I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
September 21, 2018
Last weekend, I took my daughter to the mall so that she could go shopping with her friends. I hadn’t been to a mall in a while, so I figured it would be a good time to check out the latest trends for fall before I decide what to buy this season. What happened next left me shaken and deeply disturbed.
Because… Well… See for yourself.
At the first store I entered, this display was front and center. I stood before it for a long time, and several thoughts ran through my mind.
THOUGHT NUMBER ONE: This is the kind of outfit you end up in when you’re running late for morning carpool– You frantically throw on your husband’s sweatshirt and denim jacket along with your oldest pair of workout pants, because these things were already lying on the floor and YOU HAVE GOT TO LEAVE LIKE NOW.
THOUGHT NUMBER TWO: On what planet would a reasonably fashionable young woman EVER look at this and think, “OMG, I have GOT to have that outfit!”?
THOUGHT NUMBER THREE: Someone here is totally gonna get fired for this.
I mean, this display had to be an anomaly, right? This is the kind of thing you end up in when you get dressed in the dark. I was repulsed… and intrigued. It was time for me to go on a fact-finding mission.
I’m not sure why I’m so surprised and offended that 1990 is officially SO LONG AGO that it qualifies as the sole image on a trendy t-shirt. 1987? Mmm. Okay. It was an embarrassing year for sure. But 1990? Let me give you a quick rundown of what happened that year:
–The Nissan Primera debuted.
–Moby released his first single. No one cared.
–Encylopedia Brittanica had its all-time highest year of sales.
What I’m saying is that 1990 was definitely not a t-shirt-worthy year, not by any stretch of the imagination. To those of us who actually remember 1990, you are just going to look like a tool if you wear this shirt.
As for everything else on the mannequins? Well, it’s definitely interesting to me that I owned every single one of these pieces (except for the ridiculous t-shirt of course) when I was in 6th grade. And I ROCKED those overall jean shorts, which will hereafter be known as jovershorts. Or maybe overjorts? Whatever. I’ll let you decide.
Okay, so this is the point when I started to wonder if someone had slipped a roofie in my Starbucks. This was the featured look in the window of Forever 21, which is probably the most popular store for teens in the country.
WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE?
I mean, can you imagine being confronted at the tender age of, like, 16, by the realization that this would be your next #outfitinspo? Your #fashiongoals? Your #dailylook?
Because let’s be honest. From the ankles up, these are all things I’m pretty sure you are given to wear WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN HELL.
And if synthetic plaid gauchos aren’t your thing? Too bad, sis. That’s pretty much your only option this fall, unless you’d rather opt for those FUPA pants over there on the right. I mean, everyone wants a pair of pants that give you junk on both sides of your trunk, AMIRITE LADEEZ?
But it wasn’t until I came across this display that I was truly, madly, deeply confused. Look, I’m not naming names, but I realize there was a time when some of you wore a… a… a fanny pack. I get it, okay? The convenience was worth the shame of carrying your most important possessions in a bag held securely in place by your ass.
But this? This… boob bag? I can’t, y’all. Things have gotten so weird since Trump became president that this really shouldn’t faze me.
BUT THIS TOTALLY FAZES ME.
Unless you’re trying to keep an orphaned baby squirrel alive, this thing is completely unacceptable.
This cannot be a trend. I won’t allow it.
I guess if there’s any good news this season, it’s that kids probably already have a lot of the hottest trends in their closets. Just put on a sock cap and your 3rd grade flannel pajama bottoms and you’re good to go!
Hell, as long as you have that sock cap, you don’t even need a shirt to be on trend this fall! But you definitely get bonus points if you have cloven hooves instead of feet.
Of course, some girls insist on wearing dresses, no matter how interesting this year’s pants happen to be. Well, just in time for fall, I present to you YOUR BEST OPTION.
The uneven seams. The wonky shoulder poufs. The awkward waistline. If they were going for ‘Laura Ingalls sews her first dress’ with this look, then brav-the-hell-o. Otherwise?
It’s a no for me.
As for teen formalwear, we have now apparently surpassed the cut-down-to-there dress and the slit-up-to-there dress with the exposed boob dress. This is a next generation look for sure and it will definitely turn heads.
After an hour or so of wandering, my eyes were burning and my soul was scarred. It was time to abandon the teen stores and take a look at what’s being offered for real, grown-ass women this season. I was certain I’d find some decent ideas for fall at Macy’s, and Dillards seems to have stepped up its game lately as well.
Behold what greeted me at the department store entrance:
A purple polyester pantsuit with a leopard print top. Let me repeat: A PURPLE POLYESTER PAINTSUIT WITH A LEOPARD PRINT TOP.
Why, God? Why?
A little farther into the store, I stumbled upon this. I literally can’t imagine a single person this nightmare ensemble would look good on. If Bella Hadid can’t pull this off (and I’m telling you, she can’t), there’s no way the rest of us have any business buying it.
I take that back. If you are starring in a Golden Girls reboot, you have my permission to put this on your vision board. Otherwise stay far, far away.
Even the outfits that looked sort of almost okay on the mannequins had me doing a doubletake. Those of you who weigh 90 pounds are officially exempt from this particular discussion, but for the rest of you — Would you ever, ever, in a million years buy a pair of pants with fabric bunched up at the waist and tied like this? And would you then tuck a sweater into these clown pants to complete the look? No. No you wouldn’t.
It wasn’t until I found myself trying to decide between a see-through sweater and an emerald-green-shorts-set-with-coordinating-duster that I decided I’d had enough.
Let it be known that I will officially be buying nothing this year. My advice to you is to do the same. And I feel that we as a city really need to consider burning this mall to the ground and just starting over. Maybe then, we could have nice things. Things that actually flatter our figures and make us feel pretty.
Until then, I hereby declare Fall 2018 fashion to be A TOTAL LOSS.