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21st November 2014

Fashion: 1, Me: 0

Chloé Collingwood on when fashion trends just don’t have your back

The things we do for fashion: that time out you have to swap shoes with your friend because your feet are so crippled from a night in your extravagant (and excruciating) high heeled shoes; the “I’m not paying for a cloakroom” attitude that sees you nearly freeze to death on the way home because you didn’t want your jacket masking your carefully put together outfit; the brisk autumn afternoon you brave bare legs because it’s your final chance to wear that slightly summery dress that you love so much. We put ourselves through pains, troubles and stresses for the sake of looking good, so why does fashion have to sometimes be, quite simply, so unforgiving?

Photo: bdhq @Flickr

We all know that fashion is famous for its at times nonsensical trends. Beyoncé’s enormous gold earrings were… interesting, Kim Kardashian’s ‘waist-training’ corset certainly sounded painful and Lady Gaga’s 7-inch heelless shoes were just pain crazy!

I’ve recently even read about some seriously absurd surgical procedures such as foot fillers and toe liposuction to allow women to walk more comfortably in their harrowing 6-inch Louboutins. While I hope no one would ever go as far as this when trying to look good, it does beg the question, can fashion fail us?

In June I was excited to put together an outfit for the Summer of Love themed Pangaea and bought myself a blue vinyl mini skirt. Of course I thought I looked the bee’s knees when I sported this sixties-inspired funky number—until I realised I couldn’t actually sit down. The plastic skirt was anything but practical and I was left grumpy and fed up when after a long night of dancing I couldn’t even sit down on the bus.


My best friend often laughs when she reminds me of my 18th birthday; I had my heart set on a pair of beautiful suede black shoes, but to my despair the shop only had a size 4 left, a whole size smaller than my feet. I was so determined to wear them I carried out my own DIY stretching method using newspaper and I even put Vaseline all over my feet just to get them on. Of course, it wasn’t long into the night that I collapsed on a chair desperate to get them off, and even stumbled out of taxi with them dangling from my hands… classy.

Maybe our style sacrifices are a lesson in how not to buy completely impractical clothes! Or perhaps we will never learn. One thing is for sure; while the best things in fashion may come at a price (and that price may be comfort!) there is always going to be an important place in our wardrobes for our favourite sensible and snuggly clothing. And while those disastrous birthday high heels may have once failed me, the everyday big cosy jumper and easy-peasy leggings never will.

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