Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Wednesday
Apr052006

No Passion For Fashion


Wouldn't you know fashion would decide to go ahead and lap itself the month I turn 29? As if knocking on thirty's door ain't enough, I need THAT reminder of just how very old I've become?

Yoohooooo, remember me? C'mon, it's me, your jeans circa 1988. Remember us? We could never be pegged tight enough? Oh god. Noooooo! It's the pants that would slip easily over my then narrow ass but would balk stubbornly when it came to sliding my foot through the ankle..

At the tender age of 14, after perusing polaroids of my mom at the same age, squinting into a 1970 sun, the cuffs of her gargantuan bell bottoms pooling over her chunky clogs, I swore to the fashion demigods that I would never, EVER be caught in such an atrocity as pants that FLARED. Like, hideous.

***cut to me trouncing to my theater arts class at the University of Utah, bell bottoms floating over a pare of platforms nearly identical to the ones my mom wore***

Eventually I stopped ringing the bell, settled into a stylish (I thought) pant of the boot cut variety. See, I have Short Girl Complex and rockin' the bells helps elongate my little frog kicker legs.. I can wear sky-high platforms or stilletos, then, together, the long pants and I look taller.. But now..

Damn you Mischa Barton and your leggy lope in the skinny jean! I condemn you to hell needle thin Nicole Richie with the tight pants! And Sienna Miller with your tapered, pencil cut jeans! You're choosing to bring back the tapered jean? On purpose? But the flair balanced out the hip.. Now my pear shape will be on sad display, hips miles wider than my tightly bound ankles. The only way to take off pants at night will involve pulling the waist down and off first, turning the jean inside out, sitting down and yanking them from my choking ankles.

If they start putting little denim bows above zippered ankles and leg warmers begin making appearances, I don't think I'll make it to the Fall Collection alive.

Reader Comments (17)

Well I work in the mall, and so far our fall fashion preview does NOT include leggings! I am not sure which was worse, leggings or stirrup pants!
Bootcut is still in, flare is slowly going out! I don't think we will totally get down to tapered leg. Right now the only ladies asking for tapered legs are middle-aged to older women who don't want to look "young" or say they are too old for that wide leg!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
You can pretty much guarantee if the magazines are full of the perfectly skeletal stars wearing 'skinny' jeans that is what will be available in the stores without much choice to help consumers avoid buying them. I have already seen many a perfect body stomping down the streets of downtown Vancouver wearing the said 'skinny' jean. All I know is my ass just won't allow it! My jeans and I will have to tread on the outside of cool until this recycled trend is forgotten.
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
Girl I know what you mean about treading on the outside of cool! Have you seend GAUCHOS?? OH MY LORD! Those are culottes, no matter how you put it!
They are super popular, and it takes a special kind of body to wear them! I am really tall and they look like shorts that are too long on me! LOL They are hideous! I have one pair, that is b/c they are made longer, they look OK, but just OK! That is one trend I am trying my hardest to AVOID!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
I guess for guys its easy.... Levi's 501 perfected the jean in the early 1900's .... just as Chuck Taylor perfected the shoe...man it just can't get easier
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
I think there is something intrinsically wrong with me. . . I don't own any, but I love leg warmers. (I saw an old Chinese lady wearing some the other day. . . )

I am pretty sure that so called "skinny jeans" would make me look more like a beach-ball with feet than skinny at this point.

Speaking of '80's flash-back fashion - What's with all of these flat shoes (ugh - And those wedge heels).

Maybe I am just old and bitter, but I am not liking the current fashion trends right now.
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPhoe
I am loving all your illustrated entries...graphic genius! Yesterday I saw a woman wearing giant denim overalls. For a second, in my head, I became a total snarky bitch and then, clunking one step at a time in my high heels, I realized how stupid that was. Overalls! Yes!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Dude, no mocking! Overalls are THE most forgiving clothing item EVER. I owned a giant pair of denim Gap overalls for most of my developmental years. They served me well *wipes tear*

