Fashion Police

Dress of the Day: Carven Paris map print cotton dress

Carven Paris print dress

Carven Paris map print cotton dress, £391.37

At first glance, this dress probably just looks like any other cotton sundress, and SO WHAT, we hear you say: SO WHAT, Fashion Police? Take a closer look, though, and you’ll see that the print is actually a map of Paris – and quite a detailed one, too. We’ve no idea just how accurate it is, or which era it dates from, of course, but if you’re as fascinated by maps as we are, you might just love this. And if you’re not, well, at least it would give you a good excuse to visit Paris. Well, if you already have the map…

Buy it

Lingerie

Screw Valentine’s Day: let’s buy some lingerie!

Two women in valentine's day bikinis

Valentine’s Day lingerie from Dirty Pretty Things

Valentine’s Day. There’s just no escaping it, is there?

Every year, as soon as Christmas is over (and actually, sometimes even BEFORE Christmas is over…) The Fashion Police inbox starts to get flooded with press releases about Valentine’s Day, which, these helpful missives inform us, is “just around the corner!” Now that the much-anticipated day actually IS just around that corner, though, we figured we should probably start paying attention to those press releases, and find out just what it is they’re trying to tell us. And what they’re trying to tell us is basically this:

1. Everyone in the world is in a complete state of hysterical anticipation about February 14th
2. When the day comes, it will be imperative to wear red, pink or both. Yes, even if you’re a guy.
3. Your clothes WILL have hearts on them. Yes they will. Don’t even TRY to resist this.
4. No one has even the slightest clue what to buy their significant other for Valentine’s day.
5. So they’ll all probably go for the flowers/chocolates/lingerie option they would’ve gone for anyway, even without all those press releases designed to tell us that what our partner REALLY wants for Valentine’s day is an iPad mini. Or a matching pair of knit caps. (And yes, we DID receive press releases suggesting both of those options. All we can say is we’d rather be the girl who gets the iPad…)

Is any of this actually true?

With the probable exception of point number 5, we’re going to guess “probably not”. Maybe it’s just us, but we don’t know anyone (or any adult, anyway) who wears lots of pink hearts on their clothes on Valentine’s Day, having spent the preceding two months in a frenzy of indecision thinking, “Good God, WHERE can I find pink clothes with hearts on them to wear on Valentine’s Day, WHERE?”

The thing is, though, we all need to wear lingerie, right? (Um, unless you’re someone who prefers to go commando, obviously. You can feel free to skip this post, if so…) And we can all appreciate a nice set of lingerie regardless of whether or not we have a “special someone” (GAG) to celebrate the “big day” (DOUBLE GAG) with, no?

You can read this post, then, as a suggestion of what you COULD wear on Valentine’s Day (or buy the woman in your life), if you want to. But you can also read it simply as a collection of really pretty lingerie, that you might want to buy yourself to wear on ANY day of the year.

It’s totally up to you. For now, though, there’s a much more pressing question on our minds: why ARE those two models out in the woods in their underwear? And why has only one of them realised what’s happening?

Valentine’s Day – or not – lingerie: a roundup

featuring products from Florence & Fred, Next, George, M&S, Debenhams, and Dirty Pretty Things

Fashion Police

Online shopping and why we love it

online shopping and why we love it

Which do you prefer: online shopping or off-line shopping?

We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately about online shopping, and you may have gathered from all of this that The Fashion Police are big fans of the kind of shopping you can do without leaving the comfort of your chair. Or your bed, as the case may be.

We know not everyone has the same affection for online shopping as we do, though, and some of you are downright scared of it (“How can you spend money on something you haven’t even tried on?” is a question we get fairly regularly) so here are just a few reasons why we love online shopping…

Stress-free shopping

If you’re not exactly a “people person”, online shopping is the perfect way to browse your favourite stores without having to deal with the crowds: the slow-walkers, the stroller-shovers (i.e the people who shove their stroller into your heels or nudge you with them rather than simply saying “Excuse me”), those people who seem to pop up everywhere you go, and want to look at exactly the same thing YOU’RE looking at. We’re sure you know what we’re talking about. At sale time, this shopping hell gets even more unpleasant: who WOULDN’T prefer staying curled up in bed, with a nice cup of wine coffee by your side, and getting shop in blissful solitude? 

Online shopping: shopping for lazy people

We’ll just say it: we’re lazy. We’d rather the shops came to US, rather than us having to go to the shops. Seriously, you have to drive there, park up (and often pay for the privilege), trail around overheated, crowded stores (see point one), and all of this, only to leave without actually finding anything? No thanks: we’ll just stay in bed and let the lovely courier company deliver it all straight to our door…

Better selection of clothes

One thing we’ve noticed in our years of online shopping is that most brands stock a far greater selection of clothing on their websites than they do in store. All too often we’ve made a trip to the mall (We DO still grave the mall with our presence every now and then…) in a bid to see a particular item in person… only to find that they just don’t have it: or, indeed, any of the other items from the website. (Dorothy Perkins, we’re looking at you here…) What gives? Probably a lot of things, all of which mostly come down to the difficulty of keeping every store in a chain fully stocked with every single item a customer might possibly want. There are no such problems with online shopping, though, so you tend to find a far wider selection.

