Nonplussed on the high street

Why is it, I found myself wondering recently as I walked through Durham, that so many young women appear keen to dress themselves as middle-aged ladies?  Even given the Barboured background of many, it is still baffling.

Is this cool?

Even more baffling, though, are the items on sale in high street shops.  Following Hen into TopShop, Dorothy Perkins, Fenwick's et al. in York this weekend, I discovered that there are two styles being proferred to girls: Muppet Baby and Thatcherite Granny.

It was so disturbing I began to wonder if it wasn't some kind of sinister joke.  Have the chain stores set up a scenario whereby they discover just how preposterous the impressionables of the early 21st Century are prepared to make themselves look?  If not, what the heck is going on?

(I note though, that I ranted about much the same thing in Aberdeen in 2008, so the problem has clearly been persistent for a few years now.)