Fashion circus: everyone under the big top

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And what a racket jeans have become. Jeans companies are perpetuating a transparent fraud in the way they size their garments. In order to attract consumers, someone who usually wears size 10 pants, let’s say, will find that an 8 or even a 6 fits her in jeans. The sizes are skewed so that we customers can buy a smaller size and feel better about ourselves, since we’re all so obsessed about weight.

You need a remedial class to buy a pair of jeans. Do you want skinny or classic or loose-fitting or ankle-length or boot-cut or flared-leg? Do you want cotton or Lycra or brushed velvet or corduroy? Just pick one because next year it will be out of date anyway.

The other “must-have” item this season is fur. Fur!! There are rabbit skins hanging off everything. When did it become OK to drape ourselves in little dead bunnies? Where are the anti-fur activists? Winter sweaters and scarves are prominently displayed, trimmed with dyed rabbit fur. Let your conscience be your guide, but I’m not putting Peter Rabbit on my back.

Since I last shopped, the entire fashion world has shifted to oversized tops. This is to accommodate our oversized population. There are big tops to wear over skirts and big tops to wear over jeans. They come in every color and every size, but the range is large to excessively large. You don’t see many racks of standard-size T-shirts or blouses or sweaters. Everything is loose and forgiving. On the upside, it’s comfortable. On the downside, it’s basically the only choice, and it’s not for everyone.

There used to be a bustle in the department stores that I didn’t see last week. As I wandered through them, I might as well have been visiting clothing museums. The fitting rooms were pretty empty. Many sales stations had no salespeople. My sense is that what I saw is more a function of culture than the economy. People are generally too busy to go to department stores. Many of us, most of the time, shop online or prefer discount stores.
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