Better size ranges

If you’re petite, tall, or plus-sized, you’ll know that it can be really hard to find clothes that fit you, because even those brands which DO have a “specialist” line don’t tend to stock that line in every store. In some cases, specialist sizing lines will only be available in “flagship” or other selected stores, so if you don’t live near one of those, you’re out of luck. Websites, on the other hand, are much more likely to stock the full range of sizes, so you’ve a better chance of finding what you’re looking for. This goes for “regular” sizes, too: how often have you rummaged through a rack of clothes, only to find they have every size but yours? Online shopping isn’t infallible in this respect, and stock levels can be an issue online as well as offline, but at least you don’t have to waste gas money or shoe leather to find out they don’t have your size in stock.

Easier browsing

Entering a clothes store can feel a bit like walking into Aladdin’s cave: you never know what you might find. That’s a good thing in some respects, of course – especially if you’re the kind of person who enjoys the “challenge” of a good rummage – but it also makes it easy to miss the things you might really love. With online shopping, on the other hand, you can often choose to filter the selection available to suit your particular needs, so you can view all the clothing in your size, say, or in a particular colour: much easier than a seemingly endless “rummage”.

Take advantage of coupons and sales

We don’t know about you, but we’ve yet to make a purchase online without first of all doing a quick Google search to see if there are any online discount codes or other offers we can take advantage of.  (Sites like Discount Codes are designed for this very purpose.) You can still sale shop and use coupons in-store, of course, but it’s that much easier to actually find them online – not to mention the fact that many retailers will throw one-day online sales, or have other offers, which apply only to their website. Another big benefit of online shopping is the ability to do a quick price comparison and see if the same item is available anywhere else at a lower price. Everyone loves a bargain, right?

Read other people’s reviews

In recent years, many brands have started to allow shoppers to add their own reviews of the items available to the websites they bought them from (We particularly like Topshop’s). This kind of unbiased information can be absolutely invaluable when you’re trying to decide whether to buy or keep something, as you can find out things like how well it’ll wash, and what it’s like to actually wear, before you’ve even added it to your cart. You COULD wall around stores asking other shoppers for their opinions, of course, but don’t blame us if they look at you funny…

 The downside of online shopping

Of course, online shopping isn’t without its downsides, too, the biggest one being that you’re buying clothes based on a photo on the internet: and trust us, the camera DOES lie. Not only do colours appear differently on different monitors and screen resolutions, the item itself can be made to look different depending on how it’s being worn and styled in the photo. Add in the fact that you can’t see what the fabric is REALLY like, and you can’t try it on until it gets to you, and you could be in for a disappointment. Reading reviews, of they’re available, will definitely help in this respect, but there’s really no substitute for being able to see something “in the flesh”, as it were, and try it on for yourself.

When you add in the fact that online shopping has a delayed gratification aspect to it, in the sense that you have to wait for the item to be delivered to you (and then have the hassle of returning it if it doesn’t fit), and we can definitely see why it isn’t for everyone, as much as we love it ourselves.

What about you?

Do you love online shopping, or do you much prefer to hit the shops in person?

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Clothes Ripper strikes again: little black dress is latest victim

clothes ripper strikes again

The clothes ripper strikes again!

Late last night, The Fashion Police were called out to a crime scene over at Yoox.com where we were confronted with the terrible sight you see before you: a little black dress, ripped to shreds, and left for dead.

It didn’t take us long to identify a suspect in this terrible crime of fashion: it was immediately obvious that this was the work of none other than our old enemy…

THE CLOTHES RIPPER

Duh-duh-duuuuuuh.

(We know: dramatic, huh?)

We have no idea what the victim did – if anything – to deserve this vicious attack. All we can say is that while it might once have been a dull, but useful black dress, it’s now completely unsuited for the purpose of clothing, and while you COULD, of course, choose to wear something else underneath it (We’re not saying that would look great, mind you, just that you could do it…), we  guess our next question is: for £470, why would you bother? Couldn’t you just rip up your OWN clothes, rather than waiting for the Clothes Ripper to do it for you?

While we’re on the subject of paying extortionate amounts of money for completely pointless pieces of clothing (which we kind of were…):

completely pointless piece of clothing

We’re going to need all officers to immediately stop whatever they’re doing and help us solve the mystery of:

a) Why this item exists

and

b) Why it costs £165

Because, as far as we can tell, wearing this would be more or less the same as simply going naked: the only difference is you can go naked for free. (Note: we don’t recommend doing it in public, though, or you risk getting in trouble with our counterparts at the regular  police…)

Any theories? Is this also the work of the Clothes Ripper? Or just a simple case of Daylight Robbery?

Fashion Police

Fashion Police Under Cover: Zara online store review

zara online store

Zara online store

Zara’s website has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few months.

Back when the Zara online store launched, a couple of years ago, things were different. Shipping was slower than molasses in January. Stock levels were low, meaning items would arrive online, and be sold out almost instantly. The website ran slowly, and could be difficult to navigate, and returns could take a long time to process.

Lately, though, things have been better. Don’t get me wrong: as a relative newcomer to the world of ecommerce, I get the impression that Zara are more or less feeling their way, and learning as they go, but I shop fairly frequently from the Zara online store, and I have noticed a stead improvement in recent months, which will hopefully continue as the site grows. Here are some of my impressions about the online shopping experience at Zara…

(IMPORTANT: This review relates purely to the Zara UK website. This brand has different websites for different countries, and their policies and service may be different from those discussed here.)

