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Why We Don’t Follow the Red Carpet Any More


Amber writes…

Last night’s Golden Globe Awards made me heave a huge sigh of relief: not because of who won, or what they wore, mind you – I actually don’t have a clue who won, or what they wore. No, I was relieved simply because this year, as with the past couple of years, I don’t have to pretend to care about it.

No more late nights, trawling through image agencies, trying to work out who designed each celebrities dress, and get a blog post up about it ASAP. No more scratching my head and wondering what on earth to say about a sea of evening gowns that all start to look identical after a while. No more waiting for the backlash that always followed the expression of any kind of opinion whatsoever – negative OR positive – on a celebrity’s appearance. No more of any of that.

I realise I’m the odd one out here, and that my position is a particularly strange one given that I own a blog called The Fashion Police, but the fact is, I’m just not particularly interested in red carpet fashion. Oh, there’s the occasional dress that takes my breath away, and makes me wish I had a reason to wear something like it, but the fact is, I don’t – which is why I don’t find it all that interesting. What celebrities wear on the red carpet has no more relevance to my life than what sheep shearers wear in the outback: sure, I can admire the outfits from afar, and there’s some fun to be had in that, but I know I’m never going to have to wear any of them – and even if I did, I wouldn’t look like those immaculate women, with their perfect hair and makeup, and their figures honed through hours of workouts with an expensive personal trainer.

I understand that red carpet fashion appeals to people in a “how the other half live” kind of way  – or even just in a “look at the amazing clothes”, kind of way, which is why it’s important to say here that I’m not knocking anyone who loves this kind of stuff, and I do understand why they like it. But for myself, I’ve always been much more interested in what REAL people wear, in situations I can relate to. Or even what celebrities wear in their down-time: the clothes they picked out themselves, with the hair and makeup they threw on before heading out the door.

On the red carpet, you don’t see any of that. You see celebrities wearing borrowed clothes (not even they can afford to buy a different couture gown for every event of awards season, knowing they’ll never be able to wear it again without being ridiculed in the fashion press), and with professionally done hair and makeup: and, for me at least, that’s just not relatable. I said earlier in this post that I wouldn’t ever look like a celebrity on the red carpet, but that’s only true if you assume I had to buy my own dress and do my own hair. I guess if I was lent a gown by Oscar de la Renta, and had a top makeup artist and hair stylist to get me ready to the cameras, I’d have a much better chance of looking OK – and none of that would be anything to do with me at all.

That’s why I love the airport outfits over the red carpet gowns. I’m fascinated by what an actress or model wore on a quick Starbucks run, but not so much on what she wore to an event which she was “dressed” for. More than that, I’m interested in what people like you and me wear to those places: to the airport, to the coffee shop, to work. Those are the outfits that inspire me: the ones I might draw some inspiration from, and maybe even end up buying, because they’re much more likely to be in my price range.

And that’s why you won’t find any more red carpet coverage here at The Fashion Police. There hasn’t been for a while now, I know, but I figured some of you might like to know some of the reasoning behind that decision. There are plenty of sites out there offering that kind of commentary, after all, so if you love looking at red carpet looks, you’ll have no shortage of options: and when you’re done, don’t forget to come back and check out some everyday fashion, for people like us.


What online retailers can learn from Fever London’s ‘Perfect Fit’ campaign

Fever London Perfect Fit Models

Fever London’s five ‘Perfect Fit’ models

Every time the “real women” Vs “anorexic models” (we hate both of those terms, but they’re the ones that tend to be bandied about…) comes up, we find ourselves thinking that what the fashion world REALLY needs isn’t plus-sized models instead of super-skinny ones: it’s a RANGE of models, of various different sizes and heights, so we can better imagine what the clothing would look like on US, whatever size or shape we happen to be.

Well, this month Fever London have done just that. They recently ran a Facebook contest, with the aim of finding five “real” women to model the brand’s clothes, with each model showcasing a different size. The five ‘Perfect Fit’ models (one of whom just happens to be one of our favourite UK fashion bloggers, the fabulous Not Dressed as Lamb) wear UK sizes 8 – 16, and have done a great job of showing how Fever’s vintage-inspired styles look on their different shapes.

We love this idea, and while it would presumably be impractical for brands to shoot ALL of their clothes on a variety of different models in this way, it’s refreshing to see someone attempt it, even if it’s just a one-off. And if it’s not possible to take this kind of approach all the time, here are some other ways online retailers can help us decide whether or not to order their clothes:

1. Show the clothes on a real, live person, rather than a mannequin

The Fever campaign reminded us how much more appealing clothes can be when you see them on a person, rather than on an oddly-shaped plastic mannequin, or – worse – just kind of floating there in mid-air. Clothes hang totally differently, and can be completely transformed simply by being worn, so let’s see your clothes fulfil the purpose they’re designed for, retailers!

