AW11 TRENDS: BEING BORING (with boring fashion on the side)

Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

I'm going to tell you something you might not like. You are fricking boring. Booorrring. You make me want to cry tears of sheer and utter head-banging against a table-top frustration. It's not just you, I'm boring too. Well, actually, it's not quite like that. But it has been firmly established that Being Boring is a powerful trend infecting music, TV and culture in general. The Guardian last Thursday summed it up succinctly, citing our love of Adele, Kirstie Allsop, baking and Downton Abbey as key signifiers of the movement christened The New Boring by the excoriatingly smart editor Peter Robinson. All together now "We coudda had it aaaa- aa alll, rollin in the deee eee eep." Even now, as I write this, me and the Fashion Junior are listening to "Don't Your Remember" with a tear threatening to trash our carefully applied eye makeup.
Nice, boring jumper from L'Agence on just what the doctor ordered!

Well, I'm here to do my bit for boring fashion. Hopefully you're already in your pyjamas? Sales of those have gone through the roof recently, and you'll find the trendiest online and real world stores are heaving with sensible cable knit jumpers, lace up shoes, dull mannish coats, pared-back shopper bags, satchels, polo necks and novelty reindeer and snowflake jumpers. Alexa Chung's successful collection for Madewell is the height of Being Boring, what with its Bin Man Coat, and cosy cardigans. 

So dull, even the bin men stopped wearing them. Alexa Chung loves her Bin Man Coat though. 

It sounds wrong on paper that we should aspire to -  nay even enjoy - boringness, but in fact we are all rather partial to it right now. I know I am. I draw the line at X-Factor and Coldplay's new album, but Frozen Planet is currently the highlight of my week, I can't listen enough to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs and my favourite new fashion item is a Isabel Marant Navajo inspired sweater. It certainly seems that we have an affection for boring things and find them amusing. How did this happen? Recession obviously. Dire straits cause us to contract into a smaller world of familiarity and safety. This directly correlates to our penchant for novelty Christmas jumpers.

The Pet Shop Boys brilliant ode to how not to be boring: "Being Boring." (1993)

When the Killing II hit BBC4 this weekend, all everyone could talk about in print and on Twitter was Sarah Lunds jumper. A fricking JUMPER. Boring! Yesterday aftertoon while Hugh Grant gave evidence to the Leveson Enquiry, inane and amusing Tweets about the #womanontheleft began trending on Twitter.

At the weekend a young codger named James Ward hosted the world's first Boring Conference in London. Here's how yesterdays The Sun newspaper reported on it. "IT was billed as a dreary look at life's dullest things — the world's only Boring Conference.  Speakers were lined up to talk on topics so mundane that delegates would be forced to poke themselves in the eyeballs with sharp objects just to stay awake.  After the cancellation of the "Interesting" conference last year due to lack of interest, Ward tweeted that there should be an alternative event called Boring.  The response from his Twitter followers was so huge he had to follow it through and stage an event. James said: "Last year we held a much smaller gathering but this is the first ever conference. I can't believe the number [400] attending.  Subjects included polite small talk, electric hand dryers and the first ten years of Which? magazine 1957-67. But once the conference started it all went horribly wrong — it failed to bore the audience rigid." Oh how I laughed. 

 Nostalgia with a hefty dose of boring: a Cambridge Satchel Co. satchel

Borring! From the New York Post's The Cut blog that boringly follows every outfit K-Mid wears

Protest against Being Boring here: Snow Bored by Ashish from TopShop