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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Londa's Fashion Review

I've been hard at work putting together my Fashion Review for Spring/Summer '05. It is quite lengthy - so I'll post it as a comment to this post.

I think this can be a fun discussion - so click on the Comments to read - then comment/add to it with your opinions on current fashion.

We're talking about real life, wearable fashion... :)


Londa said...

Londa’s Fashion Review
Spring/Summer 2005

I have poured through magazines (my favorite for ‘meaty advice’ being In Style), looked at websites, even heard from friends who live in New York City and recently traveled in Europe. I offer you this ‘mid-western, middle-aged point of view-filtered ’ fashion information. It is my hope that you will find this summary useful as you sort through your Spring/Summer wardrobes and make decisions on what to keep, what to add, what to re-cycle, etc.

Every shape … tiered in every length, short, yoked, A-line, denim with gores at hem for movement, floral prints with lots of gathers below the hips; Every length, many embellished with sequins or rhinestones – even for day.
Most wearable in my eyes is the tiered skirt.

I personally would just like to add my opinion that it just doesn’t work’ to wear sloppy bathroom-type Thongs when you’ve gone to the excitement of donning a skirt! Put a little thought and investment into your shoes when you wear a skirt! Oh…and your feet! I had the opportunity to observe this over and over and over at a Mom’s Day weekend here at the U of I. It was fun to see the skirts – but then the sloppy no-shoe shoes and ugly feet… ugh! As suggested in the magazines – espadrilles, wedges, or little casual flats would be a much more stylish choice.

Balance these great multi-tiered skirts with basics, like a fitted T or a cropped denim jacket over a solid colored tank. Keep accessories simple so you don’t overwhelm in the total look. When laundering these skirts – for the vertical slimming ‘wrinkles’ – after washing and before drying, just gather the skirts’ fullness vertically from waist to hem in your hands. Then, holding one end firmly, twist the other end over and over – the coil will soon twist on itself. Then – tie with string and insert into a panty hose leg for drying in the dryer with a load of towels. Untie and hang and let dry the rest of the way. Also – great traveling item – twist on itself in the same manner and snug into the corner of your suitcase.

PRINTS Think of faded sheets and floral upholstery fabrics from 60’s…. Fruit motifs appear big – but keep it to one fruit at a time. Animal prints – always perfect with neutrals. Wear with safari jackets and prairie skirts. Plaids – yet fluid, soft manipulations – outside of the typical silhouettes expected with plaids.

For the Young: “Bad Girl” Clothing – cheap, trendy – but wearable without being “hassled on the street”

Jackets shortened and tight seems to be the ‘in’ silhouette. This is ‘right’ shape in most any color, including neutrals (Calvin Klein ads featured very, very soft neutrals.) The frayed trim continues strong, and lapels are widening as appropriate for larger pins and flowers.

I find that many older women, and those ‘pear-shaped’ among us always seem to feel they need to ‘cover up’ ample hips and thighs. Proportion is the most important thing – try cropping those jackets shorter and pair with longer skirts – you’ll feel younger, and actually look more trim!

Colors High Wattage color with a hint of whimsy – and loads of sparkle. Bright turquoise, pink, greens, and orange. Mix any bright with white! Pair a bright jacket with a dark bottom half for instantly slimming effect on any figure type. These “eye-popping” colors work best when silhouettes are relaxed with a minimum of details. Have some fun – but if the color isn’t really your best (ie orange for the majority of us!), be careful of spending too much $$ ! Keep investment dollars for your best colors.
RED is hot, hot, hot for evening! Ungaro, St. Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera all showed RED in evening wear.

Metallics – great at any age, but with care! In Style put it this way:
20’s and 30’s – “You can carry off full-throttle glamour, so indulge-but that doesn’t mean head-to-toe. A simple, shiny jacket is a solid investment in your evening wardrobe.”
40’s – “Choose a matte shine or fabrics that are irridescent. Too much gloss can draw attention to the trouble spots you’d prefer to disguise.” Silk doupionni in irridescent renditions is a great fabric.

50’s: “Prepare to be regal. Avoid showgirl sparkles; too much glitter looks harsh. Try skin-flattering brocades in baroque golds.

Purses – short and wide shapes seem to prevail (though not the best line carried at anyone’s hips!) Shoulder bags slouchy, soft. Prints in small geometrics with great zippers.

Crochet, rope and macramé. Anything ‘granny chic”. But, avoid looking too girlie and wear only one crochet item at a time.

Shoes – Wedge Heels THE shoes of the season. GOLD – especially little flats…it was all about the “Midas touch” in Milan, Paris and NYC as gold leather shoes ruled the runways. Front-runner was the flat – a slipper, skimmer or ballet-style

Jewelry – stronger, bigger, bolder.
PEARLS - one is supposed to look like you’ve dug into your grandmother’s jewelry box. Layer colored pearls in pink, blue, black. Multi-strand, short, chunky necklaces – add these to sundresses and flowey chiffon tops to look very ‘in’.

