Summer 1999 Trend Report
The challenge each season is to make sense of what we see the media define as "fashion." The extremes from the runway get all the hype, but in reality there's always a happy medium. It's lifestyle versus in style this season. The impact of casual Friday, temperature controlled environments, better fiber technology, and women's sports have altered forever how we put ourselves together. The old rules no longer apply. And since it is about lifestyle, we can have the confidence to choose things that reflect and express more of who we are. This spring designers got the message that we want cool clothes. And that's what's out there. It's never been so much fun to be a grrrl....
Must haves for summer 1999
- Twin Sets - As in sweater sets, and you can't have too many. Comfortable and classic, twin sets replace the suit jacket for a softer, cleaner look. They go with everything - long or short, slim or full. Professional and pulled together, twin sets are pretty and feminine. Plus, twin sets have a split personality, as they look perfect with your khakis or jeans.
- The Beaded Handbag - The trend for lux fabrications and looks for daytime hasn't peaked yet. Reacting to years of minimalism, and fueled by an onslaught of costume epics like Titanic, anything vintage or retro is of particular interest. From this viewpoint, it's fun to carry an opulent purse for daytime.
- The Flat Shoe - What goes up must come down, and after a few seasons on stilettos, flats finally emerge full force. Elongated and pointed styles are the coolest. Highly decorated slippers and sandals with rhinestones look new. Little shaped heels, strappy styles and sandals all work with spring's breezy looks. Buyers beware: prolonged wearing of flats can cause the arch to drop. Doctors warn that after wearing higher heels, many or us will need to do some fancy foot work to keep the arches strong. Heel lifts and stretch breaks will help prevent this from happening.
Style Tips for Summer
- Silhouettes are sleeker in coatdresses, skirts and pants.
- The newest jackets are longer in length, have three quarter sleeves, shawl collars, and are body conscious and shiny.
- Skirts are long and short, loose and bias. Pleated skirts are cute, but be cautious as to where the pleats are. Pleats can add more than we bargained for!
- Jewelry is intricate and often simulates semi precious stones. Look for Edwardian collars and chokers. Bracelets - lots of them - are hot, particularly with anything ethnic.
- The last summer of the century brings a '60s revival of "Cher" hair - styles that are sleek, straight and parted down the middle.
- Slip dresses in soft botanical florals, sheer layers of color over prints, and dresses in pale colors are still hot.
Ethnic Color Stories Mix and Don't Match
- Ethnic and Bohemian- and gypsy-inspired looks make use of strong, bold colors - blues, reds, and yellows. Costume chameleons come out, come out where ever you are!
- Asian and Indian themes fuel the trend towards sheer layers, metallic embroideries, exotic accessories. More theatrical, these themes are fun, sexy, and reinforce our interest in cultural craftsmanship.
- Lots of accessories work here. More is better - bracelets, hair ornaments, interesting shoes and handbags, fringed shawls
This summer the message is loud and clear: comfort and opulence can coexist in women's lives. Lux fabrications - embroideries, flocked velvets and burnouts, iridescent mixed with sheer layers and Edwardian jewels all share the stage with lightweight layers, longer skirts, and fuller pants. Recycled fashions flashed the runways: neo-hippie, cowgirl and peasant looks held their own with the clean classics guaranteed to carry us through future shock.
Winter's leaner silhouettes become summer's fuller and softer shapes: Longer and fuller trousers offset the continuing short-and-tight scene. Cargo pants, pockets, and drawstring details still look new. Longer and fuller pants need a longer jacket, and in many cases, one that's unstructured. Proportion is always the key. Hi-tech but practical describes neat narrow pants and suits; remember that fiber technology offers stretch and memory in styles that fit closer to the body.
Update Your Look with:
- Sports-inspired activewear
- Cargo pants or skirts
- Linen in easy soft separates
- Sheer layers over color
- Anything pink
Old but New
- '50s style cocktail dresses - spring's ode to retro calls for flirty dresses with bigger skirts. These dresses look great with flats. Think swing and big band era!
- Denim - Dark and indigo are the newest ways to wear denim. Every which way and loose, denim jackets, jeans, skirts and shirts work with almost any theme.
- Sheer layers alone or over everything
- Bias-cut skirts and dresses
- Lacy textures
- Anything iridescent or shiny
- Classic fabrics can't escape the treatment - this season look for waxed linens, wrinkled silks, layered cotton gauzes
- Natural fibers flourish this time of year: linen, cashmere, cotton.
Color Makes a Comeback
- Color, lots of color, looks fun, fresh, and fashionable now. Get an instant lift wearing pinks, blues or greens. It's been a long time since color made such a bold statement.
- Light and dark palettes politely share the spotlight this spring.
- No longer attached to seasonal color palettes, designers present sorbet shades in tandem with dark, saturated colors that contrast grays, greens and reds. Khaki cools off hot hues of orange and forms a backdrop for the onslaught of whites.
Curly locks look neat as an alternative to "Cher" hair. Hair Ornaments are youthful, colorful, and whimsical. Barrettes aren't just for the junior set. Try placing a simple clip or barrette in the hair instead of earrings to attract the light and attention to you hair and face. It's a bug's life - butterflies and other creatures in the birds and the bees set are hot in colorful plastic and rhinestone styles.
Take a cue from the clothing: softer colors and shine for mouths - think glaciers or frosty pastels with depth. Of course, when the clothes make more of a statement, enhance either the eyes or the mouth, not both. Experiment with color. Applied with a lighter hand, blues, lavenders, and greens look subtle but sexy around the eye. Nails are longer and more oval. Again, work from your clothes. Use of color should enhance and balance the look, not detract from it.