Archive for the ‘current fashion’ category

Fashion editor picks for S/S 2013

January 19, 2013

Trends you might like to pick from, if any of them suit your style, shape, colouring.

These suggestions are from :
UK Elle magazine February 2013
UK In Style magazine February 2013
UK Vogue magazine February 2013 Catwalk Report
US Vogue/ Trend Report
YouLookFab’s comments on fashion week (whew, she says she watched ALL the on-line shows this time)


– all white
– all black (some designers have entire collections)
– black and white
see The Art of Contrast (click on left photo) – any style so long as it’s black and white !

– black and white with accent colour
– muted pastels or nudes

Strong colours too but they don’t dominate. The Pantone seasonal report shows them – a lot of emerald and greyed jade, primary red, deep blue and muted mid (Dusk) blue, also tangerine and sunflower yellow.
This season their neutral colours are called ‘Linen’ (warm light neutral) and ‘Tidal foam’ (cool light neutral).


Janice at The Vivienne Files has been using the Pantone colours as accents to her basic work and casual wardrobes.

Colour blocking still much in evidence.
see Collage Degree (click on middle left photo)

And underwear in these colours too !

What if these colours aren’t for you ? Here’s a video from Imogen Lamport on universal colours (none of the above :D).


– minimalism

– sports luxe
(see my posts on Sports Luxe patterns – Sweatshirts, Fleeces and hoodies)

– masculine edges one day, feminine frills the next, or both in the same outfit
see Alpha Females (click on 2nd right photo) Every Flounce Counts (click on middle right photo)

– oriental, especially kimono
see Asia Society (click on right photo)
(see my post on Kimono patterns)

– sharp angles and boxy shapes
– retro – 60s, 70s


– blouses
– peplum jackets (see my post on peplum patterns)
– low waist jackets
– slim skirts with high slits
– trouser suits
– jumpsuits
Many dresses on show, but the editors don’t pick them out for emphasis.

Many styles of pants. UK In Style suggests :
– voluminous
– cigarette
– high waisted
– slimmer sweat pants
– dungarees (overalls in US)
– cropped (knee length) culottes.
Trendy to show a bit of ankle.

Ease levels

Relaxed slouchy tops, pants, jackets.
(see my posts on over-sized tops and jackets – Index page 6 on specific garment types.)

US Vogue/ don’t pick out over-sized for emphasis, but slouchy is definitely a trend for casuals. And there is a general lack of body-con fit.

Here’s a post by YouLookFab on making the slouchy look with pants and another on the oversized look in general.


Pretty well anything – knee length emphasised, especially for shorts.
Editors disagree on the maxi.


– leather
– plastic – opaque or transparent
– metallic look, shiny (especially gold)

– a light floaty layer, or insets of sheer fabric
see Veiled Looks (click on photo 2nd from left)

Lavish detail :
– texture – woven, cut-out, add-on frills
– flowers on a background – in prints and textures : embroidery, lace, and 3-D additions (also on accessories)
Clover has tools for making fabric flowers, petalled flowers and flower frills.

Fabric pattern

The strong new pattern is checkerboard.

Louis Vuitton

More geometrics in bold wide stripes.

Many prints, especially flowers and ethnic.
Still a lot of pattern mixing.
see Collage Degree (click on middle left photo)


Clutch handbags continue
see bags.

Big statement pieces
see Jewellery.
Best not to add jewellery to the strong patterns and ornately detailed fabrics.

YouLookFab says : “Peep toe booties are the shoe of the season. Spring booties are also big, as are loafers, slipper flats, fashion sneakers, sandals with wide straps, flatforms and flat oxfords.”
Also many pointy toe shoes.
White shoes.
Simple flats or wildly ornate high heels and platforms.

see shoes.

Would you like to add some of these to your wardrobe ?

With my older muted colouring, I”m not such a fan of white as I used to be. I’d look very out-of-kilter in those checkerboards and strong stripes, but I like the fabric combining. I move rapidly on from collections which are all hard edges, but they’re obviously popular with other people. I’ll continue with soft Casual Luxe tinged with boho 😀 My favourite yoked tunics and over-shirts are in some trendy catalogues, even if they don’t get the fashion editors’ attention.

