Fashion Confusion – the maxi dress

I’m on my way back from London. Sitting in a cool, empty train carriage after a hot, chaotic few hours in the big smoke. I went for work, to meet with magazine editors who were young enough to be my children. Well almost. It felt very much like that. They were fresh faced and well rested and “sooo stressed” and I was the slightly past it, ex magazine person who actually said the words “I worked here almost 12 years ago”. Not something I needed reminding of.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about. It was the in between meetings bit, the part where I was pushing my way down Oxford street trying to talk myself in to the merits of taking the tube and trying desperately not to raise my arm and hail a taxi – I lost, my arm won. It was then that I had a good look around me and took in what everyone was wearing. And I don’t know whether I’m any kind of authority to say this – I’m not – but everyone was such a mess. The only person I saw who looked remotely neat and well dressed and enviable was my friend Jenny in her short denim shorts and red gingham shirt with legs stretching as far as the eye could see. Jen, you rock.

The main problem was this…..there were way too many badly fitting maxi dresses. I fell out of love with the maxi dress a long time ago when I worked for a brand, who’s name I won’t mention, who were, if you like, one of the first high street brands to bring the maxi dress to the masses and to this day I’m not sure that was a good thing. I often look at long, slender ladies with envy as they float around in their floral maxis and although something inside me is telling me I should love it, I don’t. They look like little girls or ladies who are trying to be little girls and I just don’t think it’s a good look if you’re aged over 12. An evening maxi is a different matter all together. Long for the right occasion is fabulous, long for the day time when you can’t see your feet or it’s showing a little too much cleavage and slightly burnt shoulders, is not fabulous. It’s frightening and dare I say it, rather lazy – albeit fashionably lazy.


Perhaps it’s also important to add that my bugbear with the maxi dress is predominantly when they’re worn in the city. Where hemlines will only trail on the floor and get grubby or trip you up when running for buses or get tangled in escalators when racing for the sale bargains. If worn at all it should be on holiday. Oh and if you’re pregnant. That makes perfect sense.


The other thing which dampened the day a little happened during my pilgrimage to COS, which I love. It was absolutely packed. Cos is never packed. Cos is calm and quiet and neat and tidy and still the best kept high street secret. Oh please tell me it is. How did all these people find out about it. I don’t think they even knew what shop they were in, it was more like a frenzied grab what you can closing down sale than the calm, civilised Cos I so miss. Deeply upsetting.


So now, after a confusing day in London I’m racing home to the safety of the countryside where maxi dresses are much less frequent and no one, but no one has ever even heard of Cos.

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