Let’s talk fashion.

Specifically, let’s talk about this all-devouring shift towards uniform informality, which has jammed my fashion radar good and proper. Everything these days (*) just looks like different shades of informal, and I can no longer discern between the shades, and I know this shouldn’t matter – but nevertheless, it can’t help but distress me somewhat.

I used to be good at this sort of thing, you see. Show me something that was filmed between 1962 and The Year 2000 (**), and I can usually place it to within a year or so, just by clothes and hair. (There are points in the late 1970s and early 1980s where I can practically tell you the month.)

But now, it’s just seven hundred versions (***) of the same low-slung, pre-faded, tiger-striped, boot-cut jeans that have been around since the turn of the decade, matched with the same old shoes (that trainers-meet-bowling-shoes look seems here to stay forever) and the same printed T-shirts (I stopped reading the slogans when they crossed over into total meaninglessness). Business shirts are stuck at pink, casual shirts are stuck at check.

That much-vaunted 1980s revival (which, like the much-vaunted 1970s revival before it, seems to be stretching out forever) could do with stepping up a gear or two. I want smart back, people!

(*) Do beware of middle-aged men who start their sentences with “Everything these days”. We said we’d never, etc etc.

(**) Don’t you love the way that some people still say “The Year 2000”, as if it were still something of great import?

(***) Sorry, I forgot. Cardigans are, apparently, “back”. This is hardly an inspiring development.

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