In the fashion world it is believed that only one or two seismic changes happen per decade. Examples of this are the butt-crack baring “bumbsters” Alexander McQueen introduced in the mid-90s (see photo left), spawning the low rise phenomenon, and the platform shoe wave set off by Nicolas Ghesquiére in 2006. Color is being touted as THE next BIG thing in a way that rivals these two long running fashion phenomenons.
Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. As an industry insider, the translation of the message is, “even if your personal style and your closet is deeply rooted in black and neutrals, you could end up surprising yourself (and probably everyone you know) by suddenly wearing orange, fuchsia or chartreuse!” If it doesn’t happen this season, it probably never will!
The colors for Fall 2011 are bold, rich, get-noticed jewel shades. Red jeans, candy colored cashmere cardigans, primary colored shoes and handbags. Not only will color add zing to your closet, it’s also an instant mood lifter.
For Fall 2011, designers have been thinking outside the box. If they weren’t we would worry. This season some significant ideas are inspired by using materials out of context, like dressy fabrics in looks designed to be more casual. For instance, satin shirts can soften up a suit look for work, and when worn with jeans make a great look for an evening out. Lace tops can be worn in much the same way.
The Bow Blouse
The important things to get right when buying a feminine blouse are the fabric quality and the garment details. Inexpensive dressy fabrics like satin and lace can look really cheesy. Generally the cheaper the garment the cheaper the fabric used to make it. BUT, it’s not always a given that low cost equals low quality. If you know what to look for, it’s possible to have style and value.
The drape of the fabric is the way it flows over things (like the body beneath it). Stiff fabrics have less drape, and fluid fabrics have more. You want a satin shirt to have a little weight to the fabric to create this drape.
The Lace Blouse
Lace usually looks and feel best when there is some substance to the fabric. Look for cotton, silk and even poly blends and avoid nylon.
Handfeel is a term used in the industry to describe the way a fabric feels to the touch. Feel is the second thing a consumer reacts to (color is first). We imagine how the garment will feel on our body by touching it. Inexpensive satin and lace can have a stiffer, slicker handfeel, as if a drop of water would roll off rather than absorb.
Satin and lace have a tendency to pucker at the seams and buttonholes. This happens more with fabrics made from nylon and low-end polyester because they are slippery and harder to control during production. Puckering is a sign of bad quality control and sometimes bad quality.
A Sad Waste of Good Lace!
The Pareto Principle states that for many events roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. If we apply this 80/20 principle to our closets it’s pretty common to find that 80% of the time we wear 20% of the clothing we own. For most of us that 20% is the foundation of our wardrobe; it’s what gives life and validity to everything else that’s in there.
What does your 20% look like?
If it feels haphazard, accidental, boring or repetitive maybe it’s time to recreate your 20%. Since this is what we wear most of the time, it needs to fit beautifully and be the best we can afford.
We went shopping on the web and picked out Core Wardrobes for two separate palettes:
The Core Wardrobe Black Palette
1. Color Block Cowl Neck $78, Ann Taylor. 2. Stretch Trouser $88, Ann Taylor. 3. Stripe Pleated Shirt $50, Lord & Taylor. 4. Tweed Jacket $228, Ann Taylor. 5. Long Grey Heather Cardigan $229, Talbots. 6. Scallop Tank Layering Piece $44, Talbots. 7. Ankle Pants $109, Talbots. 8. Turq Big Shirt, $74, Neiman Marcus. 9. Stripe Tank Layering Pc. $45, Talbots. 10. Michael Kors Pencil Skirt $69, Lord & Taylor. 11. Cheetah Print Skirt $69, Lord & Taylor. 12. Cowl Neck Layering Pc. Sweater $43, Lord & Taylor. 13. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Black Boot Cut Jeans $130, Nordstrom. 14. Sleeveless Layering Ruffle Shirt, $89, Talbots.
The Core Wardrobe Taupe Palette
1. Khaki Jacket $149, Talbots. 2. Scoop T Layering Pc. $29, Talbots. 3. Signature Fit Pant $89, Talbots. 4. Cheetah Print Blouse $89 Talbots. 5. Kimono Cardigan $119, Talbots. 6. Denim Shirt $118, Neiman Marcus. 7. Crew Neck Cardi Top $68, Ann Taylor. 8. Scoop Neck Sweater $59, Talbots. 9. Skirt $119, Talbots. 10. Ralph Lauren Skirt, $119, Lord & Taylor. 11. Ruffle Blouse $59, Talbots. 12. Crop Pant $98, Ann Taylor. 13.Curvy Fit Jeans $89, Talbots.