IANAL, but my understanding is that the America Invents Act now in effect in the USA gives the inventor a one-year grace period to file a patent after publishing an idea. Publishing immediately makes the idea Prior Art so nobody else can file a valid patent on your idea. So it's a good idea to publish before telling anyone about your idea in confidence.
Hmmm. I certainly have seen more annoying patents and fashion tends, but not many. Has someone patented the "baggy pants with legs that split at the knee or ankle? How about a belt that will allow pants to maintain a constant distance between the knee and actual belt-line?
I know what my next patent is going to be. I'm going to take a microcontroller and a string of LEDs that will encircle said "buttocks cleavage revealing feature" for the purpose of decoration, attention gathering or warning. There will be a stand-alone model, a bluetooth model for control via your smartphone, and a WiFi model for web-based control from anywhere on the planet.
I'll also design an add-on camera so that you can use your smartphone to see whom is staring at you in horror or to prevent you from tripping over a curb when walking backwards.
You read it here first so no one else can patent this. Kickstarter here I come...
Should have also mentioned that in England, a woman cannot be arrested for indecent exposure. When Queen Victoria put the law in place she did not think that women would ever do such a thing and thus it was an insult to make the law apply to them. So today, if a woman were to appear naked in public, she would be arrested not for being indecent but for behavior likely to cause a breach of the peace or to incite a riot.