Sometimes, the worst style offenders are the fashion editors themselves, whose harried job of producing the glossy images that we aspire to leaves little time to live the dream.
Katie Trotter: the unglamorous life of the fashion editor
I had an unusual moment last week. I was wearing exactly the right dress. It ticked all the boxes. I was prepared - not my normal fraught self. My hair was just so, my shoes were the right height, and my bag actually matched some of the other things that were going on. I was, as they say, well turned out.
This is a rare moment, which may surprise you. After all I am, ahem, a fashion editor. Shouldn't we all look like something special? Well, I'll let you in on something - we don't. Yes, we keep a pair of heels in the back seat of our car just in case but that's about as far as it goes. Sure, we scrub up well if duty calls but most of the time we dress purely by default, lucky enough to have our arms and legs encased in something that allows us to get on with business.
After my recent polished incident, however, I've come to realise that, yes, at least occasionally planning is worth it, even if it's simply to remind ourselves that we can.
Take some time and look to the trends, as they are there to help. This spring it's all about the Seventies, from the wide-leg trouser to the pussy-bow silk shirt. If that all sounds a bit much, look to Phoebe Philo, who started at Céline this year and brought us the most beautiful whitewashed palette in clean lines and ever so flattering fabrics. High-octane prints, as always, are back, except with a little more volume. Think bigger, louder and more playful than ever. In terms of length, most of us will be glad to know that short is out and mid-length is in.
As for colour, it's all about vibrant blocking. Orange, turquoise, hot pink and yellow - all dominating colours most of us avoid, but if used cleverly look playful and fun.
But dressing like a pro takes commitment and preparation. It takes time - a 9-to-5 sort of time. It takes not rolling around the sand or the floor of an old factory getting just the right shot for the next fashion editorial, or pelting around Dubai Mall with 13 bags - only to drive right back to Abu Dhabi for a 5am start.
Don't get me wrong, we would all love to be planners. To lie in bed working through the next day's look, which necklace will set off which neon shirt, et cetera. But we don't. In reality most of us have about 28 minutes to prepare for the day - including shower time.
Fashion can't, and trust me on this, even make itself happy. So for all those fashion haters - those who sneer at the part-human, part-computer-generated-looking fashionistas you see on television and in glossy magazines - know that the real fashion people, the ones behind the scenes making the whole thing happen, are usually a whole lot worse off than you.
This week's highs and lows:
A TALLY OF TWO CITIES We're in love with this blog's clever cliché comparisons and graphics. parisvsnyc.blogspot.com
FOR THE BIRDS On Aura Tout Vu's couture show featuring a nest full of eggs crosses the line.
REDHEADS They're stealing the spotlight: singers, actresses and now models.
NOT FOR KIDS Lady Gaga's song Telephone is now a children's book. What?!
DARK LIPS Our favourite new vampy shade is Magnifica by Dolce&Gabbana.