Zara online store

The website

The Zara online store has its good and bad sides. The huge videos which play on the homepage are a little uncessary, as far as I’m concerned (Does anyone actually sit through those things?), but once you get past those, the site is fairly logically arranged, and you can view the clothing by collection (Choose between Zara Woman, TRF, Men and Kids), and then by item type. The images appear to be small at first, but you can click to enlarge, and there are a few different views available, so you’re less likely to get an unwelcome surprise when your item arrives. The models are… kinda creepy, having raised the dead-eyed stare to an art form, but hey, you can’t have everything. (I also regularly hear Zara’s models criticised for being “too skinny” in some people’s opinions. It’s not for me to decide whether someone is the appropriate weight or not by looking at their photo on a website, though, so I’ll leave that one up to you…)

shoes from the zara online store

Zara shoes

Stock levels

The biggest issue I have with the Zara online store revolves around stock levels. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve spotted something I like in the morning, only to find it sold out by afternoon – and this will happen long, long before the item in question is no longer available in Zara stores. As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, this is something that’s definitely gotten better recently: my main tip if the item you’re looking for does sell out, however, is to bookmark the page and keep checking back. When new items sell out, they are often re-stocked after a couple of weeks (Sometimes this will be indicated on the site with a “coming soon!” label, but not always), so don’t lose hope!

The ordering processes

Again, this is hit and miss at Zara. Most orders I’ve placed have been straightforward, however, there have been a couple of times when the site has timed out mid-transaction, and on one occasion I placed my order only to log back into my account a few hours later to find absolutely no record of it *This is unusual for online stores, where you will usually be able to see some record of your order as soon as you’ve placed it). I didn’t receive an order conformation or dispatch notice either, so I assumed something had gone wrong and re-ordered… only to receive two identical deliveries. The first order never did appear in my account (Although the money was taken from my card) so I’ve no idea what happened, and was a little nervous about ordering again after that. This happened a year ago now, though, and I’ve ordered from the Zara online store since then, without any repeat of this particular problem, so hopefully it was a one-off.

zara handbags

Zara handbags

Delivery

This is the main area in which Zara have made huge improvements with their online store. When the site first launched, delivery was very slow, and it would regularly take over a week for items to arrive. My last few deliveries have been much quicker, though, and delivered in a matter of days, so I’ve been pretty impressed. As an example, my last order was placed on Monday, January 28th, using the standard shipping option. I received a shipping confirmation on Wednesday, January 30th, and the order was delivered the next day, so four days in total from order to delivery. The order previous to that was even quicker, and I think arrived within a couple of days, much to my surprise. Orders are delivered by courier, so you do need someone to be available to sign for them: on the plus side, at least you don’t have to worry about your item being lost in the post!

You can also choose to have your order delivered to your nearest Zara store, if that’s easier for you.

Packaging

Another win for the Zara online store here: your order comes boxed, and wrapped in tissue paper, which gives your package a bit of a luxury feel. If you’ve purchased shoes online, they’ll come in a box, unlike in the store itself, where shoes are normally just handed over in a bag.

Zara online store: packagin

Returns

Zara returns are collected from your door by the same courier company who delivered the order: you simply log into your Zara account to arrange this. This is by far my Favourite arrangement for online returns: it’s free, there’s no queuing at the post office, and you place your return directly into the hands of the courier, so you don’t have to worry about whether it’ll get there or not. Again, however, my experiences with the return process are mixed: most of the time it runs pretty smoothly, but I did have one issue a couple of months ago when I had two packages to go back, and the courier refused to uplift them, saying that each package was supposed to go to a different destination, and he didn’t know which was which. I certainly didn’t know, so I phoned Zara, who weren’t much help, and told me to call the courier company directly. I did that, and was passed around to three different people, none of whom seemed to know what was going on. Finally I was assured the courier would call back the next day… which he didn’t. I ended up having to re-order the return and this time it went smoothly, thank goodness. To be fair, this issue was really with the courier company, rather than with Zara themselves, but it was frustrating, and led to a delay in me being refunded for the items I was returning. On the plus side, once the courier had collected the return, I was refunded within a couple of days, which is super-quick: most retailers take much longer to process returns, and, indeed, Zara themselves used to take a very long time with it – this is another area where there have been big improvements, recently.

Another point in Zara’s favour here is the fact that they have a 30-day return period, so you have a long time to try the item on, make a decision, and return it. This is far better than the 14 days offered by many other online stores, and makes me more likely to order from them.

Zara online store: packaging

Overall

Despite the odd hiccup in my dealings with the Zara online store, I’m still happy to use it: as I’ve said above, I think many of the issues I’ve had were teething difficulties which can be put down to the brand being new to eCommerce, and I’ve noticed big improvements over the past year or so, which have left me very impressed.

Visit the Zara online store here.

Disclaimer: This review reflects my own personal opinion and experiences only. These may not be representative of the store as a whole, so if you’ve shopped from Zara online, I’d love to hear what you thought of it!

Crimes of Fashion, Jeans

Amber Alert: Acid wash denim is making a comeback

A collage of acid wash denim items

An acid wash denim emergency: no wonder the model has her back turned…

Acid wash denim has once again been spotted in stores around the internet.

We say “again”. Like so many elements of 80s fashion, acid wash denim is one of those looks that just keeps coming back, no matter how hard our officers try to stamp it out for good. And, ALSO like many other elements of 80s fashion, those young enough to not remember it the first time around are quite often willing to embrace the look. This is why The Fashion Police exists, people.*

(*We’re joking: you’re totally free to wear what you like. Unless it’s Crocs. Then we really ARE coming after you.)

Acid wash, as you probably, know, is  a technique of bleaching denim using stones and chlorine, until you get that washed-out “marbled” effect, as shown above. This wash was super-popular during the latter part of the 80s, but the items in our lineup are all currently available for sale from popular, mass-market fashion brands (River Island is a particular culprit here), so as you can see, this isn’t a history lesson we’re giving you here: it’s a serious warning.

