My eight year-old son has now brought home a fashion, that we first saw long ago in our London photographic studio, when hip photographers would be wearing their jeans at half mast, with acceptably labelled boxers just about covering their extremities. Now my son has a complicated ensemble to put together each morning: briefs first, then fancy boxers with Spiderman on in sateen material that a friend gave him for his birthday and he loves, followed at last by jeans. Happily for me he hasn’t quite mastered the art of wearing the jeans halfway down his legs, so he achieves the requisite look by hoisting the boxers up above the waistband of the jeans and is satisfied with that.
Back in the eighties when straight men wore kohl eyeliner and we all had floppy fringes, fashion was fun. It was all about dressing up, as a pirate, clown or eighteenth century beau. It was colourful and outrageous. I embraced two tone tights (do you remember those – one leg black, the other hot pink or white! I took note of Charlotte’s fashion note and agree with her, but then the eighties never were a matter of good taste!), baggy trousers, ra-ra skirts, later I rifled charity shops for mens pyjamas and petticoats as day wear. Now it seems to me that fashion has lost its zest, become a matter of style dictates and taste rules, an awful lot of them laid down by self-appointed authorities Trinny and Susannah. I agree we mostly looked pretty terrible then but we enjoyed it and there was room for creative expression and individuality in our dress! Now it feels more like a uniform we must don, femininity denoted by a sparkly belt, individuality limited to one tasteful bauble around our necks. So if leggings and miniskirts do have to come back in, let the teenagers enjoy them, preferably in clashing gaudy colours.. I might just get out those clown trousers with rainbow braces, that I never did throw out and embarrass the kids by wearing them again!