Wednesday, August 29, 2007

5 Trends to Avoid This Fall

Fall is the season of "must-have" lists in fashion magazines, compiled by editors who are itching to get women hooked on the "latest and greatest" trends, particularly trends with a short lifespan, just so they can get you back to the stores (their advertisers) next season. But browse through their pages or take a walk through your local mall and you'll likely encounter a whole lot of ugly, from unflattering cuts and eye-scorching colors and prints to strange historical references and cheap-looking fabrics.

As a response to the push by magazines and stores to buy more and more things you don't need and won't wear for long, I've complied my own list of trends that you can feel good about not spending your money on.

1. Baggy silk shift dresses

They're absolutely everywhere this season in all their 1970's glory. The shiny fabric looks thin and cheap even on designer pieces, and the shape flatters absolutely no one. I've spoken before about my theory that some clothes and trends are made only for the most gorgeous women who can get away with a hideous, unflattering dress or sweater and still look beautiful. When even the models can't pull it off, it's a safe assumption that you can't either.

2. Oxfords

There is nothing pretty about this shoe, and the open-toed versions are downright frightening. I'm all for stealing men's styles and feminizing them for women's fashions, but the men can keep their oxfords. Every time I see a woman walking down the street in them, I can't help but think that some poor history reenactor is walking around shoeless under her 12 petticoats.

3. 80's club scene neon

Blame Henry Holland and his ubiquitous rhyming t-shirts, neon is back in style. Hot pink and even bright turquoise I can deal with, but neon yellow and green make all but the darkest skin tones look sickly. They also look far too summery for colder months. On a side note- the above dress is by Diane von Furstenberg... scary, no?

4. High-waisted pants

We've seen starlet after size 0-drop-dead-dressed-by-a-stylist starlet attempt this look and fail. Visually, it widens and enlarges the hips and thighs, and there's nothing sexy about buttons stretching from your crotch to your bellybutton. Sure, a little extra pocket room is nice, but at the cost of looking like your mother (or grandmother), the high-waist styles are to be avoided.

5. Colored jeans
If it ain't broke, why fix it? The blue jean never has and never will go out of style, but I can promise that these colored jeans will be choking sales racks by Christmas. Colored jeans are simply unnecessary, not to mention difficult to match with tops and shoes. They also attract a lot of attention to an area of the body most of us are trying to minimize, and combined with an unflattering skinny cut, this is high-risk fashion. I'm counting down the days until I never have to see another skinny jean again.


beth said...

I agree with all your comments, except for the oxfords! Although I agree that an open toed version is just ridonk. But I think they're sort of charming and off beat in a way, I've also heard them called brogues. And unlike pants or a dress, shoes can rarely be categorized as "unflattering." They're just on your feet. I think if you don't spend too much on a trend and it makes you happy for a season or two, what's the harm? Anyone else like those type of shoes, or have a pair already?

Deja Pseu said...

Also agree on everything except the oxfords (think they look really cool with a pair of pin-striped trousers), but I'm still searching for a pair without either open toes or ridiculously high heels. Regarding the jeans and waists, I can't wear either extremely low- OR high-waisted styles, so I'll be glad when this pendulum settles back in the middle. For now I'm having to stick to my old lady brands that are cut to hit just below the natural waist.

sparkler said...

Like Beth, I'm with you on everything but the oxfords. The open-toe version is terrible, but I'm dying for a closed-toe pair in black and white for fall/winter!

jpott022 said...

I'm pretty in love with the neons for fall.
Perhaps I'm sick of the dark and rich colours of fall, and am just unwilling to let summer fade this fast.
I plan on wearing a bright blue scarf through the fall with my black pea coat.
And you will probably see me in some electric tights and charcoal dress at the clubs.

nadarine said...

i'm very ok with the high-waisted jeans: after seven years of ass-exposing low rises, i'm thrilled beyond belief with my mid-to-high rise jeans. if it doesn't have an 8" rise, i'm not wearing it!
and FINALLY, i can sit down in public without having to yank up the back waistband. you can't argue that crack is fashionable.
and though they look rather awful with a tucked-in tshirt, just wearing a regular, untucked tshirt doesn't highlight the high rise, and keeps my little gut in, too.
i'm hoarding the new Joe's Jeans "Muse", Paige's "Rising Glen" and "Hidden Hills" and the Citizens "Hutton" and "Amber", lest they become unavailable! (ok, that sounded shill-y, but seriously, these jeans have a nice 8"+ rise and flattering shape, and i'm constantly trolling ebay for them.)

