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Style is not a body type.

10 Big Trends for Spring & Summer 2015

by Angie

I’ve worked through the runway shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris for Spring 2015, and pinned directional and trending outfits onto my board for the season. Having seen all the shows, there are ten big trends that stand out. Some of these are a continuation of existing trends and others are completely new. 

I will write about each of these trends in more detail at some point, but for now here is the overview:

1. Fluid and Oversized Fits

You’ve been hearing me say this for three seasons. Wearing your clothes a little, or a lot, looser all over is THE way to create a current look. Quite remarkably, fashion is finally reflecting our need for comfort in this age of casualization. It’s hard to believe that body con reigned supreme as recently as five years ago, but now it’s the least fashionable of fits. Tailored fits are always in style. 

I often read in the comments section that petites, and ladies with large bustlines cannot wear fluid or oversized fits. This simply isn’t true. Pick a more fluid piece as opposed to an oversized one. Pay attention to the shape of the neckline, the taper of the sleeves, and drape of the garment, and add structure to the outfit.

2. Defining the Waist

Surprising as it may seem, defining the waist was almost as popular as surrendering the waistline. A completely refreshing look to my eye. But it’s NOT a body con silhouette. It’s all about belting fluid and oversized tops and toppers to define the waist, or tucking them into bottoms that are structured on the waist. So you’re defining the waist without the extra tight silhouette. You’re allowing the top or bottom (or both), to move so that you can move along with it. 

3. White-Out

Wearing shades of white from head to toe is still extremely fashionable, and one of my very favourite trends. Think optical white, off-white, cream, bone and stone, and remix these shades of white in one outfit. There is a way to wear white-out for everyone. If you have dark hair, wear white-out with dark footwear to effectively bookend the outfit.

4. Cropped Pants

Cropped lengths are still the biggest trend in trousers and jeans. They are cropped at different lengths — on the ankle or shorter — across both fitted and baggy silhouettes in all sorts of fabrications, colours and patterns. High-vamped footwear, whether it’s booties, loafers, oxfords or ankle straps, complement this look. 

5. Skirts and Dresses

There were lots of skirts and dresses on the runways for Spring, so it’s not looking like a pants season. The shirtdress was particularly strong because it’s belted at the waist, which fits well into the defined waist trend of #2. Unlike the classic stiff shirtdress though, the ones on the runway were soft. They blousoned at the waist for movement.

The skirt of the moment is the knee-length pencil skirt with asymmetrical front V-shaped vent. 

6. Midis

We keep seeing ample knee-lengh and tea-length skirts and dresses on the catwalks, yet the length stays fringe at retail level. Hopefully this is changing because most of my clients are looking for longer skirts and dresses that they can wear to the office. 

There were many flared midis and tubular midis, worn with both waist surrendering and waist defining tops. Tubular midi skirts are particularly easy to wear because they do not create the stumpy feeling that some of us feel wearing midi lengths. 

7. Bottoms With Movement

Slouchy pants and jeans, with tapered and wide hems, are still very fashionable. Baggy bottoms with a more structured crotch point and tapered hems are just as fashionable, as are culottes, upscale track pants, soft wide-leg pants, and baggy long shorts. Tailored bootcuts and flared legs with structured fits on the thighs were aplenty, and looked fresh and very polished.

Bottoms were all about movement, with barely a skinny in sight. 

8. All shades of Blue 

The runway shows looked very blue. From the softest pale blue to the darkest ink. Muted, bright and in between. Blue was combined with just about any colour, so it is likely to become very versatile. 

9. All shades of Orange

Although most colours were represented on the runways, shades of orange were particularly strong. From tomato red and Dutch orange, to tangerine, mango, peach and shades of coral. All looking particularly complementary with shades of blue

10. Flat Footwear

Flat footwear (including heels up to one inch) made an even stronger statement than heels for the third year in a row. Laced sneakers, slip-on sneakers, flat sandals, mules, Beatle booties, cut-out flat booties, loafers, slipper flats, oxfords, pointy toe flats, ankle strap flats, Birkenstocks, flat forms and gladiators. It is the era of the comfortable shoe.

Also Notable

Toffee hues looked fresh worn for Spring and Summer in lightweight fabrications. High-low hemlines, dropped shoulder seams, rounder shoulders, boxy jackets, moto styles, sheer fabrics, boxy short sleeves, torn denim, sporty luxe, pastels and cropped tops are still going strong. Short shorts took a back seat in favour of longer shorts. 

I particularly enjoyed the glam ‘70s vibe of bootcuts with a fluid, tucked and blousoned shirt topped off with a fluid blazer because the outfits looked polished and fresh against a see of oversized slouch. I love the look of fashionable slouch, but do enjoy a mixture of refined tailoring along with it. And I’m happy to see that the era of body con is behind us for now. 

Angie's latest top picks

These are Angie's picks. You can collect items for your own wishlist or shopping list using YLF Finds. If you are logged in, you can collect the items right here by clicking the icon. Read more about using YLF Finds here.