Why do The Fashion Police hate acid wash? It’s not JUST because of its strong association with the Decade That Fashion Forgot. No, we think acid wash has the ability to make any item look instantly cheap and – we’re just going to say it – tacky. Take the skirt at the top right of the image, for instance (It’s from River Island. We really weren’t joking about their culpability in the acid wash denim war…):

Light acid wash denim skirts

This is seriously frump-tastic. And we say that as big fans of longer-length skirts (They give you licence to wear sky-high heels: what’s not to love?), so it’s not the length that’s triggering our fashion-crime detectors here. It’s the elasticated waist. And the shapeless cut. And, of yeah, the ACID WASH DENIM, which somehow manages to make a frumpy denim skirt look almost trashy. How does it do it? Honestly, we have no idea. That, friends, is the power of acid wash denim. It’s also why we’re putting out an Amber Alert on the stuff and advising people not to approach it – we don’t want any nasty accidents, after all.

As always, however, taste is totally subjective. Who knows: maybe we just hate acid wash because we once had a nasty encounter with a denim jacket, which our memories have totally suppressed? It could be. (Note: it isn’t.) Indeed, many of you will probably want to tell us it’s just because we’re OLD and FAT and couldn’t pull it off even if we wanted to. (Which obviously we DON’T.  Just in case that wasn’t obvious from the rest of this post.)

What do you think, trainee officers? Do you love it or hate it? Will you wear it or arrest it?

What are your thoughts on acid-wash denim?

Go shopping:

Pacsun acid wash dress | River Island acid-wash shirt | River Island acid-wash skirt | Topshop acid-wash mini skirt | New Look acid wash denim mini skirt | Topshop acid wash hotpants | Republic hotpants with PU pocket | A|Wear acid wash skinny jeans

Shirts & Tops, Style On Trial

Style Trial: Cropped tops

Girl in white crop top vest

Cropped tops: they let you crop it like it’s hot. Apparently. (Get this one at ASOS)

Who loves cropped tops?

Judging by the responses we’ve had when we’ve asked this question in the past, the answer to that question would be NO ONE. NO ONE loves cropped tops: or not anyone we’ve met, anyway. Someone out there must absolutely love them, though, because, once again, our officers have noticed a dramatic upswing in crop top sightings: in fact, we’re starting to think we might need some kind of special ops task force in order to deal with it.

Cropped tops, of course, are one of those things that come in and out of fashion fairly often: about as often as 80s fashion does, come to think of it. That’s not surprising: they were a mainstay of the 80s look (We blame Madonna. For most things relating to 80s fashion, actually), so naturally they’d be a mainstay of all of those 80s-inspired collections which just WILL NOT DIE, no matter how often we keep arresting them.

Now, we know many of our readers are big fans of 80s fashion. Would you ever wear a crop top, though? Let’s take a look at the evidence…

Collection of cropped tops from Mickey to Polka dots

Cropped tops: all available at Topshop

Why do people hate cropped tops?

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to be able to work out why lots of people dislike cropped tops. For one thing, they require better abdominal muscles than most of us are prepared to spend the time acquiring. We’d like to think that, when it comes to fashion, anyONEcan wear anyTHING, regardless of their bodyshape, but that’s not always the case.  The fact is that cropped tops put a whole lot more flesh on display than your average top:  that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need the “perfect” body to wear one, but it does mean you’ll have to have a body that you’re confident enough to put on display. Either that, or the ability to suck in your abs for long periods at a time…

For another thing, they’re not exactly the most versatile items of clothing around. Sure, there are ways to layer them to make them a little more appropriate for certain things, but for the most part, they’re the kind of thing that will work only in the most informal situations. They’re also a very YOUTHFUL look. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, obviously – especially if YOU happen to be very youthful too. While we’ve never been big fans of the so-called “rules” surrounding age-appropriate dressing, however, we can’t deny that cropped tops create a very “young” look, and one that can sometimes be downright juvenile, depending on the top itself. (We’re looking in particular at the Mickey Mouse and “yes!” tops in the image above here…)

All of this makes for pretty problematic dressing. They’re just not the easiest of things for most of us to wear. But can cropped tops be worn in a grown-up, flattering kind of way, we wonder?

How to wear cropped tops – if you REALLY want to

This may come as a shock, but we do actually think there are ways to wear cropped tops without looking like you’re en route to an 80s fancy dress party. This isn’t the way:

Woman in stripy crop top and denim shorts

Missguided. (That’s the name of the store, by the way, not our assessment of the look. Although that too.)

This, however:

Woman in black crop top with black skirt

…is getting a little closer. This image is from River Island , and the outfit on the right, although not necessarily something you’d want to wear to work, say, is a lot more sophisticated than the typical “disco pants and neon” look that so often seems to accompany the cropped top. To make the look more wearable, we recommend…

1. Choosing a longer-length top

All cropped tops are not created equally. The ones in the collage above will all hit just under the bottom of your bra, which is a hard length to wear. Something like this one, however, which is also from Topshop, will hit nearer the belly-button, and while that won’t exactly make it EASY to wear, it’ll certainly be easiER, especially when combined with step two…

long sleeved cropped tops

2. Wear it with high-waisted bottoms

This might seem counter-productive, but the aim here is to make the gap between waistband and crop-top small enough that you’re exposing just a hint of flesh, as opposed to a handful. Actually, the combination of short top and high-waist can be surprisingly flattering, especially on hourglass figures, where the shorter top will really help to define the waist.

