I like fashion (sort of). I read Vogue (and by "read", I mean that I flip through the occasional issue, deriding the models, who look like mannequins with their rigid faces, their tight, fat lips, their arms akimbo and their legs stretched). I trawl the internet for shoes. I buy things because they look pretty and then a week later I wonder what I was thinking. I pride myself on having bought a Burberry trench coat for $25 in a Santa Barbara consignment shop when I was 16. Oh yes. I'm a regular little consumer. But. (There is always a but).
Will someone please explain to me the point of garments which serve no practical purpose whatsoever? I don't really mean things like fascinators (though, come to think of it, they baffle me too) or those belts girls wear with a tight skirt that I think are meant to call attention to the narrowness of their waists. I mean things which should, by their very definition, be practical garments, but which have been altered - in the name of fashion, I think - so that they lose all the qualities we value them for.
Basically, I mean short-sleeved coats and open-toed boots. I wear coats and boots, generally, because it's chilly outside and I want a layer between me and the biting English air. So a coat without sleeves is a bit like a house with no roof. A pair of boots with no toe is like a smack in the face. It's like these shoes are saying, Hi, look how pretty we are! We'd be so beautiful in the bleak midwinter, except HAHA! WE WILL GIVE YOU FROSTBITE!
The logical conclusion is that these sorts of fashions are invented by people who have never been cold in their entire lives. I should know - I used to be one of those people. Until I was 17 and moved to Boston and experienced my first lung-achingly cold day, I frolicked happily on the beaches of southern California every winter in a bikini. I'm not sure I owned a pair of shoes that weren't flip-flops. My idea of "wrapping up" was to put my high school hoodie on under a paper-thin blazer. And yeah, if my wardrobe at the time had been sophisticated enough to include coats and boots, I might not have seen anything wrong with short sleeves or open toes.
So maybe we should blame California. But I'm not convinced, because if LA fashionistas invented these silly fads to make a mockery of real winter, to taunt those of us who live in a world of seasons, then why are girls in London and Paris and probably fucking Siberia wearing short-sleeved coats and open-toed boots? I know that fashion is not always sensible (in fact I know it's nearly always deliberately not sensible), but this goes beyond high heels that would rival Dubai's tallest buildings or skirts you can't bend over in. This feels personal, somehow. Fashion - in its most unpleasant form - has seeped into our everyday lives.
It's hard enough to stay warm when you only see the sun once a fortnight for three months. I simply don't see how exposing your toes and your forearms is going to help. So call me old-fashioned, but I'm going to stick with my old trench coat. At least it HAS SLEEVES.