Long Necklace – colorful versions work best on sweaters and shells (as opposed to blouses with collars). Wear one or layer them – but put the earrings away – they’ll only compete for attention. Add a ring or bangle bracelet instead.

A Safe Bet: Dress simply and add one piece of Strong, chunky jewelry – the “Chico” look. Don’t get carried away – if wearing a great necklace, then skip the earrings. Bangle bracelets – lots of them.

BIG, Oversize Sunglasses! Be careful not to over-power your face. Neutral for everyday, and color as a bright idea for weekends.

Precious Faux Gems…. If you can’t afford the real thing, fake it and go over the top. Think 5 carats or more in shades of citrine, emerald, and sapphire!


“Look for styles in step with the look of the moment, but also that have staying power. It’s fun to add something to your wardrobe that’s on the pulse of what’s happening, but a real indulgence (what you spend your $$ on), is something you know you’ll love for years.” Selena Milano

“Treat your wardrobe like your 401(K). Put your dough in things that continue to deliver long after you’ve bought them. “
“Only buy pieces that you can’t live without, and don’t be tempted to spend a lot on disposable trends”.


A wardrobe full of only basics is a wardrobe without a soul. Look for special pieces that are unexpected and unique to YOU. These investment pieces can easily make the transition from day to night and one season to another. Make SURE they are a great color for YOU!

Stop and identify these pieces in your wardrobe and life…

This advice resonates for me… I have a scrumptious green embossed Leather Coat from Italy which was quite a splurge at the time. I feel like a million bucks every time I wear it! If the house was burning – I’d get it (the photos are safe on disc at the bank!) The Pearls given to me by my Uncle when I was in the 8th grade in observation of my decision to live as a Christian are a classic and sentimental, treasured belonging. Then I think of my Silver Beaded Evening Bag – an investment at my first fabric buying market in Las Vegas. Oh – and my Swan Necklace – pearls and rhinestones with a striking and large Swan in the front … another Vegas market ‘find’. I collect swans – and I love and get compliments galore every time I dress up and wear this great piece.

”What is important is having an assured sense of our own style and a strategy. “

“Quality of fabric is what makes an item stylish forever. My favorite basics? My wrap dresses and suede pants in all colors.”
Diane von Furstenberg

What defines quality in a piece of clothing? “Fabric, cut and finish” Impeccable linings, seam bindings, attention to fastenings. Hand finishing is the fairy dust on a garment, even though it adds cost to the garment.
“Real longevity comes when it is easy to wear and the outfit is not controlling the personality but subtly enhancing it.” Designer Roland Mouret.

“A person’s closet is like a scrapbook. When you take something out of it, you think about all of the good times wearing that item.” Cynthia Rowley

“There is a place for trends. Those of-the-moment pieces keep old favorites sharp and your look current. But, they are no more than eye candy, your nod to passing fads. Trendy items have built-in obsolescence (the fashion equivalent of fast food), so don’t spend a lot of cash.
Spring/Summer ’05: Poncho in a sheer – platform shoes, empire floral top, bubble skirt, crocheted shrug, dressy printed shorts…” Meg Hemphill

Messages of current fashion are easily gleened from those full page magazine ads…
Calvin Klein – soft, soft neutrals (just because most are searing brights doesn’t mean you have to be the same!)
Versace – shirring and soft colors with neutrals. The belt seems to be all about the Buckle…
Dior – Denim and lace combined
Ralph Lauren – sheer and flounced. To Jeans he added – soft ruffled looks: pearls, floral belts, etc.

katiesrags said...

Enjoyed reading your fashion review. Recently in Naples, Fl. observed fabulous shoes.
They were sandles without backs and with low, 2" or so, heels. These look like SUMMER with skirts, capris, and sleeveless dresses. Even Target and K Mart were carrying those sandles at very reasonable prices as well as the more expensive stores.

Joan said...

Londa, thanks for the extensive current fashion overview. I particular like todays short jackets. They are so much more feminine than those tailored blazers we were wearing a few years ago.
I also am enjoying seeing the variety of summer sandals, but so far I have not found any that I like that come N width. Haven't tried Nordstrom's yet, however.

mj said...

Thanks for the information. I enjoyed reading it.

Re shoes: Nordie's does carry narrow widths and the variety available on their Website is fabulous. Another advantage of shopping at Nordie's on ine is the shipping costs----$5.00 for an entire order most of the time.

The kitten heel sandals are cute if you can keep them on. I get tired of scrunching my toes but I found (again at Nordstrom's and Saks) these cool little silicone stickies to place in the insole to solve that problem.

There are some great new wedge heels as well and sometimes, a wedge espadrille with canvas/cotton ankle straps can allow a medium size shoe to work on a more narrow foot.

I am not associated with Nordstrom's or Saks---I just buy a lot of shoes there. I sew and therefore rationalize the care and frequent feeding of my shoe addiction. My daughter says I should embroider a T shirt saying, "will work for shoes."