I know you stare in your closet each morning wondering how you can make your wardrobe look fresh, rather than like leftovers from last season’s fashion doggie bag. It sounds tough, but believe me, you can do it. All you need is a little bit of thought, and a little bit of creativity. Here is some of my own advice, coupled with that of Leah Pistella, co-owner of Pittsburgh’s Hip’tique boutique for women. Get ready to revamp your closet and made old trends into new.
Trend: Leggings While the matte cotton legging is growing as a modern staple, there are also new kinds of leggings that have been all over runways at this fall’s fashion week. First, there are shiny black leggings, which have the sheen of a pair of black leather pants but with more mobility. There’s also the “jegging”, jeans that are so stretchy, thin and form-fitting that they are practically leggings—a simple way to add more versatility to your legging wardrobe. Pistella notes that on a recent fashion buying trip to Los Angeles, colored leggings were beginning to take the place of the traditional black ones. Colored leggings can really be your friends, especially since black doesn’t always go with everything (even though we’d like it to). Take-away: Think outside the legging box with bright colors and new styles, but remember that black is a new classic.
Trend: Skinny Pants and Jeans The slim look lives on: it’s streamlined and chic, and you can tuck almost any slim jean into a boot (which we love for fall). You can update or add to the look, though, by turning to the past for examples. My favorite inspiration for this look is Audrey Hepburn’s minimalist, beatnik style in 1957’s Funny Face. Audrey is sleek in black cigarette pants, slim cut and hitting an inch or two above her ankle. (see photo) Another way to update the skinny jean is by taking this look in the complete opposite direction. You can go with the super-wide leg trouser or jean, almost like a bell-bottom but more of a subtle triangle shape. For me, it recalls a Charlie’s Angels-era Farrah Fawcett. With the right pair of heels, these pants look good on absolutely everyone. You can also go with the new “boyfriend” jean. According to Pistella, the boyfriend cut jean is on the rise, and has a more relaxed, Jennifer Aniston, girl-next-door look. Take-away: Love your skinny jean, but experiment with new wide-leg and boyfriend styles as well.
Trend: The Structured Jacket or Blazer The military jacket, an older trend, has a new alternative this season, the boyfriend blazer. Says Pistella, “The boyfriend blazer is starting to come back. In high school we had to wear blazers and it was like the worst thing ever.” Now, though, Pistella says it’s a really clean and fashionable look. “It’s better when you don’t have to wear them,” she laughs. Pair a boyfriend blazer with a crisp white t-shirt, slim or skinny jeans and ankle boots, and you’ll own the campus runway…or sidewalk. Take-away: Military good, boyfriend better.
Trend: The Statement Bag Though your accessories should never overpower your outfit, the over-sized, or statement, bag can add a fierce, modern edge to simpler, more classic pieces. The statement bag already appears in bursts of bright colors and neutrals, but Pistella suggests that another way to do the statement bag is in a bold ethnic print or with fringe. “We can’t keep those bags in the store,” she says (since people are always coming in to buy them) Take-away: Continue to make a statement… just a different one.
Just Keep in Mind… While it’s fun to shop for trends and update your wardrobe, you should remember that you don’t have to wear all of the trends just because they’re in right now. If you pick and choose the ones you like, and that complement your personal style, then you can establish yourself as a discriminating, sophisticated fashionista. Remember to wear clothes that represent who you are, not who a designer is. Pistella agrees: “[Fashion is] a way to express your personality and self without saying anything.” She continues, “The best way to do trendier things is to keep [your look] low key and add statement jewelry or a bag. Don’t spend a lot of money on [trends]. You’re gonna end up throwing most of it away.” The classics—a crisp white shirt, a pair of jeans that fit well, a black sweater—are classics for a reason. These are the things that never go out of style, and if you add some trends to your classics here and there, you’ll look like an up-to-date version of yourself rather than a runway clone. Remember how people always say to be yourself? It’s only the truth.
Take-away: It’s more important to remember who you are than what the trends are.
Sources: Elle magazine, October 2009 Leah Pistella, Hip’tique boutique owner Elyssa Goodman, Instructor, The Art of Personal Style, Carnegie Mellon University