If you’d like a more everyday wearable view of the season’s possibilities, see Connie Crawford Spring predictions download.
Many suggestions for colours, fabrics, styles – fitted or slouchy, angular or soft.

Don’t want to have to think ?
Several independent pattern companies suggest ‘modern classic’ capsules for the season :
Hot Patterns
Silhouette Patterns
Style Arc
Or just pick from the newest patterns – they’re always current! Butterick-Kwik Sew-McCall’s-Vogue, Simplicity-New Look-Burda have all issued their early Spring collections.

And here are some suggestions from YouLookFab on what to do if the trends aren’t your style. While here’s what she’s thinking of getting herself this spring.

As usual there are many different points of view. So choose what gives you most pleasure.
Would any of these trends enhance your summer 😀

Links available January 2013

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Trendy Autumn Capsule 2012

November 3, 2012

What if I wanted some trendy clothes this autumn ?
I fell in love with the Cosy Fall Wish List suggested by The Blush Chronicles.

from The Blush Chronicles

Fairly easy to reproduce.
Of course use your own best colours.

I’ve added notes on :
– simple pattern combining when you can’t find exactly what you want,
– add-ons to take this from capsule to wardrobe,
– some other sources of wearable trendy inspiration for this winter.

– – –

Sweater top

Butterick 5679, View B.


Slim pants

Pair with the ubiquitous slim pants, such as Palmer-Pletsch McCall’s 6440.


Collarless biker jacket

Burda 03/2012-116.


Though I wouldn’t wear this in leather. Not for moral reasons, I’m just not happy in heavy stiffness.


With my rear, I don’t look good in a short fitted jacket and pants, so would add a long straight skirt. Use the best length for you. Wearable with both jacket and sweater.

Perhaps the one in Vogue 8841.



Butterick 5367, View A.


– – –

Cape coat – combining patterns

No pattern exactly the same as the inspiration. A bit of pattern work needed here.

There is a recently oop cape-sleeved coat pattern, Vogue 8678.


But there isn’t much of the year when I would be happy in a coat without full length sleeves !

So add some capelet pieces to a shoulder princess coat, as in the inspiration.
Perhaps start from Burda 7855.


Try a mock-up of the capelet pattern pieces to get the length and width you want, starting with a half circle. Or adapt from a cape style with shaped shoulder seam, such as Vogue 6776 (better for getting the cape hem on-grain).

The cape-coat inspiration is double breasted. One of the many advantages of a shoulder princess pattern is – it’s easy to adapt the centre front panel to different styles.

And the inspiration has a trench style collar.
So swap the notched collar and front opening of the Burda coat for something like McCall’s 5525, View D.


To combine the patterns – overlay the front pattern pieces and match up the shoulder seams and centre fronts.
Then trace the style elements you want.
Do the same with the back pattern pieces to check if the back neck shapes are different.
Straighten out the front edge and add more buttons, if you want your coat to close up to the neck.

Or simply use this trench style in dark fabric with military buttons for another of this season’s coat looks.

– – –

From capsule to wardrobe

First stage of additions. The coat and pants photos in the inspiration include :
– long sleeved knit top,
– print top (possibly a short sleeved blouse),
– vest.
Second stage of additions :
– long sleeved blouse/ shirt,
– second pair of pants – straight leg or boot-cut.
And a self-fabric strip for one of the blouses/ shirts so you have a bow-neck look.
All in basic shapes. Vary the surfaces and textures.

That makes :
3 layers (jacket, sweater, vest),
3 tops (long sleeved tee, long and short sleeved blouses).
3 bottoms (2 pants, 1 skirt).
1 coat.
10 garments in all. The 9 indoor clothes give about 40 outfits if they all co-ordinate.

Including accessories :

Haven’t mentioned the shoes 😀 That’s the one piece of the starter capsule that I already have, as flat ankle boots are a favourite of mine. Many people round here are wearing knee high boots with their slim pants. Add a dressier pair of shoes to increase the range of opportunities for wearing these clothes. You haven’t got to wear the current sky-high stiletto heels to look dressy. Try pretty ankle boots with medium heels. Or decorated ballet flats.

