Cheap Clothes Rule / Fashion and Style Blog

Welcome back to Cheap Clothes Rule.

Today we’re announcing the Girl In Green Awards – this is our version of the Oscars except there’s no awards ceremony, guests or prizes (sorry about that!). Bear in mind that all nominations must be submitted with cheap or affordable fashion in mind. It doesn’t mean that the nomination necessarily has to be from the budget clothes area, just that e.g. best dressed male is someone folks like us can relate to and assemble the general look of if we like.

So without further ado, here’s the nomination categories:

Best dressed female

Best Dressed male

Best affordable clothes brand or outlet

Best clothes item

Best dressed UK city

Bargain of the year so far

Girl In Green Awards 2011 – go vote!

{March 24, 2011}   Royal wedding shoes

The forthcoming royal wedding has so far been kind of unusual in that it has set all sorts of trends – this is probably because in ye olden days of olde, there wasn’t the technology and fast communications for the kind of almost real time trending that we see these days.

The dress Middleton wore when the engagement was announced inspired many garments at all price points aiming to help the wearer get that effortlessly confident Kate look – and when the actual wedding takes place there’s likely to be a media genre all of its own dedicated to Kate fashions.  Expect few stories about William’s choice of suit though 🙂

Kate’s choice of clothing for the wedding will be a big media ticket no doubt – and there’s even been conjecture about what her choice of shoes will be.

Fast fashion and the real-time on trending phenomenon means that it’s likely there will be Kate inspired  shoes on sale this spring summer season.




Hopefully 2011 will be a better year for weather than 2010 was. The summer was pretty good, but after that we descended into some eternal winter like something out of a Mervyn Peake volume. And if the snow continues we could end up with, ahem, a white St Patricks Day.

The clothes shops will hopefully be stocking woolly hats for a few weeks yet.

In other news, Kate Moss gets the 70s vibe – pictured according to the Telegraph as if she was “channelling Margot Leadbetter” for a 70s party.

What can we say apart from a) LOL and b) Kate looks as great as ever.

Full story here

{February 17, 2011}   Men’s clothes – new era?


Remember when decades used to have names? There were the roaring 20s, the thirsty 30s, the WW2 40s, the Sid Vicious 70s, and so on. Of course, it was largely a journalistic shorthand not for an entire decade or even the majority of one, but for some shortlived but salient part of the decade. I mean, just mention the 70s and people will laugh and talk about the decade that had no taste – flares, brown paisley patter curtains, stacked heels. But this is only a very small part of the story: sample a look-back and you’ll find that the very early 70s had more of a 60s influence, and that after 1976 the flares began to disappear, and by 1978 the kids were wearing drainpipes. So, by 70s what people really mean is 72 to about mid-75.

Same deal with the 80s. Say 80s and the response will be – shoulder pads, yuppies, 80s excess. Yeah that all went on but it went on at the same time as the third generation of punk, Red Wedge, strong mod and skinhead scenes on the housing estates, and later in the decade you had Acid House and the return of flares via a Manchester Arndale market stall.

And the 60s? Anything in fashion we associate with the 60s is always post- 1965.  Why?

Anyway, eventually we ran out of names for decades, or just stopped caring because after 1999 it would all be 00s and 10s and they don’t have much of a ring to them.

But fashion continues regardless. And mens clothes by the year 2000 were expected to be space age but no, we still wear jeans and trainers. The invention of the trainer is probably a bit like the invention of the wheel – they’ll last for millennia, in different colours shapes and forms, but they will go on and on and on.

Meanwhile there’s a trend towards dressing formally in style again, possibly the influence of the likes of David Beckham, Kanye West and others who gave up bling and swapped it for sartorial excellence. Just check out this vid of Tinie Tempah at the Brits. Genius threads…

{January 7, 2011}   Fashion sales!


Well after the cold weather and all the snow, it looks like the consumer is the winner because the sales are on and it loks like there’s savings to be made everywhere.

Just as well really, because what with the rise in VAT, people need a bargain more than ever.

But it’s better than the old days when there was only one department store in each big town and people used to fight over the reduced goods.



{September 24, 2010}   Skinny jeans: a history

Skinny Jeans have been around for a long time, but like a lot of styles they change over time.
Back in the days of Elvis Presley, skinny jeans were called drainpipes, since in comparison to other jeans of the time they made the wearer’s legs look not unlike drainpipes. Actually they look nothing like drainpipes today – the 1950s style by modern standards is hardly even a skinny jean style at all – more like a slightly close fitting style. According to Wikipedia, the style is also known as pegs, drainpipes, stovepipes, cigarette pants, pencil pants, skinny pants or skinnies.

The skinny style then reappeared around the time of Punk Rock in 1976/77. Prior to that, jeans had been getting wider and wider and had become flares. In some cases people wore flares that were an incredible 24″ circumference –  enough to fit round the waist of some people.  Then with the technology of Lycra, jeans got tighter and tighter, and by the mid-80s people were going round in jeans that bore more resemblance to ‘jeggings’ than to your Elvis Presley Rock’n’Roll denims.

Then – all things being cyclical in nature – jeans went baggy again. Legend has it that this trend started from a market stall in the underbelly of Manchester’s Arndale Centre – one of those retail spaces that sets trends by word of mouth. Soon, all the local kids were in flares and not long after, the entire country. Then it fizzled out and thing went back to normal.

The 90s wasn’t much of a style-led decade – companies like Gap and George At Asda sought to democratise fashion with cheap, utilitarian designs that would suit everyone. By the late 90s a kind of ‘anything goes’ culture had emergesd whereby some people wore flares, some bootcuts, and many opted for combat pants. For a short time it looked like the major denim lables had lost their way – designs with a spiral seam and other egregious designs abounded. Many just wore combats instead.

The move back towards skinny jeans started in earnest sometime in the early 2000s. But it never really took off until about a couple of years ago. This style is now de rigeur for hip kids from Austin, Texas to Berlin, Germany. Complete the look with a check shirt and a floppy quiff, and make for the live music scene!

{September 15, 2010}   Fashion ideas and The Face

Where do people get their ideas for clothes from these days?

Once upon a time, it was magazines like The Face that contextualized the latest gear, and people got a picture of what the London cool set weret wearing. This was different from today’s hipster tribe, who are bound together not by location but by shared sonic-aesthetic values. With the London set of yesteryear there were a lot more codes going on, and it has to be said, a lot more clothes snobbery.

It was sad to see the demise of The Face, but by the time it croaked it wasn’t really itself anymore and hadn’t been for a while. Its slightly overbearing trendiness had begun to seem anachronistic, and its iconographising of music scenes had given way to a slightly mystifying obsession with Japanese pop culture.

Another thing that encroached on The Face’s manor was that the Sunday supplements started to up the fashion ante, sometimes with 100+pp editions that must have cost many thousands to produce. And while The Face wasn’t about high fashion to any great extent, meanwhile its street element was slowly being replaced by the internet. Who needed The Face to tell us about some underground darnce microculture that caused a revolution in a small Bristol council estate, when you could have the internet.

The Face was always a frontrunner, a pioneer, an edge-cutter. It was a work of powerful imagination, and its instigators (had this been France) would all be in receipt of the Légion d’honneur.

And in true ‘get there first’ style, The Face died in 2004 – just at the point when print mags were starting to look like yesterday’s thing.

So where do you get your style ideas from nowadays?

et cetera