Fashion News Roundup: February 2020

Two new fashion exhibitions, a fashion documentary, a new resale store, and other style stories that made headlines this month.

Fun Fashion Fact

Did you know that the literal meaning of the word kimono is “thing to wear”. This simple, straight-seamed garment, wrapped and secured with an obi sash, was the principal item of dress for men and women in Japan from the mid 16th until the early 20th century. 

Outfit Formula: Double Denim

Wearing denim on the top and bottom of an outfit is often thought of as too much denim, especially when the washes are the same shade of blue. Too cowgirl, too stiff, too matchy-matchy, too casual, or too something else. Yet it’s a look I see in Europe every season, and one I wear too. There’s also an iconic integrity about it that does not date. So for those who like to wear double denim, here are some outfit ideas.

From casual to smart casual, it’s on to the outfits. Feel free to throw in greys, more white, and non-neutral denim because there is no need to stick to blue. I do though, like the neutral statement that double denim can make.

1. Black, White and Blue

This is the easiest of the four looks to pull together. Combine a white top with black jeans and throw over a blue denim jacket. These are trendy relaxed straights, but choose any silhouette. Black boots are a nice extension of the black jeans and bookend the model’s hair. White footwear would work well too. Add jewellery, scarf and bag if this feels too plain and minimal.

Edwin Sia Cropped Denim Jacket

2. Pretty Chambray with Skinnies

Remember that chambray tops needn’t look like hard-edged and rigid denim shirts. They can be shaped like blouses, and soft and pretty. Here, a pretty chambray blouse is paired with classic skinnies. Its fluidity creates an effective contrast with the body-con bottoms. A semi-tuck hints at a waist for structure, and the snakeskin boots are a fun wild touch. I can see this work well with sandals, mules, ballet flats, and loafers too.

Eloquii Chambray Puff Sleeve Top

3. Trendy Retro

Wide crop jeans make for an excellent on-trend wardrobe essential. A dark wash is especially versatile because it can be dressed up or down. Here they’ve been combined with a Modern Retro neck-tie blouse that’s tucked for dressy polish and structure. The similar wash of both denim pieces give the effect of a streamlined column of colour that looks like a dress. Heels further amp up the dressy factor. I love the denim blouse!

Eloquii High Waisted Crop Jean

4. Trendy Classic

This is my favourite of the lot because it’s the dressiest and I adore the off-white components. On-trend slim wide cropped cream jeans are combined with a blue denim blazer that looks as classic as it does fashion-forward. I suspect there is some sort of camisole or tee under the blazer. The denims look less matchy-matchy and the gold hardwire breaks up the expanse of denim. The cream booties look like a marvelous extension of the bottoms, and the structured bag is the dressy cherry on top. Add jewelley, eyewear and watch as desired.

LAgence Kaydence Double Breasted Frayed Denim Blazer

Link Love: Wearing a Wristwatch in 2020

StyleCaster rounds up 6 watch trends you’ll be seeing more of in 2020.

What it means to wear a watch in the era of mobile phones. The Guardian’s Eva Wiseman writes about how it feels to start wearing a watch again after going without one for years. “It took a week to remember to use it to tell the time, the action of lifting my left wrist so foreign to me that my hand felt weighted, yet I was deeply aware of it, as a statement, a sign.”

I also enjoyed this 2017 essay by Gary Shteyngart about his (and many others’) infatuation with (vintage) watches in a world where most people just use their phone to tell time.

Fab Links from Our Members

Nuancedream has always loved Judith’s collection of hats, but never knew she had an entire scarf room that is an accessories lover’s paradise.

She also wanted to share this article: “I think many of us already know about the magic of tailoring but the crux of the article is contained in the last three paragraphs.”

Shevia thought this a very good summary of the quality vs cost issue.

Susan posted about the influence of her parents on her sense of self and how it has had an impact on her style. Runcarla says: “I am also ‘of a certain age’ and grew up in a home where both parents had issues around food and weight, and where my mother still feels compelled to comment on my appearance and that of my sister.”

Rachylou found this article about made-to-order fast fashion quite interesting.

Amelia Earhart designed her own fashion line. Fashintern adds: “It sounds like her priorities were just what I look for.”

Vildy wanted to share two articles that seem to play off each other and off the theme of who are you dressing for: All Career Advice for Women Is a Form of Gaslighting, and The Pungent Legacy of Axe Body Spray.

Angie thought it was nice to see women over 60 sitting front row at Fall 2020 Fashion Week: “Sad that I have to draw attention to it because women of ALL ages should be sitting front row — full stop! I’m inspired by Maye Musk who is wearing blinding brights with neon and looking as chic as ever. I want to do just that when I grow up! Love her silver short hair too.”


Fabulous Fabrics

The tops picks this week showcase great fabric, and there’s a fun roundup of shoes too.

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Assorted Items

A few fab items that worked well on clients and forum members.

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Dog Days of Summer

An assortment of casual and dressy top picks for warm weather.

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High and Low

This week’s top picks range greatly in price point and quality.

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Comfy White Sandals

My Summer top picks for white footwear.

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Cute, Casual and Comfy

This week's top picks in tops, toppers, bottoms, dresses and shoes.

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Goodbye Gore-Tex Hi-Tops

Six months ago I revisited my mustard capsule and decided to keep a pair of waterproof, mustard, lugged sole Gore-Tex Chuck Taylor hi-tops. They were a little heavier than I like, but versatile, comfortable and perfect for the wet Seattle climate. 

On a grey November afternoon it was raining heavily and I needed to walk our little Yorkie Sam.  We put on our raincoats, and I put on the waterproof mustard hi-tops. My happy yellow raincoat worked well with the hi-tops. My own little bit of matchy-matchy sunshine on a rainy day.

