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Navel-Gazing: Best and Worst Fashion Trends of 2011

Amy and Renae, the Internet’s utmost authority on fashion, lend their seasoned opinions on the most popular fashion trends of the year. To paraphrase: Renae hates skinny jeans; Amy looks good in hats.
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Colored Denim
The 1990s
“Mad Men” Style
The 1970s
Mullet Skirts
Flared and Wide-Leg Jeans
Menswear-Inspired Shoes
Sheer
Clogs
Polka Dots

Mullet Skirts

Renae: This, ladies and gentlemen, is a mullet skirt—business in the back, party in the front. I’m not a fan of this, though I would be impressed by anyone who wore this skirt while also sporting a mullet. Unwavering commitment to the mullet is one of the few things that impresses me.

Amy: Way to pick the ugliest mullet skirt possible for this slide. I actually own three mullet skirts and dresses now (another example of my trend-whorery), but I prefer to call them fishtail dresses because it makes me feel like a mermaid. They’re awesome. You can show off your shoes and upper thigh, while also being a fancy lady.

Renae: Mermaids don’t have shoes or upper thighs precisely because they have fishtails. You can’t have both. It’s a mullet skirt, deal with it.

The 1990s

Renae: I feel torn about the ’90s return, probably because this is the first “retro” era that I actually intentionally participated in as it was happening, specifically Doc Martens and floral-print baby-doll dresses. I no longer want to wear those things now that I’m not thirteen. But the hats. We’re happy about the hats, right Amy?

Amy: Well, I do look amazing in hats. Baby-doll dresses and bandage micro-minis, on the other hand? Not so much.

Renae: You would look amazing in this hat.

Amy: Thank you.

“Mad Men” Style

Amy: I think as a society, we tried to fill the six-month Mad Men void with clothes. No matter how many secretary blouses and pen necklaces I wore, I still felt empty somehow.

Renae: I, however, did not feel empty when you wore your pen necklaces. I took comfort in the knowledge that no matter how dire the circumstances we found ourselves in, you could write stuff down.

Amy: It’s true. I really do fill the Joan Holloway role around here. You’re welcome.

The 1970s

Amy: Funny how one year of fashion can exalt two very different aesthetics. It seems as if funky 1970s style shouldn’t be popular at the same time prim and proper 1950s and ’60s style is. One caters to the Joan Holloways of the world, while the other to the rail-thin Farrah Fawcetts. Of course, I wore both, and depending on the outfit, I’d walk down the street pretending I was in that era. I think this makes me a slightly delusional trend whore.

Renae: I see a similarity between these two eras, Trend Whore: they both used bold colors and patterns and impeccable tailoring to dial up the sexy. A stark contrast to the more overt “Look at me, I’m almost naked!” fashions of recent years. The 1970s are my fashion soul mate.

Amy: Ah, you are totally ’70s: you hate skinny jeans and are just a couple hair rollers away from looking like Farrah Fawcett. If there was an era I should have lived through, it would be the Elizabethan era. I would have been the most painted woman ever. Unfortunately, I don’t see that look coming back anytime soon. There goes my modeling career.

Renae: Oh, I like Elizabethan too. Minus all those enormous ruffled cone collars and mile-wide hip enlargers that made it so women had to walk into rooms sideways. Unless I’m making that up. I think our joint New Year’s resolution should be to develop a look that’s halfway between Farrah Fawcett and Queen Elizabeth. Everybody will win!

Mullet Skirts

Renae: This, ladies and gentlemen, is a mullet skirt—business in the back, party in the front. I’m not a fan of this, though I would be impressed by anyone who wore this skirt while also sporting a mullet. Unwavering commitment to the mullet is one of the few things that impresses me.

Amy: Way to pick the ugliest mullet skirt possible for this slide. I actually own three mullet skirts and dresses now (another example of my trend-whorery), but I prefer to call them fishtail dresses because it makes me feel like a mermaid. They’re awesome. You can show off your shoes and upper thigh, while also being a fancy lady.

Renae: Mermaids don’t have shoes or upper thighs precisely because they have fishtails. You can’t have both. It’s a mullet skirt, deal with it.

Flared and Wide-Leg Jeans

Renae: Thank god skinny jeans aren’t the only thing in stores anymore; those were some dark times for me. Slim-fit flares are my comfort pant. They make me happier, more nimble, and generally better at life. Wide-leg trousers, however, are a different story; they make me slow and loud, like an elephant because that’s what I feel like in these pants. Though my memory is incredible.

Amy: I’m happy about the return of flared jeans, but am worried it will slow your acceptance of skinny jeans. I’m committed to this intervention and this new trend is only acting as an enabler.

Menswear-Inspired Shoes

Renae: I love this trend. I loved it in the ’90s too. Why don’t I have a pair of oxfords yet? What is wrong with me? So classy.

Amy: You know what looks good with Oxfords? Skinny jeans!

Renae: Stop it. I don’t believe you.

Sheer

Renae: I like this trend in theory, but I have yet to like it in practice.

Amy: I need more camisoles and decorative undergarments.

Renae: I think that’s the problem: my head goes straight to the undergarment gutter. I like pretty undergarments—just under other garments. Were I to wear sheer clothing, I’d probably become confused by all the mixed messages I was sending to myself and try to take a sexy nap under my desk at work. You wouldn’t want to see that.

Amy: Sexy nap? Apparently, the sheer trend makes you think you’re Courtney Stodden.

Renae: I would snore exotically.

Clogs

Amy: The clog comeback only serves to remind me that my mother is always right. She’s been wearing clogs since the beginning of time and I’ve always expressed disdain for the shoe, that is until Jeffrey Campbell said they were cool and started making them.

Renae: I don’t know who Jeffrey Campbell is. Is he related to Joseph Campbell, the PBS mythology expert? He probably wore clogs.

Amy: He’s the designer of this chunky clog and other conventionally unattractive, yet trendy and oddly captivating footwear.

Renae: That makes more sense.

Polka Dots

Amy: I like to take a literal interpretation of Marc Jacobs’s fall 2011 line and say that it is perfectly reasonable to wear head-to-toe polka dots, no matter what the season, year, or situation. Polka dots are timeless.

Renae: I agree with this statement.

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