Katy Guest: Fashion's passion-killer: flesh-coloured tights

Share
Related Topics

A lot of people wouldn't think it to look at me, but every now and then there comes along a fashion moment that really cheers me up. Not in the traditional run-out-and-buy-it way, of course. But because you've got to celebrate anything that persuades young and pretty people deliberately to make themselves look uglier.

The current Eighties renaissance is a godsend for those of us who are older, slightly scruffy and frankly knocking on a bit. We may not have had a haircut in a year and may be a little bit too fat for our jeans; but those bright young things who could outshine us are hiding their lights under Alexis Carrington shoulder pads, those harem pants that make them look as though they've done big poos in their nappies, and 1987 shaggy perms with home-made fringes. And now, praise be, they're wearing "nude".

Getting to grips with "nude", according to the experts, means first of all understanding everything that nude is supposedly not. The colour can be referred to as taupe, tan, flesh, oatmeal or biscuit. It even extends as far as blush, café au lait and oyster. But we must never, ever, ever use the word "beige". One "beige" spoken out loud could so easily bring the whole carapace crashing down.

Gloriously, this nefarious plot to make young people look minging has been taken up in the highest places. Last week, Cheryl Cole appeared at the O2 arena wearing a nude-look catsuit, flesh-coloured tights, slashed harem trousers and sparkly pants. Flesh-coloured tights – the most dispiriting word combination in the English language. But what an inspiration, to make hot girls seem unsexy!

Pixie Lott, in addition, has designed a new collection for Lipsy, featuring a nude, backless, babydoll dress (£60). It was something along these lines that Sarah Jessica Parker wore at the Costume Institute Gala in New York last week, though you'd have been forgiven for thinking that she'd turned up in my Nanna's old underskirt. (Only my Nanna wouldn't have worn crinkly beige polyester for anyone.)

Then, style gurus from the likes of Glamour, Elle and Grazia came out raving about the new summer collection from M&S, which includes a nude leather dress, harem pants (of course), and a playsuit. (Which is helpful, because anyone turning up to work wearing a playsuit can in all fairness be told to run along and play.) But I thought Abbey Clancy was pushing it a bit when she said, "As you know, I'm obsessed with nude and sequins. They look so pretty together." You don't want to make it too obvious that you're taking the mick.

And this overdoing it is what's starting to worry me about the nude trend. Because if you're going to persuade an entire generation of otherwise intelligent and quite good-looking people that they must all wear fancy dress because fashion says so, you've at least got to try not to laugh out loud. Unfortunately, even for thickies, "nude" just carries too many connotations of The Emperor's New Clothes.

Some people just mustn't wear nude for fear of giving the game away. Ms Parker narrowly got away with it because she has always been committed to making herself look rubbish in the name of fashion. But others don't have her élan.

Samantha Cameron, I just know, will have been preparing for her Michelle Obama moment by trying on the season's on-trend new colour. But Samantha, as we can see, is no Mrs O. And it would be terrible if that whole generation who do not remember how bad the Eighties were woke up after the election hustling and realised to their horror that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing & Commnunications Executive, London

£30000 - £34000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly successful organisat...

C# .NET Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript HTML, CSS) Finance

£60000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...

MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh-£260/day

£230 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh...

Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS, Crystal rep

£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

August catch-up: The Hitch on Americans, literature, liberal intervention and language

John Rentoul
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the country's Independence Day in New Delhi, India  

With Modi talking tough and Sharif weak, the India-Pakistan love-in could never last

Andrew Buncombe
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment