Archive | December 2012

Five Fashion Industry Trends to Watch In 2013

new year

Man, can you believe that Christmas has already come and gone? I’m surprised, tired, and like ten pounds heavier, but I spent a wonderful holiday with family and friends. I hope all of you also had a wonderful holiday and are excited for the coming year.

Speaking of the coming year, what does it hold in store for the fashion world? Here are five industry trends that will affect fashion in 2013, and possibly even beyond:

5. Decline of Fast-Fashion Collaborations

The Maison Martin Margiela collection for H&M recently fizzled, and while some people blamed the unconventional aesthetic of the pieces, the high price-points, etc., part of the reason likely lies in consumers’ being sort of “over” these collaborations. For many customers, the appeal of these collabs has begun to wear off, and for others, the appeal is lost in the in the potential of these collections to “diminish” the designer brand and even harm the environment.

4. Handmade Apparel

The popularity of sites like Etsy has made it clear that consumers are not only willing to BUY handmade apparel; they are willing to buy it online from strangers. Etsy did over $700 million in sales last year, and is likely to earn even more next year. There has also been a major push toward handmade apparel and accessories made in developing countries by craftsmen and artisans (Sseko is an example), as well as for locally-made clothing and accessories.

3. Eco-friendly fashion

“Green” fashion and sustainable fibers have been growing in popularity for some time now, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.  Eco-friendly fashion lines have been popping up all over the place, and green collections are even being shown at major fashion shows like Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. There are even full fashion events being dedicated to eco-friendly fashion, such as Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver and The GreenShows.

2. Customization

The majority of consumers are having difficulty finding clothes that fit, and retailers are starting to notice this. Several customization companies have sprung up in the past few years. Some offer custom sizing for a few key items, such as Indochino for men’s suits. eShakti and Bow & Drape also allow women to choose their own sizes, as well as their own dress silhouettes and styles. And of course, there is the wonderful SeamBLiSS, which offers customers the chance to have their dream custom item made especially for them.

1. Buy One, Give One

TOMS  Shoes was one of the first fashion companies to make use of the buy an item, give an item business model, giving a free pair of shoes to a child in need in a developing country.  Another example is Warby Parker, a rapidly growing eyewear company that gives a pair of glasses to someone in need for each pair sold. Expect to see more companies offer a donation, either of money or of products, with each sale.

What trends do you expect to see emerge or grow in the fashion industry next year?

Kristen P.

Have a PRETTY Christmas Sweater Party This Holiday Season

Screw those silly Christmas sweaters with flashing lights and sequined ornaments! Here are six stylin’ and holiday-appropriate sweaters to make your holidays merry, bright, and fashionable:

1. Snowflake sweater, joefresh.com – cute holiday motif, but not too overdone

Sweater: Snowflake sweater, joefresh.com

Sweater: Snowflake sweater, joefresh.com

2. Black and Gold Baroque Jumper, dorothyperkins.com – festive yet sophisticated

Sweater: Black and Gold Baroque Jumper, dorothyperkins.com

Sweater: Black and Gold Baroque Jumper, dorothyperkins.com

3. Fair Isle Cardi-Coat, Matthew Williamson – this is the perfect, cozy wrap sweater

Sweater: Matthew Williamson Fair Isle merino wool cardi-coat

Sweater: Matthew Williamson Fair Isle merino wool cardi-coat

4. Oasis Sequin Shoulder Jumper, houseoffraser.co.uk – the sequins provide just the right amount of embellishment

Sweater: Oasis Sequin shoulder jumper, houseoffraser.co.uk

Sweater: Oasis Sequin shoulder jumper, houseoffraser.co.uk

5. Uma Cable-Knit Merino Wool Sweater, Marc by March Jacobs – you can’t go wrong with a cable-knit sweater

Sweater: Marc by Marc Jacobs Uma cable-knit merino wool sweater

Sweater: Marc by Marc Jacobs Uma cable-knit merino wool sweater

6. Silvian Heach Cardigan Daany, welikefashion.com – add some sparkle with this sweater

Sweater: Silvian Heach Cardigan Daany, welikefashion.com

Sweater: Silvian Heach Cardigan Daany, welikefashion.com

Happy Holidays! And happy sweaters 😉

Do you have a favorite holiday sweater? If you ever attended an “ugly Christmas sweater party”, what was the worst (best?) one you saw there? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

P.S. Thank you to the lovely Fran Neubert for the idea for this post!

Five Wardrobe Items EVERY Women Should Own

Ok folks, time for a Top 5 list. The following are the five “absolute must-haves” for any women’s closet. They never go out of style, they’re versatile, and if you buy quality, they’ll last a long time.

On to the list!

1. A Leather Jacket

Embrace the toughness of this piece with a rocker look, or use it to make sweet, feminine look a bit more edgy.

Go Edgy

Go Edgy

Go Girly

Go Girly

2. A White Button-Up Skirt

This is pretty much the ultimate staple, as it can be dressed up for the office or dressed down for a cute, casual weekend look. If you’re warm-toned, go for a slightly off-white option.

Work It!

Work It!

Weekend It!

Weekend It!

3. Black Skinny Jeans

Contrary to popular belief, EVERY women can and should wear skinny jeans.  Black skinnies are especially versatile, and can go from “casual” to “club” in no time flat. Speaking of flat, you can wear ’em with flats or sky-high stilettos.

Casual Skinnies

Casual Skinnies

Club Skinnies

Club Skinnies

 4. A Little Bright Dress

We’ve all heard of the little black dress, or LBD, but what about the little bright dress? Make the color of the dress the focus by choosing a basic silhouette, and up the style factor by accessorizing well. Be sure to pick a color that looks great on you! (For help on that, click here)

A Little Blue Dress

A Little Blue Dress

A Little Red Dress

A Little Red Dress

5. A Classic Black Blazer

A well-fitting black blazer can go with pretty much anything. Dress it up for work, or down for weekend shopping.

Cute and Corporate

Cute and Corporate

Relaxed and casual

Relaxed and casual

What are your Top 5 wardrobe staples? How do you wear them? Let us know in the comments!

Kristen P.

What the Heck are my Best Colors??

Last week, I posted a how-to on figuring out your body type, which is important to know if you’re looking for those perfectly flattering garments. Now let’s check out some tips for finding your best colors.

Why should I know my best colors, you ask? So you can LOOK your best, my friend! If you’re wearing flattering clothes for your body type and the perfect colors for your skin tone, then BAM! You look awesome and are on your way to hitting the style jackpot.

What are my “Color Options”?

There are two distinct color categories: warm and cool. Cool colors have a blue or pink undertone, while warm ones have a golden or yellow undertone.  Your skin tone, whether your skin is dark or light, can be either warm or cool as well, depending on these undertones.

Well, how do I know which I am, you ask? Try these quick tests:

1. Look at your hair

Does it have red or goldish highlights? If so, you’re probably Warm. If your hair has an ash tone, you’re probably Cool.

2. Look at your wrist

Sounds weird, I know. Under natural sunlight, check out the veins on the underside of your wrist. Are they greenish? You’re probably Warm. Are they blueish-purpleish? You’re probably Cool.

3. Put on some jewelry

Compare how you look in silver jewelry as compared to gold jewelry. You can even take pics to help you compare. If silver looks best on you, you’re probably Cool. If gold looks best, you’re probably Warm.

Keep in mind that some people have “neutral” skin tones, and can look good in both Warm and Cool colors. If that’s you, hooray!

What Should I Wear?

If you have determined that you’re Warm, try items like these:

If you're Warm, good colors include: golden yellow, olive green, rust, tomato red, red-purple, golden brown and peach

If you’re Warm, good colors include: golden yellow, olive green, rust, tomato red, red-purple, golden brown and peach

If you have determined that you’re Cool, check these out:

If you're Cool, good colors for you include: mint green, stark white, deep purple, turquoise, yellow-green, pink, periwinkle, and lavender

If you’re Cool, good colors for you include: mint green, stark white, deep purple, turquoise, yellow-green, pink, periwinkle, and lavender

Just FYI, you can click on the pics above, which will take you to Polyvore where you can see where to buy the items you see.

Hope this helps! Got any another methods for determining your skin tone? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

For more info on color and color categories, check these out:

Introduction to Color Theory from Tiger Color

Color Me Beautiful – offers seasonal color analysis.

A Healthy, Balanced Wardrobe

Is your closet not feeling so great? Too many trendy pieces, not enough basics? Get on the road to wardrobe health with this helpful wardrobe pyramid:

The Wardrobe Pyramid

The Wardrobe Pyramid, brought to you by the folks at SeamBLiSS

*Note: Have shoes and jewelry in your wardrobe that can fit into each of these clothing categories. For example, have a formal pair of earrings, as well as basic studs you can wear everyday.

Everday Basics: These are your wardrobe “carbs” – you need them to have a functioning outfit! Includes basic camis, tanks,  comfy tees, simple cardigans, black leggings and layering items.

Casual Items: The stuff you wear every day to go about your biz. Includes jeans, cute blouses, sweaters, etc. These items aren’t particularly trendy – you could wear them from season to season. They are stylish, but highly wearable.

Work/Professional Clothing: If you work in a professional environment, you need enough of these items to get through the week! Includes pencil skirts, work-appropriate blouses, button-up shirts, and blazers.

Accessories: Not talkin’ jewelry here, as jewelry could have its own pyramid. This category includes belts, scarves, hats, gloves, etc. These add both function and style to your outfit.

Trendy Items: This includes most of your H&M, Zara, and Forever21 fast-fashion finds. Cheap and disposable, but also fun and useful for trying out trends without spending a lot of money.

High-Quality Basics: These are the classics that will last forever and never go out of style. Includes: little black dresses, timeless blazers, high-quality handbags, etc. These items cost a lot, but make up for it in durability.

Outerwear: You shouldn’t own a lot of outerwear, but what you have should be durable and functional. Includes trench coats, raincoats, puffers, ski jackets, etc.

Formal Wear: These are your own “red carpet” pieces! They should be classic, elegant, and stunning!

Did I miss anything? How do you organize your wardrobe? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

What the Heck is my Body Type??

measuring tapeA lot of fashion magazines and blog posts give style recommendations based on body type/shape. They say this type of neckline is good for apple shapes, this type of skirt is best for pear shapes, and so on and so forth. And guess what? These bloggers and stylists are right! Certain styles of clothing are definitely more flattering on certain figures.

However, if you don’t KNOW your body type, all of this styling advice is kind of moot. So, how do you figure out your shape so that you can be super stylin?

What are my Body Type “Options”?

There are five basic body types: Apple, Pear, Hourglass, Rectangle and Wedge (aka Inverted Triangle).

If you don’t feel like taking your measurements, try this: Stand against a white wall in front of a full length mirror. Wear either skintight black clothing or none at all! Consider the general “shape” of your body in the mirror. Notice which areas seem wider or narrower than others, specifically the bust, waist, and hips

Apple shape = wider upper body, including bust, shoulders, and waist. Hips are narrower. Celeb example: Jennifer Hudson

Pear shape= wider lower body, including hips and thighs. Shoulders are waist are narrow. Celeb example:Beyonce

Hourglass shape = hips and bust are the same width. Waist is well defined. Celeb example: Scarlett Johansson

Rectangle shape = Shoulders, bust, waist and hips are about the same width. Waist is less defined. Celeb example = Natalie Portman

Inverted Triangle shape = upper body is wider, including shoulders and bust. Waist is more defined, but hips and legs are slim. Celeb example = Angelina Jolie

If you DO feel like measuring yourself, you’ll want to measure your bust, waist and hips. It helps to have a friend help you out. If you’re not sure how to perform these measurements, check out the videos below (featuring yours truly and her girl Alana!):

Bust Measurement

Waist Measurement

Hips Measurement

Compare the measurements you got with the descriptions above. And keep this in mind: you might not fit “exactly” into one of these body type categories, and that’s fine. I myself am sort of in between a “pear” and an “hourglass”! Simply keep these variations in mind when styling yourself.

Also, keep your own preferences in mind! For example, some stylists or bloggers would say that if you’re pear shaped, you should wear clothing that will “minimize” the appearance of your rear. But if you love showing off your booty, go ahead and accentuate it!

Hope this helped! You can also check out this helpful WikiHow article for more info on how to measure yourself.

Kristen P.

Three Holiday Looks, Three Indie Designs

What do you think of when someone mentions “indie” or even “handmade” fashion? Do you think of something that only the most cutting edge fashionistas would dare to wear? Maybe you go the other way and think of hand-knitted Weasley family-style Christmas sweaters. In either case, you don’t see yourself in these kinds of fashions.

However, indie fashion can be extremely wearable, and you don’t need to be a fashionista or hipster to give it a try! You can mix items from indie and emerging designers with whatever you already have in your wardrobe to get a look that is both unique AND accessible.

Check out the three holiday party looks below, each featuring an item from one of SeamBLiSS’s indie designers!

Look 1 – Classic and Elegant

Indie Item:

Red Cashmere Dress

Women’s Luxurious Red Cashmere Dress by Augus Tan, SeamBLiSS

Style With….

Necklace: Bloomingdales.com; Shoes: Isabel Marant, Bracelet: Jade, antique; Earrings: Luna Scamuzzi for Lucifer Vir Honestus; Clutch: La Ragale

Necklace: Bloomingdales.com; Shoes: Isabel Marant, Bracelet: Jade, antique; Earrings: Luna Scamuzzi for Lucifer Vir Honestus; Clutch: La Ragale

Amp up the style of this elegant and simple red sheath dress with a statement necklace! Keep the number of bold accessories to one; pair the strong necklace with simple but classy earrings, and finish the look with black pumps and a sleek black clutch. Perfect for the company Christmas party or a holiday night on the town!

Look 2 – Boho Chic

Indie Item:

Dress in Wool

Dress in Wool by Elena Vasilevsky, SeamBLiSS

Style With…

Boho Styling

Bracelet: Floral Fabric Bracelet, Forever21; Belt: Sandra Women’s Belt; Earrings: Ava Triangle Earrings, Fab.com; Ring: Gara Danielle Boho Ring; Bag: Mango Women’s Bucket bag; Boots: vintage

If your love the boho style, this dress is for you! Add some structure to this flowing garment with a solid leather belt and vintage-inspired lace-up boots. Give the look a bit of color with an oxblood bucket bag, and a bit of fun print with a floral bracelet. Feel free to go a lil’ crazy with the accessories, and layer on some statement rings and earrings. This look would rock for a casual gift exchange or a stylish shopping trip.

Look 3 – Tough and Edgy

Indie Item:

Black Edgy Holiday Dress

Black Edgy Holiday Dress, Strip Panels, by Desiree Voight

Style With…

Edgy Styling

Earrings: Charming Life Sterling Silver Art Glass Vanilla Cream Earrings; Shoes: Rockport Faye Interwoven Flat Shoes; Clutch: Etsy.com; Ring: Art Nouveau Pearl Set Flower Ring, Etsy.com

This leather dress will be focal point of an eye-catching outfit! Since the dress is such a statement, style it with simple, feminine accessories such as a single cocktail ring or classic drop earrings. Finish the look with two-tone flats and a black clutch. Wear this to a New Year’s Eve party and turn some heads!

Well, there you have it! Anyone can pull off some indie style for the holidays!

Got a great holiday look? Share it in the comments!

Kristen P.