They’re Back . . . Fall Fashion Fiascos

Faithful readers may remember that back in the spring I wrote a column about women’s fashions and the alarming trend of the huge bell sleeve blouses and off the shoulder tops. I also proclaimed that all that apparel would be on the 75% clearance rack faster than you can say, “hideous.”

Well, while I was totally accurate about the summer sales rack being overloaded with voluminous sleeved garments and shirts that were lacking in any sort of clavicle coverage I was, alas, wrong about those fashion trends going away.

Imagine my horror upon venturing into any store that sells women’s clothing and discovering that not only is the bell sleeve back for fall, but it’s bigger than ever. As in the sleeve that this past summer could provide shelter for maybe a family of four can now house the Duggar clan.

I can’t imagine why any women would desire to wear a blouse with sleeves that massive unless she was trying to smuggle contraband. Even worse the fall bell sleeve blouse can be found in flannel and wool. I’m guessing the flannel sleeve can multi-task as a sleeping bag and as for the wool I can’t get over the burden and aggravation of carrying around that much extra heft all day.

Let’s now take a moment to venture where no fashion designer wants to go – plain old practicality. How in the name of outerwear are you going to shove those sleeves in a coat? Do you even try or just give up on a traditional coat all together and go the poncho route so your sleeves can free range?

My fear is that there’s a very real possibility that the poncho combined with the jumbo sleeve would result in pulling a Flying Nun (Yes, you’re welcome for the 1960’s TV shout out.) and going airborne. In fact, the only way this wouldn’t happen is if your bell sleeve top was of the wool variety because that would create a definite drag co-efficient.

As for those ridiculous off the shoulder tops who wants that much of their upper body exposed when the temperature is in the single digits? Isn’t winter the time for turtlenecks and cozy sweaters not wearing a blouse that appears to be a tourniquet for your shoulder blades?

I was so aghast that these offending styles had come back for fall I felt compelled to have a discussion with a store manager. This youngish woman was sensitive to my pain. She too hated the bell sleeve and off the shoulders tops and admitted that just like their spring/summer brethren these also weren’t selling.

I’m going to admit that this made me feel better about my fashion acumen. Sometimes I think I’m getting old and totally out of touch with current trends and will soon find myself owning a pair of dress Crocs. Hooray that it was none of the above.

But just as I was starting to enjoy the moment the manager had to be a buzz kill. She confided in me that the bell sleeve and off the shoulder tops would be back for Spring 2018. I was stunned and then I was suckered punch when she announced that there was also a new top coming out. A hybrid of the two with a twist – a cropped off the shoulder bell sleeve top. I, with anguish in my voice, asked for clarification. “Do you mean it’s basically a swimsuit top with giant sleeves?”

She nodded yes and then added, “Well, at least it’s going to be in a super cute denim.”

It could just be the Crocs talking, but I don’t think that’s going to make it any better.