Move over, ponchos 

There's a new please-don't-make-me trend in town.

GOUCHOS: The pant equivalent of a mullet.
  • GOUCHOS: The pant equivalent of a mullet.

I’ve never exactly been the fashion-forward type. No matter what the trend, odds are I’ll think it’s at least borderline hideous for the first year or so. Flared jeans? Hated them. Capri pants? Gave me hives.

When ponchos came back on the scene a couple of years ago, I didn’t even bother to wrinkle my nose. Surely, I thought then, we’d reached the nadir of the whole ’70s-revisitation thing.

I was wrong.

It’s rare that I feel the need to climb up on my fashion soapbox — usually I just do what everyone else does, and make fun of people behind their backs — but I can’t keep quiet about the latest skeleton to be sprung from our collective closet. Ladies and — OK, just ladies — I am decidedly not pleased to bring you: the gaucho.

Seriously. Gauchos. Yes, I had a pair of denim ones when I was 9, and yes, they were my favorite thing in the entire world. But there are many choices from that era of my fashion-sense development that I’d really not care to revisit. Many. Plus, the modern incarnation — both the loose-and-flowing jersey ones and the dress-capri ones — hit lower on the leg than the knee-length ones of my childhood. No matter how shapely your legs are, something that hits at the broadest point of the calf is not going to flatter.

But, like I said, I’m notoriously slow to warm to most trends, so I polled my official Shopping Chick fashion consultants — otherwise known as our advertising sales staff, attractive and stylish to a woman. The consensus? Gauchos are cute. I am alone in my grade-school-flashback hell.

So the wind was briefly taken out of my screed sails. I headed to the mall to try some on for myself, to see if maybe they weren’t quite as awful and unflattering as they appeared to be. Yeah … on me, blessed as I was with a double portion of hips to make up for my half-portion of legs, they were. Although the straight-legged trouser-type gauchos weren’t nearly as horrid as the yoga-pants style.

Then, back at the office, I Googled “fug” and “gauchos” (“fug” being the verb and noun forms of “fugly,” a contraction of, uh, “freaking” and “ugly”) and found these choice descriptions on various fashion-related blogs: “The bastard child of sweatpants and linen trousers.” “Culottes by any other name are still culottes.” And my personal favorite, “The pant equivalent of a mullet.”

So I feel a bit more confident in warning anyone who succumbs to this trend that, in a couple of years when you’ve all banished your gauchos to the Goodwill pile, I will find pictures of you wearing them. And I will point and laugh.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest:

• Help Box Turtle celebrate its fifth birthday Thursday, Oct. 20, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There’ll be a fashion show by local designers, plus live music and, not at all least importantly, fantastic food by Peachtree Catering.

• The grand re-opening sale is over, but the much-expanded used book selection at River Market Books and Gifts in the Cox building at Second and Commerce is reason enough to make it a regular haunt.

• Related to a pampered baby-to-be? Check out the new store Tuck and Cover, at 315 N. Bowman Road, former location of Vesta’s. The store, owned by interior designer Laurie McFarland, carries linens for cribs and cradles, small furniture items, and gifts and accessories from lines such as Green Frog and Serena and Lily.

• Also new: Arkansas Gifts, which opened recently at Markham and Scott streets, next to the Block 2 Lofts. It’s just what the name says: all manner of Natural State products, from the cheesy to the luxurious. They’ll happily assemble into pretty gift baskets for you, or let you wrap ’em yourself. Or, in the case of, say, Brent & Sam’s chocolate chip pecan cookies, skip the gift part altogether and snarf them on the way home.

More legs, please.





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