Today's 'Thursday Styles' section of The New York Times has a piece by its fashion critic, Cathy Horyn titled "Après Rehab: A Lovely Sobriety." "Fashion for fall is tailored, elegant, rational. There's not a whiff of Britney or Paris about it," reads the subhead. The story discusses the move toward a chic, tailored, sophisticated look this fall — more suits, more slim skirts, more covered-up, working-woman clothes. In other words, the party's over. The reasons are varied. "I think it's an indication that people are worried," says Julie Macklowe, who follows the retail business for Sigma Capital Management, a hedge fund in New York.

"I don't feel I'm going to be square in a suit," adds Linda Fargo, the fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman. "The suit is cooler now."

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Ms. Horyn seems to welcome the change — no more dangerously low-cut jeans, trapeze dresses or Minnie Mouse platforms. But you know what? It all sounds fucking boring!


Yes, women need "wearable" fashion solutions for work and social outings. And sure, things have gotten predictable — no one wants to go to a bar, restaurant or party and see 20 women wearing the exact same breezy baby doll dress. A couple of summers ago it was camisoles and jeans. Everywhere. But part of the fun of fashion is playing dress-up. Living a pseudo-fantasy, in which you can channel a 60s French lounge singer, an 80s pop star or a 70s disco diva — all in the course of a weekend. Ms. Horyn writes that Julianne Quay, the executive editor of V and V Man magazines, recently bought a gray wool YSL dress with a cowl neck, which she describes as "very Dolly Parton in '9 to 5.' " In fact, to Ms. Quay, the look for fall is "very 'Working Girl,' very office." Let's get this straight: a working woman who works in an office is excited to dress up like a working woman who works in an office? Snooze. We're not saying we want everything to be kooky and avant-garde. We love a plain white t-shirt as much as the next person. Maybe more! Basics are important! And although no one gives a crap what we wear to work, we understand that having an appropriate office wardrobe is important for most people. Still. Fashion, at its best, is supposed to be exciting, inspiring, clever. You're supposed to get psyched to get dressed. And for us, a gray wool suit is not gonna do it.

Aprés Rehab: A Lovely Sobriety [NYTimes]