Fashion News Roundup: Week 42, 2014

by Inge
Cannes gets its own Fashion Festival, Apple Pay is coming to retail stores, and other fashion-related news that made the rounds this week.

Fun Fashion Fact

In 1934 Italian designer Emilio Pucci, who was known as the “Prince of Prints”, was a member of the Italian Olympic ski team. After pictures of him on the slopes wearing his own designs appeared in Harper’s Bazaar in 1947, the magazine asked him to create women’s Winter clothes that were sold in several New York stores.

Ensemble: Relaxed Pencil Skirt and Pullover

by Angie

Many of my clients enjoy wearing a tailored pencil skirt outfit because the combination generally looks dressy, professional and flattering. But they don’t necessarily want to look too dressed up and bombshell, which is often the case when you pair a formfitting pencil skirt with a tight top and pair of heels. So we look for ways to “de-bombshell” the pencil skirt for days that require a more relaxed vibe. 

There are many ways to relax the pencil skirt, and I’ve started the ball rolling here with three tonal renditions. The oversized pullover is at the heart of de-bombshelling the outfit. The ensembles become more casual from left to right. I’ve used solids, but by all means incorporate patterns and use any colour palette. Pairing the pencil skirt with the same colour pullover creates a two-piece dress effect, which I personally think is a great look. 

Here are the components: 

Pencil Skirt: Choose a pencil skirt, either dressy or casual, at a length that tickles your fancy. Some pencil skirts taper more dramatically at the side seams like a tube skirt, which adds more structure to the outfit and curve to your silhouette.  

Pullover: Choose a fluid or oversized pullover in a chunky or fine gauge. Choose a style with a neckline of your choice. Roomy pullovers with asymmetrical hems, high-low hems, split hems, and welts tend to work best because they add a little structure to the slouchy integrity of the top. Semi-tucking a fine gauge baggy pullover, thereby shortening its length, works well if the pullover is long. Scrunching sleeves to reveal forearm skin adds further structure. 

Swingy pullovers with a trapeze silhouette look quite nice over pencil skirts. Their volume is on the hem as opposed to the torso. 

Footwear: Pumps and ankle strap pumps are fab dressy options. Tall tailored boots with heels are great too. Heeled booties are easy, and wedged booties dress the look down even further. Pointy toe flats and loafers are another way to go. 

Wearing heeled booties with a notched and narrow ankle opening creates a longer leg line. Feel free to wear hosiery that matches the colour of the booties, or your skin tone. 

Accessories: Finish off the look with a bag, eyewear, jewellery and watch as desired. A bib necklace works well over a fine gauge pullover.

Ensemble: Relaxed Pencil Skirt & Pullover

Here’s Olivia Palermo sporting the look with a semi-tucked slouchy burgundy turtleneck, pencil skirt, ankle strap pumps, clutch and bib necklace. Choose a trench coat or longer wool coat as a topper.

Roundups

Dressier Casual Items

Casual pieces that lean slightly towards dressy.

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Casual Wear

Casual pieces that can be dressed up or down to suit you.

Read More >

Interesting Neutral Items

There are many beautiful neutral pieces in stores right now.

Read More >

Fun Wool Coats

Across an assortment of styles, colours and lengths.

Read More >

Current Cardigans

Opt for a current style rather than a classic cropped round neck.

Read More >

Link Love: Tomboy Style Tips

by Inge

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to incorporate tomboy or androgynous touches into your outfits, then this Refinery29 roundup of 24 Too Cool Tomboys in San Francisco might be just the ticket.

J.Crew Director and Executive Creative Director Jenna Lyons shared some tips on how to pull off a menswear-inspired look with Lucky Magazine.

Lizzie Garrett talks about the intersection of makeup and tomboy style, and asked celebrity makeup artist Toby Fleischman for suggestions on how to create a natural daytime look.

Fab Links from Our Members

Deb lets us know that this article by Invisible Woman about selfies for the fifty and over crowd has some good points.

Sally lists the danger of pre-made outfits, and talks about the photographed body. Angie thought both posts were interesting reads.

For those of us who were fans of the series back in the ’90s: Vildy got a real kick out of A Ranking of All 118 Sweaters Seen on Twin Peaks.

This recent article in the Wall Street Journal on loafers reminded Joyce of some of Angie’s picks. Joy adds that she never thought of loafers as a youthful shoe though.

HiggsMistress reports that there is a new top dog in menswear: Bodhi, the Shiba Inu. Fashion brands are taking notice and are collaborating with him for their ad campaigns.

Bj1111 came across this article on the tyranny of choice. She says: some forum members ”have mentioned that it’s tiring to think of all of one’s clothing and have to fit in a wear for all the items during the season. A uniform is so seductive because it frees your mind to think about other things.”

Diane G thought this Fashion Tag post might provide useful inspiration for those ladies wanting to try some long cardigan looks.

