2011: Welcome To The Decade Style Forgot

Film, London

I never dressed cool. In my teens I was broke so it looked like I was wearing outfits cast off by circus clowns. My favourite outfit was an orange nylon polo-neck shirt with velcro fastenings, bought from one of the catalogues my mother then sold. I looked like Simon Dee.

In my twenties I went through what friends laughingly called my ‘Star Trek Era’, wearing entirely ridiculous tops inspired by Captain Spock. In my thirties I started dressing like a gay lumberjack, complete with moustache. After that it was all downhill until I arrived at basic black, the only option left for an urban man who finds that everything in the shops is aimed at a 21 year-old Japanese boy with a 23 inch waist.

But I always hoped fashion would outpace me; the young are meant to shock us with their creativity. So how did we end up here, in the Era of the New Cosy? Knitwear, corduroy, polished brown lace-ups with novelty socks, cupcakes, jumpers, cardigans and woolly hats? Surely, given the ubiquity of new technology, we should all look like characters from Tron by now?

Instead, everywhere I look, everyone’s dressing like their grandparents. There’s nothing here that would seem out of place in an episode of ‘Dad’s Army’. The recession has sent us from the streets into the potting sheds. I wonder if we’re seeing the first generation of social networkers growing weary of cyberspace and hankering for the dimly remembered past seen on old newsreels?

8 comments on “2011: Welcome To The Decade Style Forgot”

  1. Sparro says:

    The era of the New Cosy, eh? As I have never been a follower of fashion myself, it’s rather gratifying to see that trends in fashion are now following me. However, the ‘new look’ high-street brogues, corduroys and pullovers will not be as well constructed as they were in their heyday, I’ll warrant. Not if they’re fashionable rather than practical; they’ll be designed to decay.

  2. Alan G says:

    Not sure about fashion – but I find the idea of young people getting away from cyberspace encouraging.

  3. Sparro says:

    “…but I find the idea of young people getting away from cyberspace encouraging.”
    Yes indeed! Maybe they have wanted to for several years, but the relentless cycle of fashion refuses to bow down; I suspect cyberspace designs are a lot easier for ‘T*p Sh*p’ to replicate. Maybe personal creativity in wearing what you want is more difficult now than in my happy-hippy days. We had real charity shops (one used to give me lots of collarless bib-front shirts, as they had so many) and real army surplus stores. A day at Laurence Corner was like digging in a fruitful clothing goldmine!

  4. Gretta says:

    I’m sorry, but I do believe I’ve already made my views on purple corduroys known. And with tan boat shoes. Saints preserve us. I’m surprised his top button isn’t done up, as well. Sufficed to say, the urge to rush up to Mr Extreme Left and push him off that wall is overwhelming.

  5. Helen Martin says:

    His mirror image on the right would also benefit from a good push. By the way, Chris, it was *Mr.* Spock, so I assume he was the ship’s second.

  6. Alan G says:

    Helen – as it happens and now that I think about it – I’m not sure that Spock was ever a Captain? Seems sort of unfair.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Alan G, Spock wouldn’t have been able to understand the crew, he didn’t even understand Kirk, and you’d have had a Cain Mutiny if he’d ever got his captaincy. On the other hand, wouldn’t that have been a series?

  8. mikenicholson says:

    Don’t knock the corduroy, Fowler.
    Michael (Age 49).

    However, the youthful dullard on the left with his purple meets tan approach does depress this correspondent.
    It seems for several years now that fashion (i.e what I see when walking through Hoxton or Brick Lane zones on the boys or girls) = no two items of clothing that match in any way at all. ALSO – I know that they literally all look the same to me, but is this image a repeat use of the same model or am I going barmy? 2nd from the left and far right are the same bloke. . . Or, even now, in some stylishly-lit secret lab in east London, have they actually begun to clone these casualties. . ?

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