We were walking downhill in the rain when I slipped on a large metal sewer plate, falling hard on the top part of my back, and hitting my head. There is no permanent damage. But I did fracture some ribs, jolt my sciatic nerve, and inflame the nerves and muscles at the top of my back. Recovery has been slow but very steady. It’s three months later and I am feeling MUCH better. I’m in physical therapy and hope to feel 100% by July.

Unfortunately, I don’t want to wear these hi-tops again because I associate them with something very negative. A bad fall at the end of a difficult year. I don’t know if the shoes have slippery soles, or whether any shoe would have slipped on that ultra slick metal plate. Either way, these shoes no longer spark joy.

I don’t want other people to slip in these shoes, so I’ll look into having grippy soles put on them before I pass them on.  It’s a pity. I’ve only had them for six months, and I love the way they look. But life is short, and I can’t wear these shoes with a happy heart. My hope is that someone else will.

Outstanding Outfit Bloggers

Vibrant and Playful in Bordeaux

Alexandra Fleurisson (34) is a fashion blogger and influencer who lives in Bordeaux. She documents her outfits on Mademoiselle Modeuse. Her style is fun, cheerful, playful, and with the occasional retro touch. Our blogger loves vibrant colours, and wears warm and cool-toned colours equally well. She likes to play with trends and texture, tucks tops with the best of them, and has made bright lipstick an integral part of her look.

“My style has changed a lot over the past 5 years. I don’t forbid myself anything anymore and I’m experimenting with new things, like colours, materials or trends.”

Alexandra Fleurisson - 1

Colour enthusiast Alexandra built this cheerful look around an Andy Warhol-inspired V-neck wrap blouse. She’s paired it with a black cami, mid-blue cropped skinnies and matching red belt. The cropped blouse shows off the quirky gold shell buckle on the belt, while the voluminous flouncy sleeves add balance to the skinnies. Tomato red suede mules bookend the vibrant blouse, and our blogger chose nail polish and lippy to match.

Alexandra Fleurisson - 2

This breezy Summer outfit is all about the pattern mixing. Our blogger is wearing a skirt with white leaf print on a bright blue background, and combines it with a V-neck top with white palm tree print on a navy background. This makes for a matchy-but-not-identical set that works wonderfully. Tucking the top into the midi skirt lengthens the leg line. The flattering diagonal sleeve creates a structured visual effect. White Stan Smith sneakers echo the white patterns and add a sporty touch. The tortoise handles on the straw bag echo the frames on the quirky sunnies. Gold-toned jewellery and apricot lipstick are the polished finishing touches. 

Alexandra Fleurisson - 3

Doesn’t this jumpsuit with big white polka dots scream fun! The flowy fabric makes it easy to move in. The cropped style showcases her black and white sneaks that match the jumpsuit perfectly. Alexandra treats the classic polka dot pattern as a neutral and adds a Winter coat in vibrant royal purple. The cocoon style is maxi length and a great example of the new long coat over shorter pants trend. Alexandra wouldn’t be Alexandra if she didn’t throw in some extra colour with a bright red beret that matches her lipstick. Her auburn locks peeking out from under the headwear also bring colour into the mix. The black croc-embossed satchel adds polished structure. Finally, the red umbrella with tiny white polka dots is a fun nod back to the jumpsuit.

Alexandra Fleurisson - 4

An easy pull-on-and-go dress is perfect for hot Summer days. Alexandra is wearing a short-sleeved, above-the-knee dress with a thin self-belt that emphasizes the waist. A subtly ruffled overlay adds a flattering diagonal line on the bottom. The ditsy floral pattern in warm colours contributes to the high Summer feeling, as does her gold-toned jewellery, watch, and cat eye sunnies. Our blogger’s flat thong sandals with scalloped detailing echo the black background of the dress, and give the look a relaxed vibe. Alexandra finishes off the outfit with a black patterned bag and trademark bright lipstick.

Alexandra Fleurisson - 5

As a lover of nature-inspired patterns, Alexandra couldn’t resist this colourful leaf print blouse. Here, she’s paired it with ink blue velvet culottes that add subtle sheen to the outfit. With longer culottes like these, tucking the top lengthens the leg line from the hips upward. Our blogger chose a vintage Burberry blazer with an ‘80s vibe as her third piece. The below-the-hip length balances out the longer culottes, while the exuberant red brings out the colours of the blouse. A mini suede crossbody with gold chain-link strap matches the blazer and adds texture and a dressy integrity. Trendy white sneakers add a casual sporty touch. Alexandra’s go-to bright orange-red lipstick and nail polish fit the colour palette splendidly.

Alexandra Fleurisson - 6

French blue paired with bright orange is splendidly complementary, and will put Angie in a good mood. This is also a great example of her Combat Boot Chic Outfit Formula. Alexandra is wearing mid-blue skinny jeans with a heavy-knit striped sweater. She’s layered a wool Winter coat in eye-catching French blue over the lot. The coat’s relaxed fit allows room for heavier gauge sweaters that keep you cosy in Winter. The blue stripe in the sweater matches the coat perfectly. The orange stripe is an exact match for our blogger’s on-trend beanie. Her shiny black boots add soft edge, and bookend the dressy croc-embossed satchel worn crossbody-style. Alexandra’s bright lippy echoes the orange in the outfit. A refined silk scarf tied around her bag cleverly repeats all the outfit colours.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of Alexandra’s cheerful style. Let us know in the comments, and then head on over to her blog to browse the rest of her wonderful outfits.