A couple of years ago, I described our current fashion era as being very accepting of all sorts of outfit juxtapositions, colours, fabrications and silhouettes. Today’s more liberal approach to fashion — where trends do not rule the way we dress like they used to, and where there is no one way to be stylish — has resulted in a rebirth of personal style. Much of the newness in fashion these days comes from how you reinvent and remix items your way.
With this in mind, there are five things that, to me, epitomize the look for 2014:
- Irregular Outfit Juxtaposition: Unexpected item combinations are fashionable. Top of the list is remixing super casual with super formal elements in one outfit; like wearing ball gowns with slip-on sneakers, sequins with shredded jeans, tuxedo jackets with track pants, and beanies with suits. Seasonally confused outfits have never been more on trend.
- Just Enough Structure: Fluid and oversized fits that are pretty shapeless, both on the top and bottom, are extremely trendy. Creating just enough structure in an outfit is key to making you look and feel attractive. It’s not a case of an outfit looking conventionally flattering. It’s more a case of an outfit looking “flattering enough”.
- Combining the Classics with Trends: This is a personal favourite. Take true classics, like button-down shirts, simple silk blouses, crisp formal suits, pencil skirts, straight leg jeans, bootcut trousers, Gucci-esque loafers, moto jackets, Chanel-esque jackets, Burberry-esque trench coats, denim jackets, denim shirts, riding boots, fitted turtlenecks, Doc Martens boots, pointy toe pumps and ballet flats. Then mix them up with trendy pieces. For example, wear classic Salvatore Ferragamo loafers with slouchy and faded boyfriend jeans, a roomy upscale sweatshirt, studded belt, big watch, and clutch.
- Hip to Be Square: So called nerdy, frumpy and conventionally unfashionable looks are actually fashion forward. I have my suspicions that Geek Chic eyewear paved the way for this trend. Runway shows and street style photo blogs are full of this type of look. Things are frumpy right up until they become fashionable, and it’s such a fine line.
- High-Low style: This is another personal favourite because it re-enforces my philosophy of leaving no retail stone unturned. Combining high-end designer pieces with more affordable pieces in one outfit is fun. Having a wide range of price points represented in your wardrobe can provide a lot of flexibility. Personally, I find this way of dressing empowering and liberating.
Modern style is about creating your own look, which INCLUDES wearing conventionally flattering outfits. So don’t think that wearing tailored clothing and highly structured outfits in expected combinations is dated. Not at all. In fact, some of the most stylish people in the world stick to dressing in this way and look killer season after season. The point is that you have a choice because that’s the way fashion and style has evolved. Update your classics, choose the trends that appeal the most to you and wear them in ways that make YOU feel fabulous.