2. Tell us the model’s height and size

We’re not asking for her actual weight, but some stores (ASOS, Shopbop and Fever themselves) do state the model’s height in their item descriptions, and also tell us which dress size she’s wearing. OK, you may look nothing like the model, but this information is nevertheless useful when it comes to working out which size you should go for, or whether you should buy that item at all. If the model is 5″11, for instance, and the dress she’s wearing reaches her calves, you can at least work out that it’ll be even longer on your shorter self…

3. Show us the item from different angles

ASOS provides a video of their models on a runway; Shopbop films them doing a little twirl; Zara photographs them from the back, and from the side. All of these angles help us see what the item REALLY looks like, and video is particularly helpful, as we can also see how it falls, moves, and what it looks like when it hasn’t been pinned to the model.

4. Allow users to post reviews

We don’t know about you, but we trust our fellow shoppers more than we trust the people who are trying to sell us the clothes. Sites which allow users to post reviews seem more transparent, and the information in the reviews can also be really helpful when it comes to working out whether the item runs true-to-size, or looks like it does in the product shots.

These are just four things we like to see on retail websites: what kind of features help persuade you to make a purchase?


Five US fashion brands we’d love to see in the UK

US fashion brands we'd love to see in the UK

What do J. Crew, Banana Republic and Forever 21 all have in common (other than the fact that they all sell clothes, obviously)?

They’re all US-based brands… which operate UK-based websites, allowing those of us here in dear old Blighty to shop from them without paying extortionate shipping and customs fees.

Note that this is not the same thing as simply offering international shipping options, which many brands do these days: it means that these stores all have UK versions of their websites, with the items priced in pounds Sterling, and shipped from UK warehouses. True, the product range isn’t always as wide as on the US versions of their sites, but we’re willing to forgive that given the other benefits. The fact is, you see, international shipping is all well and good (and it’s something that many of our readers clamour for from some of the British brands we feature here), but when it comes down to it, it’s probably not something most international shoppers use on a regular basis, because it has huge drawbacks, namely:

1. The shipping cost can be very high: sometimes almost as much (or even more) than the item you’re ordering.

2. The item can take a long time to arrive, and even if tracking is available, it’s still easier for the item to get lost in transit.

3. Customs fees. They can be prohibitively expensive, and when you’ve already paid through the nose to ship your item internationally, the last thing you want is to be hit with another almost-as-high-as-the-ticket-price charge once it gets to the UK.

While we definitely appreciate having the option of international shipping from the retailers we love, then (After all, it’s not THEIR fault that it costs so much to send something overseas), it’s something that we only tend to use for items we really, REALLY love: and even then, we’ll use it only when we’ve exhausted all other options of finding the thing closer to home. This is why we’ve really welcomed the move in recent years for some of the larger US brands to recognise the demand from the UK and cater to it by launching their own dedicated UK websites. (Similarly, some UK brands like Topshop, for instance, have done the same thing, by opening US websites). While we recognise that this isn’t something ALL retailers are in a position to do (so this post definitely isn’t intended as a complaint), there are some we’d REALLY love to see available in these shores. Here’s our top five:

1. Old Navy

Old Navy

Their stablemates Gap and Banana Republic both have UK websites, which gives us hope that Old Navy’s brand of affordable basics might one day follow suit: mostly so we can grab ourselves a pair of those anchor-print pants, let’s be honest. So far there’s no sign of that happening, sadly: the US site does offer international shipping, though, so we’ll have to be content with that for now.

2. The Limited

The Limited

The Fashion Police have a lot of love for The Limited, most of it dating from this summer, when they went all nautical on us. We never can resist a good anchor print: see ‘Old Navy’, above. Again, these items tend to be reasonably priced, and range from casual basics to workwear, with the odd party-appropriate piece thrown in. As with Old Navy, The Limited does ship internationally, so we’re not totally deprived of their offerings.

3. Zappos

It’s long been a bone of contention for us that the internet’s biggest shoe store doesn’t even offer international shipping, let alone a dedicated UK site. The product range at Zappos is probably much too large to offer all of it to other countries, but SOME kind of international option shouldn’t be too much to ask for, should it?

4. Target

OK, so Target isn’t technically a clothes store – or, at least, it’s not JUST a clothes store – and we’re not asking them to move EVERYTHING they sell overseas, but we’d love to have access to some of those designer collaborations they’ve become so well known for, and at the moment, overpriced-on-eBay is the only way to do that, as the brand doesn’t ship outside of the United States: boo!

Ann ATaylor LOFT


Loft recently started shipping to the UK : prices are given in GBP and they also allow you to pre-pay import duties, which is awesome, because it means you can work out exactly how much your order will cost, with no unpleasant surprises from customs. The final step would be to allow us to cut out the duties altogether: pretty please?

