Leather Pants.


Image - Big Picture

Mischa Barton proving my point


I have a problem with leather trousers. I think it stems from my childhood. My normally stylish mother has a penchant for leather, and an abnormally large collection of leather trousers. For a normally slim and fabulous looking woman she would always look strangely baggy and unkempt in them to me.

As a teenager during my goth days (don’t tell anyone) I used to hang out with a guy who wore the tightest leathers you could imagine, which he was laced in to. The legend was that he hadn’t taken them off in over a year, which by the smell of him I could well believe.

And my relationship with them as an adult hasn’t really changed. I’m suspicious of them – they always seem to bag and cling in the wrong places, even on the slimmest of women.

Please somebody prove me wrong – I love leather jackets, footwear and skirts, but I just can’t get my head around the pants. If you’ll excuse the expression. Here are some perfect examples why:

Acne’s Tapered Leather Trousers

What on EARTH is going on in the crotchal region of this mannequin? If that’s the best Matches could do with a  professional stylist, photographer and pins on a mannequin, what on earth does it look like on a real person? Hideous.

£728 from Matches. Yes really.





Balmain Leather Cargo Pants

It may just be me, but these trousers look like they’ve been made from eco friendly bin bags. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t cost £3170 from Net-a-Porter.







Cheap Monday Faux Leather Trouser

ASOS describe these as ‘Relaxed fit’ – giant arse fit more like. Poor model,  starving herself day in day out only to be styled in a ghastly pair of strides like that. Not one for the portfolio.

£43 here

Office wear FAIL

I had one of those fashion fails today when it wasn’t until I got to work that I realised my outfit might have been a little inappropriate for the office. Now bearing in mind I work in an office full of fashion bunnies, most of whom have never worked somewhere with a dress code, the line between appropriate and inappropriate office attire is sometimes difficult to discern.

I’m a big fan of the socks and sandals look – particularly in this in-betweeny weather when it’s still too hot for tights but bare legs are beginning to look a bit goose bumpy. So my office wear fail outfit today was an All Saints pencil shirt dress just above the knee, black cage platform sandals with long grey socks pulled up to mid thigh. Unfortunately the front of the dress revealed rather more thigh than I felt comfortable with at work, and I don’t think the 4 inch heels helped. I expect this is related to my age.

Anyway, note to self: save the socks and sandals for the weekend, or push them down to mid calf.

Ugh Boots

More years ago than I care to remember there was a bit of a trend at dance festivals for hotpants and furry moonboots. I was a bit surprised to see a few girls rocking this look at LED the other weekend, but fair enough, if there’s ever a good time for bonkers fashion it’s a festival.

But I’m not quite sure when it would be appropriate to wear these Manolo Blahnik Tasava Arctic Boots.

Let’s ignore for a moment quite how hideously ugly they are, and how they’d make your legs from the knee down look as though you were some kind of yeti cross breed. They cost £925. So you’re hardly going to wear them when you’re off your tits reaching for the lasers in a muddy field.

It’s more likely, of course, that they’re intended for the Aspen-bound apres skiier, catching the mountain rays in a retro Prada ski suit.

Apparently they’re made of goat hair. For £925 I want them to be made of real yeti.

If you’re insane, sorry,  tempted they’re available at Liberty, and they also come in white.

Zara.com goes transactional – more of a whimper than a bang

Oh Zara Zara Zara, how can you have got it so wrong?

Zara has always been one of my high street guilty pleasures, with their reasonably priced fashion forward offerings, particularly their footwear. So the news that they were to launch a transactional website in September was pretty exciting for me, if a little worrying for my bank manager.

However I think my bank  manager can rest easily again. The launch on Wednesday seems to have been a soft one, with no online fanfare, and I can absolutely see why. The site was riddled with error messages by Wednesday afternoon, and at the time of writing this post (Sunday afternoon) it seems to be offline altogether.

When I was able to access the site, I tried to make a purchase (purely for professional testing purposes you understand) but was unable to get past the billing address screen. The site appears to have been translated from Spanish, and one of the mandatory fields was ‘Province’. The dropdown list of options included Tower Hamlets and City, my nearest boroughs, but no option for Hackney. I tried their online help, but the live help was down, so emailed them and received a response 3 days later.

As someone who works in online fashion retail, the prospect of big player like  H&M and Zara entering the fray is an unnerving one.  However neither of them seem to have got it right. The H&M site was also due to launch in September, but is now allegedly delayed until next year. Sensibly perhaps, if the Zara site is anything to go by.

The product photography is a bit weird. There are no front views of shoes, and two side views. If you’re trying to buy jeans, there’s no back view, only one side on from the back.  It’s impossible to tell the size of the bags. Perhaps I’m being a little petty, but there’s simply no excuse for getting it wrong any more. There are many examples of good transactional sites out there to copy, you don’t have to make it up as you go along these days.

Excellent customer service and a user friendly website that displays the products to their best advantage isn’t a pipe dream any more, it should be reality. Particularly for big brands with big budgets entering the market at this stage of the game.

I would like to have provided a screenshot to illustrate this post, as marketing look and feel was an area where I thought Zara had actually got it right, but at the moment it would’ve been a screenshot of an error message.