Leg warmers. Yuck! What IS with the flat slippers? That's an affront to short girls everywhere.. WE NEED PLATFORMS!
April 6, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
Jen - I am really tall too...and 'gauchos' just look like I have put on a pair of jeans that fit me when I was 10 years old - every step I take in them make my knobby yet chubby knees (a mind blowing combo) peak out. I believe the operative word is 'yuck.' And don't get me started on the flat 'ballerina' shoes. They make my feet look like the titanic. Heels all the way for me - even though they do make my husband and I look like a homelier version of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
I have a funny story about the tapered leg jeans. A year/year and a half ago I lost about 20 pounds (which I've since gained back, but let's not discuss that) and I very proudly fit into some jeans that I hadn't fit into in years. I wore them everywhere and three of my friends did not compliment me on my weight loss and how well my jeans fit, but instead laughed at how out of style I looked. I was finally shamed out of wearing them and bought myself several pairs of sylish flared and boot cut pants. And I loved them! They were so flattering! Now I can't stand the way the tapered leg jeans look. And, wouldn't you know it, but a few months later and they're coming back in style. Does this make me ahead of the trends or behind them? Ah, screw it. I don't care. I'm sticking with my flares!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Flare lovers unite!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
I have only posted on here once before, but I feel compelled to stand up for two fashion trends that are taking some serious hits. First, leg warmers are brilliant. They started their comeback here in Chicago a few years ago and I was extremely resistant at first. I will concede that they look a little pretentious and flashdance, but they are one of the only things that will allow you to even consider wearing a skirt in Chicago in the winter. It's not as if you have to keep them on all day, but they are absolutely necessary when one is in transit. I am a proud leg warmer owner (in 3 different colors). I am also a huge fan of flat shoes and I am also a short girl (who is perpetually surrounded by the extremely tall. My best friend is a 6' tall waifish woman and my boyfriend is 6'7") I have absolutely no qualms about my diminutive 5'3" stature. I am all about being short. And, thanks to the smaller feet that have come with my smaller frame, flats look totally cute on me (as compared to looking like a life boat on my friends with larger feet). However, if we are talking the "sam & libby" flats, complete with toe bow...there is just no defense for anyone wearing those now or 20 years ago. They were a mistake the minute sam & libby put the design on paper.
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Oh to be short and proud instead of feeling like a stalky athlete who could give gymnastic Olympic hopefuls a run for their money... without the rock hard ass, of couse...

Leg warmers.. eh.. okay. I see the function in cold weather - BUT, I draw the line at ear muffs dammit!
April 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Now, we are definitly on common ground with the muffs. Without a doubt, they serve no purpose. They don't preserve any necessary body heat and they make you look like a complete jerk. My personal pet peeve is the corporate airbags that wear the around-the-back-of-the-neck muffs so they don't mess up their overly sculpted hair. Get a hat!
April 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
I am resisting the skinny jeans craze with everything in me. I spent too much money on boot cuts to leave them now.
April 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
I'm a short boot-cut girl. Recently I gave in and bought a pair of skinny jeans with a zipper at the ankles. They're a light blue/gray wash with a low rise waist. I have a bad feeling this trend will be over before I get a chance to really wear them. Rockers have been wearing them for years, so maybe I'm safe in that crowd. I've been eye-ing the black leggings but am afraid to buy them even if for wearing under a dress or skirt. I never wear dresses or skirts anyway. Why would I start now? Should I just buy a pair and keep them in my drawer in case they come back in 20 more years?
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
I'm a short boot-cut girl. Recently I gave in and bought a pair of skinny jeans with a zipper at the ankles. They're a light blue/gray wash with a low rise waist. I have a bad feeling this trend will be over before I get a chance to really wear them. Rockers have been wearing them for years, so maybe I'm safe in that crowd. I've been eye-ing the black leggings but am afraid to buy them even if for wearing under a dress or skirt. I never wear dresses or skirts anyway. Why would I start now? Should I just buy a pair and keep them in my drawer in case they come back in 20 more years?
September 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Ah, my theory comes to fruition. Precisely because middle age women 30+ these days, look so good in boot cuts is the reason they're suddenly out of style. Boot cuts are the new tapered leg jeans of past seasons. LOL. Once anything gets old folk dust on 'em, they have to go. Youth refuses to look like it's elders and fashion caters to youth. Myself, I will never wear skinny jeans. I can't anymore, I've got hips now and the boot cuts just look so fab and fit over the boots I love. Thus far, I've only see Punk kids wearing the skinny leg. I hope it stays with them. And leggings, those are atrocious. For once I wish fashion ave would come up with something that's not retro. After 80s retro what's next? The fifties again? Give me a break.
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDonalda

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