In closing, we just want to re-state that this post is a Wish List, rather than a complaint: it’s obviously expensive and logistically difficult for brands to start operating in a whole new territory, so we’re in no way saying we expect these brands to do that – just that we’d be thrilled if they did!

So, who’s on YOUR wish list?

Regardless of where you live, we’re sure there are brands you’d love to shop from, but can’t: either because they don’t ship to your country at all, or because the cost is prohibitively expensive. Who are they? Who would you love to be able to buy from, if location was taken out of the equation?

Crimes of Fashion, Featured Posts, Opinion

Ten fashion trends we hate right now…

shocked retro woman discussing fashion trends we hate

… and by “we”, we mean “you”. Last week we asked our Twitter friends which fashion trends they wish would roll over and die already. Here’s what they said:

1. Adult Onesies

Can we just pause for a minute to say how happy we are to know that it’s NOT JUST US who hates the adult onesies thing? We know they’re “so comfy!” (When you’re using the same argument people commonly use to defend Crocs, though, it’s probably not going to convince us…), and yes, they DO allow you to dress up like a fluffy-wuffy bunny wabbit, but we’re still pretty perplexed by their ongoing popularity.  People, you CAN be comfortable without dressing like a giant toddler. No, really, you can, we promise.

On the other hand, people tend to wear these in the privacy of their own home (Although not always, sadly: it’s not uncommon here at Fashion Police HQ to see a teenager wandering down the street wearing either a “PJs and Uggs” combo, or some kind of onesie…), so who are we to tell them not to? if you love adult onesies, you’ll find our ultimate roundup here.

While we’re on the subject:

2. PJs in public

It takes less than 2 minutes to quickly pull on some REAL clothes, so unless you have an ACTUAL emergency on your hands, we’re begging you: please don’t go out in public wearing the clothes you slept in last night.

3. Leggings

Some of our Twitter friends hated leggings worn as pants. Some hated leggings with bold patterns on them (is there another kind right now? Because sometimes we wonder…). Mostly we get the impression you all just hate leggings, period. We hear you. We actually like leggings when they’re one solid colour and not being worn as pants (as long as there’s some form of crotch-covering we’re good with them…), but they’re one of those items that are just SO EASY to get wrong. And people so often do, don’t they?

we hate patterned leggings

4. Wedge sneakers

This one came up more than once. Wedge sneakers, you are hearby banished: go back to the 90s, where you came from, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

5. “Pattern mixing”

There’s a reason why people who aren’t fashion bloggers or self-professed fashionistas don’t mix patterns, you know. It’s because it normally looks like ass. Sure, there are people out there who can do it, and do it well, and if you’re one of them, more power to you. We most often see this described as “challenging” (sometimes it’s even done as part of a challenge) and honestly, getting dressed in the morning shouldn’t really BE a challenge… should it?

6. Peplum

Now, as we mentioned recently, we’re fans of the peplum, which is a true friend to those of us who carry our weight on our stomachs and don’t necessarily want the world to know it. But this list is about what YOU hate, not (necessarily) what WE hate, and some of you hate peplums, so peplums are on the list.

pattern mixing

7. Python print

It became the “trendy” animal skin of the season. We hated it. So did some of our Twitter friends. Did you?

8. Neon

We firmly believe that neon looks good on no one. You will probably never change our minds on this.

9. Bubble necklaces

Another Twitter suggestion. We don’t dislike bubble necklaces in themselves, but when you’ve been seeing them on every single outfit blog for months on end, well, it does get old…

10.  High-low hems

If you can use the word “mullet” to describe it, it’s probably a crime of fashion. Truth.

Which fashion trends do you hate right now?

Image © Seenad | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images


Fashion words and phrases we love to hate

Many long years ago (well, in 2009. Which is long enough to count as “vintage”, according to some eBay sellers we could mention…), we wrote a post on the five fashion phrases we hated at the time. Looking back on that post now, all we can think is, “Why did we stop at five?” There are so many annoying and over-used words and phrases in the world of fashion, and lots of new ones have been coined since 2009, so we figured it was time to update the list and give you some new fashion words to hate. In order to do this, we consulted The Oracle: or, as you might know it, “Twitter“. Here are the fashion words and phrases that are most annoying our Twitter friends right now…and we can’t promise we’ve never used any of them ourselves…

Amazeballs, totes amaze and other annoying fashion words and phrases

Real Woman

We put this one at the top of the list, not just because it came up a few times on Twitter, but because it’s our own number one pet peeve. This isn’t solely a “fashion” thing, but in the media/world in general for a few years now, the phrase “real woman” has been used to refer to anyone with “curves”. (Which is actually annoying in its own right: not all larger figures are “curvy”….) Listen up, people: large women are not any more REAL than small women. WE ARE ALL REAL WOMEN.This could – and quite possibly SHOULD – be a post in itself, so we’ll stop there for now, but please, we beg of you: stop insulting everyone’s intelligence with the implication that there is only one “right” weight/bodyshape out there, and that anyone who doesn’t meet this implied standard is somehow not REAL.

