Jan 212014

Fashions cycle in a manner both mysterious and predictable. Recently I read a designer quoted as saying whatever has been out the longest is what will be in next, and IMO there’s truth in that statement.  Especially as it applies to recurrent traditional looks such as:

  • Nautical
  • Animal print
  • Boat shoes Wait a minute, that’s nautical, right?
  • Safari suits

There is also a strong case for the idea that fashion trends move so fast these days as to be all but irrelevant. Watching TV shows from 10 years ago on Amazon’s Instant Video is one way to see how things have subtly changed (and free with Amazon Prime).

Previously on this blog I have made a case for seven-year fashion cycles; in other research, I uncovered a theory of (approximately) 50-year silhouettes predominating in a predictable sequence – another cycle. Are these both valid? Are they relevant?

In 2007, we appeared to be changing from a sportswear emphasis to a more sophisticated silhouette. According to the (five- to) seven-year cycle, we should be seeing more “saucy” looks: prints, warm colors, fun dresses with fuller skirts, etc. Um. Yes, please!

According to the generational silhouette sequence, the pencil will once again be the height of elegance. That straight silhouette is hard for me to rock. Knowing what looks do not flatter and leaving them behind is foundational to developing personal style, and a bit of a challenge for me. I always seem to look for a way to wear what’s “in”, even if it’s not best.

On closer examination, the pencil can be done with high, low, or natural waist (thinking of looks popular a century ago). As long as I stick with the natural waist, I may be ok. I have been thinking about a flapper dress, though.

  4 Responses to “Fashion Cycles and Generational Silhouettes”

  1. You started me thinking about what the heck the flappers wore for daywear. Might it be the same as the 50’s – 60’s chemise/shift only fluid and not boxy?

    I have something the opposite to your modern/current emphasis. I get quickly sated with the prevalent looks and pay attention to what has been not only longest out of style but is most mocked and jeered at. I figure that’s what’s fashion forward and will be insinuating its way back in style in a few years. Mom jeans – they’re baaaaack. Sheer hose. Carrot pants silhouette. Matching. I’ve been wearing silk linen look carrot style pants this last summer – pull-on, too – and loving them for the ease of wearing in the heat. With matching color solid tops, too. 😀
    Makes me think of patio BBQ parties. I purely love all the 50’s starlet getup that they used to photograph for the “candid” pix in movie magazines.

    I think the saucy looks you’re waiting for have been a staple of Anthropologie for some while now. Probably Kate Spade, too. In my mind, this used to be what “a dress” looked like but hasn’t suited me for quite a long while now. I also have to remember whenever I see a 70’s silhouette with a small, compact top and fuller but sleek skirt or pants shape (like old time
    Charlie ads) that I’m not built for that silhouette either, anymore. When I was a young girl/woman and quite slender and straight, everything looked great because I was a good clothes hanger for it. 😀 Nothing fought my shape.

  2. Yes, I think that saucy silhouette is everywhere, especially In dresses, but almost over saturated already.

    I was thinking about how easy it would be to be a trendsetter by just wearing what has been out for the longest. Here’s my problem: even when it know that it is coming – in other words, The look is cutting edge, like carrot pants 😉 – I am afraid that if I wear it, the people around me will not get it and think I am just still wearing it.

    Reminds me of the trouble I had with one of my former hairstylists. Wasn’t willing to give me the layers I thought I should do because she thought ppl would perceive them as “haven’t progressed to current”.

  3. I don’t care what people think – I would just assume they don’t have the taste to appreciate my taste. 😀 But you would have to care because part of your idiom is to be current/modern.
    As per your swimsuit fabric post, what about either newer silhouettes in the same fabric your public wears or the same styles they wear but in more modern fabric?

  4. Yes on your suggestion about the swimwear. Actually, I picked up a $20 speedo one piece (polyester) at Costco in the really intense purple so popular now, but if have to take it back ( and hope they have a better size).

    Which, speaking of that color: I kinda hate when a color I like, that looks good on me, becomes the “in” color and then I have to give it up. ‘Cause I would actually have to do the same kinda mental work to wear something too popular as I do to wear something completely unique! It’s all so exhausting! Lol

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>