I nearly fell off my chair when I read the item in The Times yesterday. Tucked in amongst reports on the fall-out from the local elections and my old friend Valentine Low’s review of the best restaurant in the world (it’s El Celler de Can Roca in Catalonia), was the shocking news that dungarees are back.
According to style writer Hilary Rose, Keira Knightley, Pixie Lott and Alexa Chung have all been spotted out and about in them. I’m sure they looked great, but I agree with Rose’s comment that dungarees are “the most unflattering thing you could do to yourself since the puffball skirt…” Actually, come to think of it, they’re even more unflattering than puffball skirts (and yes, I had one of those too).
I last wore a pair of dungarees at university. They were all the rage back then and as me and my friend Jessica were penniless students we hit on the bright idea of improvising the look by buying white painters’ overalls from a hardware store in York. I don’t know what we were thinking – they were shapeless and baggy and yes, we looked like we’d turned up to decorate the house.
Now dungarees are back in fashion and I’m still highly dubious about them. The only time I’ve ever changed my mind about the merits of dungarees was when I spotted a familiar face sitting next to me at Mahogany, an Oxford hair salon, a couple of years back. Actress Imogen Stubbs, who was about 50 at the time and starring in a production at the Oxford Playhouse, looked stylish and chic in a blue and white striped pair. She is one of the few people on the planet who can carry them off.