3. Go for long sleeves and/or high necks

As with the “boobs or legs” rule, if you’re going to be exposing your stomach, you might want to consider keeping the rest of your look a little more covered up. In the River Island look shown above, for instance, the model is actually a lot more covered up than she might be in a dress which covered her stomach, but the overall look is still “sexy” thanks to the figure-hugging shape and exposed waist.

With all of this said, however, cropped tops are always going to be the kind of thing many people just won’t want to wear – and for good reason. If that sounds like you, the good news is there are so many other options out there for you to never need to give crop tops another thought. Before you forget about them completely, though, we want to know:

What do you think of cropped tops? Would you wear one, and if so, how?

Crimes of Fashion

Crimes of Fashion: Random Roundup

crimes of fashion

As the week draws to a close, it’s time to once again delve into the depths of the Fashion Police jail and take a look at the crimes of fashion it holds. The following is a random assortment of the various items of clothing our officers pulled in for questioning this week, suspecting them to be crimes of fashion. Are they, though? It’s up to you to decide whether to convict or acquit…

Let’s take a look at some potential crimes of fashion…

crimes of fashion

Suspect # 1: ASOS Maxi Dress with High Low Side

We’re easing you into this week’s roundup gently, with what we believe to be the least offensive of our collection of inmates. When we first arrested this dress, we were irritated by its sideways take on the “mullet dress” (a.k.a the “high-low trend“). Honestly, while we wouldn’t wear them ourselves, we could ALMOST understand the mullet dresses, with their “party in front, business at the back” combination of mini and maxi, but when the maxi section is at the side? It just looks odd. In fact, it looks like a mistake to us: as if someone took a pair of scissors to a perfectly nice dress, and did this to it. Also, when you view the model on the runway, it looks like the “maxi” half of the dress keeps wrapping around her leg, which can’t be comfortable.

All of that said, we’re just not sure it constitutes a crime of fashion, so…

VERDICT: Undecided   [Buy it]

Suspect #2: Wanda Nylon ‘Lea’ shorts

crimes of fashion

We don’t know about you, but anytime we see someone wearing waterproof pants (and they’re not hikers, or fisherman, or taking part in some other activity that might reasonably require waterproofing), we can’t help but wonder WHY such a thing should be necessary. Would madam perhaps be more comfortable in a pair of diaper-friendly harem pants, we wonder?  [Buy them]

VERDICT: Guilty

Suspect # 3: Everything in this photo

crimes of fashion

[Buy it]

GUILTY.

Oh no, wait…

Yup: GUILTY.

Verdict: What do YOU think? 

Suspect # 4: River Island mesh insert pencil skirt

mesh insert pencil skirt

[Buy it]

Because sometimes you really need the modesty of a below-the-knee pencil skirt, but you still want everyone to be able to see your thighs, don’t you? Oh no, wait: you don’t really, do you? And does anyone else find the sight of the mannequins thighs in the middle photo as creepy/humorous as we do?

If you read our crimes of fashion checklist, you’ll know that any item of clothing with a “window” is automatically arrested, so this is a easy call for us, although you may well agree with River Island that this skirt would allow you to “channel some unconventional chic” and give “a subtle nod to the sports-luxe trend”.

VERDICT: Guilty

Suspect # 5: Nasty Gal Bad Moon Rising Blouse

crimes of fashion

[Buy it]

This is called the “Bad Moon Rising” blouse. We can only hope that bad moon doesn’t rise much further, or crimes of fashion will be the least of this poor model’s problems…

And now it’s over to you, officers:

Which of these items are guilty of committing crimes of fashion?

Swimwear

Kelly Brook for New Look bikinis: and a short rant

Kelly Brook for New Look bikini collection

Kelly Brook for New Look bikini collection

We love the Kelly Brook for New Look swimwear collection. Actually, we love MOST of the Kelly Brook for New Look stuff, including the makeup line (which our beauty blog, Hey, Dollface! reviewed a couple of months ago…). Most of our love is reserved from the swimwear, however (and also the lingerie, now we come to think of it. Probably because it’s all pretty similar to the swimwear in terms of shape and general cuteness…), which is cute, fun, and cut in retro-inspired shapes which are that bit easier to wear when you don’t have the confidence for all of those itty-bitty bikinis most other brands like to try to foist on us every summer.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with tiny bikinis, of course, if that’s your thing: they just happen to fill our hearts with dread…)

So we love Kelly Brook’s bikinis, is what we’re trying to say here. You know what we HATE, though? We hate the fact that they’re available to buy NOW. In January. When we’re currently between snowfalls, and have a long, long way to go until it’s anything like bikini weather… by which point all of these items will be long since sold out, and the stores will be full of winter woolies once more.

Kelly Brook for New Look bikinis

Now, before you say it: we know. Just because we’re not heading off on a winter sun break this month doesn’t mean no one else is, and just because New Look is a UK-based retailer doesn’t mean that all of their customers will be from the UK, where it’s currently winter.  The point we’re making, however, is a general one, and revolves around the fact that retail fashion is always at least one season ahead, so we get bikinis in January, snow boots in June, and by Christmas it’s back to the sundresses and sarongs again. It’s just the way it is, but we’d like to at least hope it’s NOT the way it’ll always be. Wouldn’t you just LOVE to be able to buy the clothes you need NOW, and wear them right away, rather than having to buy your bikinis in January and then pack them away for months? And who wants to even think about winter coats when it’s too hot for a sweater, let alone anything else?

Kelly Brook for New Look swimwear

Until that happens, we’re just going to cross our fingers and hope these don’t sell out before we finally get the opportunity to wear them…

Browse the Kelly Brook for New Look swimswear collection here.

