Archive | March 2012

Autumn Fashion Trends 2012

‘Real trends, real women’ was an article in The Courier Mail on 17 March 2012 about the top 10 trends for autumn.

Here are the 10 trends and a Bonus Trend with my comments. I added each of these trends one day at a time on my Facebook ‘Fashion over 40’ open group.

Trend 1 – Gold Fever

Gold is one of this season’s top colours. Gold clothing looks great in the evening but not in the daytime. Gold clothing is a fad and difficult to wear. If you add a gold accessory no-one will notice as this is a normal thing to do. Use the trend to find a gold accessory that appeals to you for wearing at any time of the year.

Trend 2 – Sheer Delight

This is a trend that has been around a few years. Sheer boleros (new word for any button-less cardigan) are becoming a modern classic. Add this to your list of modern dressing skills. This trend will increase the number of items in the shop with sheer material in them like this Capture brand bolero from Ezibuy @ $29.99. A sheer bolero or blouse looks great partly undone over a matching coloured or contrasting cami. For something different look for sleeves with sheer material – great to cover perceived arm faults while still looking fashionable.

Trend 3 – Faux Fur

This is tricky to wear when you get older. The faux fur vests (called gilets) are bulky and add weight.

Keep this for casual wear or totally ignore it.

If you want to be different, look for a faux fur scarf or faux fur detachable collar.

Trend 4 – Red Rules

Red is always a popular colour. Brighter red for extroverts and those with strong colouring and softer or deeper red for Introverts and those with a paler or softer colouring. As it is Autumn, earth red or rust red will be available.

Wear purple, olive, brown, stripes, black & white or navy with red or go less obvious with a red accessory (shoes, belt or necklace).

Trend 5 – Peplums

Peplums are a frill at the waist. They can be quite gathered or sit flatter against the body. Definitely the gathered peplums are for those with a defined waistline. My suggestion is to look for a more classic style with a peplum that doesn’t look too young-girlish. This would be something like a jacket or blouse that has a piece joined at the waistline to create a slightly flared bottom edge. Click here to see large picture of this.  Otherwise look, admire and ignore.

Trend 6 – Leather and Lace

Leather skirts are called ‘investment piece’ but I would suggest ignoring them after 40. There are other more modern options. Wear a short leather jacket over an item that has a touch of lace at the neckline is a more stylish option over 40 than wearing the leather jacket over a lace dress like this Ezibuy combination.

Your choice of accessories can make it look smart or silly.

Trend 7 – Trench Coats

Now here is a trend that is an under-used classic. Trench coats are more colourful this season. Carefully choose a colour that will work over a number of your other clothes. Avoid black as this can dull down other colours.

Red always works in trench coats. Leave the coat open or change the belt to update your look.

Trend 8 – Boots

Boots are always available in autumn and winter. Nothing different here. If you have purchased ankle boots, they look great under winter pants and jeans. We have all done the long boots when we were younger. Wear them now if you have the legs, the height and can find a pair that you can wear often and stylishly.

Trend 9 – Coloured Jeans

These come and go. More a fad than a trend because it is difficult to coordinate the colour with the other clothes you own. To wear these you need to know colour goes with what.

If they appeal to you, choose a colour that is dark and close in shade to denim, black or grey. This makes it easier to add any top rather than making it a one-combination outfit.

Trend 10– Luxe Fabrics

Luxury fabrics are not a trend; they are always around if you look. This is just a reminder of what I consider an important modern dressing skill for business women. This partly see-through Eve brand burnout material blouse and cami from Ezibuy @ $19.00 adds a touch of luxury to the basic blouse. Clothes with variety mean you never complain about having nothing to wear. You have different moods or looks you can wear.

Bonus Trend 11 – Print Clash

This trend is really one for the Extroverts. It is the combination of seemingly different prints in the material used to create the outfit. It looks a clash but there are design principles that are followed to stop it from just looking a mess. When over 40, best worn as a top or in a scarf. I have a more subtle version of it from last year in a basic black, white and grey leopard print scarf with soft purple flowers on it. An unusual soft print clash can be worn for a number of years.

Read my no-nonsense guide to interpreting season trends here


Autumn – Your Season has Arrived

It is that time of the year when Autumn preferences dominate the fashion scene.

Autumns – it is time to update your wardrobe with things you really like.

Autumn is animal print season. Update with a skirt, top, handbag, scarf or necklace in a new animal print. Say ‘thank you’ to and old one; get rid of it and buy a new one. ‘Print clash’ is a current fad that may appeal to Autumn extroverts. Look for a top or scarf with a combined animal print and something else. Faux fur may also appeal to your animal side. The current faux fur gilets (sleeveless, unbuttoned vests) are great for casual wear although they do add the perception of extra weight. An alternative is to look for a faux fur scarf.

Earth red is one of this season’s colours. You can wear this Capture stretch twill skirt from Ezibuy @ $49.99 with a striped top and a scarf or necklace with an earth red colour in it. Try it combined with an animal print.

A brown skirt or pants in a rich milk or dark chocolate brown colour goes beautifully with the reds, oranges, red-purples and teal colour you love to wear.

Off you go Autumns and have fun shopping.

 (Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 22 March 2012. Click here to Signup for ‘The Fashion Translator’ eZine.

Fashion – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

‘Help!’ you scream as the change of another season comes and there is the newspaper headline ‘Real Trends, Real Women’ and it has the top 10 trends for this Autumn. ‘Only 10!’ you think sarcastically. You read on and there is an 11th one in there as well as five more fashion trends in another article in the newspaper magazine supplement.

No wonder women are confused about what to buy to feel modern and look good without converting the spare bedroom into a giant walk-in wardrobe.

Here is my no-nonsense guide to new season fashion trends.

Do Not Believe All the Words

Both fashion articles I have referred to above were in ‘The Sunday Mail’ on 17 March 2012. The first article said ‘Forget fads and unwearable runway trends’ and continued on to show you how to interpret the top 10 trends for this autumn.

Great, but some of the trends shown are really fads and some are classics.

A fad is a short-lived, one-season fashion that suits only a limited number of women. It is definitely aimed at the young and slim. I wrote on this last month in ‘Beware! Fashion Speed Bumps Ahead!’

A trend is a fashion that looks good on most women and stays around for one to three years. It changes from a fad to a trend in its second year.

When a fashion suits every woman and can be interpreted in different variations, it becomes a modern classic like crossover styles. These are the modern dressing skills that every business and professional woman needs to learn.

Fashion writers prefer to call most fashion ideas ‘trends’ not ‘fads’ because women will buy a trend as they can convince themselves that it is a good financial buy and that everyone is wearing it. No-one will say to them ‘Why on earth did you buy that!’

Go Beyond the Hype

When you see and read these articles, be critical and go beyond the hype. If there is a colour of the Autumn season eg gold, it is because gold is a colour that those with Autumn colouring can wear well. Choose carefully – gold skinny jeans are a fad whilst gold accessories are a classic look that suits most women.

Ask yourself these two questions – ‘Will I be happy wearing this next year and the year after?’ and ‘Are the women whose fashion sense I admire wearing this?’ If you look at a so-called trend like these coloured jeans (Emerge brand from Ezibuy @ $49.99) and answer ‘yes’, buy them. If you answer ‘no’, put them back. Life is too short to waste money on clothes with no real value. You want versatility so you can wear the new item with a number of other clothes currently in your wardrobe.

Find the Real Treasures

The real fashion treasures are not fads or trends. They are modern classics or old classics worn in modern ways. This is where you learn and apply modern dressing skills to your professional and business dressing.

A 2012 ‘Top 10 Autumn Trend’ is the Trench Coat. It is an old classic currently available in bright colours – jade green for those with Autumn colouring and hot pink for those with Winter colouring. A light-weight trench coat is great for a Queensland winter. If you do not own one, choose a colour (not black) that will go over your dresses or skirts/pants and tops. A red trench coat will look smart for years and years. Wear your old or new trench coat with a narrow or medium width matching or contrasting-coloured leather belt as an alternative to the cloth belt that comes with the coat.

A ‘Top 10 Autumn Trend’ that is close to becoming a modern classic is sheer material. When it is interpreted like this Capture brand bolero (new word for any button-less cardigan) from Ezibuy @ $29.99, it suits all ages. The material adds interesting texture, it allows the colours underneath to shine in a new light and it covers but does not completely hide your arms (for those worried about their arm sags and wrinkles).

By all means, read and look at any article on each season’s top trends. Do not believe all the words; go beyond the hype and find the real treasures. Happy shopping.

 (Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 22 March 2012. Click here to Signup for ‘The Fashion Translator’ eZine.

Read my comments on each of the Top 10 Autumn Fashion Trends here.

Olive Green – Inner Strength & Endurance

Olive green is a mixture of green and yellow and it ranges from the bright, light chartreuse to a blacker dark olive.

While olive is associated with autumn leaves decaying and dying, there is a positive side. Olive represents the strength of character to endure tough times and become a better person after your trials. So the falling leaves and the bareness of winter lead to new growth in the spring. How apt! Those who wear a lot of olive are very caring people. Wearing muddy olive can hide your caring and strength.

Olive oil is a green energy food which promotes a sense of calm and a love of yourself and others.

