You can be a fashionista without spending big bucks on brand names. For instance, you can simply put on a shirt dress, accessorise it with a multi-layered necklace, a pair of trendy shoes, aviators and a casual bag. And you’re ready to go! But if you’re wondering about the trends in shoes, bags and so on, here’s the runway buzz.
Shoes: With the monsoons not far away flip-flops are the ideal way to go as far as shoe options are concerned. A little heel or some decorative bits/bling and you will have yourself a dressier silhouette for the evening. What also look good as far as footwear is concerned are peep toes. Not only are they comfortable but they will make your legs look slimmer and more elegant. Peep toes are also very versatile offerings as they come in flats, wedges, chunky heels and stilettos. So, they work for women of all age groups. Peep toes can be worn with bare legs in summer and with tights in winter. Of course it goes without saying that the fabric and shade should suit the season. For instance, patent leather is fairly seasonless. You could wear dark peep toes with either a matching pair of tights or ply up the contrast with brightly shaded tights. A splash of colour on the shoes or the shoes plus the bag makes for a wonderful contrast to a fairly neutral outfit. If you are putting on peep toes and your legs are bare, ensure to have your nails well manicured. Peep toes are also wonderful wear for an evening on the town as they offer good foot coverage but still look sexy.
Another option is the wedge that has been making its presence felt since the late 1930s. Wedges are hot because they mix well with all silhouette types from palazzo pants and bootleg jeans to big sun hats and plastic jewellery. Wedges can come at a price if you want to spend that kind of money. YSL, Fendi and Rodarte have some very special wedges. But for those of us whose pockets are not so deep Zara, Jeffery Campbell, Steve Madden and Aldo make wonderful alternatives.
Shoe trends come and go but the ones listed about represent different times in a woman’s life from lean days to those of liberation.
Bags: Today’s handbag trends are practical and what’s more they are affordable. There are a number of sizes and style options. But the bag that is in vogue today is the medium-sized bag. For the hot, summer months a lightweight casual bag is the answer. Colours are in, so put away those browns and blacks. Daytime casual means something elegant like a multicoloured or straw bag. Animal prints on bags are hot as are exotic traditional prints. If you’re still wondering what all this means then you need to take a look at Burberry and Christian Dior. Both give perfect examples of how colour can bring out the best in a
Handbags are a wonderful way to display your style quotient. Shoulder bags, cross body bags, envelope bags and of course clutches are all in fashion. There are plenty of options to choose from. It just depends on where you are going and what the bag will contain. Working women will perhaps require a larger bag than the woman who is off to a cocktail party. For this the minaudière is the perfect bag. A petite bag, usually found in metal casings, it was developed in the 1930s by Charles Arpels of the fashion house Van Cleef & Arpels. The most chic jewel-encrusted minaudières have been highlighted by Judith Leiber, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari. The minaudière can take any shape from oblong to square or round. But if you find that they don’t
suit your pocket, there is nothing like opting for an ordinary coloured clutch. These look elegant for an evening out on the town as well!
Accessories: Bangles and cuffs have gained a large fashionista following in recent years. You can choose from narrow bangles to deep wide cuffs made in silver, gold, resin and chunky elastic. These could be set with pearls and precious stones as well. If you are going on a lunch date add a cuff to your attire. A pair of blue denims or linen pants teamed with a crisp pastel shirt and a single silver cuff looks casually elegant. Cuffs can be worn without any other ornamentation as they are broad enough to make their own style statement. You don’t want to combine cuffs and danglers as that would be too much and in fashion less is more!
Other details: Different colour combinations ranging from neons to neutrals can look good too. But keep your body type in mind when you are sporting loud shades. For instance colours that jump out at you can look out of place if you are a big lady! Colour blocking is the hot trend today which means that shades like bright orange and emerald green, fuchsia and black and white can all be mixed. Another way to go is to dress in neutral shades and just add a dash of colour via the belt, bag and shoes. Or sport neutrals with chunky, coloured accessories.
Tassel details have also been making waves on the runways. They have the ability to bring in that extra bit of fun to your outfit. Stars like Rachel Bilson and Kristen Bell in her Monique Lhuillier dress replete with a tassel belt to Kate Hudson’s Cartier tassel necklace are following suit as well! So you could opt for shoes, belts, necklaces, handbags, and other accessories adorned with tassels.
Hair: Hairstyles can transform you from hippie to elegant in a matter of minutes. Hair bands can liven up the dullest mood as can rhinestone hair clips or even brooches. Hair bands can be worn with a ponytail or with open hair while clips and brooches can go with any hairstyle. Try clips on either side of your hair and a brooch on a chignon or bun.
Ties: The necktie, it is said, defines a man’s style. Ties are available in all sorts of patterns, sizes and materials. The best tie is of woven and not printed silk. Polyester should be avoided as these kinds of ties crush and wrinkle easily. Colours that are in are grays, stripes in bright shades – orange, mustard, yellow, lime green – classic patterns and tone-on-tone shades of black, blue and grey. The solid coloured tie is also in. This is the easiest to match but it cannot be worn with a shirt of the same shade. The rule of thumb is to look for the most predominant colour in the tie – of course this does not apply to solid coloured ties – this will be your base colour and any other shades will be accent colours. The base shade should match or complement the base shade of the shirt with the accent shades complementing the suit.
For a business-minded wardrobe, variegated stripes are all the in thing. Paisley ties are also seeing a comeback. The tie should be worn so that it just covers a buckle on your belt.
There are slim ties too which look good on tall, thin men but if you are not one of those, stay with the conventional variety.
Accessories: Cufflinks are fashion accessories that are reserved for men that like to stand out in the crowd. Cufflinks can feature enamel set faces for a splash of colour, or then be far more extravagant and be studded with diamonds, Swarovski crystals and so on. Steel is making a huge impact on this arena as well. Cufflinks are a great way to perk up a pair of jeans or even a suit.
Pocket squares or handkerchiefs look very good with a suit. Coordinate similar hues of the square with the tie – have the same shades of the pattern on the tie rather than the background colour. Try not to wear a solid coloured pocket square with a solid coloured tie. For very formal occasions a burgundy pocket square looks very elegant. Other accessories that men can wear are ornate buttons with the traditional bandhgala or sherwani.
Runway News: The fashion stage for men is moving away from the laid-back look to a more formal, dressed up appearance. The Extra Man collection from Michael Bastian had chalk-striped, double-breasted suits, moleskin topcoats and shantung tuxedos. Billy Reid, an Alabama-based designer, showcased three-piece suits in grey cashmere tweed, double-breasted suits in navy blue cashmere flannel and jackets and trousers in cotton velvet.