Add some indoor and outdoor scarves, a narrow waist belt, warm hat and gloves, favourite jewellery.
Well, that looks like an effective collection 😀

– – –

For easy-wear current looks in ‘modern classic’ style, see YouLookFab’s Pinterest board – copy many of these outfits using this wardrobe, and her comments on what she’s wearing this season.
And here’s a list of current items from StyleMakeover.

For a wide range of current styles, see Nancy Nix-Rice on wearable current trends and suggested outfits (no they’re not the pure classic styles which she uses to illustrate her wardrobe planning posts).
Next stage of additions : add blazer, cascade jacket, big top to your wardrobe, and you can mimic many of these outfits too.
Next additions : drape, cowl, turtleneck tops – and so on 😀

Enjoy the new season !

– – –

Links and patterns available November 2012

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Change in proportions

October 27, 2012

One of my key garments is a shirt-jacket. I had fun recently looking at older shirt-jacket wardrobe patterns on Etsy. There were dozens of very similar patterns published in the 70s to 90s.

Here’s one from the 70s. McCall’s 3280, 1972.
(Goodness, that summer I bought this house, so lived on crusts for several years. And I finished my thesis. It wasn’t a time I was thinking much about new clothes !)


This look was popular for decades. A recent pattern like this was only discontinued a short time ago, Butterick 4811.


In the late 80s to 90s, there was also another popular look for unlined casual jackets – oversized and collarless. Here’s McCall’s 7501, 1995. Huge oversize supported by huge shoulder pads, worn with a small skirt or full pants.


So, what is it about these styles that makes them look not quite up to date ?

Well, some designers have been showing oversized jackets in recent seasons, but usually without the huge support structures, and worn with slim pants or leggings. You Look Fab has a post about these here. Jackets like this haven’t reached this suburb (except for the students who buy men’s overcoats from the charity shops).

These days there’s so much freedom in fashion, you can find at least one designer who uses any given look. I’ve tried to focus on what’s frequently seen.

Here’s what I might replace those looks with.

New wardrobe pattern for wovens, Butterick 5821.


For a less casual jacket look, use the wardrobe jacket, but thigh length and without the hem casing. Add a waist casing for this season’s waist emphasis if that suits your body shape. Lots of seams for adding hip width if you’re pear shaped.

Or Nancy Zieman’s knits wardrobe McCall’s 6247.


I want a shirt-jacket wardrobe so would add McCall’s 6606, especially lower right.


– – –

What are the differences compared with earlier styles ?
Ignore the curved versus straight style elements, a matter of personal style.
I think the key is proportions and silhouette.

Shirts and tops

Shirts are now often not mid hip length but low hip or thigh length.
Several common proportions :

The trendy shirt look is slim with slight waist shaping, such as Butterick 5678.


A narrow belt at waist is ‘this season’.

Or oversized but without the huge shoulder pads, such as Katherine Tilton Vogue 8748.


Or for overlayers, try the indoor poncho look in a woven fabric, see McCall’s 6603.
Actually, in the trendy mail order catalogues I’ve received this season, there have been knit sweaters this shape and ponchos, but not shirts. (The ‘arty’ catalogue always has an oversized shirt.)

Both slim shirts and big trendy tops are worn with slim pants/ skirt or leggings.

The current casual shirt look is looser fitting, as in McCall’s 6606 shown with the wardrobes above. Straight not shaped to the body, but not very loose fit. Even the new Palmer-Pletsch unisex shirt (McCall’s 6613) has 4 inches of ease not 8.
Worn with straight or boot-cut pants.

The ways style elements are used to emphasise the shoulders has also changed.
We no longer wear :
– huge shoulder pads or very dropped shoulders,
– wide spreading or high collars.
These days unlined casual jackets rarely have shoulder pads. And shirt and notch collars are usually not emphasised. Instead we have :
– yokes or epaulets,
– fitted or slightly dropped sleeves.

Shoulders dropped well down the arm are coming back as they’re essential for over-sized styles, but they’re not generally used. Though dropped shoulders are featured by some boutique designers – like the Katherine Tilton shirt – as arty rather than trendy personal style.
Raglan sleeves rather than dropped shoulders are currently used on gear for easy movement like sweatshirts.


