Last week I went on one of my bi-annual trips to ‘the big mall’. I loathe malls. OK, it’s mostly because I can’t afford all the stuff but also because it’s a total stimulus overload. On more than one occasion I’ve been found hiding out in the shoe bar. The people there are really nice and they don’t rush me along at all.
Generally speaking, the trip was successful. Found frock; can conquer the world. I did find the magnificent pair of red velvet shoes I was after but then remembered how the last time I wore heels, the sharp bit got caught up in my wide leg pants, tripping me up spectacularly in front of a whole room full of people. On that basis I resisted. Sigh. In a parallel universe I can do it all. I also had a few epiphanic moments whilst on my outing that I’ll share with you now.
1. Ironically, maxi dresses only look good on mini girls. It’s a horribly misleading name. Anything bigger than a mini girl and they look like a picnic umbrella (especially the tribal print ones) or super large parasol (if the dress has those frilly layers).
2. If it rustles on the hanger you can bet your rustling butt that it’s going to rustle on you.
3. If it feels scratchy when you rub it between your fingers, times that by ten when you have it rubbing up against your body. Lambs wool and mohair are living proof.
4. I’ve yet to meet someone who can afford to wear satin on their bottom half. Figuratively not financially.
5. No matter how ‘on trend’ a bow on the neckline is, it’ll always make you look like an airhostess (at best) or like a bank employee (at worse). They’re very noble careers of course but chances are that’s not the look you were going for.
6. Colour blocking is to 2012 what neon was to 1985. You will look back at photos of yourself and think WTF?
7. Skinny jeans. Cruelly, the hint is in the name.
8. Shoes with slippery soles will make you slip. That’s a given.
9. Pointy toes require pointy toes. You either have them or you don’t’.
10. Pixie boots belong on… ta daaaa… PIXIES!
11. Pumps that are cut too low in the front will give you a bad case of toe cleavage* or plumbers foot - depending on the severity of the cut. I’m just saying that if Victoria Beckham gets toe cleavage with her skinny-ass feet then just imagine what kind of no-hope the rest of us have.
12. Nude and beige should only be worn if you wish to be sent home from work because you’re looking wan. (Except of course if you’re dark skinned or are a deft hand at applying stage makeup.)
13. Mustard. Really? I thought we covered this in the 70’s. As a percentage of the entire population, who exactly looks good in mustard?
14. Jewelry shops. Has anyone ever seen anyone buying anything in a jewelry shop? I know I haven’t.
16. Petit departments are rude. If you can’t shop there then automatically you don’t “fit in”.
17. Are all those shelves of makeup really necessary? It’s deliberate beauty bamboozlement. Women feverishly reach for this collagen pump and that 24-hour miracle repair cream but they’re actually reaching for a dream. It doesn’t work. If it did work we’d all be using it, know what I’m saying.
18. 6” heels. No one can walk in them. Well, at least not walk well. The evidence lies in strippers. The real reason they erect poles in strip clubs is so that those poor women can get off their feet now and then. True story. And don’t let ramp models fool you. They are considered to be high-heel athletes and are specially trained. Also, they weigh as much as your average 6 year old who, incidentally, also walks better in your heels than you do.
19. The final few notes are aimed specifically at Chinese manufacturers of clothing:
a) Only one trim is ever necessary per garment. Namely, you have to choose between the rhinestone, fur, diamante, sequins and the fabric flowers. You can’t use them all at once in the hopes that you’ll appeal to a wider range of wearer.
b) One size doesn’t fit all. Just trust me on this.
c) You can’t just gather the fuck out of a garment to make it go up a size. Believe it or not, you actually have to lengthen the cut.
d) We know well fitting garments isn’t your thing, but for the love of God please use pleats instead of gathers because you’re cocking up the gathers. No wait, you may cock up pleats too.
Feel free to forward this to anyone you feel needs the advice.
*Thanks to my friend Tam who taught me this phrase. I’m going to use it a lot.