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style2022The Croft

DECADENT DELIGHTS: How Dressing Up Can Stop Us Feeling Down

DECADENCE is a word characterised by “excessiveness” and indulgence” in pleasure or luxury. But should it be considered a sin if done sustainably? Is it not about time we indulge in ourselves?

By Mia Flook, Style Digital Editor

The Croft Magazine // DECADENCE is a word characterised by “excessiveness” and indulgence” in pleasure or luxury. But should it be considered a sin if done sustainably? Is it not about time we indulge in ourselves?

It’s a well-touted economic fact that after every recession, war or dark time, extravagant and excessive fashion flourishes. Lipstick sales rise when wages dive. And there’s probably a good reason for this. People feel the need to take better care of themselves and look their best when times are hard.

In the 1920s, following the aftermath of WW1, the Great Gatsby style was born, named after the eponymous film and novel character and epitomised by glamour, glitz and diamonds. After WW2, we were met with peak Hollywood and Pin-Up girl fashion: hemlines were coming in, skin-tight dresses were rising, and necklines were dropping. This trend is epitomised by the icons of the 1950s: Marilyn Monroe and Betty Paige. And then again, in the deep recession of the 1980s, it was all about bright colour, velour, velvet, and lycra.

In AW22, emerging from the Covid pandemic, we find ourselves living in a time of social and economic strife and it seems humanity has not changed all that much in how we respond to such issues. So, is it time to indulge and bring a touch of decadence and self-care to your wardrobe?

©Emily Fromant

The loungewear craze that peaked throughout the pandemic is giving way to a stronger, more luxe aesthetic. As we delve deeper into autumn and the evenings close in - is it about time to ditch our tracksuits and delve into the decadent sphere of fashion? Since Covid, people have dived into the world of fashion and self-expression, and people care less about their perception and dress how they like. The re-emergence of nightlife reminds us of the joys of purchasing and piecing together a myriad of different outfits. People are going all out, more extravagantly than ever. But how can we do this in a “sin-free” and sustainable way, without the use of fast fashion?

The 80s trend is everywhere, too.

© Emily Fromant

We have all rocked the high-waisted jeans and crop top fad at least once in our time, but there’s so much more to tap into: from lace and leather, punk rock to full-on glitz. The 80s mantra “greed is good” - from the 1987 film, Wall Street - maybe doesn’t translate as well when living in a world that prefers more modern sensibilities, but we can all still enjoy the excesses of 80s fashion. Nobody did it better for a more refined take on the 80s than rock queen Debbie Harry of Blondie. Nail her style by wearing your cute cami dress with a faux leather jacket you found in the vintage store. Go big in the glass cabinets under the tills at charity shops, filled to the brim with ornate rings and chunky necklaces to complete the look.

If you want to borrow from other style decades, tap into the flapper 20s style with sequins, but toughen it up and modernise with some Docs, something every Bristol student is sure to have (it’s the law). Incorporate the classic 50s hourglass dress or corset with a leather jacket.

The joy of decadent dressing is that it’s meant to be fun, a little over the top, and make you feel good. The world - and your wardrobe - is your oyster!

Featured Image:Emily Fromant

Do you find that a good outfit can improve your mood? Let us know!