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Fashion evolution is backtracking

March 20, 2009

Since ancient man first wrapped himself in an animal pelt for warmth, our clothing has evolved like a Darwinian theory. Garments throughout history have evolved to meet the moral standards of society or serve a functional purpose, such as work attire or for an area's climate.

Now in 2009, we have thousands of years of trends to help us be part of the crowd or show our individuality. Over the years, borrowing concepts from the Greeks, the Victorians, the '50s greasers and virtually every other era, modern fashion designers have selected both the fittest and weakest fashions to give us modern looks.

To help the weaker fashion species survive, designers and fashionistas have helped earlier looks evolve into less obnoxious trends that transform into classic style, surviving the test of time.

Recently, we've stopped evolving and instead have begun to take steps backward and unnaturally select trends that should have been weeded out after 1993. It's when we fail to evolve and look to our past fashion mistakes for answers to our current dilemma of having so few new ideas that we cannot weed out the weaker clothing species.

In July 2008, Katie Holmes was photographed sporting jeans that had been subjected to the 1980s and early 1990s trend of pegging pants. Yes, the fad that involved intricately rolling and folding extra fabric at the hem lines.

Since then, more celebrities have jumped on the pegging bandwagon.

However, designers Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan have elected to select the stronger and earlier version of the pegged concept.

Peg-top trousers do not require exposing the inside of the jeans. The pants are cut to be full through the hips and narrow at the ankle. The trend became popular with men during the 19th century and with women during the 1970s.

Celebrities are continuing to take the time warp to 1992 with their questionable decision to pull back their hair with a scrunchie.

Our hair products, thankfully, have evolved to small bands that are barely visible. Hopefully, those of us in the mountains have evolved past the scrunchie. Scrunchies should be gathered, burned, buried and permanently sealed off in a deep pit so future generations will never make the scrunchie mistake again.

The glory days of grunge music may be gone, but "Smells Like Teen Spirit" fashion is coming back. While browsing some teeny-bopper Web pages devoted to fashion, I was taken back by discussions about jeans with multiple tears spanning the entire leg. Then, just a few days later I saw these jeans exposing the upper thigh of a person in Elkins.

Jeans with small tears - not the gaping holes like Wayne Campbell's - will help keep our fashion evolution on track. Part of our fashion evolution should be to learn from our past mistakes by realizing we went overboard the first time.

If we keep evolution in mind, the style train will keep rolling and be the envy of future generations, not the butt of their jokes.

In the end, if you must participate in selecting a trend that has not evolved, some rules of the theory should still apply: Match a pair of pegged pants with a top from the 21st century and maybe a pair of wedge heels. Wearing pegged pants, a hair scrunchie, a hypercolor T-shirt, fanny pack and K-Swiss sneakers would be like thawing a caveman and turning him loose in modern society.



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