It’s time for talking trends on YLF. Earlier this week I reported on the big seven trends, and gave a colour and pattern forecast. Today we’re moving on to themes and silhouettes. Remember that trends last for years, and even decades, these days, and that Doing Your Own Thing (DYOT) is what matters most. Some looks are mainstream, while others are fringe. Pick what’s to your taste from the buffet of trends and sport things your way.
You’ll notice a lot of ‘90s looks coming through. The early and mid ‘90s were a lovely mix of 70’s and ‘80s fashion, so you’ll have fun flashbacks of those eras too. If these looks are your preferred decades, milk it.
Blazer lengths that cover the bottom and hips, and extend onto the thighs, are where it’s at for now. Styles are single and double-breasted, and can be left unfastened. The idea is to wear them with anything, so dresses and skirts across various lengths, full-length and cropped pants and jeans across all sorts of silhouettes, and shorts too. Scrunch or roll the sleeves for structure. A turned-back contrast lining on the sleeve is a nice touch.
This is not an item of underwear. It’s a cropped tank top that looks a bit like a sports bra, and is used as a layering item under sheer tops, blazers, jackets or cardigans. The idea is to wear it with high-rise bottoms and a third piece so that the effect is alluring yet quite covered.
Sheer Layers and Crochet
Think of fluid, fitted, boxy or billowing blouses, shirts, sweaters, tees and tunics made of see-through fabric or crochet knits. The idea is to layer a tank or camisole under the sheer layer to create an interesting effect. You can layer a jacket or cardigan over the top to amp up the layered vibe. Crocheted dresses, shorts and skirts with lining are there too.
Hello ‘70s! Think Saturday Night Fever and you’ve got the look. We’ll be seeing pointy and wide disco collars on shirts, blouses and dresses. You can easily layer them under jackets, cardigans and coats because the sleeves are streamlined. I suspect this trend to stay very fringe.
Note that shirts are not blouses, and this trend is about SHIRTS. We’re not talking about essential, simple and classic button-down shirts either. It’s a bold shirt that makes a statement and is much more than basic. Think mullet shirts, tunic shirts with dramatic puffed and smocked sleeves, architectural shirts, wrap shirts, front frill point shirts, pirate shirts and poet shirts.
A waistcoat is a short formal vest with front buttons that is worn over another layer like a shirt, tee, blouse, tank top, or dress. It’s a traditional menswear garment and can form part of a three-piece suit. That way you layer a jacket over the lot if you want to. It’s usually tailored although fluid versions are there. It can be worn buttoned or unbuttoned, and is a fringe trend. It’s fun over sleeveless tops and dresses for Summer.
Full-Length Pants and Cropped Pants
The runways are showcasing full-length pants AND cropped pants. Full-length pants are either very long and skim or sweep the surface of the ground, or they’re at the new and more practical shorter full length. Cropped pants are cropped anywhere from two to six inches above the ankle bone.
Fits are tailored, fluid and slouchy. Hems are regular, scrunched, frayed, distressed, cuffed or rolled. Fabrics are hard, soft, stiff, architectural or flowing. Think patterns and solids and all sorts of casual and dressy renditions. Hems are tapered or wide, but silhouettes are roomier in the legs if the hems are tapered.
Designer collections are featuring denim a lot more frequently than they used to, and none of the silhouettes are simple. Think of jeans as a statement item and not just a simple essential that fades into the background of the outfit. Jeans have waist trims, belts, pleats, irregular pockets, tuxedo trims, hem treatments, cuff treatments, and other bells and whistles to make them stand out and look different to classic skinnies.
Cast your mind back to what Meryl Streep wore in the movie “Out of Africa” and you’re on the right track. Think jackets, shirts, shirt dresses, skirts, pants and shorts in shades of tan, olive and khaki with utility detailing like drawstrings, tie belts, chinos, cargo pockets, carpenter loops, canvas belts, patch pockets and tortoiseshell trim. Finish off the look with brown leather and earthy accents.
Midis and Maxis with Movement
Skirt lengths are knee, calf and ankle covering. 95% of the silhouettes are A-line and flared in some way for ease of movement. Many of the hemlines showcase some sort of asymmetrical interest. Straight, pencil and form-fitting skirts and dresses are few and far between because it’s all about flow and movement. Tiered styles, bias cuts, slip dresses, all sorts of pleats, and slip skirts look quite fresh.
Wide Pants and High Rises
Pants and jeans are tailored with movement like bootcuts, roomy and very roomy all the way down, or pleated up top and tapered at the hems with ample fluidity in the middle. Roomy straight legs or narrow wide crops are popular, and cropped to around the ankle or scrunched over the ankle and very long in length.