Natalie said...

I, too, have found a delightful pair of high-waisted jeans that are actually extremely flattering. Granted, I'm nearly 6 feet tall, so i don't think these are for everyone, but EVERY time I wear these i get compliments. They're the Grey Ant braided waistband jeans, and I think they're available on great thing about these jeans is that they avoid the dreaded mile-long behind look because there's a yoke placed stategically placed right above the bum. Tall girls, these have an insanely long 36 inch inseam - so you can wear them with your tallest heels.

Laura V said...

I love oxfords, though I think the ones pictured are downright silly. I've been wearing some comfy Dansko oxford heels for years now (they are finally dying on me) and I'm excited about the possibility of replacing them with something sassier.

I also like colored jeans, but then, I like colored trousers in general. I wear purple cords to work in the winter!

Anonymous said...

As I have been saying for years, low-rise pants make even anorexic models look wide-bottomed and pot-bellied. They make normal humans look atrocious (and are even worse on plus-size people), and I am pleased beyond words to see pants that actually reach --and highlight-- a person's waist. Remember your Home Ec, please: a horizontal line across a body makes it look wider, so putting the horizontal line of the waistband of one's pants across the widest part of one's rump makes it look even wider. A narrow waist can survive a bit of widening much better than a rump can.

Also, why are waist-reaching pants now referred to as "high waisted"? Covering one's belly button is at the waist; three inches higher is high waisted.

heathers said...

I'm glad to see someone finally applying critical thinking to some of these new fashions. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see an awful new fashion that looks terrible on even the model in question, with the source in question trying desperately to claim that it's "universally flattering" or "lengthening" or "slimming".

As for high-waisted jeans: there's another word for them, mom jeans.

willikat said...

hear, hear! none of those things are even remotely cute.

Alexandra said...

I do like the oxfords though! I would definitely wear them with trousers for a work-appropriate yet somewhat offbeat look.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Oh dear, I hate those shoes. I don't mind higher-waisted pants because I'm not a fan of seeing plumber's crack on otherwise nicely dressed ladies, but why is it that the trends always seem to go so extreme?

Chic and Charming said...

Originally I thought the oxfords were really hideous, but then I tried on a pair and was pleasantly surprised. I think its because I like men's dress shoes. The high heeled oxfords are like men's dress shoes by really flattering because they make your feet look small and your ankles look skinny.
I tried on some of the silk shift dresses, hoping they would look more flattering on me than on the hanger. Hello mumu! You would have to have no hips, ass or breasts to get away with that one.

Meg said...

Glad we agree on the oxfords Meg! (see Actually, I agree with pretty much everything you said. Maybe colored jeans are alright in some colors, though. I'm not sure... I'll have to see.

Teek said...

Maybe I got lucky, but I have a similar shaped dress from Forever21 and it's actually really flattering. (And I'm no teenage-boy shaped model.)

Also, I am never giving up wearing turquoise. In style, out of style, don't care, love the color and it looks great on me.

I really don't think pants that hit just below the belly button are truly "high waisted", they just seem it next to the butt-crack pants of the last ten years. I love being able to find non-low rise pants for once that DON'T look like mom jeans without an epic search.

Do you figure grey denim has the same impractically short shelf life as bright colored jeans? I think grey might have some staying power, and wears as a neutral so you don't have the matching problem.

nadarine said...

heathers: no, "mom jeans" have bad back pockets and pleats. mid/high rise jeans (which seems to encompass anything from 7.5-9" rise and hit just below my navel) with a nice shape and bootcut are known as "good jeans that you can actually sit down in".

nadarine said...

argh. the link should be:

nadarine said...

aargh. ok, no link. forget it.
just google "citizens of humanity amber" and see for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I love oxfords. They're a great, if quirky, take on menswear. I have bought mine last season, thinking it would stay eccentric and rare. I'm quite angry to see them everywhere, but hey, they're still great shoes. Coloured jeans can be great as long as they are not faded. Slightly muted colours are much more desirable than the brighter counterparts.

Raven said...