Fashion Police

By Ludo earbud neckace: saving the planet, one earbud at a time

By Ludo earbud jewellery

By Ludo earbud necklace and earings @ Louisa Via Roma

‘Nothing is created and nothing is destroyed, but everything is transformed,”  is the motto of By Ludo.

That’s all well and good, of course, but what we really want to know is why they’re expecting us to pay £184 for a necklace and £119 for a pair of earrings made out of old earbuds, when we could probably string a USB cable and a set of ‘buds around our necks for free? If, of course, we wanted to.

One thing’s for sure, though: all those people who love to go around declaring themselves to be “SUCH a geek!” just because they use the same gadgets as everyone else in the world will LOVE these. Do you, though? If you want to “transform” £303 into a necklace and earrings, both of which will look a lot like earbuds and USB cables – because they ARE earbuds and USB cables – you can get them at Louisa Via Roma. If you’re feeling REALLY geeky, there’s even a pair of keyboard button earrings for when you get bored of the ‘buds.

What do you think: cute n’ creative or crime of fashion?

Fashion Police

Online shopping: River Island online shop review

River island box and bag review

Online shopping: River Island online shop review

(By Amber McNaught)

Online shopping at River Island, reviewed

I’m a big fan of online shopping. In fact, I haven’t set foot inside an actual, brick and mortar store for months now, because the vast majority of my fashion and beauty-related shopping is done online.

There are lots of reasons for this which I’ll talk about another time, but one of the consequences of doing so much of my shopping online is that I’ve built up a wealth of knowledge about online shopping in general, and my favourite online shops in particular. In this series, I’ll be reviewing some online shopping sites, telling you how I rate them in terms of customer service, speed of delivery and all that other stuff, and, more importantly, inviting you to do the same.

I’m starting off with an online store I shopped from just this week: River Island.

Line up of river island clothes reviewed

Online shopping at River Island

River Island online shopping: the basics

Website: www.RiverIsland.com
Based in: UK
Ships to: Over 100 countries around the world

The River Island online shop was revamped a couple of years ago, moving from a hard-to-navigate flash-based format, to a much more user-friendly ecommerce website. The site is split into four sections – women’s, men’s, girl’s and boy’s fashions – and within each section you can either search by product or choose the “just arrived” tab to view all of the most recent arrivals. This site tends to be updated several times per week, if not daily, so if you’re a frequent visitor, or are there for a casual browse, as opposed to a serious online shopping mission, “just arrived” is probably the easiest way to get a quick overview of the type of clothes on offer.

River Island Pricing

River Island sells a range of clothing, footwear and accessories, all in the mid-price range: expect to pay around £40 for a dress or £70+ for shoes.

River Island Shipping

River Island offers shipping to over 100 countries around the world, with three shipping options available:

UK Express/Next Day: £5.95  per order

UK Standard *Delivery within 3-5 days): £3.95

International: Varies by country: click here to get a quote.

Items are delivered by courier in the UK, and online tracking is provided, even with the standard delivery option, so you don’t have to worry about slow delivery or lost packages, courtesy of good ol’ Royal Mail.

Review of shopping experience bag and box river island

Online shopping: typical River Island packaging

River Island Packaging:

Items are delivered in a lime green plastic bag to protect them from the elements. Shoes, meanwhile, come in a shoe box (shocker!), with appropriate padding. Stilettos come with replacement heel tips and a voucher for money off heel replacement: this is the case whether you order online or in store.

River Island Returns:

One of the most important part of any online shopping experience is the returns procedure. The very nature of online shopping, where you’re buying items without having tried them on, or seen them in person first, makes it much more likely that you might want to return something, so it’s essential that you check the returns policy first to make sure you don’t get caught out and left with something you don’t want.

In River Island’s case, UK returns are free, and you can return your item either to your nearest store, at the post office (pre-paid returns labels are provided inside your package) or via the River Island courier service, who’ll collect the package from your door. You have 14 days to make your return, after which you may be liable for the cost of the item .

International returns, meanwhile, must also be made within 14 days, and you will have to pay the return shipping. This is pretty common when it comes to international shipping and most online stores will not cover the cost of returns, but it does kinda suck if you’ve set your heart on something that isn’t available in your home country. Trust me, I feel your pain.

Free heel tip voucher from river island

Online shopping: River Island free heel tip replacement voucher

Online shopping at River Island: Fashion Police verdict

With all of those dry old facts out of the way, let’s talk about what the online shopping experience at River Island is REALLY like. Actually? It’s pretty good. I’ve shopped online from this website more times than I can count now, and don’t remember any real problems. My last order was placed on Saturday morning (Jan 26), using the standard delivery option. I received a dispatch notification on Monday evening (Jan 28), which contained the online tracking information, however I didn’t need to use it because the order was delivered by courier mid-morning on Tuesday (Jan 29). So four days total from order to delivery, but given that I placed my order over the weekend, and most online stores don’t operate on a Sunday, I’d say that’s pretty quick.

I didn’t need to make any returns from this order (yay!), but have returned various items in the past, mostly using the free post office return option. It’s always gone smoothly enough, although I recommend keeping hold of your receipt because it can take a couple of weeks for them to process your return, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend that time worrying that it’s been lost, along with your hard-earned cash.

Overall: a fairly typical online shopping experience, with no major issues that I’ve encountered: or not yet, anyway. That’s just me, though: I’m keen to use this posts as a way to collate other people’s experiences of the stores being reviewed, so we can build up a proper picture of the service being offered, so tell me:

Have you tried online shopping at River Island? What was your experience?

