I write a trend report for the upcoming retail season right after designers send their collections down the runways in New York, London, Milan and Paris. But since designers work in advance, the reports are six months ahead of when we’ll see the trends appear in stores. Plus you’re in the middle of the current season when the report comes out, which makes it hard to switch focus.
With that in mind I am going to revisit these trend reports closer to the upcoming season. Today’s post is about Spring and Summer 2015, so it revisits the report I wrote last October. There is a lot of repetition from the original report, but also some important additions.
The most remarkable aspect of 2015 trends is how different they are from each other. Boho Chic and Sporty Luxe are like chalk and cheese, yet the trends coexist and hold as equal weight. Fluid and oversized silhouettes are the opposite of tailored looks that are defined at the waist. I vote bring on the brilliant melting pot of fashion because it encourages the infinity of individual style preferences, as opposed to a few key looks that must be embraced by everyone.
1. Fluid and Oversized Fits
A fluid fit is roomier than tailored, but not as roomy as oversized. The effect creates that oh so fashionable slouch in tops, bottoms, dresses and toppers. Wearing your clothes a little, or a lot looser all over is an important way to create a current look, and brilliantly comfortable to boot.
We can all wear and look great in a roomy fit, so don’t think you’re limited when you’re petite, very curvy, pear shaped, plus sized or have a large bustline. 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. Waist Definition
This is the BIG news. Defining the waist is as trendy as surrendering the waistline and is often achieved by belting oversized, fluid and tailored tops and toppers to define the waist. So you’re defining the waist without the extra tight silhouette. Waist definition is also achieved by wearing tailored high-rise bottoms, cropped tops or tucked tops to showcase a structured waistline.
Do not confuse this trend with Body Con, which is tighter than a tailored fit and usually made of stretchy fabric to make a very snug garment comfortable. Tailored fits skim the contours of the body, thereby showcasing your shape. The structure of these pieces is usually achieved with darts, princess seams, and panelling techniques to create a close fit. They do not rely on stretchy fabric to fit the curves of your body.
3. ’70s Inspiration
Boho Chic is back, so think flounce, fringe, weathered brown leather, suede, kimono sleeves, bell sleeves, embroidered and smocked detailing, peasant tops, drawstring necklines, slubby cotton, gathers, ponchos, floppy hats, patchwork, ruffles, textured knitwear, cork heels, and empire cuts.
‘70s fashion is more than just Boho Chic, and also had a very glamorous, dressy and sensual aspect to it. So think jumpsuits, faux fur vests, flared trousers, fitted trouser suits with flared hems, culottes, fitted button-down shirts with pointy collars, belted A-line coats and jackets, wrap dresses, flouncy blouses, pussy-bow blouses, bootcuts, midi skirts, tailored turtlenecks and pendant necklaces.
4. Sporty Luxe
We are in our fourth year of Sporty Luxe and it’s still going strong. It comes through in all sorts of clothing items, colours, footwear styles, garment details, fabrications, and accessories. On the clothing side there are bomber jackets, trackpants (or joggers), upscale anoraks, hoodies, leggings, silky trackpants, upscale sweatshirts, cotton knitwear, baseball shorts, baseball tops, haute polo shirts, rugby stripes and rugby jerseys. There are fashionable backpacks, haute baseball caps, mesh insets, perforated textures, colour blocking and plenty of neon. Sneakers – heeled or flat, chunky or sleek, slip-on or laced, neutral or bright — make up the largest component of the sporty luxe trend.
5. Cropped Pants
Just about any style of jean and trouser comes in a cropped length these days. In fact, it’s easier to find cropped lengths than full lengths. Styles are cropped at different lengths — on the ankle or shorter — across both fitted and baggy silhouettes, with tapered or wide hemlines, in all sorts of fabrications, colours and patterns. High-vamped footwear, whether it’s booties, loafers, oxfords or ankle straps, complement this look.
6. Bottoms with Movement
This trend is a result of the first five trends. Ultra baggy pants and jeans that slouch on top with tapered hems are still very fashionable. Relaxed and tailored bottoms with a structured crotch point and tapered hems are just as on trend. Styles that are structured on the hips and thighs and flare from the knee down, like bootcuts and flares, are making a big comeback. So think culottes, upscale trackpants, soft wide-leg pants, baggy long shorts, tuxedo trousers, cigarette pants, high-rise paper bag waisted styles, high-rise cropped pants, boyfriend jeans, harem pants, relaxed skinnies, bootcuts, flared legs, and tailored straight leg jeans. Many of these styles come in full and cropped lengths with mid to high rises.
Skirts and dresses are also about movement. The shirt dress is particularly strong because it’s belted at the waist, which fits well into the defined waist trend of #2. But unlike the classic stiff shirt dress, 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 in mini, knee or midi lengths. Flared and pencil skirts in elegant midi lengths continue to be strong. Wear them 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. The full short ‘90s A-line skirt is having a moment too.
7. Shades of Blue and Orange
Although most colours were represented on the runways, shades of blue and orange were particularly strong. We’re already seeing these colours come through as brand new Spring collections hit retail stores. From the softest pale blue to the darkest ink. Muted, bright and in between. Blue is versatile and combines well with just about any other colour. From tomato red and Dutch orange, to tangerine, mango, peach and shades of coral. All look particularly complementary to shades of blue.
Wearing shades of white from head to toe is extremely fashionable. 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 so don’t be put off if you want to wear the look, but are battling a little at first. If you have dark hair, wear white-out with dark footwear to effectively bookend the outfit if that feels more pulled together.
9. Gingham & Sheer
Gingham, although a classic pattern that is always in style, is having its fashion moment. Think large or small scale in any wardrobe item and colour.
Sheer fabrications and insets are still going strong on tops, pants, skirts and dresses. Pieces with transparent trims and style detailing can be harder to wear to the office, and may require special undergarments. But they can also be fun and alluring in a subtle way.
10. Flat Footwear
It is the era of the comfortable shoe. Flat footwear (including heels up to one inch) makes 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 (creepers) and gladiators. Of course, if heels are your thing, don’t stop wearing those either. I plan on wearing ankle strap pumps for a good long while.
Wearing shorter flared or straight skirts over trousers, leggings, skinnies, dresses and other skirts is a fringe trend. It’s known as the “apron look”, and can be quite fun if you enjoy layers. High-low hemlines, dropped shoulder seams, rounder shoulders, boxy or cocoon long and short jackets, long toppers, moto styles, boxy short sleeves, torn denim, pastels and cropped tops are still going strong. Short shorts take a back seat in favour of longer shorts.
Bring on the tailored cuts and fluid fits, and goodbye body con. I LOVE the melting pot of fashion this season, and hope that the large assortment of silhouettes, style personas and colours lasts forever. I’m particularly drawn to fluid fits, tailoring, the glamorous and dressy looks of the ‘70s, tomato red, white-out, Sporty Luxe, bottoms with movement, flat footwear, ankle strap pumps and shirt dresses. And although I have a very complicated relationship with cropped pants, there are plenty of styles that I like with the right fit and support act.
For more Spring and Summer 2015 style inspiration, check out the board where I pinned trending runway outfits from the Spring 2015 collections.