Forgive me, fashion gods, for the hubris I'm about to commit, but it's time we faced up to the facts: this summer saw some absolute fashion clangers. Working as I did for a fashion search engine throughout this troubling time, I saw the worst of it, gaining an invaluable insight into the stats for the most searched for, shopped and talked about trends. I was on the fashion frontline and it wasn't always pretty. For every structured pastel sundress sought, there was a neon string bikini purchased. Of course, like anyone forced to face up to unkind truths by their Facebook photos, I choose to make excuses and point the finger of blame elsewhere. The summer weather went to our heads. We're British: we know not what we do and cannot be held responsible when temperatures exceed 18 degrees. The excitement of being able to wear sandals in our hometowns for the first time ever went to our heads. Thus, this hottest summer since 2006 saw the worst of us.
But now we're all sat calmly in our post heat wave, A/W winter wardrobes, examining the trends coming through from LFW, I think it's safe for us to look back at the season just gone and the sartorial mayhem it invoked.
Hello, my name's Amy and this summer, I wore dungarees. I know. I ignored the wise little voice in the mirror that pointed out my bottom had taken on the proportions of a heavily pregnant woman's stomach, but what can I say? I was swept up in the heady rush of the 90's revival. Plus Alexa Chung looked good in hers - logic that has felled many a mortal before me, I'm sure. Done well and they evoke an off duty model look; done wrong and they make you look as if you might enjoy a spot of incest. Next.
It's rare that I advocate wearing something only if you have the arse of a 40-something woman, unless I'm talking about some elastic-waistbanded pantaloons as seen on Tina Fey in 30 Rock. But I'll make an exception for the sheer panels that brought us Gwynnie's side arse. Did the nefarious side boob teach us nothing? And we all remember where Angelina's exposed thigh ended: with members of the Made In Chelsea cast squatting on the red carpet so as to best show off both legs simultaneously. Which just means that, much like abstaining from Cup-a-Soup on point of death or over associating yourself with Coldplay, no good can come from doing as Gwyneth does.
I admit being swayed by this one on the grounds of it's edgy; ugly, but fashion ugly; my boyfriend will hate it; I love it! And, ya know, it totally looks like something Alexa Chung would wear. But when I finally placed one chunky, black leathered, cut out boot/sandal on my foot in some bastardised Cinderella moment, it hit me: this will never work. Sadly, I slipped it off and went out in search of a boot that will last me for a winter that will be mainly rain and a slipper for the summer (who was I kidding? My feet are not sandal ready).
Statement bearing tops
And here I must hand over to my sweatshirt: *Newquay Bikini Inspector '06* Oh gracious I must apologise for it; it can be horribly obnoxious. Here, I'll let my t-shirt do the talking instead. It can be a little off colour at times with some questionable rape jokes, but has some terribly ironic statements about the importance we all put on designer labels by deliberately... oh no wait, this one just says 'LOL'.
Two words: Jeremy Clarkson. Let's move on.
As we all know, whatever Beyoncé does is all that is relevant and worth talking about, so the strange goings on of Queen Bey's tresses over the summer of '13 are sure to forever mark the time in our minds; a mistake of the season, if ever there was one. While once a haircut was something you were lumbered with until it grew out, in a mere three weeks after getting her long tresses caught in a fan, Beyoncé showed us all up by going from chic pixie crop, to Victoria Beckham circa the mid noughties bob, to the shoulder-length tousled waves that are, whisper it, a tad bland. Say it ain't so! On the other hand, is anyone else wondering if Bey might actually be completely bald by now?
We're in a new season, dear reader; let's make some fashion resolutions and leave these faux pas firmly in our wake.
Photo supplied by: J. Peter Siriprakorn