Transforming catwalk trends into everyday wear…

I always get a little giddy when I see the up-and-coming season’s trends, whether it’s through the runway visuals and editorials or via the write ups from people in the FROW. That’s the front row to us lay folks.

Composition of stylesIt’s important for me to have a grasp on what’s hot so that I have an idea of what to expect on the high street. Of course not everyone is interested in cropped flares or tiaras, but I do think there are always some elements of the season’s trends that can be adapted to a broader range of personality.

For me, it’s about finding workable items that are a little less crazy which we can wear with a lot more confidence. I don’t see why trends should just be seen on more youthful frames. I for one will always find something I like and make it my own, my way, my style.

So on this note I have had a looksy at the main themes, prints, key pieces and colours and decided to find the ones I think have major wearability points.

See if anything appeals to your inner voice. By the way that’s the style voice that shouts rock chick, floral queen or smart and sexy, not the crazy one that shouts put that third piece of cake down or one more tequila won’t hurt! (That’s mine I think).

Let’s do the time warp again…

The 70s

Well it seems that the 70s remain with us a little longer… gone are the polo knits and heavier suede as we welcome the patchwork prints and whimsy floral fabrics of spring/summer 2016.

Think boho and relaxed. A white cotton blouse with embroidered detail rather than billowing layers or gypsy floral ruffles as seen on the catwalks. Team with trusty denim and chunky sandals. If you fancy a ruffle, look for a sleeve with a ruffle or for the longer sleeve, a bell shape wrist hem.

The prints may be busy and ditsy but used wisely they look fabulous, especially on a beach, kaftans, cover ups and swimwear.

Satchel-shaped bags are a lovely classic shape, too, and if you’re wanting to only touch on a few gypsy sequins or a bit of bright stitching then let a clutch do the talking.

If you prefer a little more structure in your attire, then look for 70s geometric prints like retro wallpaper, subtle or bold in a blouse or dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 90s

There’s a street feel this season. So rather than thinking chunky chains, baseball caps and crop tops – which are big, but not for everyone – I’m choosing an item with a little more subtlety, the bomber or a varsity jacket.

I remember this style with a fondness as it was the beginning of my teenage era and I was the proud owner of a silky black puffa bomber jacket with a panther on the back. Yes I was very much in a tough biker gang… not!

This time, though, they’re very feminine, silkier and lighter, making them much more wearable.  You can make a statement with a floral/embellished version or try a grown-up classic look in a neutral colour. Wear with everything and add colour via accessories.

Denim, of course, is always included and this time it’s gone a bit more embellished, with print, embroidery and varying washes or distressing.

You could even rock a dungaree if the feeling so takes you but personally I always get flashbacks to Rod, Jane and Freddy on Rainbow. Shudder. A shirt dress or a jacket is a lot more pleasant.

A little more interest on jeans is a great way to express yourself and allow them to be worked into your evening outfit. It doesn’t have to be out there –  just a little hip or pocket detail can look fabulous.

Hello sailor

Ah now here’s a style that I think many of us have a liking for, kind of French chic with a bit of a relaxed feel.

Stripes are important to this look and the catwalk loves a bold stripe, but you don’t need to do complete deckchair to work it!

Take in a trusty Breton top and pair with a blazer or belted mac and jeans/slick-cut Capri trousers or cropped culottes.

Nice bright colours pick up the summer vibe. Try blues, reds and whites á la Chanel. Add to this a wearable backless loafer or a chic flat sling back and you’re good to go.

Continuing on this theme, of course we’d be terrible sailors without a good knot!  So designers introduced the neckerchief to this season’s accessory section to add a bit of je ne sais quoi.  It’s a great way to finish an outfit, whether at work or play, and a hell of a lot lighter than a blanket scarf.

If this isn’t for you than try a knot via a ribbon tied in a bow under a blouse/shirt collar, a knotted chain or a bow print or shoe. You could even tie a simple ribbon to a smooth, low, chic ponytail.

Real romantic

Ooh when I think of this word in summer I think of hot hazy afternoons running bare foot in poppy fields holding hands with Poldark… er wait no that doesn’t happen ever! Though, blimey, I feel the need to dream that a lot.

This season it’s all about flowing, draped, silky layering. There’s a lot of talk about using underwear as outerwear and getting those shoulders out – the new body part to flaunt but so doable.

Think bedroom in the board room. It’s all about slips, camisoles, satin and lace. Don’t panic, though, I’m not suggesting we all wear our teddies to work, but use the fabrics subtly here and there. Pair a camisole under a fitted jacket or try a lacy dress or silky top with lace edging. Sweet and sexy is back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broderie anglaise or crochet lace are other popular fabrics and still catch the romance of summer.These are a little more structured. You can stick to white or try the deluge of pastels, pinks, blues and greens or even go a little bolder in brighter hues such as coffee, snorkel blue, red or teal.

Laced-up flats replace the gladiator sandal and there are a lot of flat forms about in sandal versions. I think they look a bit clumpy, though, and would date quickly, whereas a block heel is still rife so you can nod to the chunky that way and still look chic.

So as ever there are always loads of little micro trends going on throughout the season. These are a good place to start – remember to style it your way, as being authentic is everything.

Sara MARSDEN-SHREEVE

About Sara MARSDEN-SHREEVE

I’m an image consultant which means I get to help women look and feel great – it’s my dream job! I became tired of seeing so-called ‘perfection’ portrayed in the media, and it’s my aim to help women feel confident whatever their body shape. You can find out more about how I can help you by visiting my website.