Rises are high, or very high. Waistbands finish just under, on, or over the belly button. Flat fronts are as popular as pleats and paperbag waists. The idea is to showcase the waist by tucking, semi-tucking, wearing a short top, or wearing a top or topper that belts in the same position as the waistband of the bottoms.
Balloon Leg Pants and Jeans
These are pants with a higher rise, tailored hip and bottom fit, a roomy leg fit that “balloons” away from the thighs, and hems that taper back to the leg. The waist can be straight or pleated. Lantern pants are a close cousin, but sometimes aren’t as structured on the crotch point and hips.
Shorter Tops and Body-Con Tops
As bottoms become wider and higher in the rise, tops become shorter and/or more fitted so that you can wear the two together with some structure. This the opposite of the “long over lean” look that has stuck around as the benchmark for more than a decade.
Very short shorts covered the catwalks in countless renditions. Baggy, tight, belted, and straight across all sorts of colours, fabrics, solids and patterns. They were paired with short fluid tops, roomy cropped tops, bra tops and slouchy tucked shirts, blouses or tees. Short shorts might be on-trend at the moment, but we see them every season because they sell well in the US, and especially to young adults.
Wooohooo! I love long shorts, and it’s fun to see them regain fashionable momentum. Long shorts have hems that are knee-length. This means that their hems finish a little above, on, or just below the kneecap. Styles are baggy, fluid or tight, casual or dressy, pleated or straight at the waist, and mid to high in the rise. They can be paired with just about any top, cardigan or jacket, and worn with anything from glam heels and sandal booties, to sneakers, flats, mules and sandals.
Tailoring and Straight Slouch
Today’s fashion is a wonderful mixture of waist-defining form-fitting silhouettes AND unstructured waist-surrendering silhouettes. Gorgeous tailoring, subtle fluidity, roomy fluidity, and oversized slouch, so take your pick. Drape, architectural drape, or showcasing the contour of your body just as you want to.
Sharp Shoulders and Puffy Sleeves
The ‘80s sharp shoulder has been trending for a while but is not mainstream like it used to be. I’m not sure it will ever be maintream again, but at least we have the option. Puffy sleeves that are gathered on the crown and tapered at the wrist are completely mainstream, and a much easier silhouette to wear in warm weather when you don’t need a jacket.
Suiting with all sorts of pant silhouettes is huge, and completely mainstream in solids, micro plaids, pinstripes, florals or any other pattern that tickles your fancy. They’re made of breezy Summery fabrics like silk, cotton, rayon, viscose and linen blends. Some of the blazers are longer length, but many are regular hip bone length. The idea is to wear a pants suit as a fast-fall-back outfit in all sorts of settings with dressy heels, sneakers, oxfords, sandals, mules, loafers or dressy flats. Combine it with a tee, blouse, shirt, bra top, silky camisole, or cotton pullover. Wear a tailored suit, or a more relaxed oversized suit.
Black from Head-to-Toe
Wearing black separates or a dress with black footwear and black handbag is as ‘90s as it gets, and even I wore it back in 1995. In my experience, it can look very flat and drab if there is little textual interest between the black components, so try to create outfit pizzazz with unusual fabric combinations and shiny trim. Throw in white shoes and bag to break up the black. Sport navy with black. Or wear white-out which is the opposite side of the same coin.
Non-Neutral from Head-to-Toe
Pick a non-neutral and wear it from head-to-toe, or tonal shades of it from head-to-toe. I wear shades of red and watermelon from head-to-toe, and would love to do the same with bright pink, turquoise, citron, apple green, and light blue. The hardest part is getting the footwear to match in the same colour, so you have to be really committed to the non-neutral you choose to sport.
There is SO much belting on the runways all of which highlight the waist. There are belted tops, jackets, gilets and coats. High-rise jeans and pants are worn with wide belts, and dresses are belted at the waist with a broad belt, ‘80s style.
For my own style, I like it all in varying degrees, but will say no thank you to short shorts, black from head-to-toe, and bra tops. Pretty sheer layers, crochet tops in white or blue, statement shirts and jeans, long shorts, wide pants and high rises, midis with movement, non-neutrals from head-to-toe, Summer trouser suiting, puffy sleeves, and balloon leg pants get a big thumbs up. I like both tailored fits and straight slouch, and might try some sharp shoulders. And I LOVE wearing the new shorter full length flared pants and jeans with flats or sneakers and a short or tucked top.
Which of these vibes and silhouettes are you feeling for Spring and Summer?