Beware! Fashion Speed Bumps Ahead!

Fashion is a funny thing. It goes in cycles – sometimes small cycles and sometimes large ones. It is these cycles that often convince women to keep clothes because ‘they’ll come back into fashion again’.


Yes, you are right. Popular styles do come back into fashion again.

Here is the ‘No’ that most women ignore or do not understand.

I call these recycled styles ‘fashion speed bumps’ because they are designed to make you slow down and think twice. Styles that are recycled are usually short-lived fads and fads are designed for young women. Yes, we were all once young and followed fashion fads. Because these fad fashions are about selling something old as new, they are never exactly as they were last time around. Wear your old style and that is what you will be perceived as – ‘old and out-of-date’.

Here is my guide to four ‘fashion speed bumps’ to approach with caution.

Cargo Pants

These are always in fashion for the outdoor traveller. Wear them without a care in the great outdoors and on that adventure expedition to Africa or Antarctica.

Modern cargo pants are tapered to the ankles with loose elastic and buttons (not full elastic). Tapering is flattering. Wear them if you are tall and slim and look good in them like this model in Simplicity 6055.

There is a big challenge with cargo pants as casual day wear. Yes, it is those large side pockets that make every woman’s thighs look bigger. Ignore this style if your thighs are not one of your best assets. A second problem is the elastic waist with cords tied in a bow. Okay on the young; feels grandma-ish on anyone over 40 (even if no-one sees them).


This time round they do not look like clothes worn by aircraft mechanics. They have tapered legs, are two pieces with sleeveless tops in V or halter necks and come in soft fluid materials like this Vogue 8738 (much easier than unzipping everything to go to the bathroom).

They are great for the slim and fantastic for the tall and slim. Everyone else must drive on. Even in its current two-piece version which looks better with a belt or waist chains, jumpsuits will be short-lived.


Wide Peasant Blouses

Peasant blouses are a summer staple and come in many variations. The ‘fashion speed bump’ variety is the one with wide bat-wing type sleeves that start at the waist as in this Vogue 1245. This style widens and shortens everyone from waist to shoulder. It will make you look dumpy unless you are very tall and it will still widen tall women. Even in elegant colours and fabric, it has ‘beware’ written all over it.


Casual Cork-heeled Slingback Shoes

The modern version of these casual favourites has thicker soles and that makes the heels much higher. The shoes are not the problem. The problem is what you choose to wear them with. Wear them with jeans and they work well. Wear them with a knee-length modern dress and you look okay.

The ‘fashion speed bump’ comes when you wear them with a blouson dress that ends at mid-calf length like this New Look 6024. This style and length looks dowdy with thick heels. It screams ‘pretend young’. Wear with care.



Beware of those clothes you wore for a short time when you were young. They are ‘fashion speed bumps’. Bless them and thank them for your happy memories as you slow down. Then wave as you drive on. There are more flattering styles ahead.

Action Step: Do you want to know which modern styles flatter you. Have a look at My Private Stylist . Then call me. I’ll measure you accurately and I will personalise it for you in a full package with a Style Book you can take with you when you go shopping.


(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 23 February 2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator Ezine.)


One thought on “Beware! Fashion Speed Bumps Ahead!

  1. Pingback: Fashion – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow « The Fashion Translator

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