Rebel Chic

Jean Druesedow

The Sartorialist: Closer

Scott Schuman

The Truth About Style

Stacy London

kate spade new york

Deborah Lloyd

You Are What You Wear

Jennifer Baumgartner

Updating Your Wardrobe Essentials

by Angie

Wardrobe essentials are indispensable staples without which your wardrobe would not function. They are not to be confused with wardrobe basics, which are items like underpants, bras, camisoles, shapewear, socks, sleepwear, loungewear, hosiery and thermals. Wardrobe essentials are usually very versatile, simple in design, and current. 

Wardrobe essentials are not necessarily the most interesting part of your outfit but they are a very important ingredient. They are like the foundation of an outfit, or the glue that makes the other pieces come together in a cohesive whole. If your wardrobe essentials aren’t in place you will probably end up with many more closet orphans. They make the rest of your closet a lot more wearable.

I do not believe in a universal list of wardrobe essentials because our needs are different. I prefer to suggest a personalized list that is suited to your lifestyle, climate, body type and style persona. T-shirts might be your button-down shirts. Stud earrings might be your oversized watch. V-neck sweaters might be your turtlenecks, and shorts might be your jeans. Remember that the list should be flexible, and should be open to change. 

It’s extremely important to ensure that your wardrobe essentials are current. Like other wardrobe items, they have an expiry date, and should be revisited seasonally to ensure that the pieces fit, are fashionable, suit your needs, work with the rest of your items, and are in good shape. 

My list of wardrobe essentials has changed slightly over the years as I’ve simplified my style and accommodated my evolving style preferences. A black pencil skirt, Converse sneakers, tall dressy boots, ballet flats, and a little black dress are no longer on the list. I prefer dressy black trousers to a pencil skirt, and dressy black separates to a LBD. For comfort reasons I have moved away from Converse sneakers, and switched from ballet flats to loafers. And I now prefer to wear casual, flat knee-high boots as opposed to dressy tall boots. 

In some cases the items that remain on my list have been updated to a more fashionable fit, colour or cut. That’s one of the ways I inject the Modern back into my Classics. 

  1. Button-Down Shirts: Roomy fits reign supreme and make the rest of your outfit look more fashionable. I held onto a few fitted silhouettes, but for the most part replenished my shirts with a baggier look in white, shades of blue, and plaid. Button-downs are “my T-shirts” and work well worn on their own tucked into bottoms with a belt, or layered under knitwear and jackets.  
  2. Turtlenecks: Few items make me feel as fab as a fine gauge turtleneck sweater because they work well with my very long neck. Plus they keep me warm, look polished, and layer extremely well under jackets. I held onto a few fitted styles because they work well with flared skirts, but added simple neutral turtlenecks in fluid and oversized fits to keep things current. 
  3. Jeans: I prefer wearing white jeans to blue jeans for a multitude of reasons and therefore expanded my white jeans capsule this year. Now I have more pairs of white jeans than blue jeans, which reflects my dressing habits, and prevents laundry bottlenecks. 
  4. Dressy Black Trousers: Black cigarette pants and dressy black flared trousers continue to come in handy. I’ve been wearing the same pieces for four years and they’re still going strong.
  5. Moto Jackets: I’ve had moto jackets in my wardrobe since the ’80s, and have updated their silhouettes accordingly. I wear my two black moto jackets very frequently and with just about any combination. One of them is five years old and the other eight years old, whittling down the cost per wear to nothing. Both fits are a little looser than tailored and therefore look completely current. I added a white moto jacket to my capsule this year, and hope it has as much longevity as its predecessors.  
  6. Blazers: I still wear my old grey pinstripe, two button Theory blazer that’s part of a suit. It does not look dated because it’s on the fluid side of tailored, and very simple. Last year I added an ink one button Theory blazer to my essentials capsule to achieve a more fashionable look. It has proved to be very versatile, and does not crease. I wear it for plane travel with a pair of jeans and feel polished and pulled together at the airport. 
  7. Denim Jacket: I updated this item two years ago by choosing a roomier fit with two-toned black mixed media sleeves. My tailored denim jackets are sitting in the holding zone. 
  8. Trench Coat: I have tailored citron and cream trench coats that I wear fairly frequently. Both are many years old and I love them just as much now as I did when I first got them. Neither looks dated and they are still in good condition. I passed on my black trench coat two years ago because I never wore it. I’m just not a black coat gal.  
  9. Tall Flat Riding Boots: I have a black and grey pair of casual flat riding boots. Both are several seasons old, but they still look current if I wear them with a trendy support act. 
  10. Oversized Watch: I added another oversized gold watch to my capsule last year because I fancied one with a black face. I have four that I interchange daily. 

If you haven’t already done so, consider compiling a list of wardrobe essentials. Some people can work completely from intuition, but for most the structure is a big help when it comes to building an effective wardrobe. When clients call me for an outfit creation session because they’re battling to create outfits, it’s often a case of missing or dated wardrobe essentials. They might not be the most exciting items to shop for, but they transform items into outfits. Do keep them current and don’t feel bad about spending a significant portion of your fashion budget on them.

Karen Millen
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