I’ve worked through hundreds of Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear collections and pinned many directional looks along the way. Things are moving in a romantic, soft, alluring, structured and dressy direction, which is inevitable after years of unstructured drape, tomboy slouch, and sporty looks.
Spring and Summer fashion continues the era of opposites that we saw back in the Fall and Winter. Structured outfits are just as trendy as unstructured outfits. Outfit maximalism works alongside ‘90s minimalism. Ladylike pretty is as desirable as looks borrowed from the boys. Retro Glamour works with Sporty Luxe, and neutrals are as infectious as brights, pastels, muddy mid-tones, jewel tones and earth tones.
There is more diversity in fashion with each passing year, which means that there is something for everyone. Trends are no longer seasonal and fads no longer exist. You have the power to pick and choose what whets your appetite from the trend buffet, and sport it your way. Long may it last.
On to the the trends.
Tailoring & Slouch
There are four fit silhouettes, which is important to remember as you shop for the season. Tailored items such as structured jackets, fitted jeans, trumpet skirts, trousers with higher rises, paper-bag waisted bottoms, belted coats and jackets, structured blouses and fitted sweaters are as fashionable as fluid and oversized slouch in all sorts of wardrobe items, tomboy looks and items with lots of drape. The two opposing outfit silhouettes live in trendy harmony.
Asymmetry is an ongoing trend. Think asymmetrical hemlines, necklines, pockets and layers on clothing. Think asymmetrical haircuts, hair colour and necklaces. Wear mismatched earrings and asymmetrical necklaces. A pair of shoes can also have a mismatched pattern.
This is the BIGGEST trend in jeans and trousers — showcase your ankles and part of the lower leg. Think cropped styles in every type of silhouette, colour, pattern and fabrication. Make sure you combine the look with the right pair of shoes to create outfit proportions that make you happy.
Ruffles, Flounces, Fringe, Tie-Dye, Cold Shoulders & Pleats
Think ROMANCE. Items don’t need to look frilly to be flouncy. And ruffles can be beautifully angular and architectural. Dandy outfits are actually masculine so keep an open mind about what you thought were overly precious, girly looks. You’re after an outfit softness that is sensual. And by all means combine the softness with Hard Edge if that type of tension is more your cup of tea.
Pleated tops look fresh, and showcasing shoulders and collarbones is a less expected way to feel and look alluring. Tie-dye and fringe worn in non-boho ways can look glam and fun. Think beyond the stereotype and make this look your own.
Modern Retro means that you’re imitating a style, trend or design from a bygone era and adding a good dose of modern to the look. Retro items are new pieces, not vintage items that actually come from those eras. Become inspired by fashion that goes back as far as Victorian times, and go right through to the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Add retro flair to a “now” pair of jeans, footwear and bag combination to create a unique look.
Matchy-matchy outfits are retro, and a fun way to wear the trend as long as you create a little tension or irregular outfit juxtaposition in the outfit.
Strong and simple outfits are always in style, but outfit maximalism is the trendier alternative right now. This means outfits with more bells and whistles, accessories, textures, patterns and layers. Think high shine, embroideries, jewellery, garment detail, and pattern mixing. Note that you can achieve a maximal look in neutrals, and that there is no need for colour.
Think back to ‘90s slip dresses and wide patterned pants. Lace on just about any wardrobe item, lingerie worn as layering pieces, and blouses that look like silky pajama tops. The trend is a little risqué and edgy, but can be fun with careful execution.
Poppy, Rust, Mustard, Blush & Light Blue
Rest assured that ALL colours are fashionable these days, but some stand out a little more than others in a fashion season — just because! Poppy, rust, mustard and pale shades of pink and blue are the colours for Spring and Summer, as well as all sorts of mid-tones and light neutrals.
Abundant Trendy Footwear
We’re living in the BEST fashion era for footwear. The assortment is abundant and keeps on growing. And the best part about today’s incredible range of stylish footwear is that there are comfortable options aplenty.
There are lace-up flats or heels, flatforms (creepers), platforms, clogs, tasseled and fringed styles, sneakers and sneaker hybrids, sandal booties, booties, cut-out booties, cage heels, ankle strap styles, oxfords and ‘90s styles. And if that doesn’t suit you there are loafers, gladiators, espadrilles, mules, slides, heeled naked strappy sandals, western shoes, pointy toe flats and heels, round square toes, ornate heeled styles, soft footbed sandals and block-heeled ballerina pumps. You’ll find these styles across various heel heights, colours and price points.
Sporty Luxe or Athleisure
The athleisure — or Sporty Luxe trend — is taking a bit of a back seat, but is fashionable nonetheless. The look is very mainstream and here to stay. Remember that YOU the consumer have the power to keep a trend going despite what’s happening on the catwalks. Fashion buyers will continue to put items into stores if they know they will sell — and athleisure items sell like hot cakes. Plus the world of sneakers and sneaker hybrids has exploded. Sporty Luxe looks are as mainstream and on trend as ever.
I’m all over Modern Retro, tailoring and the new trendy colours like poppy & rust. I’m also loving romantic ruffles and flounce, cropped jeans, and some asymmetry. There are plenty of comfortable footwear trends and I’m adding a maximal touch to my outfits.
I LOVE that we are living in a fashion world that is liberating and empowering. There is no one way to be stylish, and the “personal” in personal style grows stronger every year. It is easier than ever to keep evolving and have fun with fashion at any age.
Over to you. Which Spring and Summer trends are you most excited about?