Every season has wonderful trends that we can adapt to suit our lifestyle, body type and fashion persona. It’s a matter of sifting through the styles on offer to add the right amount of “right now” to our existing wardrobe. In the process we leave behind things that don’t work for us, or that we simply don’t like. This is more difficult when the trends are hard to wear, choice is limited to a few fashionable design details, or items aren’t styled for the average woman. Here are my complaints about Autumn and Winter 2008:

  • Soaring heel heights: Finding fabulous boots is hard, but when most of the heeled styles are in excess of three inches it’s that much harder. I don’t know who purchases them because I seldom see super high heels on the street (and that’s all over the world). There must be a lot of people sitting in high, high heels because they’re certainly not for walking.
  • Too many mini skirts and dresses: It’s amazing how many times I took petite clients into the regular clothing area to gain a few inches of length on a skirt. I found myself passing up on plenty of skirt and dress styles because the hems were short and I’m only 5ft 6. Raised hemlines are fine, but when that’s the only option in stores it’s a problem.
  • Poorly styled sweater dresses: Don’t get me wrong, I adore these and bought another one this season. But finding the perfect sweater dress is a tall order. Retailers (ultimately the fashion buyers) did not put enough thought into how these styles could be most flattering on a typical, curvy female form and there were loads of sweater dresses on early markdown as a result of poor styling.
  • Pleated pants: We have not seen the last of this generally unflattering trend. It’s all over the show for Spring.
  • Too many puffed sleeves: I personally enjoy puffed sleeves, but there are many women who either don’t like them or can’t wear them. Once again, there was far too much of this design feature in stores. I was often passing up on items for my clients because of the abundance of puffed sleeves.
  • Too many empire baby-doll cuts: This silhouette can look killer on some and it’s great for camouflaging muffin top or balancing out curvy hips. But once again, the sheer overdose of the look is a weakness of the season. Busty gals can seldom wear empire cuts and the style can make you look pregnant (which is only a bad thing if you DON’T want to look pregnant).
  • Boyfriend jeans: Don’t like the trend on adults.
  • Fringe fashion that made me laugh: Latex leggings, harem pants and jumpsuits.
  • Uggs: Enough said.

There were also a few missed retail opportunities:

  • I sound like a broken record, but a deeper assortment of fab looking shoes and boots with one to two inch heels always goes down well. I cannot understand why this super-popular heel height is constantly overlooked in the US. It’s so much easier to find in Europe and Asia.
  • Winter dresses in heavier fabric weights with longer sleeves would have been fab. They are easier to wear than sweater dresses and look fab with a great pair of boots, hose and coat. What’s not to love about a super easy slip-on-and-go frock?
  • A wider range of casual pants that aren’t jeans or cords. If you lead a casual lifestyle and don’t like to wear skirts, you can get really sick of wearing jeans.

Personally, there were a handful of items on my shopping list that I could not find: the perfect pair of slouchy chestnut boots, a long cream puffer coat with fake fur trim, a red tartan pencil skirt and flat cream knee-high boots. I suppose there’s always next season! Your turn ladies. Bring on your rants for Autumn and Winter 2008 before we close the door and concentrate on Spring 2009.

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