Skirts are now usually straight or slightly tapered (pencil),
or subtle rather than full A-line.
Knee length or shorter, or below knee, or calf length.
Or short and flirty pleated (one of the very, very few styles I think is best worn only by the young).

You can wear a full skirt if you like the ease of movement. Make it in soft fabric so the silhouette isn’t wide and stiff (unless you’re going for a vintage look), and wear at lower calf length with a fitted top.
Such as Butterick 5650.


Pants are now usually slim,
or straight,
or boot cut rather than flared.

All styles in new Butterick 5818.

You can wear very full or very flared pants (with a high-hip length top) if you have the body shape for them, but happily we haven’t got to wear them if we haven’t !

P.S. Lovely new post by Imogen Lamport on what is in/out of style – letting go of trends.
Key question : “Could you go into a store and buy a similar garment today (if not, it’s gone out of fashion) ?”

– – –

Nowadays there aren’t many full wardrobe patterns in shirt-jacket style.
There are many patterns for shirt plus pants. Add a simple top, and a skirt if you wear them.

Would this be a good casual look for you ? – or do you feel as miserable in a shirt as I do in a blazer 😀

– – –

Links available October 2012

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Touches of high fashion for a/w 2012

September 22, 2012

I’ve been lazy about images. For lots of photos of runway styles, look at the (US Vogue) Trend Report for the a/w 2012 season.
Also the UK Elle Trend Report.
UK In Style has separate reports on each fashion city, if you want to be reminded that the fashion journalists pick out a small selection of possibilities from a huge variety of styles.

Brocade is the season’s big idea for a patterned fabric.
Fur used in unusual ways, such as sleeves or yokes only, or inset strips.

Patterns and embellishments
brocades again.
Chinese inspired.
baroque arabesques.
geometric patterns with right angles.
big dark florals.
leopard and python animal skins.
glued or sewn jewels or metal plates/ studs.

Pant and skirt suits made with top and bottom in the same print/ non-classic weave.
Or the opposite – make different sections of the garment in different prints.

(For the Fall 2012 Pantone Report scroll down the left side of their site to Features.)

Red in all its shades, but especially berry, is the key colour for this season.
Black leather and lace is neo-Goth.
Silver, especially in accessories and hard-edged minimalist ‘futuristic’ clothes styles.
Gold, especially in added baroque pattern.

Oversize coats.
Bow-neck blouses.
Waist emphasis – peplums, padded hips, waist belts from narrow to wide cinch.
Jumpsuits – though just with a bib front as in overalls/ dungarees, not a complete top with back and sleeves.

Style details (this season’s ‘masculine’ styles)
Military – browns, olives, or brights for colour.
Equestrian – leather and high boots.

Clutch purse.
Mule shoes, ankle boots.
Snoods, neck rings, fun fur scarves.

These are the key trends picked out by US Vogue and UK Elle, but if you look through all the runway shows you can find designers who support most style enthusiasms 😀

Different fashion writers can pick out different themes.
Here’s Angie of You Look Fab’s similar summary of the season.
Here’s an update on Angie’s must-haves for this season.
There’s a rather different selection of trends from Connie Crawford here.
Here are Nancy Nix-Rice’s wearable ideas on the season’s trends.
With lots of inspirational current outfit photos from her here.

As usual, there are possibilities to suit many tastes. And not to worry – go your own way if nothing appeals !

For more focus on casual clothes, it can help to look at the ‘resort’ collections.

Eek, on the insider sites, the 2012 autumn-winter runway collections are now ‘old news’. You can already look at the 2013 spring-summer collections if you want to be really fashion forward ! (, firstVIEW, Tom and Lorenzo)

Actually, you can only impress people with your high style if they know the same fashion references.
Nancy Erickson had a quote from Chanel in her July/August newsletter :
“A really well dressed woman. . . should be able to pass through a motley crowd unnoticed, but should create a mild sensation on entering a drawing room among the knowing elite.”

Perhaps your favourite ‘knowing elite’ is not clothes high spenders in expensive drawing rooms or on the red carpet, but top professionals, sports fans, vintage lovers, goths, gym users, cafe-bar party goers, people in the countryside, at art gallery openings, music festivals.

Is that important to you ?
or celebrate the creativity and skill shown on the runways, and treat it all as entertainment 😀

– – –

Links available September 2012

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