HomeMisc.FashionTrends on Trial: Runway Reality

Trends on Trial: Runway Reality

post-fashion week, molly and colleen hurford discuss realistic fashion trends that the everywoman can wear, afford and love …

While Fashion Week for Fall 2011 has come and gone and shown us what we should be wearing come September, we couldn’t help but watch and giggle to ourselves a bit. It’s clear that most people: A. can’t afford designer duds, B. aren’t built like supermodels, and C. don’t have lifestyles conducive to wearing these trends on a daily basis. (Pajama trend in the office? We doubt it.)

As two fashion conscious twentysomethings, we like to think that we keep up with the times and the trends, but since one of us (Colleen) is a waitress who works a ton and has to do a quick change after work to go hang out with friends, and the other (Molly) works 70-hour weeks and commutes via bicycle everywhere, some trends are just impossible to follow. Add that to the fact that the tallest of the two of us is only 5-foot-4, and we clearly aren’t meant to rock straight-off-the-runway looks. So, for this week, we looked at some of the trends we can expect to see this Fall and tried to figure out not how to do “Runway the Real Way” like some magazines do, making the outfits look similar but cost less, but how to do a Runway Reality Check: not show where cheap versions exist, but show how to wear the trends in ways that are practical, won’t break the bank, and are generally more flattering to non-six-foot-tall body types.

One trend that was very present so far this year is what Harper’s Bazaar referred to as “Eclectic Chic.” Now, we are all for mixing and matching but these outfits are quickly turning in Grey Gardens-type looks.They are comprised of mostly loose flowy clothing in patterns that look like hotel curtains or drapes. Honestly, that is my favorite kind of pattern followed closely by animal print. But let’s face it: If you aren’t a model or one of Jackie O’s reclusive cousins, these outfits are kinda hard to wear.

We have to give props to a few designers who seemed to understand that their clientele needed structure though. On some runways, like that of Oscar de la Renta, there was a touch of Coco Chanel that might just make this look work appropriate. These runways featured classically cut suits in wacky colors or prints that added a touch of whimsy to a boring outfit that one might wear to work, so instead of looking like Special Agent Dana Scully in your power suit, you can add a small flair of eclectic charm to your workplace. Not into paying for designer suits? A bright tailored shirt with a whacky pattern, a suit jacket with an interesting lining, or even a funky scarf can liven up your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

We’ve been seeing the long skirt trend fade in and out for the past twenty or so years, and it appears that it is back in full force. It was the natural progression after the maxi-dress craze of the last two years, and boho chick celebs like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have brought the skirts to high fashion over the past couple of years. While this is one trend we actually really like, there are a couple of key problems with it. For Molly, as a bike commuter, this trend is impossible to wear as is. So, one solution for those who need to be able to move freely and can’t have a skirt getting caught is to invest in a few thrift shop costume jewelry broaches (or steal some from your mom or grandmother’s jewelry box), and then pin up the skirt to knee length while in transit. At your destination, unpin and rock the long skirt. We should note that this quick fix also evokes a serious 1990s vibe, especially when worn with Doc Martens. Alternatively, if you like long skirts but don’t want to pay for a trend that will be out of style again within a few months, consider this: When shopping for one, look for a long flowing skirt that can be pulled up and belted to for a DIY strapless dress. Voila! Two outfits for the price of one. This is one trend we wholeheartedly approve of, especially when warm weather hits, since it’s a breezy was to embrace summer while being office-appropriate. Paired with a nice cardigan and tank, it’s totally office-casual, and after work, ditch the cardigan, toss on a fedora, and you’re ready to go out in style.

One trend that we have a serious love/hate relationship with is definitely the baggy shapeless look. From Calvin Klein’s minidresses that had an extra couple of feet of room in the sides to the more boho styling cropping up in magazines, this look is everywhere. And while it may be super comfortable and great for models, it makes most people look like — let’s face it — tanks. And not stylish ones. Just big. The problem with this look is that off of the runway and away from stylists and hair and makeup people, this look just appears messy and unflattering. A Teen Vogue article recently suggested that a long baggy skirt could be best matched with a long baggy shirt, and some flat sandals. The model for it — all 110 pounds and 6-foot-2 of her — looked fabulous. The average woman would like — and we are channeling our mother here — a bag lady. Much as it pains us to say it, our mother may have been right when, a few years back, we persisted in wearing baggy dresses and big pants. They weren’t flattering, they didn’t make us look waif-skinny, and they certainly didn’t make us look fashionable.

If you want to embrace the over-sized trend, balance is definitely key. We’re all about the baggy shirt, but pair it with skinny jeans. The baggy dress is great with a belt. Long baggy skirt? Go for it but picture Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You, and seriously consider rocking the crop top with it. After all, the ’90s are in! Alternatively, if you like the trend but can’t commit to covering up, consider an over-sized accessory. Big scarf, big bag, or heck, even chunky socks can offer the illusion that you’re rocking the over-sized trend. Throw on some over-sized glasses — perpetually in style — and you’re good to go. One note: over-sized clothing is also a hazard for bike commuters, so make sure that you tie back anything blowing that could get stuck in a spoke!


Another trend that is very present is clothing that looks like pajamas. For people like us, this is awesome. However, while not only does this clothing ACTUALLY look comfy, it’s a really beautiful trend, we have to ask: Where the hell do you wear these outfits? Silk pajama pants? Shorty nightgowns? See-through silky tops? Who can wear those to work?! (That’s right, we are so put off by this that we had to use an interobang, better known as the “?!” symbol. And we mean it.) It’s not only that they’re off limits to work; we can’t even imagine wearing them out on the town. The conclusion that we have come to about this pajama trend is that you can only use little bits of it to make it work. For example, a sexy silk pajama top with a nice pair of structured jeans to go out in. Or maybe a nightgown inspired dress with a blazer or jacket to make it look less like you rolled out of bed and forgot that slip dresses were sooooooo ’90s.

Arguably, one of the most wearable trends out there right now is probably minimalist white clothing. The only problem I have with it is that, well, it is all white clothing and that can be difficult to pull off in the real world, but not impossible, just be really careful when you eat lunch. No spaghetti, please! Of course, for those of us who commute via bike or do anything involving even the slightest amount of grease, dirt, food, or ink should pretty much kiss this trend goodbye.

This particular trend is all about clean lines and simplicity, pretty much the exact opposite of eclectic chic- what do they want from us!? Personally, we would take pieces of this trend and mix them with plain black pieces, because we live in terror of wearing white pants. But if you are brave enough for it, I say go ahead and wear those white pants because an all white suit is not only super classy, but it also screams Spring, and I think everyone is ready for a little spring, even if it is only present in our clothes.

Moral of the article? Embrace your uniqueness and make trends work for you, don’t work for the trends.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.


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