Last Four Years of Fashion
January 22, 2013 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Just woke up from a figurative 4 year coma called back-to-back babies. What NOT to wear? What are the big no no's? What should I just discard? I'm thinking terrible ie. Crocs or Ed Hardy.

If it helps, I'm in Austin and, though I'm not currently participating, I consider myself part of the rock music scene.
posted by kristymcj to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
What's your denim situation? Boot-cut or flared jeans will stand out in a not-great way.
posted by lunasol at 7:21 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

what do you have right now that you're curious about still being able to wear from 2008/2009?
posted by sweetkid at 7:22 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

It might help if you gave a summary of your wardrobe...

I don't know the peculiarities of Austin fashion, but the biggest changes I can think of in the past few years is denim styles. Boot cut/flares were big several years ago (probably dying out by 4 years ago though), and what's all the rage now is skinny jeans and colored denim skinny jeans.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:22 PM on January 22, 2013

Gigantic caligraphy on shirts seems to have gone away, I have noticed that...
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:24 PM on January 22, 2013

Things I think currently stand out in a tired way:

Lace-backed shirts and other partially-sheer clothing.

Clothing (dresses, skirts, leggings) with leather insets.

Peplum-waist tops and dresses. I think they are classic, but many modern versions of it make it look tired and overdone.

The high-low top (mullet shirt, basically).

Fully-sequined items.

Things that are currently on-trend that I think continue to look good:

A well-cut skinny jean.

A sorta-loose, sorta-fitted button-up. They're everywhere. I think chambray is still on-point for spring, and I think the sheer versions are on the way out.
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:54 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Collar necklaces are pretty in right now...any big necklaces really.
posted by sweetkid at 7:57 PM on January 22, 2013

You can definitely wear bootcut jeans. I own a great dark wash from J. Crew (that I bought maybe 6 months ago), and they are very flattering and chic. I wouldn't wear flares, though.

I'm assuming that you don't need high fashion ideas and just want to not look like you've been asleep for 5 years. In that case, there are a billion style blogs out there these days! Here's a great list of style blogs by women over 30.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:03 PM on January 22, 2013 [13 favorites]

One shape/silhouette from 2008/2009 that I no longer notice is the camisole/sexy blouse with a slim-cut blazer. More jean jackets and moto jackets in various colors.

Your jeans probably definitely need a makeover. Skinnies are still in and god help me, they're comfortable. I spent a long time resisting but they're pretty great. Gap makes good comfy ones. Colored denim definitely, and even printed denim if you feel comfortable in it (although not sure how long that'll be in). On preview, you can probably get away with a slim bootcut but no flares. The darker the wash, the better.

Boots--I think the motorcycle boot, flat riding boot, and some styles of bootie are in, but the knee-high pointy-toe sharp-heel boot is definitely out.

I think neon is on its way out, but geometric shapes, tribal prints, and primary colors are still in. Leather and lace (not together per se) as well.

Two other thoughts for ways to generate ideas and get a sense of trends:

Have you seen the blog Possessionista? If you have a character on a show whose style you like, that can be a good way to identify pieces or designers/shops you like.

Do you have a Forever 21 or H&M by you? Popping in every now and then will help you get a feel for what is on trend right now without committing huge $$$ to something that will be out in a year or less. I'm 30 and although much of their stuff (especially Forever 21) is waaayy too young for me, I can still always manage to find one or two cute, age-appropriate things to supplement the rest of my boring basics.
posted by stellaluna at 8:10 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

booties are more in than knee high boots in NYC, but this might be different in Austin. This is the first year in like five that has been true for NYC, though. I have a few pairs of booties and wear with skinny jeans.
posted by sweetkid at 8:23 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Jeans were discussed not that long ago. The consensus seems to be that you can still wear dark boot-cut jeans, especially if they're more flattering to your figure; flares will show their (and your) age, though.
posted by limeonaire at 8:23 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

And yes, Crocs and Ed Hardy–style T-shirts are way out.
posted by limeonaire at 8:27 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yes! Thanks for posting that great jeans post. I feel 100 times more vindicated now because I just bought another pair of jeans, same wash, from J. Crew in matchstick (their straight cut), and I am loving them.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:35 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

... I just bought another pair of jeans, same wash, from J. Crew in matchstick (their straight cut), and I am loving them.

Oh, hm, I might be using the phrase "boot-cut" incorrectly. From what I've seen, straight-leg are great (or at least I hope so, since I have several pairs myself!). I associate boot-cut with being a bit wider around the calf/ankle (so as to fit over boots) - not quite flare, but wider than straight. But I don't know too much about proper denim terminology, so it's quite possible I'm wrong about this.

posted by lunasol at 8:41 PM on January 22, 2013

I meant that I bought an additional pair on top of the boot cuts that I own. :)

Yeah, jeans!
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:46 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Your definition of bootcut is accurate, I think, lunasol.
posted by sweetkid at 8:47 PM on January 22, 2013

No tapered jeans or capris. The in color for 2013 is emerald green.
posted by fifilaru at 10:08 PM on January 22, 2013

I don't think there are any major trends from 2008/2009 that are egregiously terrible now along the lines of Ed Hardy, Crocs, Uggs in hot weather, etc. Skinny/straight-leg jeans have been dominant since 2006, so that's nothing new. Keep in mind that the "tired" items on rachaelfaith's list are still very much sold in stores-- they might be firmly "out" in more fashion-obsessed circles, but people won't look at you like you're an alien.

