Fashion Trendsletter

With Commentary On Fall 2004—Winter 2005
By Karen Ormsby and Judith Rasband
©2004 Conselle, L.C.

Fashion refers to the popular and prevailing style at any given time and place. Fashion is a mirror of society—a mirror of history within a society. Fashion changes as society changes. Change is inevitable. The degree and speed of change varies from time to time and place to place and is discussed in terms of "trends." View a list of trends below.

Anti-Statement and The Deconstruction Downtrend

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"Anti-statement" fashion continues to rely on stained and faded fabrics, ripped and torn, worn inside-out—anything that goes against established ways of dressing. The clothes and the outfits are literally deconstructed—taken apart in some way or another.

The trend toward deconstruction started out with unbuttoned blouses and exposed seams. Now we're seeing necklines, hemlines, collars, and cuffs without any finish or facing. And some don't bother with the blouse at all. Sold at regular prices, raw edges are ready to fray apart at the first wearing or wash—and that's exactly the idea.

Deconstructed clothes are intended to communicate unwillingness to conform to looking "nice" as we used to see it. If people give in to this lack of quality at regular prices, why should clothing manufacturers bother to spend what it takes to finish a quality garment? They won't, and we'll all become fashion victims.

Even retailers are playing into the deconstruction mentality, telling consumers and teaching salespeople to "Mix it up 'cause anything goes." The fashion industry doesn't seem to get it, but they're shooting themselves in the foot!

Fashion Savvy Consumer Buying

We recently read that today's consumer is said to be "fast, savvy, smart, ravenous, and relentless about getting new things. Like falling in love, you gotta have it!" Oh please, let us get a life and exercise our brain in behalf of humanity. Make time to consider what you really think about buying into the latest trends for sake of looking "cool." Make sure you distinguish between runway and reality.

Before you buy, consider your needs, your personal style, roles, and goals. If styles from the 50s don't appeal to you, check out updated 40s and 80s suit options. If punkette or baby-doll looks really won't work where you work, classic business clothes can still be found—or custom cut to fit. If you recognize the anti-statement and deconstructed looks for what they really are, take your business to the stores and catalog companies still surviving the casualization of America.

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We highly recommend you stroll the aisles of your local department stores—like Dillards, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Meier & Frank. Be selective according to size. Zero in on their sales for the most of the best in basics at reduced prices. Find your nearest national chain stores—like Chico's, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Casual Corner, Petite Sophisticate, and August Max, even Dress Barn—as well as independent local boutiques. Budget, sizing, and personal style will dictate which will work for you.

Call us if you need direction. Yes, you can find some things at discount stores like TJ Maxx, Ross Dress For Less, Target, and once in awhile Walmart—but now be very selective. You're looking for the best quality on the rack at the price you can afford.

Don't overlook catalog and internet shopping options. Catalogs offer you armchair selection and fashion education at no cost. Consider getting our Fashion Catalog Directory, for sale in our Bookstore.

We particularly like Talbot's, Pendleton, and Coldwater Creek catalogs for fashion forward classic and sporty clothes; Draper's & Damon and J. Marco for classic and creative design; Bloomingdales and Nordstrom catalogs for contemporary classics and trends; Chadwicks and Dress Barn for economy classics and trends; Saks and Neiman's, Peruvian Connection, and Gorsuch for pure style if budget is of no concern.

There are others—Barrie Pace, J. Jill, Appleseed, Lew Magram, Maryland Square and more—each catering to different personal style types. Concerned about size? Order two or three sizes and send back what doesn't work. It's worth finding even one of what you need that wasn't available in local stores.

Conselle's Fashion Catalog Directory lets you in on what catalogs cater to what size range, price range, personal style range, and occasion. With options, you can find what you need and have fun with fashion!



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