Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fashion Rut 101

We've all been there. The Winter Fashion Rut. Jeans, Uggs, Large Sweater. (Dark) Pants, (Black/Brown) Boots, Jacket/Shirt/Sweater. Repeat. In the cold winter months, women love their uniform, and they zealously stick to it, despite how uninspiring or dull their choices are.

In reality, designers themselves usually stick to a uniform. How many times can we see the chevron dress by Missoni? The jeweled layered dress by Vera Wang? Or the wild bohemian flower-child look by Anna Sui? Fashion fatigue hits even the fashionable. Solution: Choose several "uniforms" that flatter your figure, and rotate the combinations:

1. Equestrian/ Minimalist (think Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Jill Sander): A) Jodhpurs/skinny jeans, a white blouse, a fitted jacket, and tall riding boots look sleek; or B) Choose monochromatic colors, unembellished and easy jersey pieces, and simple silhouettes.

2. Delicate and Embellished Feminine (think Alberta Ferretti, Carolina Herrera, Lela Rose): A) A fitted dress with girly details (flowers, pastels, bows) and a cardigan/cropped jacket are a winning combination; OR B) Wear an A-lined skirt with a silk blouse.

3. Modern Architectural (think Narciso Rodriguez, Akris, Zac Posen): A) Wear a shift dress with clean, vertical lines; OR B) Suits with vertical stripes, two tones, geometric shapes (squares, triangles) are technically and visually fresh.

4. Exotic (think Rachel Roy, Proenza Schouler, Tory Burch, Vena Cava): A) Anything safari (khaki menswear) or tribal works; B) Rich Indian embellishments (jewels, beading, vivid hues) highlight basic shapes; C) Loose caftans and tunics work over stovepipe pants; OR D) Choose accessories and clothes with natural detailing (wood, coral, leaves, animal patterns).

5. Preppy/ Athletic (think Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas by Stella McCartney, Lacoste): A) Choose a navy/white/gold combination (nautical); B) Combine crisp shirts with tailored pants; OR C) Wear a polo shirt underneath a crew neck and a miniskirt.

6. Urban Warrior (think Burberry Prorsum, 3.1 Philip Lim, DKNY): A) Choose strong colors like black, white, and gray; B) Details include studs, ruching, leather, and fur; C) Belted jackets, tights, pencil skirts, and stiletto heels look fierce; D) Add a lush statement scarf and opera gloves.

7. Whimsical (think Chloe, Anna Sui, Miu Miu, Moschino): A) Pick polka dots; B) Mix disparate influences and eras; C) Wear a free-flowing and asymmetrical maxi dress with a long cardigan; OR D) Combine sheer layers in a similar palette.

No comments: