Guest Expressed: “The Return of the Babygrow”

Today’s guest, Greg O’Hara, will direct our attention to an ominous new fashion trend. I won’t reveal too much, but spoiler: BABYGROW! Enter Greg:

Student trends – there’s nothing better is there? There’s certainly nothing more varied, exciting and innovative. Campus’ are the down-to-earth, everyday equivalent of the catwalks of Milan and reflect major trends the world over. Has the latest student trend, however, marred that widely believed statement by going too far?

In the not so distant past, the world of fashion was facing forward. It sought after the trends of the future. More recently however, the fashion world has informed the present by taking a look at the past. The vintage clothes culture sweeping campuses and cities all over the country has become something of an epidemic; students raiding their parents’ wardrobes, their grandparents’ attics and local charity shops for those ancient fur coats, chunky-knitted sweatshirts and bomber jackets as if they are preparing for the fabric apocalypse. On the whole, vintage clothing is inexpensive, great for the environment and can look amazing.

There is, however, a problem. Somewhere down the line someone forgot to mention where this little experiment in clothes from the past should end, resulting in a mildly disturbing new trend which is currently spreading like a common cold. If you are a student there is no doubt in my mind that you have either seen, live in close proximity to, or own one of these yourself. I talk of course of the onesie. The onesie needs no introduction; shamefully the term is now very much a household name and very much, I hasten to add, a household item.

There can also be no denying that however much the external design of the onesie is modified to imitate a famous super hero or a popular cartoon character, it is still essentially a BABYGROW.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by dandelion_glitter

My fear is that people are so preoccupied in delving through yesterday for their wardrobe of tomorrow that they haven’t the will power to stop going back. The obsession with these Babygrows can only lead to a search of fashions prior to them, and there was only one definitive look before they came along: the classic birthday suit.

Is this what fashion has become? Are the magazines of Paris and the catwalks of Milan next year to be swarming with models in the buff showing off the definitive blast from the past: the traditional ‘au naturel’ look? Will accessory shops be teaming with the latest styles in umbilical scarves?

For those who mock the vintage look, I implore you to think how much worse it could be. Be thankful that for the time being, however ridiculous they are, we seem to have plateaued at the adult Babygrow. Brace yourself for the next influx of whatever madcap styles prance into the vivid student imagination and hope that on Christmas morning next year you don’t come downstairs to unwrap your very own, top-notch umbilical scarf.

Greg O’Hara is a writer and second year English Literature student at the University of Leeds. He runs his own blog with regular readership and is a contributing writer and illustrator for a number of independent publications. Alongside writing, Greg has performed in several theatre productions and is a keen bassist and pianist. He is here writing on behalf of innovative fashion website

Guest Expressed: “The Fashionably Challenged Midwest, USA”

Today I have the pleasure to bring you a guest post by fellow Twitterer and a frequent blog visitor – Rachael McGimpsey. She takes a look at some…interesting…fashion trends around Midwest. Enter Rachael:

There is a good reason why the Midwest, U.S.A. is not known for being a fashion center of the world.

Regardless of the mistaken belief that all of the United States is either L.A. or New York, most of the country is made up of small towns and rural areas. Most of the Midwest is not known for its sprawling cities, with a few exceptions like Chicago.

I live in a very small town in Michigan, the population size: not too many. It is not such a small town that you know everybody, but heck, this is the Midwest and we do not like knowing everybody. We have a chip on our shoulders and we like it that way.

Do I look like I care?


I am not the most fashionable person; it is usually jeans, a comfortable clean shirt, and loafers. The clean shirt was not a typo as I am beginning to think that clean shirts are optional for some people.

I think my personal fashion statement can be summed up as “too scared to aspire to anything higher than acceptable”. Unfortunately, the average person, in my town is below the average of the acceptable limit of fashion dumbness.


Is there no occasion where stretch pants are not welcome?

It took Michiganders decades to stop wearing sweat pants or those oh, so lovely 1980’s invention – stretch pants – to every single social event they attended and it looks like it is going to take a few more decades to convince them that PJ bottoms are not the end all fashion statement.

I have a real pet peeve of seeing anyone wandering around town in PJ bottoms, but for heaven’s sake, if you insist on wearing them in public do not wear the same one’s you had on the night before! And please, oh, please, do not wear fuzzy slippers with them; I can only take so much!

I told you cleanliness is an option with some and so is the degree of shabbiness of the PJ bottoms themselves. I have seen everything from clean and brand spanking new, to ones that are so full of holes it is a wonder they have not disintegrated in the last wash cycle, whenever that was.

Some confused souls even wander around not in the typical and much “cooler” cotton variety, but the shiny satin kind. Topped with a ratty tee shirt this is not a pretty picture.


To my male readers, life is not fair at times, it is a sad fact that while the women can get away with PJ bottoms with a tank top males can not, sorry.

Men, if you insist on wearing your PJ in public do not under any circumstances pair them with either the already mentioned tank top or a 1980’s (that does creep up a lot in this place) muscle shirt.

Nobody told me the 1980s ended!


Short shorts come back every once in awhile, but here in the Midwest they never seem to go away no matter what the current fashion trend or your current degree of physical fitness.

Women, I root for you with all my heart, but although it is a fact that men like to see a pair of long legs in a pair of short shorts, your cellulite rear is not a thing of beauty, life is not fair for us women either. Sometimes, too much of a good thing becomes not such a good thing, I am sorry. I feel your pain, but let the short shorts thing go. Pass the torch and move on.


Some of the women in the Midwest have never been taught that if your clothing is so tight you can not walk, bend, breath, laugh, or sneeze that this is not sexy; passing out never is.

Tight jeans on guys are supposed to be sexy, I am told, but jeans that are so tight you can not get the zipper unzipped in time to use the bathroom are never a good idea. Quite a few male Michiganders think the tight jean look is standard county fair attire; usually, but not always, set off by not bothering to wear a shirt.

With older men a popular footwear choice is sandals with socks; mostly worn with plaid Bermuda shorts and a lime green tank top.
With the Bermuda look the hairier one’s arms, legs, and chest are all the better; beer belly optional.

Oh the joys of Michigan in summer! Hey, you forgot your socks!

When she’s not ranting about people’s poor fashion choices, Rachael can be found ranting about other things on Twitter or her blog.