It’s trend talk on YLF. Earlier this week I reported on the all important directional trends, and gave a colour and pattern forecast. Today we’re moving on to themes and silhouettes. Some looks are mainstream, while others are fringe. Pick what’s to your taste from the buffet of trends and sport things your way.
Fluidity is where it’s at because fits are roomier across all wardrobe items. Tailored fits are more fluid than the norm. Items have a little or a lot of volume, yet are tailored in all the right places. Body-con takes a backseat unless you’re wearing a tube skirt, bandage dress, leggings, or a tight knitted top with a voluminous bottom. This brings us back to how important practical comfort is for getting on with modern life. Fab that fashion is on our side.
High and Mid Rises
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. Mid rises are there so do not worry. But they are harder to find than high rises.
Pants and jeans silhouettes are tailored but with lots of movement. Think bootcuts, wide legs, wide crops, slim wide crops, cropped flares, relaxed straights, barrel legs, or carrot leg silhouettes that are pleated up top and tapered at the hems with ample fluidity in the middle.
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 is the opposite of the “long over lean” look that has been the benchmark for more than a decade.
There was a lot of belting on the runways, all of which highlighted the waist. There were belted tops, jackets, gilets and coats. High-rise jeans and pants were worn with wide belts, and dresses were belted at the waist with a broad belt, ‘80s style.
Sharp Shoulders and Puffy Sleeves
‘80s puffy sleeves and sharp shoulder padded shoulders flooded the runways. I’m not sure this will ever be mainstream again, but if you like the vibe, go for it. Puffy sleeves that are gathered on the crown and tapered at the wrist are completely mainstream, and an easier silhouette to wear in warm weather when toppers are stifling.
Oversized Long Jackets
The ‘80s and ‘90s oversized jacket is back to being completely mainstream. Blazer lengths cover the bottom and hips, and extend onto the thighs. 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.
Statement Trousers and Jeans
It’s all about bottoms with bells and whistles that are beyond basic. Designer collections are featuring denim a lot more frequently than they used to, and none of the silhouettes are simple. Think of jeans and pants as a statement item and not just a simple essential that fades into the background of the outfit. Jeans and pants have waist trims, patterns, textures, belts, pleats, irregular pockets, tuxedo trims, toggles, hem treatments, panels, and cuff treatments to make them stand out and look different to classic skinnies.
Think utility jackets, parkas, anoraks, trench coats, carpenter shirts, shirt dresses, cargo skirts, cargo pants and cargo shorts in shades of tan, olive, khaki, brown and denim with utility detailing like drawstrings, tie belts, oversized pockets, topstitching, carpenter loops, canvas belts, and tortoiseshell trim. Finish off the look with brown leather and earthy accents, or remix them with romantic bohemian items for a Utility Pretty vibe.
Cut-outs on the waist and midsection of dresses and skirts are an eye-catching and slightly risqué fringe trend. Cut-outs on high necklines and on the sleeves of tops are mainstream, less risqué and easier to wear without feeling self-conscious. These types of design details can be an interesting way to showcase skin if that’s your thing.
Full-Length Bottoms and Cropped Pants
Full-length pants are as popular as 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 that showcases more of your shoes. 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.
Tailoring and Slouch
Today’s fashion is a wonderful mix of waist-defining tailored silhouettes AND unstructured waist-surrendering silhouettes. Gorgeous tailoring, subtle fluidity, roomy fluidity, and oversized slouch is equally fabulous, so take your pick. Drape, architectural drape, or showcasing the contour of your body — it’s all good.
It’s very trendy — and practical — to style dressy items in a relaxed way. The Sporty Luxe trend, which remixes a whole lot of formal and refined luxe with sporty accents, is alive and well. Wear dressy dresses and skirts with denim jackets, moto jackets, fashion sneakers, and stompy boots. Combine dressy sparkle with a baseball cap and sweatshirt. Combine a hoodie with pearls and a blazer. Wear dressy trousers with a sweatshirt. Wear a lace top with a sporty Nike skirt. Combine a slogan tee with a dressy jacket. Wear a tailored coat over leggings or joggers, and throw a glitzy chain-strap bag over a slouchy pullover.
Balloon and Barrel 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, with hems that taper back to the leg. Some retailers refer to the same silhouette as barrel legs. 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.
Midis and Maxi Dresses and Skirts
Skirt lengths are knee, calf and ankle-covering. Most 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, fluidity, and movement. Tiered skirt and dress styles, bias cuts, slip dresses, all sorts of interesting pleats, and slip skirts look fresh.
Drousers are dresses worn over trousers and jeans. The aesthetic is an acquired taste that can look quite avant-garde and architectural when the silhouettes are dramatic and more voluminous. The vibe is tempered when both dress and bottoms are streamlined. You can create a tonal or high-contrast effect between the two items with solids and patterns.
We’re talking about simple modern classic shirts in solids and patterns, a cropped version of them, AND a much more bold shirt that makes a statement in terms of silhouette and volume. Think mullet shirts, tunic shirts with dramatic puffed and smocked sleeves, architectural shirts, wrap shirts, front frill point shirts, pirate shirts and poet shirts.
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.
Hard and Soft Trouser Suiting
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 hard and soft Summery fabrics like silk, cotton, rayon, viscose, cool wool, 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.
For my own style, I like it all in varying degrees, but will say no thank you to cut-out detailing and oversized long jackets. I much prefer a shorter tailored or trapeze jacket, and long coats. I love pretty sheer layers, all sorts of shirts, statement pants, wide pants and high rises, cropped and full-length pants, midi dresses and skirts with movement, Summer trouser suiting, puffy sleeves, and barrel leg jeans. I like tailored and fluid fits, drousers, and relaxed dressy vibes are my thing. And I thoroughly enjoy wearing the new shorter full-length flared pants and jeans with flats or sneakers and a short or tucked top.
Over to you. Which of these vibes and silhouettes are you feeling for Spring and Summer?