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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Administrator

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nick Clegg (R) Liberal Democrat Leader and former leader Charles Kennedy MP, joined the general election campaign trail on April 8, 2010  

Charles Kennedy: The only mainstream political leader who spoke sense

Tim Farron
 

The strangely parallel lives of Oliver Letwin and Ed Miliband

Matthew Norman
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral