2013 Fall/Winter Fashion Brief
As yet there may be few climatic signs of the colder weather sure to come but the current fashion retail community has been thinking far ahead with us in mind! Note the most obvious attention-getting harbinger of Fall/Winter 2013 fashion … the color turnover in clothing displays as well as shoe and handbag choices! Seemingly overnight the cheerful, lighter and bright hues defining spring/summer have all but disappeared. Replacing them are predominant rich hues, some truly brilliant and vibrant, others simply and sedately deep and dark. Featured cobalt brights to darkest navy blues, military olive to radiant emerald greens, clear ruby to rich wine reds, bluer periwinkle to eggplant purples, already prevail. Unsurprisingly, black is strongly back as well. All this saturation of hue, this darkness and/or brilliance, was countered on the couture fashion runways with a smattering of pale blue and pink hues, even a bit of yellow, plus white. And, yes, a few typically seasonal browns … notably warmer, toasty, camel renditions. The browns have definitely been bought for ready-to-wear, the pastels currently ignored except for white being used to punctuate the darks. With this summation, truth is, color, as is often the case, plays the single most recognizable role in defining the Fall/Winter 2013 fashion season newness. Question to self … can I successfully wear these hues to my own personal enhancement advantage, or will they wear me? Surely best if you wear the color instead of the opposite!.
Is there a stylistic overview that capsulizes this season’s spirit? Probably first and foremost is lady-like, refined, ultra-feminine. Elle Magazine took that divergently further, shouting on its fall fashion cover, "Hello, Sexy." For some that may be a style goal, but for others of us, leading more traditional lives, sexiness would not necessarily describe a typical wardrobe preference or predominance. The great news … 2013 Fall Winter Fashion season statement summaries are broad enough to incorporate traditional as well as traditional-tweaked. This surely absolves us from ‘sexpot’ or its dire opposite, the dreaded dressing like our moms did way back when. Additionally, runway-featured choices for being on top of ‘fashion hot’ also include geometrical or sculptural silhouettes. Very forward, clean and nouveau at their best, reflecting an avant-garde or minimalist + modernist spirit.
Understanding stylistic overview logically brings us to identifying a predominant clothing silhouette or shape. Traditionally, X defines the feminine ideal when it comes to human body types … shoulders and hips of similar width, waist small by comparison. Therefore, in a fashion season described as the aforementioned lady-like, refined, ultra-feminine, a defined waist is desirable. Even if you don’t have one to define, the simple addition of a belt at the waistline creates the perfect ‘waist’ illusion for those among us who are X-shape wanabees. By the way, a belt darker than the outfit not only defines, but also makes, the waist appear smaller. If all this talk of femininity is not to your taste, maybe diving into the simplicity of this season’s more asymmetrical or clean-line geometric styling is more pleasing. It, too, will be easy to find and be both accommodating and flattering for figure shapes A, H, I, O T,Y as well as X.
Actual wardrobe pieces highlighted this season definitely feature skirts. Choices range from straight pencil styling to full circular, pleated or gathered. Be cautious yours doesn’t make your figure appear ‘bottom heavy.’ Hemming or ‘letting down’ are alterations often necessary for a skirt to flatter perfectly. Find the length best suiting your body proportion. A fuller skirt hemmed short makes hips appear wider. While a straighter skirt can easily be flattering if shorter or longer depending upon your leg proportion. Factor in, less shoe on the top of the foot elongates the appearance of legs, while shoes/booties closing in or covering the arch of the foot tend to shorten the appearance of leg length. What skirt length/shoe style combo is best for you?
Pants, in addition to the new emphasis on skirts, remain strong as well … whether pencil thin and tapered or more voluminous at the hem. Runways showed exaggeratedly fuller wide legs ending on the foot. Ready-to-wear appears far more commonly to be featuring straight leg, slim and tapered, or even skinny versions. Pants make perfect sense in cold weather when it comes to keeping warm as well as diffusing splashes from inclement weather. Don’t overlook a pant leg hem leading the eye to focus on footwear. Tip: a continuum of actual color or value (lightness/darkness) from pant leg to shoe adds visual length to the legs.
All these skirts and pants need to be topped. So, luckily, separates including sweaters, tee shirts, blouses and jackets are prevalent. Truly it’s all about tops to change up, refresh, reinvigorate basic/classic bottoms. Take a critical glance at inventory balance at almost any retail womenswear shop or store. Note the selection of top options very likely well exceeds the inventory of bottom treatments. Take advantage of the imbalance by making this an excellent season to build your wardrobe’s ‘top’ category. Include jackets and cardigans in the hunt. Then, use these new additions to extend the bottoms you have by mix-and-matching or layering pieces in ever-differing ways. Stir it up! Buying less and making it do more is not only economical but also keeps how you look continually interesting!
Speaking of ‘toppers,’ 2013 Fall/Winter fashion presents the perfect opportunity to replace that tired, worn out, and, in all likelihood, black-gray-camel-brown winter coat that has seen better days. This season is likely to achieve stellar accolades for its outstanding coats and jackets! Why? First glorious fact … color! Truly rainbows of hues of every kind graced the coat-showing runways. Please, please, retailers, we hope you were as enticed to buy as we promise to be. Second, stylistically speaking, there is not a single scale or shape … rather, find ranges from big and oversized to shaped and traditional. Lengths varied as well from cropped to waist-length to fingertip to above knee to below knee to ankle. Jackets remain red hot, with motorcycle styling still one of the leaders of the pack! Lofty or refined woolens, furs … both faux and real, suedes and leathers, tweeds, plaids, prints and solids, all designed to tempt you.
Of course, accessories contribute greatly to defining a fashion season, and this one does not differ in that regard. Bazaar heralds The New Bags: Clutch and Carry. Clutches are definitely back in endless styles and broad appeal. But, can they hold all we need to carry to get through our real-life days? Maybe they are best dropped into a more realistically over-sized purse or tote, then popped out for a special event or occasion. First and foremost in this more utilitarian category, is ‘the bag’ meaning a frame style, double handle, larger-in-scale handbag. Being a highly traditional shape, its distinction this season is color, color combinations, fabrication, fabrication blends or leather/fabric combinations finished with distinctive hardware. Think lush leathers, animal skins (either authentic or faux), tweed, patterned fabrics to name but a few renditions of this wonderfully useful shape. Of course, other shapes plus those tempting clutches remain readily available. How you use your clutch or handbag, plus the volume of necessities you need to haul, should determine the type and size that works best for your needs while being in harmony with your body size.
Jewelry comes in a myriad of shapes, sizes, weights and scale. There is no single ‘it’ piece, material or metal color selection particularly defining this fashion season. In such times, jewelry becomes a personality-reflecting choice. Keeping it in scale with the outfit plus remembering your body size is key. Refresh your jewelry go-to standby’s by digging out some of those pieces you might have been overlooking. Take a stroll through costume and fine jewelry store sources for inspiration and outfit-refreshing additions. Further, don’t overlook the decorative aspect, as well as cold-weather usefulness, of hats, scarves, shawls and gloves.
Fall/Winter 2013 shoes and boots range from classically sleek and familiar to faux-or-real fur-faced to truly out-of-this-world contrived! The ever-present ballet flat to 2-or-greater lug soles to stilettos with gravity-defying C-curve heels are here and now. Boots categorized by InStyle as Peekaboo Pretty, Ankle Strap, Zippers, Menswear, Stacked Heel and Split Front place us ‘in the know’ but maybe not practically safe for real winter wearing! Your sure-footedness in them should be tested before stepping out onto ice and snow. Meanwhile lace oxfords, loafers are included as retro reinventions. It’s somewhat a case of anything goes! And, thankfully, among footwear deemed ‘fashionable’ are comfortable/practical choices, as well chic, alluring, live-on-the-wild-side options.
Obsessed with the curiosity to invest in fashion magazines? If so, you know Fall/Winter 2013 special fashion editions were absolute back-breakers and arm-strengtheners vying with each other for the greatest number of pages, as well as the thickest and weightiest of editions. Cover headlines touted Bazaar - 600 pages, Elle - 650+ pages, InStyle 716 pages, Vogue 902 pages, W 456 pages, The Costco Connection 1 to-the-point page (Stay Warm, Look Cool featuring 2013 fashion-focus suggestions plus Pare and Purge ideas for keeping your wardrobe under control.) What a ridiculously weighty and nonsensical competition! Are we seeing too much? Is all the information enlightening or confusing? You be the judge. Fashion designer Raf Simons, quoted in Bazaar as saying, In fashion design you can divide people into two groups: people who come with an aesthetic that is there forever … and jumpers. One season it can be this; the next season it’s completely something else. I always knew I was more of a jumper. We might be able to identify such preferences in fashion designers by observing over the many seasons what they create. The greater question is about you as a fashion buyer … where do you line up? Are you ‘a straddler,’ or is your tendency toward being a ‘stay-the-same’ type person or a ‘try-what’s-new’ jumper? 2013 Fall/Winter fashion accommodates both!