The fashion industry can lead followers in strange directions and, of course, has done so for much of history.

Primitive woman: Does this single shoulder-strap beaver skin make me look big at the hips?

Caveman: No, you look great!

Primitive woman (whacking him): Why don't you ever say what you mean!


If, some years ago, it came as a surprise to you to find that you could buy ready-torn jeans, you will be really shocked by some newer developments.

Of course, distressed or pre-ripped jeans are now old hat (vieux chapeau) and one of the most alarming developments occurred in 2014 when a Japanese denim label released jeans that had been "pre-torn by lions, tigers and bears".

Another label released jeans with "heavy distressing" which I presume meant that the damage was considerable but had been administered by smaller quadrupeds.
I'm willing to admit that these new items may also have been around for yonks. It's just that I hadn't noticed them because I wasn't in the market for such items.

The first is ready-muddied jeans. That's right, jeans which have had actual mud applied to them. For your convenience. It's a rugged look which some people are willing to pay for and even wear.

No doubt this muddying trend will soon follow the wine industry and certify terroir. "These jeans are caked in alluvial mud from the sunny northern slopes of the Waipara region."

According to my probing research, Adidas brought out, in 2014, trainers with "handcrafted mud" though what that is one shudders to think.

But my most recent discovery was ... wait for it ... paint-splattered jeans. These are real jeans which, for your convenience and to satisfy your high-end fashion sense, have been splattered with real paint. Yes, on purpose!

If you want to create your own there are plenty of online sites to guide you but don't wear your expensive shoes while you create your masterpiece because paint-splattered shoes aren't in just yet. (Now there's a thought.)


All this set me to thinking of some of the sillier fashions I have seen in my lifetime. I even admit to having worn two of them but you'll have to guess which two.

Wing collar shirts. For no apparent reason – except perhaps to facilitate more effective take-offs and landings – the collars of these shirts could reach the shoulders.

Platform shoes. These also assisted in aviation by raising the wearer's altitude.
Jerkins. Absolutely no satisfactory explanation for these has been found.

Leg warmers. Again, no explanation has been discovered.

Sweaters worn slung around the neck. This has largely disappeared now as more and more men have come to realise that this makes them look ... well ... silly.

Parachute pants. These were worn mostly by skateboarding youths and were useful for storage. Access was gained though the top rear which was located just below the buttocks.


Crocs. Some learned people have tried to explain the emergence of this footwear but most of them have since been safely locked away.

Anyway, you want to know, don't you, what my big fashion tips are for next season? Remember you read them here first.

I have to admit that I don't really know what the word chinos means but I'm picking that a big mover will be chinos with gravy spilt down the front or, for the sweet tooth, chinos with your choice of chocolate or raspberry sauce stains strewn with hundreds and thousands.

Another big player might be honey-smeared jeans with insects stuck in the sweet mire and with the honey borders showing signs of squirrel nibble marks.

You may laugh but may I remind you of pre-ripped jeans, pre-muddied jeans and paint-splattered jeans. I rest my case.