Madewell has become a very popular mass-market retailer; it's owned by J. Crew but is more casual/quirky/hip.
posted by acidic at 11:16 PM on January 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm not super in touch with fashion anyway, but there are definitely a few things that were fashionable a few years ago for god-knows-what reason and aren't now... I'm thinking of those funky 3D shirts (like 1/2'' thick, stretchy bubbly stuff) with the bright colors on them, and yeah, Ed Hardy's a bit out, I haven't seen capris in a while, gauzy shirts are weird but that might just be 'on adults, as opposed to teenagers', etc.

But I don't think there's a lot that you could have bought years and years ago that would look way out now, unless it were specifically a weird fad or 'in fashion' (I remember walking with a friend and hearing a teenager tell her mom how much she liked those bubble tops. My friend muttered, "So you're the one." They were pretty obviously a weird fad even when they were popular). But anything that you would have bought just because it was a good-looking article of clothing is probably still a good-looking article of clothing.

I guess I tend toward the 'timeless' in my own shopping style, though... and as acidic says a lot of the stuff that fashionistas would consider 'out' is still sold in stores, people still wear it out, etc.
posted by Lady Li at 12:37 AM on January 23, 2013

Shoes with square toes.

Anything from Juicy Couture, it seems: "The company made aggressive markdowns at Juicy Couture due to weak sales. It believes fixes for the brand's merchandising problems will come later this year and in 2014."
posted by iviken at 6:11 AM on January 23, 2013

The great thing about fashion nowadays is that it's all about the "how" rather than the "what", so while the fast fashion cycle is alarmingly rapid, in practise it's all about the execution. You can wear more or less whatever you like, as long as it's put together properly. What I notice about rachelfaith's list is that she singles out some of last year's trends which translated particularly poorly to the high street. This happens every year, and it doesn't necessarily mean the trend is dead, just that cheap knockoffs look dreadful.

Lace and sheer (best worn in layers) may well be with us for some time to come, thanks to Dolce & Gabbana, as will leather inserts as seen at Alexander Wang. Here's a lovely example of both together, but you will need to pay through the nose to look that good in them. Similarly, peplums are classic, but demand an expert cut in the right material.

So to be honest, if you're old enough to have had two kids, you should probably be thinking of developing your personal style rather than worrying about being on trend. Identify a few classic items you need to make your look, and hunt down the best examples you can afford. Don't be afraid to invest in quality pieces you love, because you will wear them year after year. If you're into the rock scene for instance, maybe you'll decide that a leather jacket and a pair of biker boots are what you want. As a rule of thumb, I look for quality and authenticity over fashion kudos, as that tends to survive a number of seasons without looking dated.

With regard to throwing things out, it's really very simple. Ditch anything that doesn't fit or is visibly worn out. Hang on to things you know you love and that look great on you. You probably need a pair or two of skinny jeans, although I'm favouring looser denim at the moment. And you can always use the Crocs for gardening.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 6:28 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh dear, capris will be missed. Would someone fill me in on colored denim and jeggings?
posted by kristymcj at 6:35 AM on January 23, 2013

Wear the capris already. If that's a signature style for you, find a way to update it. How about under a tunic with a pair of killer ankle boots?

Coloured denim is strictly for the summer round here. I don't know if that's going to survive as a trend in the coming months, but again, if you want to wear it, just absorb it into your personal look.

But jeggings? Don't go there. Just ... don't.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 6:51 AM on January 23, 2013

Speaking of Juicy Couture, stay far, far away from those matching velour tracksuits that were so ubiquitous a few years ago.
posted by lalex at 6:54 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh dear, capris will be missed.

I don't think you need to lose the capris. They're classics by now, and extremely versatile in how they can be styled: casual and beachy, Ann-Margret kittenish, and Audrey Hepburn elegant, to name just a few looks. On preview, Elizabeth the Thirteenth has some good ideas for updating them.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:59 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you wear colored jeans, they must be skinny or tapered/straight leg (usually with a slight stretch to them, but not always). They aren't a winter look in the NE, but that's mostly a phenomena of the weather, so they might be ok in Texas during the winter. Here, they'll come out as soon as we have warm days again.

I know Gap and Old Navy had very popular colored denim.

And jeggings... eh. I think those are one of those things that stores tried to push and never got on with the larger populace.

Another thing you could do to get your own sense of what you can wear is to go to stores you've liked in the past and look at the displays. It should give you a sense of what in your wardrobe fits in and what seems out of place.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:32 AM on January 23, 2013

Boot cuts are never out in Austin if you're actually wearing boots (any type). Just not giant flares, boot cuts cut for boots. /Austinite.
posted by immlass at 9:46 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Flares out, bling out, distressing and tight fitting tee shirts out. Velour anything, out. Pointy toes out. Capri pants mostly out.

Skinny/straight leg pants in, colored/print denim in, drapey layered tops, oversize sweaters, leggings, etcetera in. Ankle boots and riding boots in. Ankle-length cropped pants (straight or skinny) are in - different from capris in that capris tend to hit the widest/most unflattering part of the calf, cutting your legs in half. The newer style is just a couple inches above the angkle. You can roll a straight (or narrow bootcut) pair to this length and be on-trend. I do.

IMO colored denim for winter = dark jewel tones (burgandy, plum, etc) versus brights for summer, but yeah.
posted by celtalitha at 4:07 PM on January 23, 2013

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