Dingus of the Week: Women’s Fashion
It’s either Coyote Ugly or Little House on the Prairie
This is the Weekly Dingus, the Friday newsletter, where I round up my internet reads, share a drink recipe, and vent about something really dingusy that happened in the news. This week, it’s women’s fashion. But once it was the groundhog. Another time it was milk. Will it be you? Stay canny and cautious.
There is a lot going on in the world. War. A tanking economy. A continuing pandemic.
But, I think it’s important that we address a real crisis: women’s fashion.
To quote a TikTok I once saw (but can’t find again, but that’s okay, because the video probably ripped off a viral Tweet), all women’s fashion looks like either Coyote Ugly or Little House on the Prairie. You look like you are either going to dance with LeAnn Rimes on a bar in New York City where people go to cosplay as Republicans, or you look like you just barely survived the long winter.
There was a time between 2020 and 2021 when women’s fashion was great, because fashion brands were like “fine, here are 20,000 kinds of soft pants and fleece-lined jumpsuits.” Thank you. But of course, like the Child Care Tax Credit or your boss being understanding about working from home, it was never going to last.
No. The women got too comfortable in their leggings and nap dresses. They started asking for things like equal pay and healthcare. So, crop tops are back. And now we have to worry about how our stomachs look in low-rise jeans instead of trying to pass the ERA.
Of course, if you don’t want to look like a sexy coked-out baby from Euphoria, you can look like you just escaped a forced marriage to a Duggar son. Or, like you were homeschooled in Texas in the early ’90s.
It makes sense that there is a resurgence of jean skirts, long prairie dresses, and ill-fitting sacks. It’s a throwback to a simpler era when there was no internet, no Facebook, and men were men and women died in childbirth like God intended. This fashion regression mirrors a regression in our laws, with the rise in laws restricting women’s access to healthcare, laws targeting trans women, and book bans.
There is a third option and that is Coastal Grandmother, where you can dress in flowing linen, dress shirts, and hats. I like this option, because it feels like the most honest reflection of where women are at the moment. Absolutely unable to put on hard pants, but still expected to try. Also, we’ve all aged so much in the pandemic, there is no point in pretending we are anything but old, exhausted, irritable, and more into our heirloom tomatoes than any of your bullshit.
Last week, I put on an outfit (flowing pants, comfy tank top, denim shirt) and realized I looked like my mom in the early ’90s. Or, as my friend and genius Kelsey McKinney pointed out, like Chessy from the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap. This revelation was both devastating and then encouraging. Because, listen, I turn 40 this year. I’m too old for trends. I’m exactly the right age to wear whatever the hell I want, and if I look like I’m going to star in a Nancy Meyers movie about menopause, then great. LET ME LEAN THE HELL INTO THAT.
My aesthetic is actually feral crone with wolf. In the sense that I dress like a poor coastal grandmother and accessorize with dogs.