January 3: marginally better than January 2, but still blighted by the realisation that 2019 is going to be exactly the same as 2018, because the measurement of time is just an arbitrary idea created by humans to make stuff like getting to work on time easier. Calendars: useful for counting down the days until your next holiday, useless for expecting positive changes to appear on the horizon like sparkling armadas just because a new year has rolled in. Especially when still in the throes of a three-day hangover. And especially when one of the first emails to plop into your inbox informs you that one of the biggest trends of 2019 is going to be cycling shorts.
I mean, weren’t they last year? Actually, weren’t they in 1991? According to Pinterest, however, these Brexits of the fashion world are set to haunt us well into the new year. “Pinterest is its own positive corner of the Internet, where more than 250 million people come to discover new idea to try,” trills the email, whose author seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that there is anything positive at all to be said about cycling shorts. “If an idea keeps getting more and more searches each month, and the upward trajectory holds steady for more than six months? That’s how we know it’s a trend,” it continues, before delivering the killer punch that searches for these minging items have increased by 1,323%. No, you don’t need glasses. Yes, you read that correctly: one thousand, three hundred and twenty three per cent.
Whose fault is this? Let’s start 2019 as we mean to go on: by blaming the Kardashians. Drake has just unfollowed Kim on Instagram, the apparent reason being his ongoing beef with Kanye. Nah. The real reason is that he can’t risk encountering any more pics of Kimmie in bike shorts. She wore them throughout 2018, as did Khloe and Kendall, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and a ton of other American heiresses who say nothing to me about my life. Although equal blame should also be attributed to Kanye, who seems peculiarly obsessed with the garments, judging by the number of times they’ve surfaced in his Yeezy collections over the years.
Searches for these minging items have increased by 1,323%. No, you don’t need glasses. Yes, you read that correctly: one thousand, three hundred and twenty three per cent
If I am being completely honest, I was momentarily swayed by the sight of a woman striding confidently down Dalston Lane in a black pair teamed with chunky Filas and a billowing pinstripe shirt. But then I remembered I am probably twice her age, and don’t live in east London. Still, this is definitely how I’d wear them, if I ever wore them, which I won’t: with a loose shirt on top to play against their tightness. Some have even been wearing theirs with tailored jackets – the “short suit” enjoyed a 70% sales increase in 2018, according to ASOS – but the less said about this, the better.
It was July 2018 when Amazon announced that its number-one bestseller across the whole of women’s fashion on its much-hyped Prime Day was a £2.25 pair of cycling shorts. You could buy a perfectly serviceable latte for that. You could also buy three newspapers or a large sticky-toffee pudding. And this is exactly what you should do. Yes, January is the month you swear you’ll go to the gym. But don’t do it in cycling shorts. Exercise is challenging enough already, and no knee looks its best when being squeezed from above by a skintight tube of Lycra. Are you Laura Trott? Have you recently had lipo, and been told to wear compression pants to help with swelling? If the answer to these is “no”, then please do everyone a favour and give them a swerve. Together, we can make this trend disappear. 2019 deserves better, and so do our legs.