Trend forecasting is like predicting the weather – some we can see in advance, but we also always get some surprises. Some days it shines and some days it rains novelty cat prints.
Fortunately though, fashion has always meant something beyond trends, and while we are all loving a good pastel skinny right now, there are some classics that have quite literally transcended age and generation. It was Coco Chanel that said “Fashion fades, only style remains,” and while she was right, a houndstooth coat remains steadfast too, right? So before you go out and stock up on digital prints and bralettes (which are great and oh-how-very-current-of-you), make sure you have one of each of these in your closet. Chances are, you can easily acquire at least a few in your dear grandmama’s closet. Don’t you even dare call ’em grandma chic – all of these are as now as they were in the roaring, retro past.
1. Polka dots. In prime season – now and always – polka dots might just be the most iconic print in fashion, period. Feminine and favored by everyone from first ladies to Minnie Mouse and all the way to Marilyn Monroe, there’s just something extremely sophisticated and playful about the dotted, symmetrical print. Though available in a variety of colors, little is as simply chic black and white.
2. Midis. Before the mini and between maxis, a shorter but not-so-short skirt reigned supreme in the most adorable circle style. Giving a bit of calf but still leaving some to the imagination, we’re rather say that they’re from the swingin’ 50s (they were swingin too!) than call them matronly. The hemline is classic but has seen enough of a resurgence to also be called current.
3. Pearls. Statement earrings, chokers, and long chain pendants are on everyone’s hot list this season. Where are the pearls? Still hung up for now, I’d like to make the case for the pearl necklace. Diamond’s may be a girl’s best friend, but before any of those girls had husbands, boyfriends, or sugar daddies, they all had white pearl strands. A simple outfit finisher and an undeniable classic, find your grandma’s and take it.
4. Trench Coats. I don’t know where movies of yester-years past would be without the trench coat. It probably made more cameos in retro movies than any other star. Commonly coming in a camel color with two rows of buttons and a slimming belt for a womanly, slim waistline, you’ll find adding a transitional trench coat to your collection of apparel to be liberating. You can quite possibly wear it with everything.
5. Gloves. I think we need to see more gloves in the world. Their ladylike appeal is attractive but also overwhelmingly practical come colder months. A sweet embellishment such as a bow or zipper edge can make for a discrete statement maker.
6. Houndstooth. You grandma has a houndstooth coat or pencil skirt. Find them and steal them. The classic fabric is great when worn with more modern pieces, or can be worn with more neutral pieces to achieve that retro siren status. You’ll look like you stole the show from Bonnie and Clyde. Yowzah.
7. Structured, Short Handle Bags. Look, I love a saddle bag as much as they next, but little can make a woman look more pulled together than a structured, short handle mini-bag. If your grandma has a lucite one, steal it and steal it good. They sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars at times. If not, we can all be pleased with a bit of leather or a woven basket bag.
8. Brooches. Grandmama donated the bakelite bag? Chances are she still has a brooch or seven lying around. A lost art when it comes to our generation, a brooch is a great way to dress up a coat when the going gets tough (and cold!). Be creative and go above and beyond – arrange an array on your lapel using as many of her brooches as you can find.
9. Pumps. Personally, I have no problem with the Litas…but you won’t see me wearing them. Mega platforms stand out (and above) all other shoes right now, but at the end of the day, party, or just season, every girl needs the perfect pair of pumps. Fortunately, this style changes little. Ask her for the black ones, and if all else fails, nude is even better. The good news is, they aren’t $200 if you can thrift them from someone’s closet!
10. Suits. Matchy-matchy is back and ma’s pant-suits have never been more relevant than now. Play up your strong suit in a blazer-pants or blazer-skirt combination because the resulting look is one that is pulled together but playful. In the workplace or even at fashion week, a well-tailored suit speaks volumes, even from behind a pair of opaque sunnies.