Fashion resolutions for 2009

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      This New Year’s Day, instead of making the same old resolutions—promises to lose those last 10 pounds, stop skipping yoga, cut back on the chocolate, and spend less money—why not make some fashion resolutions instead? What better excuse do we need to say a much-delayed goodbye to some of the most tiresome trends of 2008? Here, a roundup of some of the looks we’re looking forward to losing.

      Hammer Pants
      Whatever you want to call them—dhotis, dropped-crotch trousers, or harem pants—essentially, they’re Hammer pants. While a few can pull them off, on most women they lengthen the crotch, diminish the ass, and are altogether the furthest thing from flattering. Keep in mind, however, that there is a marked difference between Hammer pants and high-waisted, pleated pants: while the former are usually constructed from blousey cotton, linen, or even silk that brings to mind bad ’80s hip-hop has-beens, high-waisted pants are structured, smart, and fabulous with a tight white tank or menswear-inspired vest, Annie Hall–style.

      The Checked Scarf
      Don’t get us wrong: we love the look of a pretty, colourful scarf and could blather on about one’s ability to change an entire outfit, but when annoying Food Network celebrity Rachael Ray starts wearing what resembles a Palestinian kaffiyeh in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, there’s a problem. Add to that the fact that, now available in multiple colour permutations, the same scarf seems to have become a key uniform item (paired with skinny black jeans, Chuck Taylors, a baggy Ramones tee, vintage leather bomber, and fedora) for hipsters who probably have no clue about the situation in Palestine and the politics the kaffiyeh represents.

      Perilous Shoes
      When the models all fell down at the Prada spring 2009 fashion show in Milan, it wasn’t the shoes’ fault. No, it must have been the models—the same girls who pound dozens of catwalks each season, often in five-inch stilettos. In reality, it became apparent that the incident was due to the slippery socks worn with the shoes, but it just goes to show that perhaps designers have finally gone just a little too far with the crazy footwear. There will always be room for artful shoes (Marc Jacobs’s misplaced heel from spring 2008 and Dries van Noten’s colourful banded winter sandals come to mind), but when six inches is the new five inches, and when shoes become weapons of mass fashionista destruction, it’s time to draw the line.

      Shapeless Sacks
      There’s no better way to describe the dresses that flooded stores this past summer. Granted, some of them came in impressive ikat prints and fantastic florals, but a garbage-bag–shaped piece of fabric with two armholes cut out, a neck, and a hem do not a pretty dress make. They may be comfortable and figure-forgiving, but come on, at least belt that thing! Thankfully, the latter half of 2008 saw the return of more body-conscious shapes (thanks in part to the growing recognition of the ever-tailored Victoria Beckham as a fashion icon and funny woman and not just a crazy, controlling ex–Spice Girl wife). Here’s hoping this continues in 2009.