[Disclaimer: TheFashionPolice.net has no affiliation with River Island, and we were not paid for this review.]
Crimes of Fashion, Featured Posts, How to...

How to spot a crime of fashion

crimes of fashion

Last week, in our random roundup, we made reference to consulting the Fashion Crimes Checklist. What we didn’t mention is that this is an ACTUAL checklist, distributed to trainee officers to help them quickly and easily tell the difference between a crime of fashion and a completely innocent item of clothing. It might help you one day, too, so without further ado, allow us to introduce…

The Crimes of Fashion Checklist: How to spot a crime of fashion in progress.

Spotted a potential fashion infraction? Not sure whether to call The Fashion Police, make a citizen’s arrest, or simply look the other way? Just ask yourself the following questions…

1. Could you wear a diaper under it?

Harem pants, and all other incidences of “drop crotch” clothing are deemed fashion crimes of the highest order. There are no exceptions, and no excuses: if your suspect could easily fit a diaper in the crotch area, you’re looking at a crime of fashion, and it must be arrested immediately.

Conclusion? It’s a crime of fashion. 

2. Is it attached to another item?

Under Fashion Police law, no item of clothing is permitted to be permanently attached to any other item of clothing. So sweaters may not be sewn onto skirts, cardigans should not be welded to shirts, and socks and shoes should forever remain separate. If you spot two or more items of clothing which have become permanently joined at the hip (or anywhere else, for that matter), it’s not a cunning way to make it easier to get dressed… it’s a crime of fashion.

3. Can you see right through it?

Clothing is, by definition, designed to cover the body. If an item of clothing fails to fulfil this basic remit, by virtue of being completely see through, it must be stripped of the definition “clothing”, because it’s NOT clothing: it’s a crime of fashion.

4. Is it underwear?

Underwear is not outerwear. If underwear is being worn as outerwear it is a crime of fashion. 

5. Is it hard to tell whether it’s a dress or a top?

This one is slightly trickier, and there’s definitely some wiggle room, but in general terms, if you have to ask yourself whether a garment is a skirt or a top, the likelihood is that it’s neither: it’s a crime of fashion.

6. Would a toddler wear it?

Again, this one isn’t always easy to call, but The Fashion Police take the act of Dressing Like a Toddler seriously, so if you come across an item of adult clothing which looks better suited to a two-year old, it’s not definite, but it’s probably a crime of fashion.

7. Does it have a “window”?

Clothes don’t have windows. Only houses have windows. And, OK, offices and shops and other buildings. If an item of clothing is found to contain a “window” (generally a window through which the wearer’s underwear can be viewed: see point 4, above), there’s a good chance it’s a crime of fashion. A REALLY good chance.

8. Is it a pair of leggings?

It might NOT be a crime of fashion, but…

9. Are they being worn as pants?

They are a crime of fashion.

10. Is it nightwear?

As with the “underwear” rule, above, nightwear is not permitted to be worn in public. This includes all incidences of adult onesies in public, PJs in public, and the wearing of a dressing gown and slippers to pop to the shop. Put on some clothes, or you’re committing crimes of fashion. 

11. Would it pass the “curtains” test?

Could the item in question easily pass for a pair of curtains? There are exceptions to this rule, but in many cases, possession of curtain-characteristics is a tell-tale sign of a crime of fashion.

12. Is it Crocs?

It’s a crime of fashion. Enough said.

Of course, this list is far from conclusive. Just because your suspect item doesn’t meet any of the above criteria doesn’t mean it’s innocent: not by a long shot. New, and ever-more horrifying items of clothing are being created on a daily basis, and there is no limit t what Jeffrey Campbell fashion designers can dream up. Our best advice to you, then? Be always on your guard, never wear Crocs, and if in doubt… CALL THE FASHION POLICE.

[Image]
Fashion Police

GALLERY: Fashion Police at the Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013

Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013

The cast of Modern Family at the Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013

We hate to do this to you first thing on a Monday morning, but the life of a Fashion Police officer is a tough one, and last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013 has left us with a whole lot of style suspects to process. As trainee officers we’re going to need you to take a look at the mugshots below and give us your verdict: who were the Style Stars and who were the Fashion Criminals at last night’s ceremony?

GALLERY: Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013

[Images: PRPhotos.com]

Crimes of Fashion

Crimes of Fashion: Random Roundup

crimes of fashion

 

Happy Friday, Fashion Police officers! To finish up the week, today we present a Random Roundup. These are just a few of the crimes of fashion we stumbled across this week which were ugly enough to catch our attention, but not quite ugly enough to warrant their own posts. In fact, some of you might think they’re not ugly AT ALL, and that’s the beauty of the world of fashion: one person’s Crime of Fashion is another person’s Most Wanted item.

Ready to see some (possible) Crimes of Fashion?

SUSPECT # 1: ASOS leggings with fringe detail (above)

These are here purely because we’ve yet to meet a pair of fringed leggings that didn’t remind us to book an appointment for a leg wax. Their arrest, however, may well be unjustified, because although ASOS didn’t show a single photo of them in which the model ISN’T twirling around and making the fringes spin out, the fact is that they won’t actually look like that in real life. Unless, of course, you make sure you remain in perpetual, fringe-swingin’ motion.

VERDICT? Undecided

SUSPECT # 2: Nasty Gal Hotshot Jumper

nasty gal hotshot jumper

 

Er, at least it’ll wipe clean easily?

