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What I know about fashion can be boiled down to one irrefutable truth: Everything you’re wearing, everything you’ve ever worn, and everything you will ever wear again in your life, you are wearing because 10 years ago a professionally thin, professionally cool person wore that thing, and suddenly it became fashion.
Look back at any major fashion trend of the past six decades. “How did we ever think that looked good?” is a question asked by literally anyone who wore skintight bell-bottoms in the ‘60s, the Farrah Fawcett in the ‘70s, neon spandex in the ‘80s, JNCOs in the ‘90s, trucker hats in the 2000s, flower crowns in the early 2010s, and also anyone who has recently purchased a turtleneck sweater with giant holes in the shoulders.
The most recent iteration of this may be our current silhouette of choice: oversized minimalist sacks in a rainbow of beige masquerading as flattering garments. Examples include this objectively atrocious Acne Studios ensemble that if you saw it walking down the street, you would immediately know the person wearing it held some nebulous title with both “creative” and “director” in it. But on a normal person, the effect would be more like “Canadian tuxedoed swamp monster.” Expensive? Yes. Comfortable? Sure, but that’s not why they’re cool. Flattering? Most certainly not, and that’s kind of the point.
And I’m aware that’s a problematic word, flattering. But for a moment let’s put aside the subjectivity of what “looking good” means and agree that models are models because they possess the human bodies most similar in size, shape, and unobtrusiveness to that of a clothes hanger.
Because after all, fashionable clothes aren’t made for the human body; they’re created because they represent ideas that reflect whatever’s cool at the moment. It’s only after we see enough hot, skinny, terrifyingly cool people wearing these clothes that it becomes acceptable for the rest of us with big, messy, lumpy bodies to follow suit and not look like very confused clowns.
Of course, giant ivory smocks are not the sole it-only-reads-if-you’re-hot trend plaguing fashion at the moment. Perv glasses — that’s eyewear on the Terry Richardson spectrum of creepiness — are strictly hot-person-only territory, as are deconstructed luxury shirts, the horrific genre of clothing that looks like what would happen if you gave a German Shepherd a $200 button-down. Also included: silver hair (you have to be pre-natural graying age), vintage-y rugby shirts (you can’t look like an actual rugby player), and that thing where you wear your fanny pack around your shoulder (self-evident).
But fellow normals, fear not. Our time for it to be socially acceptable to wear these extremely-ugly-yet-somehow-cool items is just a few short months away. You probably won’t even notice when it happens. You’ll just be wandering around Zara, and when you spot a pair of vaguely creepily-shaped sunglasses, you will buy them despite their inherent perviness. And in 20 years — or possibly next week — you’ll hate yourself for it.