I am not particularly impressed with this season's masculine trend. I think it's something to do with my hourglass figure; I can't wear clothes cut with men's sharp lines in mind. Firstly, they don't fit properly - masculine tailoring doesn't work well on T&A - and secondly, I'm too short.
At 5'5, masculine tailoring on a short body doesn't achieve the androgynous effect one would have hoped for after hours of admiring the leggy Dolce models.
It might make me sound old-fashioned, but I think women look better when dressed like women; skirts, dresses and heels all improve a woman's posture. Skirts make you check your behind in the mirror to ensure full coverage without stretch; dresses push your shoulders back and pull your tummy in; heels force you stand up straight and pull in your behind, lengthening the legs.
While trousers with flats can look chic and gamine, on most British women they just look frumpy. Women should dress for their curves - we are not men and we should not try to look like men. To dress as such requires a certain flatness, and the only way for most women to be flat is to diet. Excessive dieting is not good for our body image and the more trendy the androgynous look becomes, the more women think they should look like young boys rather than the women they are.
Carolina Herrera is an excellent example of how women should dress. She is always elegant, always chic. She wears a masculine shirt, but tucks it into a pencil skirt and teams with heels and costume jewellery to keep it feminine. Another good dresser (younger this time, in case you consider my view to be old fashioned) is Kim Kardashian. She knows how to dress those famous curves and she always looks womanly, even when wearing a superbly cut jacket and jeans. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is another woman who wears her curves well. But then again, there's no denying that Rosie is all woman, even if you stuck her in a pair of denim dungarees.
Of course, this season, designers disagree with me. This season, androgyny is cool. Masculine dressing is one of the top trends for AW11, with the models at Chanel walking the runway in baggy trousers and lace-up work boots.
More masculinity was seen at Stella McCartney and The Row, both showing oversize blazers and coats for AW11 (they are the go-to designers for boyish tailoring, after all) and this is even more confusing to me - why are women designers dressing women as men? Shouldn't women be celebrating each other's bodies? Shouldn't we be promoting girl power and sisterhood, rather than suggesting that we should look skinny and boyish? I think we should embrace our soft lines and be proud of having shapely behinds and ample bosoms. It seems to me that there is a certain negativity about having a voluptuous body, because it generally equals slightly larger than a perfect 10. Curves do not make us fat, if that's what designers are thinking.
I understand that women come in all shapes and sizes, and that there are those who are naturally thin and waif-like. Of course, they too should be equally celebrated, however, I wholeheartedly disagree with trends that promote skinniness, and this is a trend that says, "No curves allowed."