Amazeballs/ Totes Amaze

We lumped these two together because we figured out that really any usage of the non-word “amaze” would annoy us just a little. We mostly hear “amazeballs” used ironically (although not always), but “totes amazes” has plagued the fashion world for a while now. It’s totes annoying.

Bang on Trend

This was on our previous list, but it’s still being used, and it still gets “bang” on our nerves, so it made it onto this one, too. Congratulations, “bang on trend”: an oldie, but a baddie!

From the amazeballs @dolly_clackett come the following additions to our annoying fashion words and phrases list…

Twitter conversation about annoying fashion words and phrases

Pop of Colour

So overused is this phrase that it sometimes feels there must be no other possible way to describe the addition of a brightly coloured accessory to an otherwise monochrome outfit. It’s a pop of annoyance in an otherwise inoffensive article.


For some people, shopping is like hunting. “I went to J. Crew and totes managed to snag the last one in my size!” they’ll say. Those brave, intrepid souls. And when they return from the hunt, they often return with a…


You’ve all seen “haul” videos, haven’t you? They’re when girls go to Primark and return with bags full of stuff, which they then parade in front on the Internet in the form of a You Tube video. Some people find these “hauls” an interesting insight into other people’s lives and shopping habits, in the same way that a glance inside someone’s handbag or fridge can tell you something about their personality. Others find them to be nauseating displays of conspicuous consumption. Would it be any better if they just called it “shopping”, rather than describing it as a “haul”? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.

On the subject of Primark, however:

awesomesauce, and other fashion phrases people hate


We’ve never really been sure whether people call Primark “Primarni” because they think it’s funny, or because they think it makes it sound “posher”. Possibly a bit of both. We’d dwell on this for longer, but…


Awesomesauce. Awesome. Sauce. Awesome. Sauce. The more you say it, the stranger it sounds…


In order to get the full impact of this one, it really has to be written as OBSESSED, and used in relation to an item of clothing. “Do you like my new dress?” “OMG OBSESSED.” Look, punks, you’re not “obsessed” with a dress. “Obsessed” is when you think about something all day, every day, pin posters of it to your wall, join its fan club, and maybe indulge in a bit of gentle stalking of it at the weekend. It’s also when you find yourself on the wrong end of a restraining order. If you feel all that over a dress/shoe/top/whatever, then… you probably didn’t even read this far, did you? You’re probably thinking about that dress again…


Everyone’s a geek these days, aren’t they? “Oh, lookit me, checking my iPhone again: I’m such a nerd!” “I was totally geeking out over that TV show that everybody and their cat watches: tee hee, I’m such a dork!” Listen. You are not a “geek” just because you have a pair of Warby Parker glasses. You’re not a nerd because you play a lot of Candy Crush Saga, or watch the same mainstream TV show that everyone else is currently “obsessed” (see above) with. And you’re definitely not a “dork” just because it says so on your shirt:

man in dork t-shirt

Not a dork.

 Ironically, identifying yourself as a nerd/geek/dork has become so trendy over the past few years, that the original meanings of those words has been completely changed. Everyone wants to tell you how much of a “geek” they are. The fact is, though, that if you go around constantly declaring yourself to be “OMG such a nerd!”… you’re probably not a nerd. If you have to say it, you ain’t it. So stop telling us you’re nerds, you bunch of dorks. Seriously.

But seriously… we don’t really “hate” fashion words

In closing, we should probably make it clear at this point that we don’t actually HATE words. That would be silly. And if you happen to use any of these words or phrases, then please rest assured that we don’t hate you either, because that would be even sillier (especially given that we’ve almost certainly used some of them here at some point). You are totes amaze, you see, and we’re, like, OBSESSED with how much of a nerd you are. Also, have you been working out? And did we mention how GORGE your hair looks today? No, seriously: as always, our tongues are firmly inserted in our cheeks with this list, and no offence is intended, so please don’t take it personally. And before you go, tell us:

Which fashion words and phrases do YOU hate?

(Thanks to everyone on Twitter who made suggestions for this post!)


Three So-Called Wardrobe Essentials you *DON’T* have to own

wardrobe essentials

[Image: M&Co]

We’ve all seen those lists of so-called “wardrobe essentials”, right? They’re the items we’re told every woman should own – and they’re always full of things we don’t want, don’t need, and don’t think every other woman in the entire world wants or needs either.

OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. We do agree with some of the items that always seem to crop up on those lists, but there are three in particular that we always take issue with. Here are the three “wardrobe essentials” we DON’T think you all need to own. Feel free to add your suggestions, too…

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Why Dressing Up Is Not a Crime of Fashion

Why dressing up is not a crime of fashion[Image: Next]

 “Ooh, what are you all dressed up for?” “Got a job interview or something?” “Lookit you, all fancy!”

If you’re  even remotely interested in fashion, then chances are you like to have a little bit of fun with your outfits, and wear something other than the standard-issued jeans or sweats from time to time. And if you do that, then you’re probably pretty familiar with the phrases above – or ones just like them.

These days, you see, anything other than the most casual of clothing is considered “dressy”. Decided to wear a skirt today rather than jeans? You must have either a date, or a job interview! Thrown on an old cotton sundress, because it was too hot for anything else? Why, you’re “all dressed up”, and you’re going to be hearing about it all the livelong day!

The thing is, people don’t just comment on what they perceive to be a “dressy” outfit. They comment negatively about it. Thanks to what we think of as “The Cult of Casual” (a society where jeans are seen as the solution to every sartorial problem, and people have no issue with being seen in public in their pyjamas), “dressing up” is very much looked down upon by some people. If they suspect, rightly or wrongly, that someone has made more than the usual amount of effort with their appearance, they’re going to make a big old deal about it, and leave the dresser-upper in no doubt that they’ve done something wrong, and are being judged accordingly.

 Why is this? Why are people so obsessed with being “casual”, and so horrified by the idea of someone willingly “dressing up”?

(We use the phrase “dressing up” in inverted commas here, because it tends to be applied to pretty much ANYTHING other than jeans or sweats. You may think that ancient skirt and sweater combo is anything BUT “dressy”, but to the Casual Cult, it’s not denim, and it doesn’t have legs, so it’s automatically “fancy”…)

There are a few possible reasons for this. One is simply that it makes some people feel uncomfortable to be around someone who they perceive to have made more of an effort than they have. They feel somehow wrong-footed, and wonder if perhaps THEY should have “dressed up” too, so as not to feel out of place.

Other times, however, it’s the “making an effort” bit that’s the problem. It’s not really cool to make an effort with your appearance these days, is it? In some quarters, anyone who’s interested in fashion, or makeup, or appearance in general, will instantly be dismissed as vain, vacuous and, well, a bit of a joke, really.

Well, we think it’s time to set the record straight:

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Fashion News, Opinion

‘Women should be slim for their men but not Size Zero’ says a founder of London Fashion Week


The Chief of Police writes…

Yesterday morning, I received a press release which I’m still not totally convinced wasn’t supposed to be a joke – or deliberately controversial at the very least.

Women should be slim for their men but not Size Zero’ says a founder of London Fashion Week,” begins the release (issued by Hillgrove PR), before going on to quote Achilleas Constantinou, “Founder of London Fashion Week and Ariella Couture”, who has some, er, interesting views on women.

“Being a healthy, acceptable weight for one’s partner is a consideration that all women, particularly followers of fashion should consider,” says Constantinou, who’d like to see “size 0” models banned from the runway. “An ideal weight is the goal. An ideal weight for health and an ideal weight to appease your partner”.

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Thylane Loubry Blondeau: is a 10-year-old too young to model adult fashion?

This is Thylane Loubry Blondeau. She’s ten years old, and she appeared in a deliberately-provocative editorial in French Vogue last December, which appeared to be intended to play with the idea of “dress up”, and perhaps to satirize the fashion industry’s obsession with youth.

The images in question, however, have caused something of a stir, with some people arguing that, however knowingly it was done, the sexualization of ten year old girls in this way just isn’t cool.

(We’ve no idea why this outrage is all happening NOW, when the photos in question were published several months ago, but for some reason it is…)

Thylane herself now has a Tumblr dedicated to her  photos, (the owner recently changed the name from “F*** Yeah, Thylane Blondeau” to the slightly less controversial Thylane Blondeau pictures, although as of this morning, that site seems to be down, too), many of which showcase her very “grown up” poses and a much more sophisticated sense of style than we’d usually associate with a ten-year-old.

While some are excitedly declaring her to be “the next big thing“, however, others think Thylane’s sultry pout and “sexy” photos “go too far” – and not just in the French Vogue spread, but in many more of the child model’s shots.

Here are just a few of the contrasting opinions being voiced about Thylane:

“This isn’t edgy. It’s inappropriate, and creepy, and I never want to see a nine-year-old girl in high-heeled leopard print bedroom slippers ever again.”

~ Feministing


“…she looks more self-aware and confident than most models working today — to say nothing of grown women in general.”
~ Stylite

“there’s no lightheartedness or playfulness there. There’s
none of the unselfconsciousness that let childhood be so much fun… There’s just Blondeau’s dull eyes and pursed, painted, parted lips of a hard-to-get siren, laid out on a tiger-skin rug or placed in a chair with her skirt carefully tucked out of the way to bare her legs nearly to the hip.”

“I personally found the Vogue Paris editorialrefreshing. Sure, it was disturbing, but it seemed purposefully, knowingly disturbing — “
~ Jezebel

As for us? We think Thylane is one beautiful little girl, and one day she’s going to be an amazingly beautiful woman. And when that time comes, we’ll have no problem seeing her lying on an animal skin in stiletto heels. But there’s plenty of time for all of that, and for now we have to admit that we do find it a little unsettling to find adults drooling over photos of a child.

What do YOU think, though? Should a ten year old be modelling adult fashion in this way, even if it IS intended to make us question the industry, or is it just too young?


Skin Colour is Not a Fashion Statement (And no, we won’t “get a tan…”)

Amber writes…

“Get a tan!” “She’s too pale!” “Urgh, she really needs some sun!”

These are all comments I’ve read recently on various fashion and celebrity websites – and sometimes right here on The Fashion Police. They probably sound pretty familiar to anyone with pale skin who’s ever been on vacation and returned home to a slew of comments along the lines of, “You don’t have much of a tan!”, always uttered in a vaguely accusing manner, as if the pale-skinned person has somehow failed to live up to some agreed standard of skin colour.

As a pale skinned person myself (I’m more pale blue than I am white: my natural skin colour is similar to Nicola Roberts’ in the image above), these comments never fail to depress me. I don’t tan. Ever. I would no more lie out in the sun without SPF70 than I’d throw myself in the fire. This is not a fashion statement: it’s just plain common sense for someone who burns easily, and who’s in a high-risk group for skin cancer because of it. I will not risk my health for the sake of fashion, and I don’t believe anyone else should, either.

The thing is, I don’t think anyone would argue that a sun tan is worth risking skin cancer for. On our post about Rumer Willis last week, though, for instance, I noticed a couple of comments about Rumer’s skin being “too white”, and those comments surprised me a little because as far as I can see, while she obviously has pale skin, that’s her natural colour.

When did it become OK to criticise people for their natural skin colour, or to suggest that they should cover up, because that colour is somehow too unattractive to be on show? Imagine the outcry there would be if a photo of Beyonce, say, was greeted with comments of “She’s too dark.” And what do the people who criticise pale skin want us to do, anyway? Lie in the sun and risk our health? Grab a bottle of fake tan and turn ourselves orange?

Just to be clear, I’m not against people tanning if they want to, or, indeed using self tanner. In fact, I’ve hit the bottle myself on occasion (the bottle of gradual tanner, I mean. Not the wine bottle. Although that too, sometimes) and will probably do it again if I feel like it. It’s the idea of it being a requirement that bothers me. This idea that if you’re pale skinned, you MUST try to change it, or that a pale-skinned woman cannot possibly be considered beautiful or stylish. (The women pictured at the top of the page would all beg to differ.)

As far as I’m concerned, skin colour is not a fashion statement, and never should be. No one should be made to feel ashamed of their natural skin colour, be it black, white, or any of the many, many shades in between. No one should feel like they have to change their skin colour in order to wear certain clothes or feel “fashionable”. Comments like “she needs to get a tan!” should have no place in an enlightened society.

What’s your take on this one? Can pale people wear shorts? Or do you agree that when it comes to fashion, skin colour shouldn’t be a factor?


Jeans, Opinion

In Praise of Jeggings. No, really.

(L-R: Citizens of Humanity, Goldsign)

OK, we’re just going to come out and say this, even although we know it’ll probably be controversial:

We don’t hate jeggings.

OK, sure, when they first came out, we made fun of the name, we admit it. And we did have our concerns that jeggings would be used simply as an excuse for people to try and circumvent the Leggings Are Not Pants Rule. (Just to be clear, this climbdown on jeggings doesn’t change our minds about leggings and their status as pants. Leggings are not pants, never have been, never will be. Not while The Fashion Police have breath in our bodies, anyway.)

But look at the two examples above. Admit it, you thought they were just regular old skinny jeans, didn’t you?

But they’re not. They’re jeggings. And they have finally won us over.

Why we don’t hate jeggings

See, the thing is, jeggings DO look like jeans. In the case of some of the better quality examples (The Citizens of Humanity pair above is a case in point, although we’ve also seen good quality, jean-like jeggings on the high street, at places like Topshop or River Island), they even FEEL like jeans. The cotton is thick, stretchy, and not at all like the kind of fabric you’d expect to find on a pair of leggings.