VERDICT? Guilty

SUSPECT # 3: River Island Two In One Lace Maxi Dress

crimes of fashion sheer dress

 

This dress allows us to check off a few of the boxes on our Crimes of Fashion Checklist: it’s (partly) sheer; it’s a bad case of stuck-together clothes; it has a close resemblance to a lace curtain… The main reason we arrested it, however, wasn’t for any one of those reasons, but was mostly just because it reminds us of one of those net things you put over food to keep the flies off them. That HAS to be a crime of fashion…

VERDICT: Guilty

SUSPECT # 4: Denim Waistband Harem Pants in Camel

harem pants

 

Well, it wouldn’t be a Crimes of Fashion roundup without a pair of harem pants, right? These aren’t the most offensive example of the drop-crotch look, but they attracted our attention nonetheless, because of the denim/camel mix. You know when a city has a “no public drinking” law, and people will put their alcohol in a brown paper bag to “hide” it? These pants are obviously so ugly underneath that whoever designed them felt the need to disguise them in a similar way, so as not to get caught by the Fashion Police. Instead, all it did was make us even more suspicious.

VERDICT: Harem pants are guilty by definition.

SUSPECT # 5:  Topshop bunny ear headband

bunny ear headband
We reckon this one might be a little bit controversial, because we know a lot of you lap this stuff up like we lap up our morning wine coffee. For us, though, this item – and others like it – are in clear contravention of the statute which criminalises the act of Dressing Like a Toddler. We can see no reason why a grown adult would want to walk around wearing giant bunny ears, outside of a Halloween party, that is. The infantilisation of our population (see also: adult onesies, popularity of) is no laughing matter (Well, actually, it kind of IS. Especially when they wear their onesies in public…), and is something The Fashion Police have sworn a solemn oath to fight against.

It’s a losing battle, though, because we know you’re all going to love this headband and want to buy it immediately, so…

VERDICT: Unproven

And now it’s over to you:

Which of these suspects do you consider to be guilty of committing crimes of fashion?

 

Crimes of Fashion

Freaky Fashions: Arachnophobiacs, look away now

freaky fashionsTalk about freaky fashions: if you suffer from arachnophobia, this is probably as “freaky” as it gets!

Francesco Ballestrazzi’s ‘Black Widow’ headband sold out at Louisa Via Roma yesterday within hours of making its appearance on the site – and this was in spite of the $300 headband making it just a little bit more expensive than most people would expect a headband to be. And also in spite of the giant spider perched on top of it, obviously.

This tells us, not only that there are people in the world who think nothing of paying hundreds of dollars to walk around with a huge insect on the top of their heads, but also that life could be about to get complicated for those of you who just REALLY hate spiders. Please don’t have nightmares.

For those of you who not only LOVE spiders, but who badly want to wear them on your heads, however, don’t despair. The item above may be sold out for now, but your fashion force DID manage to track down this alternative for you:

freaky fashions: spider hatNo, it’s not exactly the same. There is that. Luckily for you, however, it’s considerably cheaper than the version above, and that’s because one is an expensive piece of high fashion, being sold by one of the world’s most exclusive fashion websites, and the other is part of a Halloween costume. Being sold at Amazon.

It just goes to show: the line between “high fashion” and “Halloween” is so fine it’s sometimes almost non-existent.

 

 

Fashion Police

GALLERY: Chanel Runway Show Spring 2013

Chanel Runway Show Spring 2013

Models at the Chanel runway show spring 2013

Can you believe it’s Haute Couture Fashion Week, already? We can’t, and we’re actually kinda horrified, because this means that REGULAR Fashion Week/Month isn’t far away, and soon we’ll be faced with so many photos of models strutting down runways it’ll make our heads spin.

For now, however, we have these images from the Chanel runway show, which took place in the Grand Palais, Paris this week. We always look forward to the Chanel show, because it’s famous, not just for the clothes themselves, but for the amazing staging, with each show more of an “spectacle” than a simple fashion show.

This one was certainly spectacular, whatever you think of the actual clothing on show. What DO you think of it, though? Take a look at the gallery, and leave your opinion in the comments box!

GALLERY: Chanel Runway Show Spring 2013

[Images: PRPhotos.com]
Ask the Fashion Police, Fashion Police, How to..., POPULAR, Style Basics

How to Be Stylish… on any budget

How to be stylish on any budget

Dress: A|Wear

How to be stylish.

It’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? We may all define “style” in different ways, but most of us would (secretly or not-so-secretly) love to be stylish. It’s probably the reason you’re reading this article.

Here’s the bad news:

You can’t learn how to be stylish simply by buying the “right” clothes.

Style isn’t about what you buy, or what it costs. You can’t buy style in a store, or copy it from the catwalk, and it doesn’t matter how many dresses you own, or which designer name is stamped on your shoes. It just doesn’t work that way. That’s not, however, to say that style is impossible to come by: quite the opposite, in fact. Anyone can learn how to be stylish: here are some easy ways to do it – on any budget.

Don’t follow fashion

Yves Saint Laurent once said that fashions fade, but style is eternal. He was right: which is probably why this sentiment has been echoed so often, in so many different ways, by everyone from fashion designers and celebrities to …well, the rest of us. We’d like to echo it too, by saying that while fashion can be a whole lot of fun, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t experiment with it as much as you want to, ultimately it’s more important to develop your own style by working out what suits you, and what you like to wear. Think about it: the most stylish people in the world don’t tend to be slaves to the latest trends. They know that not all fashions suit all people, so rather than changing their look every season and always trying to keep up with the latest trends, they figure out what works for them, and then they pretty much stick to it, using fashion trends as a way to tweak or update their look, rather than dictate it. Develop your own style, don’t just copy someone else’s: that’s how to be stylish.