Organ-crushing underwear, skirts too tight to take a step and shoes that torture our toes — what woman hasn’t put her body through the wringer in the name of fashion?

It was no surprise to learn that women suffer 12 times as much from the desire for beauty than do men.

What is surprising — to me at least — is that many of the worst offenders, trends I foolishly fell for back in the 1980s, are now having something of a revival. We are putting our bodies through the pain of thongs once again.

Having been there, done that, and got the welt marks to prove it, I’ll be giving these a miss this time around. For those of you who feel tempted to try it, these are my painful (and embarrassing) memories. . .


Are they leggings? Are they jodhpurs? No, just a hideous-hybrid of the two that are now making a comeback and were recently seen on Victoria Beckham (pictured)

Is it leggings or a jodhpur? Is it a jodhpur? The hideous hybrid of these two is not true. They were seen recently on Victoria Beckham (pictured).

Is it leggings or a jodhpur? Is it jodhpurs or leggings? They are a horrible-hybrid combination of both, and they were seen recently on Victoria Beckham.

Thanks to the hooks under your feet, the stretchy pants give you a longer leg shape.

The only problem is that walking with a swatch of itchy fabric bunched up into the arch of your foot feels like you’ve got a permanent lump of sand in your shoe.


This bodysuit is made of stretchy fabric. It can be worn with either trousers or skirts and shows off your curves.

Made from stretchy fabric, the bodysuit is effectively a glorified leotard designed to show off curves while creating a smooth silhouette when worn with trousers or skirts

The bodysuit, made from stretchy fabric and designed to highlight curves when worn with skirts or trousers, is essentially a glorified leotard.

Hugely popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Claudia had a selection in different colours that she wore with pencil skirts and jeans

Claudia was a hugely successful designer in the 1980s and 1990s. She had many different colors that she could wear with jeans and pencil skirts.

In the 1980s and 1990s it was hugely in fashion. I had several colors that I could wear with jeans and pencil skirts.

Unfortunately, one fatal flaw in the design of the bodysuit was the poppingpers of peril. Ping! As soon as you are seated, the first one goes. 

Ping! Ping! You can only hold one of them in place. Ouch. 

And let’s not talk about the chaffing nightmare that was the thong bodysuit.


Massive in the Eighties and mysteriously back in fashion —even though shoes made of canvas and rope are never going to be a practical choice.

This was something I learned when I went to Ascot race once. Summer sandals were elegantly laced, with tanned, ballerina-style legs.

Ropey espadrilles were massive in the Eighties and are now mysteriously back in fashion ¿even though shoes made of canvas and rope are never going to be a practical choice

Ropey espadrilles were massive in the Eighties and are now mysteriously back in fashion —even though shoes made of canvas and rope are never going to be a practical choice

The laces were actually pulled tight enough that fat rolls on each side of them bulged.

My spray tan was also affected by the laces, leaving me with a white pattern of crisscrosses on my calves that lasted for many days.


Hello boys! Hello crushed boobs! Hello grazed rib cage! Hello sweaty cleavage! The Wonderbra, which promised to boost women’s bust sizes was a revelation when it launched in the mid-1990s and is now back on sale at M&S. I had the original — and the strapless version — which made me look like I had one giant boob in the middle of my chest. I was left with red welts for a few days.


Stockings are too much of a faff, tights just aren’t sexy, but hold-ups — well they seemed a perfect solution. The truth was they slipped under your leg as you walked. If you’re, say, walking along with a date, holding hands, a little tipsy you might not notice until he points out that one of them is around your ankles.


Who was the genius who thought up this idea to create a lumpy, wobbly, padding that looks like chicken breasts, for your bra? They may have boosted your cup size but they also gave you hot itchy boobs — and a rash if you’re allergic to silicone.


As a Spanx virgin I thought that buying a smaller size would make them hold me even tighter. They did.

My thighs turned purple and I was forced to run to the loo in an emergency to make slits in my leg seam to get my blood flowing again. Sexy.

Kim Kardashian-West pictured in her own brand of shape-enhancing undergarments, Skims, with the usual stretchy shapewear items for your stomach, bottom, waist, and thighs

Kim Kardashian West is pictured wearing her brand of form-enhancing undergarments called Skims. These include the standard stretchy shapeswear for your abdomen, waist and thighs.


They give you height and great posture — they also give you painful blisters and numb toes. The good news about this is that your toes eventually lose their feeling. Beware though, when the heel is too thin it gets stuck in everything — including the ridges of an escalator step. Like the time I got wedged at London’s Green Park tube station and had to be lifted out of them to leap free, barefoot, in the nick of time.


When I was young, fashion was at its peak. Every teen in the 1980s knew the ‘coat hanger’ zip up technique performed lying down (and usually resulting in a few flesh wounds) where you hooked the hanger into the zip and yanked. A friend of mine was so hurt by her wire coat hanger, she had to get a Tetanus shot.


It is probably the most flattering type of skirt. It is also the most practical. They hug your lower body, highlighting every curve. They also aren’t designed for walking in. I used to take a lot more taxis during my pencil skirt years.


A GODSEND for apple shapes like me — wide belts made of stiff leather give the wearer a fabulously defined waist and are, apparently, designed for people who don’t possess internal organs.

You need to tighten the belt until it is so heavy that your stomach, liver, and kidneys are crushed. Today’s teens are embracing them, too. They are putting their lives at risk.


Visible thongs are now back in fashion, with popstar Dua Lipa showing off her thin black thong with gold detail on her holidays

The return of visible thongs is a fashion trend, as Dua Lipa shows off her thin black thong decorated with gold detail during her holidays.

High-street fashion retailers are selling this eighties trend, like ASOS, pictured, in the form of trousers with built-in thongs that are on show

The eighties fashion trend of built-in thongs is selling well at high street retailers, such as ASOS pictured. 

My 20s were a time when I was unable to think of wearing VPL (visible pants line).

The only way to solve the problem was with thongs.

Less fabric means more expensive.

They were every bit as uncomfortable as they looked — gave you a permanent wedgie and were the equivalent of wearing a cheese wire as underwear.

I was triggered by the sight of Dua Lipa, a pop singerlet with her own on-screen images.


These sparklers catch the light and make every evening outfit pop.

Sequins are a marvellous little invention, but buy a cheap sequined top for a party and you’ll go home with a thousand tiny scratches all over your torso.


They are reminiscent of Hollywood glamour. Sewn tights are feminine and sexy, as long as they have straight seams.

In the early 1990s they had a huge revival but you needed a wing-man if you wore them — someone to turn to every 15 minutes and say ‘are my seams straight? No? I’ll sort them, again.’


The clue is in the name isn’t it? It is absurd to think jewelry that can strangle you would be a good idea. The ribbon was made with a flexible wire that would garrote my head if it were turned too hard.