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F is for Frocks

26 Feb

Sheena Matheiken of the Uniform Project (http://theuniformproject.com)

Let’s face it: the weather is cray cray. It’s been snowing, raining, and sunny all in one week, which means getting dressed in the morning can be a bit challenging. What works best is layering of course, but adding layers doesn’t mean dressing in a collage of dull sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, and hoodies. You can dress-up your layers by mixing and matching short dresses with fun legwear, tanks, cardigans, and accessories in a whole host of colors. And don’t forget, cotton is your best friend during these awkward temporal transitions. This way, when weather swings you a curveball, you can shed a layer or two but still look great while remaining seasonally appropriate!

Here are some of my cross-seasonal favorite frocks:

1. “Fine in Dots and Lines” from Modcloth, $55 USD

2. “Brush Strokes Skater Dress” from ASOS Curve, $57 USD

3. “W’s Ponte Sleeveless Dress” from Uniqlo, $50 USD

4. “Silence and Noise Striped Bustier Dress” from Urban Outfitters, $59 USD

5. “Otta Dress” from Anthropologie, $168 USD

6. “Mariposa Grove” from Shabby Apple, $86

and for an all-weather party look:

Victoria Peplum Dress from Nasty Gal, $58 USD

front

back

– Retail DJ

Trendspotting: Colorblock

28 Jul

Everyone loves a little Mondrian, and fashion is so certainly no exception. Decade after decade, the bold, colorblock design finds it way back into the mainstream with geometric patterns and accents jutting out like sartorial architecture at every turn. Though fall sometimes signals the beginning of the end for bright colors, this year, the dull, washed-out creams, tans, and grays took over for summer, meaning that colors would be a welcome alternative for fall fashion. And while big-label designers have always looked to Mondrian’s work for inspiration, there’s enough to go around for those whose money doesn’t grow on trees. Stores like ASOS, H&M, and Forever 21 are offering up solid fall options in an array of colorblocked styles.

I recall seeing the models of Fall 2011 week galloping down the runways on television and thinking to myself, “F*ck. The 60s are back.” I was a little less than excited to know that the era that put forth some of the most beautiful, but also the most garish pieces had found itself in fashion’s favor once again. Though the colors and styles are beautiful, the result once translated to and consumed by the masses can be contrived and costume-y, leading me to dread fall fashion (an honest first considering my love for fall and all its back-to-school madness). Luckily, my fear was proven a tad bit unreasonable, as the quick-consumer fashion response to the Mondrian/Colorblock/60s+70s trend is actually moden, refined, and beautiful. It has clean lines, simple silhouettes, and patterns that add a little life to a season known for . . . well, the death of most flora and vegetation.

One of the other benefits to the trend is that many designs from the 60s and 70s (maybe with the exception of disco bodysuits and tight bellbottoms) were flattering on many body types. With a-line cuts and sturdy fabrics, it’s all a win-win.

H&M

H&M

H&M

ASOS

ASOS

Forever21

– Retail DJ

Trendspotting: Clowning Around

23 Feb

Collar'd Up

I am not a big fan of spring fashion. It’s usually the same thing regurgitated up from the bowels of fashion mediocrity year after year after year: florals, dainty cuts, “feminine” silhouettes and details, and ruffles…lots and lots of ruffles.

This year is no different, but I feel as though I have seen an even greater proliferation of ruffles this year, most particularly in collar form. Some renderings of this trend are so over the top the ruffled collars appear to simply be clown collars moonlighting under the guise of daywear. Considering I have boobs, I can’t quite rock all the ruffles, lest I look like a chicken let out of her cage. But for folks who are less well-endowed in the chest area, this look may work. Just be careful. Note that this look will a) make your head look small, b) make your chest look big, c) make your body appear oddly proportioned unless paired with the proper bottoms and accessories, and d) may age you well beyond your years (in fact, whenever I see ruffle shirts, I think about my 2011 Halloween costume: Ms. Slocombe from Are You Being Served?).

Here are a few runway examples:

Christian Siriano (Spring 2011)

 

Valentino (Spring 2011)

Here are examples from Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and ASOS:

Urban Outfitters

 

Forever 21

 

ASOS (ugh, what IS this!??!)

But a few designers are trying to add a new twist to the excessive collar action. I am still note a huge fan, but the cutouts are a tiny bit better than all the ruffles:

Miu Miu (Spring 2011)

 

ASOS

 

Thoughts?

– Retail DJ

Trendspotting: Slick

5 Nov

For winter 2010/2011, leather dresses in a variety of cuts (that work for many body types) are in style. There are the conventional short-sleeve shifts that can even work for day, and more unusual cuts that are strictly for nights out. For those of you who wear animal-friendly items, never fret! There are plenty of faux-leather looks as well. Take a minute to check out what’s available in-stores now!

ASOS BLACK Dress With Leather Insert Peplum, $164 USD

Gestuz Mesh Yoke Leather Shift Dress, ASOS, $276 USD

Python Leather Mini Dress, Camila and Marc, $1000 USD

Strapless Panel Dress, Halston Heritage, $368 USD

Faux Leather & Jersey Tunic Dress, Aqua, $147 USD

– Retail DJ

Trendpsotting: Junkyard Wrists

10 Jun

For years, children have been wearing controversial bracelets.

I remember for my generation, the candy bracelet become a source of debate because it somehow promoted tooth decay amongst youth (and later because they were associated with rave culture):

Then during my grade school years, the slap bracelet was a big no no. “It cuts their wrists!” parents cried, alarmed that such a fun accessory could lead to accidental kiddie suicide attempts.

In more recent years, band bracelets have come under fire as being “distracting.” At one point, there was a crisis (at least for parents) surrounding these bracelets specifically because they were thought to be a symbol of sexual conquests, with each bracelet symbolizing some degree of hooking up. And now, they are simply too colorful and too abundant to stop looking at, “too distracting” having been cited as the primary reason kids have to kick their favorite bracelets to the curb.

Luckily, adults are not burdened with these rules (at least, not beyond the workplace), so they can make a mess of their wrists if they so choose. An interesting trend I have spotted as of late is just that: junkyard wrists. In other words, I’ve seen women wearing bracelets of a variety of styles and textures, though generally in the same color family (as pictured above). I am into the trend, even though I personally never wear bracelets. I think it allows for a lot of creativty and expression, and the style works really well to add some extra “oomph” to a monochromatic outfit. It also ironically lets adults just pretend they’re kids again.

– Retail DJ

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