It’s not denim, though, and this is actually a point in its favour, because while jeggings look much the same as skinny jeans, they’re a helluva lot more comfortable than them, and they’re easier to get in and out of, too.

In conclusion, as long as there’s no camel toe, the correct fit is worn, and they’re not thin enough to create VPL, we’re happy to welcome jeggings into the world of the Fashion Police Approved:

(Seven for All Mankind)

Jeggings: The Dark Side

Mind you, there is a downside to jeggings, and it’s a big one. Jeggings, you see, are very much part of that whole “dressing down is the new dressing up, let’s wear pyjamas to the supermarket trend” which The Fashion Police so abhor. Get the look right, and it can be casual but chic: think Victoria Beckham is super-skinnies and a blazer. Or Kate Moss when she’s had a wash. Throw them on with fake Ugg boots and a velour tracksuit top, though, and we have us a whole different story. And now we’re starting to wonder if we should perhaps reconsider our stance.

What do YOU think of jeggings?

Of course, if you still hate leggings, skinny jeans or both (and we know there are a lot of you out there who do), you’re definitely not going to be getting on board with jeggings any time soon. As for the rest of you, however, what do you think: are you ready to give the unholy alliance of leggings and jeans a reprieve, and let them into your life (and closet?)? Or do you think these are definitely a crime of fashion, which should never have existed in the first place? Tell us in the comments section!


Modelling is Hard: Zombie Edition

Before you ask, we’re not talking issue with what this model is wearing, which is pretty inofensive: we’re just concerned for her. The vacant stare, the slumped-over posture: this model is a zombie, isn’t she? Someone has zombified her! Jeez Louise, modelling really IS hard, isn’t it?

Seriously, though: why does the fashion world do this? Why does it persist in taking pretty girls and forcing them to pose in ridiculous, awkward stances, with facial expresions that resemble those of The Undead? (No offence to the girl in question, here, by the way: it’s not her, it’s the way the shoot has been styled.) Isn’t fashion supposed to be aspirational? Is everyone reading this secretly aspiring to be a zombie?

Someone help this model! It doesn’t have to be this hard, surely?

(If you don’t want to help her, but do want to buy her dress, just click here…)


Down With Airbrushing! Ann Taylor’s incredible shrinking model

We’ve said before that we think Photoshop can be equally, if not more, damaging to women than the use of slimline models (after all, slim people do exist; Photoshopped ones don’t), so props to Jezebel for catching Ann Taylor red-handed in the act of Photoshopping this model almost out of existence.

The image on the left is the thumbnail that was shown on the Ann Taylor website earlier this week. The image on the right, meanwhile, is what you’d have seen if you’d clicked on that thumbnail – watch the already-slim model achieve a shape that probably doesn’t exist in nature before your very eyes, folks!

Ann Taylor have now removed the image from their site, but it still begs the question: why on earth was it there in the first place? Did no one look at this and think it looked just a little bit unnatural? And did the person in charge of Photoshop that day seriously look at the original image and think, “Jeez, this chic looks a bit podgy – better shave some inches off her!” Has the world actually gone mad? (Answer: people are still voluntarily wearing Crocs, so yes, it looks like it probably has.)

Down with airbrushing, we say. We don’t really care whether models are big or small, tall or short, black, white or anything in between: all we ask is that they at least look recognisably human. That shouldn’t be too much to ask, should it?

Fashion News, Opinion

“All Women Should Be Size 14”, says the Daily Mail. Say what?

Amber McNaught writes…

This morning, against my better judgement, I followed a link from Twitter to this article on the Daily Mail website. And was instantly hit with the shocking information that “ALL” women in the world should be a UK dress size 14, according to UK Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.

Sorry, but what? ALL women in the world should be exactly the same size? And that size should be the apparently randomly-chosen size 14? (Roughly equivalent to a US 12, although obviously it depends very much on the manufacturer) Rubbish. The idea that there is just one “right” size to be; a “one size fits all”, which is healthy for ALL women, regardless of their height, age and body type is ridiculous, and actually rather hypocritical when you realise that this “magic” size 14 is apparently being promoted in order to help rid women of the insecurities created by looking at images of thin models. The article continues:

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Opinion, What To Wear

Guest Post: The Right Way to Wear Leggings

Sara Bimmel writes

We’re on the cusp of spring (FINALLY!), and that means leggings and tights will soon start to crop up everywhere. I know they’re fair-weather winter wear, too, but spring is the season when they’ll actually feel comfortable and won’t result in goosebumps all over your legs.

I often have trouble figuring out what to pair with leggings that will look classy instead of ’80s, so I put together this set to show my thoughts. You can see that there are a few common themes:

1) Prints with solids. Generally speaking, if your leggings have a lot going on, don’t pair them with a Hawaiian shirt, and vice versa. You can see that both the shoes and the leggings in outfit #3 are patterned, but they seem to go together naturally rather than clash.