Oxfords do nothing for me personally, but I think a more accurate Don't would be shbooties, or whatever you want to call the high-heeled, laced, buckled, and snapped hybrids standing awkwardly around department store shelves. (See 90% of the recent entries into Shoewawa's Ugly Shoes Section: Although a rare few seem wearable, they're still way too trendy to be worth the price of a nice pair.

daddylikeyblog said...

I love every single one of these trends with a burning passion.

Holly said...

My mother bought a pair a oxfords back in the 70's when we went to England. My younger sister ( she was one when we went) has taken them from my mother's closet. They are black patent and grey suede and do look super cute with trousers.

judyo423 said...

I agree with all except the high waisted pants. I have a favorite pair of Travelsmith pants that have a Hollywood waist and they are flattering for ME...the pic you showed, however, were definitely were ugly.

And the oxxfords...I am old enough to remember both of my grandmothers and the nuns at my Catholic school wearing shoes EXACTLY like this.

Anonymous said...

I concur with your recommendations, save for the neon. I have a pair of fushia, patent leather, pointy-toed, kitten-heels and they work for all seasons. I can see your point about the yellow or green; I can only wear those colours in the summer.



Rapunzel said...

Three out of 5 of your comments I agree with. (I was a bit surprised because I usually agree with closer to 90% of what you say).

I adore oxfords (or brogues). I love menswear inspired items when done right and I love fashion inspired from the first half of the 20th centure (and even some of the earlier centuries). I think the open toed style is a little silly as it completely defeats the purpose and looks like the front part of your shoe just got caught in a piece of machinery, but I think with the right heel and the right style, brogues can be very sexy and stylish. But, I've always felt this way, long before they came into style.

The second issue I have is the high waisted pants. The pair you show is indeed unflattering and many celebrities have no clue how to wear them (even beloved Scarlet). The key is to forget about getting them tight and tucking 80's rock tees into them. Go for the Catherine Hepburn look. Fitted waistband, looser through the hips and thighs, full leg. I have a few pairs of high waisted wool trousers handed down from my mother from the 60's and 70's that are to die for. They accentuate my coke bottle figure perfectly and are slimming yet still accentuate my curves. And they even have Pleats!!! (something that doesn't flatter unless warn a very specific way) I can't wait until it's cool enough to wear wool pants. As a matter of fact I think i'll pair them with oxfords ;).

As for higher waisted jeans, well, i'm no "mom". I'm a 21 year old fashion student (and fashin maiven if i do say so myself) and i've been wearing them for a while now too. I LOVE my Joe's jeans! Granted you see celebrities look bad in them here and there, but how many times have you seen a celeb look bad in low rise jeans? How about low rise matchstick jeans? I rest my case. It is all about the fit. The right rise is VERY flattering on every figure. Now, i'm not talking about sand blasted baggy but tapered jeans with unflattering pockets when i talk about high higher waisted jeans. I'm talking about well fitted jeans that make your butt look great, help you escape the dreaded muffin top, and let you sit down without exposing your derriere to the rest of the room. As for the really high waisted jeans, i think they only really work if cut like trousers and aren't too tight through the hips and thighs. Because, that makes even Mischa Barton look chunky.

I also like a lot of comments about pants hitting at the waist not even being "high waisted". that is our true waist after all.

Anonymous said...

Oh ugh yes, those high-waisted jeans....even the tiniest hint of bloat ruins the line. How much of the population can avoid that, let alone have the perfectly flat tummy required to pull these off? Mom jeans, no kidding!!!

Julia said...

Personally, I don't have any colored jeans, but I think some really nice, subtle, dark-purple-that-are-almost-black jeans would actually be quite nice.

Julia said...

Oh, and I almost forgot-the whole thing about high-waisted jeans being at your belly button confuses me!!! I'm very high-waisted (my natural waist is about 2 inches ABOVE my belly button) so it seems kind of crazy to me.

ficklefashonista said...

I had this wonderful, comfortable shapeless silk dress that I loved loved loved until someone asked me when I was due. I cut it up and made it into a skirt!!

schminnie said...

I disagree with about everything you say here, except for the shiny dress thing.

High wasted pants could be pulled off wonderfully you just need the right figure and top.

The oxfords are awesome, but just no open toe.

At this very second Im wearing red skinny jeans and they are probably my most favorite pants ever. Where I agree that green neon is not the best, a nice peri-winkle blue would be really great.

ALl in all, for this post you were absolutely positivly outrightly wrong.