Styled Out: Wearing flannel with flair

I’m getting more and more into this onslaught of plaid as a fall trend. I feel like it’s giving lesbians a second shot at the print and we — more than most — need a chance at redeeming ourselves with this sometimes fashion faux pas.

While it’s true that a lot of people wore the fabric back in ‘94, lesbians as a collective set themselves up to be fashion disasters in the area of flannel. I know that we ought to respect our elders, especially because those ladies helped pave the way as gay pioneers; is that why they sported the look for so long and with such enthusiasm? Whatever the reason for it, they created a stereotype. I say here and now we seize the day and take back our flannel pride.

Some of us may wear it long (dare I say with leggings). I like this best when you belt it, but it’s also a good look when worn loose. There’s everything you could think of: dresses, jumpers and it’s all pretty great without looking too trite.

It’s cool that the plaid print isn’t tied to flannel solely, but I have to admit I sort of dig the updated urban lumberjack look. If you’re feeling saucy, throw on suspenders. A tighter shirt is best paired with a more fitted pair of jeans. In this round of grunge, it seems that the more tailored the better, and I’m totally on board with that. The baggy jeans went out with the frumpy look of the button-up the first time around.

Speaking of which, who didn’t love grunge? I know I was complaining about the whole ’90s thing last week, but this movement has an entirely different influence, one which I think a lot of us can relate to. Everything in fashion is a retrospective and that draws from influences in past eras — some more heavily than others — but it inevitably comes back around. This particular wave has got me feeling old. It just happened, right? Thirteen years ago.

Remember Alanis, and when you used to play “Ironic” on repeat and idolize the Canadian crooner? (I really hope I’m not alone here.) I can’t even imagine it now, but let’s dissect her 1996 look: the long, wavy, stringy hair is (like her) screaming at me. Everybody had long hair in the early to mid-90s and it didn’t even have to look that good.

Once again, people are obsessed with having the longest most luxurious hair they can possibly manage to grow. The hair salon that I work for is full of ladies trying to get the most length on their locks. I feel like in the 90s it was best to have the attitude of “I don’t care” and in 2008 it’s cool to care, but not to look like you’re trying. What-ever (hands thrown up in a Clueless-esque W).

I think of a lot of my 20-something readers can also agree that this whole revisiting of retro is our chance at middle school redemption. I will don my plaid with pride and ask the prettiest girl on the dance floor to slow dance, but this time acne free and much more put together. Let’s take it back, lesbians. I’ve got flannel by her throat.

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