Remember that scene in the Devil Wears Prada where Anne Hathaway’s character Andy is schooled on the history of her cerulean blue sweater? You can watch it here on Hulu.com for a refresher. Sure Miranda was mean to Andy in her explanation but she was right. On a side note how amazing was Meryl Streep in that role?!?
The birth and life cycle of a trend is directly related to how wearable it is to the mainstream of consumers. Trends start at first on the runways in New York and Paris and in the pages of Vogue and Elle magazines. Then boutiques start to carry them. Then some of the more affordable mall retailers like Gap and JCrew. Eventually they are all over and can be bought at Target. A sure sign a trend has reached its peak status is when it is available to every consumer at every price point. Not every trend makes it all the way to the mainstream public because it may not be that practical. Floral print denim? It’s had its moment on the runways and in boutiques but you don’t seem to find it in all the mass retailers yet because it just isn’t that flattering on that many different body types. Different trends die at some part of their life-cycle (acid wash denim stops at Kate Moss) while others rock on and become integrated into our closets as classics because they just make sense. Remember when leggings made their way back into our wardrobes? At first it seemed so weird – especially since most of us can remember wearing stirrup leggings in the 80’s from stores like OutBack Red and Forenza.
But eventually you probably caved and bought a pair. For most woman they have now become a mainstay because they are so comfortable and versatile. We can wear flats! We can wear boots! We can hide all sorts of sins in long tunic tops!! If some fashion guru even tries to tell us they are “out” they will have to fight us to remove them from our closets because we don’t part with what is flattering AND wearable.
One of the biggest Spring trends is color, and specifically color blocking. It may seem tricky at first but it is surprisingly easy to wear. You may already have pieces in your wardrobe that you just need to put together. The key is getting the hues of color right and not overdoing it. Experts agree, and I think they are right with this, to keep the number of colors to 3 or under. More than 3 and you could be mistaken for Rainbow Brite, also from the 80’s and not a good look to replicate.
Think of mixing shades in terms of hue or intensity of color. A good example is those paint sample cards you can pick up from the paint store. The are arranged in order of intensity so that you can take the top color of the card and if you follow it to the bottom of the card the saturation of that shade increases.
When pairing colors stick to the same saturation or intensity level. Really bright orange looks fresh with really bright pink.
It can also be done with the less intense softer shades, like the pale peach, aqua, and lavender shown below.
Color blocking makes a statement in such a way that you are dressed and done. No need for fussy makeup, shoes, or jewelry. Your outfit is your focal point so keep the rest simple. Nude or metallic pumps or shoes are usually the best way to go. To quote from Bobbie Thomas you want to avoid committing “shoeacide.”
*Insider Tip – Trends are a great way to refresh your wardrobe, keeping your look modern and updated. Not every trend works on every BODY. When trying color blocking make sure the blocks of color break in a place you WANT to draw attention to in order to emphasize and flatter the best parts of your body. Have extra weight in the middle but love your legs? Try breaks of color toward your lower half, like the pastel dress above from Nordstrom’s. Have a narrow waist? Break up the color at your middle.
*Insider Tip – Not ready to wear all that color? Still love your black? Buy a colorful accessory. It can be done high or low-end with no committment. Try shoes, a bag, even jewelry in your favorite hue and pair it back to neutrals.
Remember – have fun! Fashion is one of the perks of being a woman. Because some things really aren’t for meant for men.