Twang your giant mummy pants with joy – Bridget Jones will return in a third book.
"The new novel is set in present-day London with an entirely new scenario for Bridget," said her creator, Helen Fielding. "My life has moved on and hers will move on too."
By our calculations, Bridget, in her early 30s in 1995, would now be about 50. Really! Whether or not Fielding will age her heroine in real time is yet to be seen, but presumably she will have moved on from the calorie-counting obssessive we once knew. Perhaps she will have swapped her diary for a WordPress account, ditched her 1990s chardonnay for a fruity New World pinot and packed up the Silk Cut (save for the occasional chug on a smokeless fag during Homeland).
But what about the fashion? How will Bridget move forward from her mid-90s working-woman's wardrobe of Jigsaw suit, Lycra shimmer tights and suede Pied a Terre kitten heels? Will she shop online at Net-a-Porter, rather than slogging round Agnès B? Read Grazia not Vogue? Give up her Daniel Cleaver-attracting micro-mini for something midi with a mullet hem?
Then: Ironed straight
Before the age of coiled Kardashian perma-waves and TOWIE-tastic hair extensions, there was your real hair and the straightening iron (or in Bridg's case, an actual iron). The mid to late 90s was all about flattening your hair into one thin, poker straight curtain that limply clung to your skull, like a member of Atomic Kitten.
Now: Pretending you don't have a hairbrush.
"Hairbrush? I never touch them. Like, I just went to bed with my hair wet and scrunched it with sea salt and left it and it just went like this? It's actually proof that I am very beautiful because I still look good with this hair, and I'm very cool because I don't even care what I look like. Not at all. What do you mean, my hair stylist took three hours to do it with a mini GHD?"
Then: one necklace.
It used to be so easy. You asked for the Tiffany (posh!) medium open-heart pendant in sterling silver off your mum for Christmas. Then you wore it every single day of your life with your low-cut velvety LBD from Kookai and fluffy faux-angora shrug, just waiting for the day you could finish the look with a princess-cut platinum engagement ring and a classic French manicure. *Sounds of dry heaving.*
Now: loads of necklaces.
Wearing fewer than five to 10 necklaces at a time in fash-land is plain offensive – if you tried it at fashion week you would have been flayed at dawn by the BFC. Bridg 2012 will have to pile on the jewellery, ensuring all is of a different material/length, including some of those woven friendship band things that look as if they are off the market but actually cost £75. If one can do the same thing with bangles and rings, then one is cool and hard (see Alison Mosshart, above). The other thing Bridget could do is wear something "statement", reminiscent of armour or chainmail, a beaten metal neckpiece or cuff in bronze.
Then: knee boots.
Ah, the fireman's pole bit! How we laughed. But anyway. Do you remember going clubbing? Do you remember smoking in restaurants? Do you remember when it was acceptable, nay, fashionable to wear a shortish A-line skirt teamed with opaque tights and a practical hybridish shiny zip-up knee boot (pashmina not pictured)? For people who work in publishing this is yesterday but they don't give a f**k because they're f*****g posh and live in f*****g west London.
Now: ankle boots.
They are the new brogue, you know. Yes, women aged between 16 and 60 are ignoring the possibly unflattering effect on their calves (just me?) and getting involved with the ankle boot, be it slim and Chelsea, buckled and biker, cowboyish and Cuban, studded and pointy, Dr Marten, wedge, platform, laceup, embellished, horse-ridingy … the list goes on. God, we live in such exponential times. I think Bridget might go for a velvet, platform block heel, myself.
Then: novelty cartoon pyjamas.
OMG the late 90s were so crazy! I don't know if either of Helen Fielding's books specifically mentions Bridget Jones in unflattering cartoon pyjamas but our anti-heroine was definitely down with a more traditional type of sleepwear and also favoured slobbing around in a nightie worn with socks. The first film also has her bemoaning her lack of action in these counterintuitive, penguin-patterned flannel PJs.
Now: the onesie.
The Guardian fashion desk in no way advocates the wearing of a onesie but we must allow for the probability that Bridget 2012 might be a TOWIE-watcher. Therefore, it's not beyond the realms of imagination that her love of a duvet day would translate to an all-in-one jumpsuit made of velour as an example of something "fun" and "cosy" and "what the young people are doing". Thankfully, as I type, Ugg boots are officially over. Perhaps she could add a Marc Jacobs velvet mouse slipper instead?
Then: camisole with spaghetti straps.
Spaghetti straps! Woop. The crazy, flirty, fun-loving strap that promised lots of flesh and very little support. There was a time when everything from dress to vest featured the skinniest of straps and women had the choice of either getting with the skimpy programme or buying a shrug that just covered your arms like one long weird fluffy sleeve. (Apologies, I've got shrug-mention-itus – they just bring back so many memories).
Now: crop top.
Bridget mark II might well have noted crop-top-favouring A-listers such as the incredible Gwen "butshe'shadababyhowhowhownotfaircowbag" Stefani's current comeback-tour look: parading all over the media, clenching her fists and improbably ripped abdominals in hacked off Peter Pilotto, daring anyone to ask her age (43 last month, happy birthday, Gwen!). Inspired by this, Bridg may hire a personal trainer and have a poke around American Apparel.
When Ms Jones was getting off with Cleaver/Darcy her wardrobe was all about the feminine: Bridget was pretty in a floaty dress and Gossard glossies, white 501s kind of a way. She did evening in classy (borrowed) John Rocha. In the films there were a lot of A-line skirts, low-cleavagey necks, twinsets and pink. This was a time when everything had to be lace trimmed and we were moving towards "boho" like a ship about to be marooned on a hippy dippy, bead-embellished rock called Sienna Miller.
Miley Cyrus has since come into existence and shaved her head, Chloe Sevigny has half-morphed into David Bowie for Miu Miu, undercuts are back, brogues are staying strong, we all love cable crew necks, tailoring, parkas, boy shorts, blazers and tuxedos. Women everywhere are clomping about in military boots, peg trousers and baggy blouses buttoned up like button-downs, their faces bare, their hair slicked back, festooned with chainmail armour neckpieces.
Then: Massive pants under your clothes.
The 90s bodycon aesthetic required a lot of the new "shapewear". Single women in their droves flocked to "boost their assets" in plunging, padded Wonderbras ("Hello, boys!") and cram their unwieldy, wobbling bits into lifeforce-sucking underwear that stretched from rib to thigh and often came in beige ("Hello, mummy!"). In the films, Hugh Grant did not mind but cinéma vérité this was not.
Now: Massive pants are your clothes.
We have discovered Zumba! And personal trainers! And that carbs are evil!* And there were hotpants and then everyone collectively went: "Hang on, we're not showing quite enough toned, sculpted flesh, let's just wear big knickers as shorts! Over opaque tights so it's OK!" Check the high street right now: the racks of sequin-encrusted drawers seem to prove that if you are not considering spangly knickers for your festive wear, you are nobody.
*Nonsense, carbs are lovely.
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