2) Any shoes can work. By that, I mean it’s fine to pair flats, heels, or boots (see outfit #2) with leggings. If your shoes are flashy, see Theme 1 and keep the outfit simple.

3) Accessories should match the spirit of your outfit. What do I mean by that? Well, the black rose in outfit #3 is a little bit grunge, just like the rest of the outfit, and the layered gold necklace in outfit #4 reflects the layers of peacock feathers in the tights. The yellow balls in the necklace of outfit #1 add a pop of color and also mirror the rounded flowers in the dress.

4) Don’t limit yourself to dresses. I paired the leggings with dresses here because I think that can be a tricky combination, but they’d go just as well with skirts or long tunic tops.

This post was contributed by Sara Bimmel, who writes about Halloween costumes over at


[Guest Post] Politics and fashion don’t mix – how Samantha Cameron ruined my favourite dress

Samantha Cameron in THE dress

Samantha Cameron in THE dress

Gemma Cartwright writes…

It was love at first sight.

Last Spring, Marks & Spencer released a ‘modern reinterpretation’ of a vintage frock that seemed to come straight out of my dreams. It was a grey tea dress with cream polka dots and a fan detail on the shoulder (very Phillip Lim). It was chic, simple and fitted perfectly. It was £55, limited edition, and I managed to grab one of the last ones in the country in my size.

Then Myleene Klass wore it. This tainted it a bit for me, because she is much thinner and seemed to be able to wear them damn thing without it creasing, but I still loved the dress and I still loved wearing it even if I couldn’t pull it off with quite such photogenicity as Myleene.

Then Samantha Cameron happened.

 A few weeks ago, the wife of the Conservative leader suddenly appeared at a high-profile event in my dress. Except it wasn’t my dress. My dress had sold out months ago. Her version was custom-made at Stuart Rose’s command, was rumoured to have cost over £100 to produce, and had everyone wondering if it wasn’t a bit naughty that she got special treatment just because she’s married to the leader of the opposition.

 It felt like every single newspaper ran the story. For about a week you couldn’t open a paper without seeing that bloody dress. It’s now the TORYDRESSFROMHELL. If I wear my frock now, I might as well ram a big blue rosette on my chest and be done with it. My political views don’t lean strongly enough in any one direction for me to want them emblazoned on my chest for the whole world to see. Unfortunately, that dress has become a symbol for how the Torys are Just Like Us and Shop On The High Street Too.

 The dress went down so well with the public that M&S have now released a new version, in a black and white print (with the unflattering white bit right around the middle which we really want to divert attention away from) for £45. I won’t be buying it. In fact, I think it’s time I went back to Primark…surely Samantha won’t shop there?

[Read more from Gemma at the fabulous Big Girls Browse]
Fashion Police Glossary, Opinion

Five Fashion Phrases We Hate: feel free to add your own


The fashion world, like any other industry, is full of its own little phrases and buzzwords: in fact, there are so many of them that we had to start developing a glossary.

Of course, some of these terms are great, while others… aren’t. Some even start off sounding great, but gradually become irritating through sheer repetition. Here are five of the phrases that we currently wish we could send to jail*. Feel free to add your own in the comments box!

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Guest Post: Dress You Up in My (‘80s) Love


This guest post was written by Karen Buscemi. Karen writes…

 With the prominence of the ‘80s resurgence on the fall runways, I’m thankful I had the good sense to save one key piece from that decade which will be relevant come September: my fingerless Madonna gloves, purchased specifically to wear to the Like a Virgin Tour, circa 1986.

You’ve probably witnessed trends you once loved and wore enthusiastically – then later cringed at when revisiting old photos of yourselves – come back into fashion. When harem pants reappeared this spring, I swore I would never allow that style to touch my body again. The same went for padded shoulders. I had nightmarish flashbacks of my childhood, remembering my family doubled over laughing while viewing slides of me in what appeared to be a homage to Boy George and David Bowie.

And yet, my closet is filling again with both trends. Why have I agreed to go back there?

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Guest Post: Fashionable Dating

Em4 This guest post was written by Emma Jane, who writes…

"As the great Coco Chanel once said ‘I don’t do fashion. I am fashion’

This little quote got me thinking about the world of fashion, and how it relates to me personally. I think that a person’s sense of style, the clothes they wear, and the way they shop can tell you a lot about them. It’s true that our sense of style is a major reflection of who we are. I always seem to notice that bright and happy people are always dressed super cute, and fun. And people who are really confident and outgoing, often make very bold fashion choices too.

Which made me wonder, just how much is fashion connected to other areas of our lives?

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