Stretch, corduroy and jumpsuit are 3 words that just shouldn?t appear together, at least not in 2003. But there it is in the Victorias Secret catalog, a stretch corduroy jumpsuit, priced at $78 and available in ?chocolate?.
I often wonder why corduroy seems to come back year after year. It?s designed for professors who smoke pipes and wear tan jackets with patches on the elbows. It turns everyone else into an elephant. And what?s the deal with velour? When did velour tracksuits become a celebrity fashion item costing $200 and why would 20 year olds need to feel comfortable?
I may have thought velour was cool when we were in middle school, but it disappeared from the fashion world for a very good reason — it?s unflattering, clings to all the wrong places and only seems to come in purple or pink. Leave it to the mums-to-be.
But high sheen, all-cotton flying suits were my must-have of the 70s, especially when the Abba Arrival album came out. The cover was a photo of the Abba members in white flying suits, jammed inside a weird all-glass helicopter that even then I doubted they had arrived in. But flying suits hadn?t made it to the high-street in 1976 and anyway my mum said white was impractical and it would make me look like a painter decorator. An 11 year old female painter decorator obviously. But finally they arrived in Top Shop in the early 80s when a buyer must have misheard that pilots, not pirates were the inspiration for the new romantic look. My suit was khaki and had an elasticated waist, for these were the pre-lycra years. It also had gold piping along the zip seam and shirt collar, something the Victorias Secret designers missed.
I don’t know why Victorias Secret even sells clothes. The cataolg models are enough to put me off — that shag me expression and the fake poses that remind me of the ones I used to jam my Pippa doll into when I tired of pulling her head off. Until recently I didn?t even realize Victorias Secret sold clothes. Then I impetulously decided to join their mailing list and have been receiving an average of 8 catologs a month ever since.
Subjected to this form of bombardment, I guess it?s only a matter of time before I start believing that stretch corduroy will give me a professional fit with casual appeal or that this Christmas, real shearling truly is for sharing.