Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Fashions To Bring Back in Style

Last time I mentioned some of the fashions I wish would return and asked for reader comments. Seems that we’re all on the same page for a couple of things. Like hats.

Love my fedoras.


We do too, Michael!

And not only you – hats got the thumbs up from Jilian,  Carol, Snowflake, Jeanne, Aylea, and several others, along with shoulder pads. But of all the readers who weighed in on hats, the all time winner is Blaze:

I have hundreds of hats and member of two Red Hat groups, one for 20 years! Hats are always in fashion and have never gone out of fashion!


..and all fans of high waisted jeans, like me and reader Jane,  owe Reader Rhonda a ‘thanks”…

Old Navy has some high waisted jeans. I usually shop online, so I’m not sure if they are in the brick and mortar stores.


Reader Hollis was among several (like Anne and Sonja) who bemoaned the poor choices for shoppers of a Certain Age.

Too much merch is targetted at much-younger models. 


Several readers also pointed out the general lack of fashion sense in the public square (“Leggings EVERYWHERE!” says Sonja.)

Sonja put it best.

Casual dress, casual mind.


Your Turn!

There are many other ‘must haves” in the comments – don’t get reader Jeanne started about shoes! – so read them all and share your thoughts on fashion! Let us know in the comments! 


In case you missed it, the original column is below.

My suffering is over, at last. Well, sorta. High waisted jeans are back in style. I wish they had never left.

High waisted jeans!  How I’ve missed you! For years, I suffered through the boyfriend jean, the skinny jean, leggings, jeggings, and worse.  Even at my very thinnest, all those jeans made me look, well, dumpy. I can’t help it if my waist is wandering up somewhere nearer my armpits than my hipbones.  It’s the price for having long legs. Welcome back!

Now that my jeans dilemma is settled (for the moment), how about bringing back:

Shoulder pads.  They can’t be beat for balancing out a pear-shaped silhouette or making a waist look trimmer. With them, most women can pass for Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not. Sort of.

Hats.  Easter is coming.  I used to be able to pick up a nice little chapeau and make my rent in the same month.  That was back when every respectable department store had a worthy hat department – Bloomingdale’s, Bonwits, Bendels, B. Altman (the city’s best hat department, and oh! the gloves!); each spring the stores’ hat racks sprouted gorgeous hats like flowers. Now I can’t find a nice little pillbox or a big brim sunhat without going online or paying a fortune.

I could go on and on – but how about you? What fashion do you wish would come back?  Let us know in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send  Open Thread suggestions to

Top Photo: Artificial Photography for Unsplash


35 responses to “Open Thread Update: Fashions To Bring Back in Style

  1. Most clothes are very poor quality: terrible materials (very thin, very transparent, very «plastic»), crooked seams, stitches missing, tops cut too low, showing too much flesh, skirts too short. I long for quality and aesthetic, feminine cuts for a female body. We can always buy men’s clothing (I do!) if they fit better or are more practical. I’m tall and slim, men’s casual sweaters and sports clothes are good for me. I love leggings in winter, soft, warm, confortable. But I need trousers too!

  2. Just a late comment. I would like to see longer skirts. Some of us have bad-looking legs. I like to wear skirts but quit since ladies don’t wear hose. I have nothing to hide the veins in my legs. Long skirts would be nice.

    1. I despise the sleeve length of blouses! Either make it a true cap sleeve or wrist-length. For the last number of years, most sleeve blouse lengths seem to end right below the elbow crook. Whassup with that? It’s neither here nor there, so I find them simply annoying to wear.
      I also miss wide-leg jeans, so whenever I spot a pair somewhere in a catalog or on-line I order right away.

    1. I SO agree! What happened to all the gorgeous wools we used to have? And so many of those wool pieces really never go out of style. (I still have some in my closet . . . if only I could still fit into them!) Polyesters and all synthetics are made from oil and plastics and are part of what is killing our planet also. And the natural fabrics are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

      1. I totally agree with everything Eva said. I can’t wear polyester unless it is balanced with some cotton. And wool always looks fine. What about bamboo?
        I need to know more about that.

  3. I would like for people to wear actual slacks, dresses, blouses. Far too often are people wearing exercise clothing . I.e leggings EVERYWHERE!. It is difficult to find tailored slacks without paying a ridiculous amount.

  4. So many people have decided to make jeans and a T shirt their uniform Not only do they not take pride in their attire but many seem to have lost it in themselves
    Tanking pride in your garments speak to how you see yourself and take care of your body
    Fashion is great tool and those you mentioned v speak volumes

  5. You totally nailed it, Virge! As I age, I’m inclined to seek out slightly more “covered up” clothing that doesn’t look prudish or stuffy. Too much merch is targetted at much-younger models. Brands like Chicos, Talbot’s, Soft Surroundings and others not only feature “mature” models but give is some workable options that wear well, pack well, wash well and otherwise suit our older bodies and toned-down lifestyles.

    1. thanks for the comment, Hollis! The merch selections are insane. Belly shirts? Skirts up to your, um, hoohah? The other issue I find is that a lot of clothing is made from fabric so thin I can read the Times through it. Thank God for thrift shops.

    1. Jane Tate,
      Have you tried NYDJ jeans,
      Not Your Daughters Jeans?

      I bought a pair 5-6 years ago, straight legged and traditional, I’ve been very happy with. I am short-waisted-a high waist- that most pants feel wrong.

      They have good sales, ie, 30% off and such.

      Good luck!

  6. Oh, bring back quality leather boots with a moderate heel, and classic little black dresses with easy waistlines, and open-toed stacked-heel slingbacks as the ideal summer shoe. And bring back Danskin leotards paired with hip-hugger bell bottoms and golden hoop earrings — my college uniform during summer months.

  7. I too like high waisted pants, though Jean seams are too bulky and bother my tail bone now. So I am having to look for comfortable but nice looking pants. I love hats and yes stores need to carry more hat styles and sizes. I have a lot of hair so need to wear hats for larger heads. It makes it hard having to buy them online and hope the color is the right shade of red. plus wondering if the hat will fit or not. Just seems like you can’t find what you want in the stores.

  8. I need pockets and elasticized waistlines in all pants. I love soft jersey pants with deep crotches that don’t ride up. Tight crotches are uncomfortable and can contribute to yeast infections. I like soft jersey tops too, turtlenecks in winter, crew necks in between, and tank tops for the bottom layer all year round. Shoes have been my biggest problem for awhile. The fat pad underfoot is gone, so shoes and socks need lots of extra padding. I’d love to see more choice in fanny packs too!!

    1. don’t care for the shoulder pads again as i have narrow hips and i would appear top-heavy. What i would like to find again are the high-waisted ‘hippie’ dresses i wore in the early 70s. So pretty and comfy. soft jersey tops would be nice as someone suggested. I don’t go anywhere that requires dressing-up anymore ( we like casual happy hours, outdoors) but would like some nicer casual clothes rather than what I buy at target, Kohls or similar stores at reasonable prices.

  9. I would like to see a return to elegance. People dressing properly; men in suits and women in dresses and heels. Not the ripped jeans and track suits and joggers and Spanx and sneakers that people wear all day & everywhere today.

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