What most designers do not appear to have realised, as they herald the new skirt length, is that school regulation A-line skirts were designed to encourage uniformity and clamp down on nubile sexuality. No one looks sexy in A-line. Even Linda Evangelista, wearing a Prada flared A-line in this month's Vogue, looks, well, frumpy.
When asked to try out the new skirt length I protested vociferously, but secretly saw this as my chance to look like Bette Midler for a day, all sassy hips, cruel heels and red, red lipstick.
The reality was disappointing. Although the long-line jacket was flattering - with a hint of decolletage and soft shoulders (barely a hint of shoulder pads) - I hated the way the slightly flared skirt rested on the knee. I looked at my steel-toecapped Doc Martens with regret and slipped on the Manolo Blahniks.
I looked like Bette Midler only from the ankles down; the skirt brought memories of school flooding back. I felt 13 again and horribly insecure. It bunched unattractively over the thighs rather than 'fluttering on the knee' as Vogue had promised, and made my calves look like a hockey player's. Elle called the new length the 'tongue-in-cheek Miss Moneypenny look'. Well, I always found Miss Moneypenny rather sexy, but this A-line skirt is more stern matron than restrained glamour.
I kept wanting to hitch it up, to pretend it wasn't just sitting there on my knees. I noticed other women on the Tube looking at me in a flattering 'Where did she get that jacket?' sort of way, until they got to the skirt, when the look changed to 'Oh, dear'.
As soon as I got to work I took the damn thing off and pulled on some leggings. Trouser-suits are sophisticated, long skirts have a satisfying swish and glamour about them, short skirts are for the brave but the new A-line is a fashion joke. Take my advice: if Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss look silly in them, don't kid yourself that you won't.
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