” is a must-have. What is that, you ask? I can only describe them as long cotton night shirts with floral prints inspired by old bathroom wallpaper patterns and intended to be worn in front of actual people. Nope!

Floral knit sweaters are also trending. Another grandma’s closet-inspired choice. I suppose they tried to make it cute by stopping the sweater mid-torso. You know, for those days you are thinking of mee maw but feeling sexy, too. All I can do is sigh and blame this on COVID, like everything else. 

Large-collared dresses- need I say more? I have hidden pictures of me wearing similar atrocities back in the early and mid-70s. I am not doing this again. I also refuse to be a part of the return of acid washed and mom jeans.

The cutout trend has continued and evolved to the point of being embarrassing. The cold shoulder tops were fine but now designers have gone too far. They are cutting out areas I would desperately like back. The backs are gone, the stomach areas are gone and there are giant holes down the sides. There are so many cutouts in places that I can only deduce that at this point, we aren’t wearing bras anymore. 

My mom always told me to never fall for what’s trendy. Instead, opt for more classic styles. This way of thinking often frustrated me in the 80s, but now I get it. I want an entire shirt and some cute pants or jeans that don’t look like I am headed to “The Jersey Shore.” Thank goodness Cullman has some great shopping alternatives to what the giant retailers are offering. There are many great local boutiques that help shoppers bypass the headaches and frustration of finding amazing clothes. Clothes that won’t end up in the trash or donations six months from now!


The “Carolina Nap Dress” (Photo by  Marie Claire) 

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com