This season’s must-have colour

This season’s must-have colour is, apparently camel. Now I was hitherto unaware that camel was in fact a colour, believing it to be a rather unprepossessing four legged humped animal mostly found hanging around in deserts.

Whenever I hear a preposterous adjective being bandied about to describe a colour I can’t help but imagine a meeting at a paint company where over enthusiastic marketing execs sit round a boardroom table shouting.  “Emerald is just SO last year, this season it’s all about spinach.”

I can see where my imaginary marketing execs struggled with this one.  There really aren’t many sexy sounding options for the light yellowish-brown shade that’s dominating the high street and fash mags at the moment.  Fawn, anyone?

I object on principle to being told what colour I should wear – unless, of course, it’s black – but CAMEL?? You might as well tell me I should be wearing donkey.


Beyonce in St Tropez with Jay Z

Beyonce, what WERE you thinking? Migraine-inducing clashing patterns, animal print bag with matching animal print sunnies and vest, heaps of bling and those shorts.

I don’t care if you’re one of the sexiest women in the world, those shorts are doing you absolutely no favours. For someone who normally looks so well put together the whole sorry combo looks like you got dressed in the dark after an explosion at Primark.


With thanks to The Fashion Police

M&S Fail

My favourite comment after this post on the M&S Facebook page: them pants are defo not in, they’re mingin

Well said.

Barking Mad

Dachshund crystal embellished clutch

I have a confession to make. I don’t really ‘get’ handbags. Well that’s not entirely true – as a female I obviously have to carry around an unbelievable amount of crap at all times (iphone, blackberry, makeup, purse, pens, book, water, cigarettes, cuddly toy), and I appreciate a nice bag to keep it in, but my appreciation is nothing like the obsession I have with shoes. Whilst I own enough pairs of shoes to wear a different pair every day for the rest of my life, my handbag collection is far more modest.

What I really don’t understand about handbags is the price. A new season Gucci or Mulberry bag can easily cost £3,000. That’s THREE GRAND. Seriously? For that price it would have to do my shopping for me, and make the bloody tea. I live in Hackney for god’s sake – if the bag I was carrying was worth more than the entire contents I’d have to handcuff it to my wrist.

Clutches are the worst culprits – too small to carry anything beyond your lippy and an Oyster card, have to be carried, and frankly, if you’re in any way a big girl, the scale comparison is not going to do you any favours.

This Dachshund crystal embellished clutch by Judith Leiber, available at Net-a-Porter for £4,295, is a perfect example. Yes you did read that right. This horrible dog-shaped tiny impractical sparkly bag will set you back more than £4,000.

I am completely baffled what kind of woman would want to own something like this. Carrying a bag shaped like a dog is the sort of thing 14 year old girls might do, but even they would want it to be large enough to be able to actually carry things in.

Maxi Monsters

Noelle Adam Peacock Halter Maxi Dress from ASOS

I’m so over maxi dresses. This is the third summer on the trot the gods of fashion have decreed we’re all to swathe ourselves in billowing fabric, and I still don’t get it. They’re just so WAG, and so darn lazy. And why do they have to come in such hideous fabrics?

This ASOS example demonstrates the crime amply. Horrible fabric, shapeless, so long you can’t even see her feet, and it costs £180.

Just why are so many women so keen to dress like pregnant hippies? If you’re under six foot then don’t even think about it. You’ll simply be swallowed up by all that fabric.

And this year the maxi has got so long I’m seeing girls tripping over their ridiculous hems all over town.

The fabrics have become so hideous, with ruffles and sequins and beads and multiple colours – you wouldn’t consider wearing such a monstrosity in normal dress proportions, why on earth would you want to drape yourself in it when it’s the size of a tent?

I guess I can understand the temptation to cover any perceived sins with a billowing dress, and if you’re wandering along a Mediterranean beach with flowing hair and flipflops I’m all for it – but they look ridiculous in London.

Please can we all go back to wearing normally proportioned clothes. Another reason to look forward to Autumn.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Models

ASOS Kaftan Sleeve Maxi Dress

I feel quite sorry for the girls who model for ASOS. Actually being a model at all doesn’t really appeal, having watched the castings where they’re poked and prodded and critiqued, but I imagine at ASOS they’re also kept in a basement somewhere, fed on bread and water, and forced in a kind of model production line in and out of outfit after outfit. And some of the outfits….

Someone should set up society for the prevention of cruelty to models.

ASOS’s own brand clothes have improved no end recently, but on occasion they still come up with a corker. Like this pink chiffon maxi dress. Beautiful girl, looks utterly fed up being swamped by this shapeless monstrosity.

Kaftan Sleeve Maxi Dress, £55 from ASOS

The stylist clearly hated this girl, here she is again in a dress I’m struggling to find the words to describe. Let’s stick with horrible for now.

Cappuccino Frill One Shoulder Dress

The Cappuccino Frill One Shoulder Dress is £120 from ASOS Black. Ouch.

Spot Print Dipped Side Tunic

This poor model didn’t fare much better. What is that top?? What is it doing to her boobs? Not one for the portfolio I suspect.

Spot Print Dipped Side Tunic £26 from ASOS.