Five Things to Look for in Fashion Trends

When it comes to fashion trends, you never know which will stick. Some last for several years, and some bomb before the season is over – in which case… it’s not really a trend. You’ve come to the right place to avoid falling prey to marketing!

The clothes we see on the runway and in editorial layouts are an extreme, fantasy meant to capture your imagination, or elevate the designer’s brand. For 99% of us, they’re completely impractical. But when you care about fashion, they are useful. How?  Pay attention to the broad strokes.  Here’s five things to look for, with examples from this Fall/Winter season.

Trending Silhouettes

The last few years, the message has been: skinny pants are, to quote Heidi Klum, OUT. I see many not wanting to let go of theirs, but you can now find a variety of leg widths, from super huge (rivaling ye olde Elephant Bell bottoms) which may be for the more arty and adventurous, to the more sedate boot cuts. If you are a die-hard skinny leg lover, you can bridge the gap by looking for what’s called a stovepipe leg… which means it’s still straight from knee to ankle, but it doesn’t hug tightly like skinnies do. The below is from Everlane.

Araceli Corseted white blouse
Skinny Jeans lovers can stay in style with
the stovepipe leg, and a medium rise.
A flattering way to bring these trends into
real life.

You’ll find everything from ultra baggy denim pants to pleats from the waist on down, ballooning through the leg, or ending at a cinched ankle. If you love it, by all means go for it, but, with the exception of lounge wear, my instincts tell me that won’t stick past the season.

High waisted pants and skirts continue, though often unflattering. The key to look your best in them is to be sure the back pockets are placed so your bum looks right. Stores rarely have 3-way mirrors anymore, making it difficult to getting a good look at yourself. TIP: Take a pic with your phone over your shoulder to get a good look at yourself straight on from the back. Even if you have to ask a salesperson take it.

This explains the influx of tops cropped at the waist. If you have a small waist, this is good news. But if this double whammy makes you want to wear a bathrobe till this passes, you are not alone. Instead reach for a mid rise. That’s 7-9″ from the crotch seam to the waistband, settling below your belly button. There’s plenty to be found. To compare, thanks in part to Brittany Spears the old low rise was 3-5″, creating a new trend in language: Muffin Top!

Great example of how to wear a toned down version of
the corset trend and work a crop top with a high waist pant.

Speaking of tops, you will see ruched-in waists and corseted pieces, in casual as well as party and evening wear, for all genders. One way to make it yours for daily life is to pick a hybrid like the Araceli white crop top with a corseted silhouette, from Banana Republic (above). After years of working with Bob Mackie’s creations, I came to appreciate how a garment can sculpt any body.

Trending Colors

Of the current colors that you can count on lasting a year or three, go for teal and oranges. Believe it or not, teal is much like a neutral; it looks good on just about anyone. There’s a variety of hues in the orange family… the key is to find the one that that looks best on you. If it will be worn by your face, pick which hue makes your skin coloring look great. If it drains you or does nothing, keep hunting. Want subtlety? Or looking to minimize a feature? Pick a darker, duskier palette, like pumpkin over apricot.

The colors of-the-moment are tangerine, bright blues, lime and hot pink. These have been on the runways for quite awhile, but we’re finally seeing them on the rack. Not sure which will stick but you can buy one piece, like a sweater, that you can wear on its own, or a tank to put under a jacket. Show you’re in the know by a pop of these colors as socks, a clutch, a scarf, gloves or glasses.

What’s “in” in terms of color may also apply to their combinations. I’m seeing bright blue sweaters with orange stripes or lime paired with navy or brown!

It’s bright and bold, paired with
deep purple, and he does pull it off!

Fabric Trends

Pleather isn’t new, but it is everywhere – from motorcycle jackets to party pants to gloves and bags. If you get one thing to be on trend from now through spring, get a pair of pleather pants. Wear them casually under sweaters like jeans, pair with a neat jacket for work, or glam it up for the holidays by adding sparkle (or patent pants) and some fabulous boots or shoes. While most may prefer black, which I recommend as a staple piece, you can find them in teal, burgundy and browns.

Expect too to see bold, often chunky or furry knits in crazy colors (that’s the next category). You will see unexpected pieces made from these, like pants and hoodies. It’s an opportunity to step out of your usual choices and have a little fun!

Pair big knits and bold colors over pleather pants to be
100% on trend and feel comfortable too! Openmindedstyle.

Trending Accessories

Chunky and platform shoes are THE thing right now. You can give those cowboy boots, funky kicks and pointy stilettos a break, and gain a few inches in height while you’re at it. I would definitely say they’re a shorter term trend, but worth adding a pair if you want to have fun and be “in” for the next year or two. If you’re young, arty or in a creative field, the choices abound. If you are older, or have more classic tastes there IS a raised shoe for you… They’re even making lightly platformed loafers like these from ASOS!


Style Trends

Believe it or not, Preppy is back, refreshed as Academia Style. And its considered retro, which is a crack up for those of us who did it on the first go round and are still young enough to be interested! Plaids, white shirts, patent shoes, knee socks and short skirts mixed with new accessories – like studded belts, platform penny loafers, scarves and broaches. Keep an eye out and you’ll see it.

Marc Jacobs In Skirt
Basic black skirt: Designer Marc Jacobs wears it well.

Gender fluid influences abound. There’s more great men’s skirt choices than ever before, and the oversized jacket with straight, hard shoulders is being featured for everyone — and I’d recommend the jacket as it combines a practical use with a the hottest silhouette. Toss is over your shoulders with a dress, wear it as a trench, or let your luxe sweats flow beneath it.

Remember, much of this will only last a season or three, and others will like stick around for a few years. If you fall in love with a pricey piece thats threatens to be a one season wonder, hopefully you will donate it when it’s done! Or be at the cutting edge without breaking the bank by bringing in a one season color or fabric as an accessory.

Whatever your coloring, body type, profession, or budget, you can choose which of these appeal and find a way to make them reflect your personal style, which always rises above the trends!

4 thoughts on “Five Things to Look for in Fashion Trends

  1. Carra R. says:

    Ooooh baby! Love the skirt look on a man— like a kilt on a Scot with nice, muscular legs 🙂 Plus, it makes more sense! Why would they want their “package” to be all crimped up to for into a pair of jeans?

    Nice fashion tips!


    Sent from Carra



  2. Pandora MacLean-Hoover says:

    A really fun read Rochelle! Oh man, I love loafers. Not sure I can do those clunkers. But, by Summer it’ll bring back old times donning a trendy platform shoe with a smart Summer dress!
    You’re so right, orange is tough.
    Since I make bags, what do you see trending in those. I love unique clutches! If anyone’s. timid around too much or too bold of a color, a bold clutch is a great way to cover it!


  3. Laurie Kilpatrick says:

    Wonderful tips. As an older gal I have to be careful of the clunky shoes and tripping but I love them so. That orange suit!!!!LOVE.


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