Autumns like olive green and the deep and dark shades are good pants and skirt colours for them.  Purples and salmon pinks go well with olive shades. Add amber and gold when you need to be more optimistic.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 24 February 2011. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Aqua – Relax in Mediterranean Waters

Aqua is a shortened variation of the old colour ‘aquamarine’. It is blue with a slight touch of green. When we think of aqua, we think of relaxing in the sparkling, calm waters of the Mediterranean. We feel serene and expansive. Aqua contains the blue of communication with a touch of green calmness. It is a colour featured everywhere in Mediterranean houses and paintings.

Aqua is a colour that everyone can wear. In its strong, clear version it contrasts beautifully with black, grey, orange and deep purple to create a fresh creative look. Go softer if you wish and combine aqua with white, cream or silver. Aqua is a colour that looks fantastic on those with black-brown eyes or deep or dark red-brown hair.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 21 April 2011. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Turquiose – Dreaming of Tropical Waters

Turquoise is a blue-green colour that brings up images of holidaying on a beach overlooking tropical waters (think Green Island on The Great Barrier Reef, Australia). No wonder then that turquoise is associated with a fresh start. That is what a relaxing tropical holiday can do for you – re-energising your body and soul so that you are ready for a fresh start when you return home.

Turquoise is a great colour when you feel tense and nervous as it strengthens your powers of communicating and speaking with others.

With its blue-green combination, turquoise is a colour that makes those with some red colouring in your skin absolutely sparkle with good health. If that is you, look for a turquoise top, necklace, scarf or ear-rings to attract people to you. There is a shade for everyone from soft (more blue) to deep (more green). Turquoise makes others feel comfortable and less tense when speaking to you. Great for networking or important meetings.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ in 2010. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Why Are You All Dolled Up?

‘Why are you all dolled up?’ asked my husband as I told him I was going out.

My immediate reaction was to reply ‘No, I’m not! I can change to dolled up if you like!’ Yes, I can be feisty but I said nothing and went out.

Later, when alone, I thought more about it.

Part of dressing is knowing and accepting who you are and being able to stand in your power around others. It is also about understanding where others are coming from when they comment about how you are dressed.

Dressing for all of us is more emotional than we think it is.

To dress as ourselves combine our colouring, our personality, our Introvert or Extrovert tendencies and express this with modern dressing skills.

Have you ever had your colours done and the Image Consultant talked about your Contrast Level? Understanding these 3 levels (low, medium and high) and how your personality interacts with these is important to the question above.

We all have a base level which is our comfortable basic dressing. Then we have a ‘shine’ or ‘wow’ level and lastly we have a ‘pretending to be someone else’ level.

These are not the same for everyone.

Base Level

This is the level where you feel comfortable most of the time. It is your default colour level and is often your ‘this will do’ level.

For those of you with a softer or blended colouring your Base Level is Low Contrast. You like wearing tops and bottoms that are very similar in colour and shade. Most of you tend towards being an Introvert.

For those of you with a stronger or clearer colouring your base level is Medium Contrast and you like wearing clothes where you can definitely see the difference between the colours you are wearing. Most of you tend towards being an Extrovert.


Dolled Up

HappyYellowDressDolled Up’ is the level where you look your best. Dressing this way really lifts your energy and enthusiasm. This is one level above your Base Level.

For softer personalities, it is Medium Contrast where you wear some of your best colours in their richest shades. For the more outgoing it is High Contrast where you wear your best colours in their strongest or brightest shades. All of you ‘shine’ or have that ‘wow’ factor when you add your understanding of all the three sides to your personality and then dress to your Introvert or Extrovert level of these sides.



Being ‘Someone Else’ Level

This is the place where you either shrink from criticism or pretend to be someone that you think others expect you to be.

Those with softer colouring can go to the High Contrast Level and strong red because that is what you think a leader/speaker/manager ‘should’ be. Those with stronger colouring may dress in dark Low Contrast colours as you think this is the way to appear less overpowering to people.

Hiding in either of these ways leaves you feeling frustrated that others do not know you or do not want to know the ‘real’ you.

What is the Answer

Loving PartnersThe first thing is to realise that the other person whether they know their preferred Base and Shine Level or not, are talking to you from their levels not yours. ‘Why are you dolled up?’ is the soft person seeing your Base Medium Level as their Shine Level. ‘Why are you so dull?’ is the outgoing person seeing your Base Low Level as their ‘hiding’ Level. It is not a judgment or criticism. It is an unconscious revealing of who they are.

I could have reacted angrily to that question. Instead I took the opportunity to understand myself and pass it on to you.

The more you understand yourself, the more you will dress only in your Base and Shine Levels. Then you can stand in your power and quietly and simply state who you really are.

Remember ‘Individuality adds vibrancy to life.’

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 8 March 2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)