Friday, January 10, 2014

A 10th-of-the-Year Ten List

Let's talk about last year.

At the beginning of last year, I unphilosophized about some trends I hated and some trends I loved from 2012. This year, I'll revisit my opinions and predictions and see what came true. Then I'll dispense some commentary on the fashion world of 2013.

My hi-low dress, or, rather,
the picture that made me buy it.
First of all, last year I expressed a loathing of leather. This year, I have acquired a black pleather jacket with fabric sleeves. It is totally trendy, probably won't be cool in another year, but I figured it was time to get a jacket that would fit the bill when I want to look bad (to the bone). Hi-Low skirts were another item on my  thumbs-down list, but I now have a dress with this style of skirt as well. It looked so pretty and flowing on the eBay photo, I couldn't resist! It was very cheap, being on the outs and all, so I figured it was worth a try. I haven't worn it yet. On the other hand, I'm still firmly opposed to spikes and dead animals.

I predicted pastels were on the rise. I haven't seen as much of them in the spring 2014 collections, but there are still enough to make me happy. Especially in the shoes! Rainbow hair is probably on a downturn, but I still have every intention of dyeing my hair some ridiculous rainbow of shades soon and very soon. High-waisted jeans are still going strong. I'm seeing a bit more fringe thanks to the Great Gatsby movie (as well as some lovely 20's hair accessories), but we need more! Sadly, top hats did not make a comeback in 2013.

What else did I notice in 2013?

1. Animal Faces (Yay!)

As I mentioned in a previous post, shirts with huge animal faces were big. I saw some of them in 2012 as well, but didn't really catch on to their prevalence until last year. This delightfully kitschy trend can't hang on forever, but I'm not ready to let it go just yet!

2. Mixed Prints (Cry)
Mixed prints, on the other hand, have had their time in the sun, and I am more than ready for the return of simplicity. I can't even look at mixed prints. Whenever faced with an outfit of such cacophonous design, my eyes just glide right over it, unseeing. I try to be open-minded about fashion, but these unbearably chaotic combinations are never going to work for me. Gaaah, I can't even put a picture of it here! Just search Google for this atrocity if you must look.

3. Pointy Toes (Cry)

Uh oh. Pointy-toed shoes are coming back in a big way, and my chagrin is immeasurable. Pointy toes can look good if they're not too elongated, but they still pinch, pinch, pinch! The last 3 new pairs of shoes I bought all had pointy toes. I had to buy them all a half to a size-and-a-half larger than normal, yet they still hurt my toes. I foresee a few years of corns and other delights coming our way.

4. Chunky soles (Yay!)

On the other hand, chunky soles (à la those of the remembered days of my late teens) seem to be experiencing a revival as well. Although I am happy to put the bubble-toed clown shoes of the same era behind me, I wouldn't mind seeing a little bit more in the way of gratuitous platforms. Flatforms (i.e. platform shoes with negligible heel rise) have also made a few appearances. Bring 'em on!

5. Weird cutouts (Cry)
Shoe shapes have become so bizarre with the cutouts,
that the last time I was shopping a shoe website,
I briefly mistook this piece of jewelry for a shoe.
This New Year's Eve, I saw a woman in a lovely dress with an empire waist and a columnar silhouette that looked like it came straight out of ancient Greece. I loved it. I wanted to have it. And then I noticed the hideous cutouts in the sides, and my infatuation was replaced by bitter disappointment. Cutouts seem to be inescapable this year.  Done right, they can be artful, but taking big arbitrary chunks out of clothing, for seemingly for no other purpose than to make it harder to wear in cold weather, is not.

6. Boots (Yay!)
Boots (as worn prominently, frequently over one's pants) have been popular for so long now that it almost didn't occur to me to mention them. But it's wise to never take a good thing for granted. I love boots, in all shapes and colors, and they can stay mainstream for as long as they want!

7. Lucite Heels (Yay!)
These also go by the much-less-appealing name of "clear plastic heels", but regardless of what you call them, the fact remains that they are awesome. I bought a pair of shoes in this style this summer, to a somewhat disastrous effect, but I will try again. I can't get enough of the see-through sole, and I have a feeling I'll continue to see through plenty them in 2014.

8. Over-the-knee socks and boots (Yay!)
A few years ago, I could wear knee socks and be considered mostly normal. Now, however, most of the people wearing socks are wearing them above the knee. I don't get much mileage out of this trend, because any skirt that's short enough to be worn with thigh-high socks is probably too short for work, but I love it anyway. I hope it stays in style long enough for me to snag some over-the-knee socks at heavily discounted prices and find ways to get away with it.

9. Oversized everything (Cry)
I think loose, boxy tops are the epitome of unflattering, especially to me, but I'm not fond of the look on anyone. And it's definitely popular. Meanwhile, below the belt, "boyfriend" (or straight-legged, roomy around the hips, slouchy) jeans are showing up everywhere. I could grow to love this comfy style of pants, but not paired with a baggy shirt as well! "Oversized" seems like the kind of trend that defines a whole decade, so I can't expect it to go away overnight, but I still can hope!

10. Crop Tops / Bralettes (Um)
Crop tops were big (er, small) this year. I didn't get to try them because I never found one in my price range, and besides, there are very few occasions where it would be appropriate for me to wear one, especially when you take fat days into account. I'm neither for nor against the crop top, but if it stays popular for another year, maybe this will be the year I get wear it.

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