Top Fashion Designer Lets Loose on British Dress Sense

Vivienne Westwood, one of Britain’s top dress designers, has left little doubt on her opinion of British dress sense, or rather lack of it! Commenting on the current sense of style of people in Britain she was quite open in saying “people have never looked so ugly”. In all honesty, I have to admit she is right, and its not just a recent phenomenon.

Wind – A Young Man’s Best Ally

At my age, I have been able to watch the changes in fashion over the past fifty years, and I must admit to feeling somewhat disenchanted over the last two decades. I have seen the wonderful madness of the miniskirt which set the pulse racing of many young males, and I have seen jeans become the number one fashion item. From there we entered the T shirt era which eventually degenerated into the period of the football shirt and track suit trousers, usually, but not specifically among males.

When I do any comparison between the fifties, sixties and today, it becomes rapidly clear that we as a nation are falling far short of the required dress sense. At one time, jeans and a T shirt were what you wore when relaxing at home or working in the garden, but today people wear such attire when they go out shopping, to dinner, the cinema or abroad on holiday. Even when people dress for the occasion, the fashions are so ‘off-the-wall’ as to be ridiculous.


Many young girls today need to show as much of their belly as possible, i.e. from boob holder all the way down to their fanny, and when you couple that with quite often, a protruding belly, it looks ridiculous. The fatter they are the more they want to show. Teenagers seem to think its ‘cool’ to have the waistline of their jeans or trousers hanging just above their genital area, with the crotch of the jeans hanging down around the knees. It looks stupid!

The following is grotesque but you see it everywhere!

How Does He Keep Them Up?

Many young men dress as though they are about to start a shift  at the coal mine in T shirt and baggy jeans. I saw a young man in his early twenties the other day who looked as if he’d been dragged through a rubbish tip. There was so much flared jean material at his ankles his feet were totally invisible, and he had long tassels hanging from a series of pockets on the legs. He was accompanied by a girl in impossibly tight jeans with a miniscule top and fat belly. Definite pantomime material.

Some teenagers take it to the limit!

The main gripe of Vivienne Westwood was the current trend for ‘throw-away’ clothes that seem to infest the ‘designer’ shops like a plague. She blamed for our lack of taste “the rise of cheap “disposable” clothes that curb individuality” and added “that the only well dressed women are usually in their 70s, because they know how to choose investment pieces”. In today’s economic climate, is it not better to buy something you can wear many times, rather than the not so cheap option of one wear items.

Cheap and Nasty

Most people today find it necessary to wear designer clothes as if its a badge of acceptance. From what I have seen when out shopping with my wife, most of the clothes for sale in these outlets are trash. They are flashy in the extreme and don’t last five minutes before something goes wrong with them, and as for washing and re-wearing, forget it. One wash and you might as well line the dog basket with them. In my opinion these designer shops are the biggest ripoff on the high street, after the cosmetic shops that is!

When many of our ‘delicate’ young teenage girls go out to a disco they wear dresses etc from the designer shops and to be honest, they look ‘tarty’. Many of the popular fashion items for young girls these days look identical to the flashy, and often skimpy, items favoured by tarts so many years ago.

The Jeans Trend

Even the style of a simple garment like jeans has changed over the years. When they first became popular, people discovered the practicality of hard-wearing trousers and  wore blue jeans that looked new, but soon that was not good enough for the young. They had to have them looking like that had been discarded by a quarry worker after ten years of continuous service.

They Look Like Something the Rubbish Collector Turned His Nose Up At!

Blue jeans were no good any more, they had to have bare patches and be cut open at a variety of places. Pretty soon it got to the stage where the only way jeans manufacturers could sell their product, was to put every pair under the grindstone and slash them with razors. To put it another way, fashion dictated that jeans had to look like they had been worn by a cowboy from the 1880’s for sixty years.

Bangladesh Sweatshop

In the words of Miss Westwood “the demise of fashion comes from the rise of a new generation of shoppers who look to fast-fashion superstores selling on-trend clothes at cheap prices”. In other words, cheap trash from designer outlets, although I have to say, I don’t find anything cheap about these stores as most of their goods are grossly over-priced when you consider the quality. The only ‘cheap’ part of the equation comes from their manufacture, because they are all made in sweatshops in places like China, Thailand and Bangladesh, where they are churned out by the thousand at absolute minimum cost and then shipped to Europe and American to be sold at outrageous prices.

No red-blooded man (even me) would object to a pretty young teenager showing off a little more than normal!

Typical ‘Well-Dressed’ Brit

From my own point of view, my wife wanted me to buy some new trousers at some designer outlet, I forget which, and I must admit they looked good in the shop. The first time I wore them, it turned out the material was a magnet for every bit of fluff and dust in the atmosphere and after half an hour looked like I had walked through the factory of a cotton manufacturer (airborne cotton dust). Needless to say, I never wore them again. That was over a €120 wasted!

Trend Among Many Teens

So yes! I can agree with Miss Westwood in every sense of the word. Today, in general, many British people have lost all sense of taste when it comes to dressing. Up to the sixties everyone was well dressed when they went out, even just to do shopping but now, sadly, the most common sight on the high street is a baggy T shirt, a pair of trainer trousers or tatty jeans and the inevitable trainers. Perhaps you won’t believe this, but one evening I actually saw a man in his twenties dressed in a nice suit, shirt and tie obviously headed for a party or on a date, and guess what he had on his feet? Trainers, that’s what! The mind boggles.

People have lost their sense of direction when it comes to looking good, and most of the blame must be laid at the feet of modern dress designers who set the fashion, and retail outlets who continually dump their trash on the main street. For dress sense to change we need a major shift in emphasis, firstly by the designers and then by the high street. Until that day dawns, or people become more discerning in what they buy, things will never get better.


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