Staying current with how you look can contribute to employment security in this period of economical recession. Like many professional women, I have turned more of my attention to the fashion runway over the past few years in order to note the trends and be more selective in my career clothing purchases. I want my appearance to be the best possible to reflect my career and position as a stylish modern woman. I’ve been helped by my background in; costume creation, fashion design and dressing models for editorial-style photos.
This years top fashion designers appear to have found inspiration in the retro clothing designs of television programs like Mad Men and the upcoming Pan Am. Chic styles and silhouettes popular when Jacqueline Kennedy was First Lady are once again walking the runway. The top trends, such as suits by Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Versace have well-fitted, tailored, short jackets with puffy-top three-quarter sleeves. These jackets have a high waist banding that is rather wide. The waist banding is being paired with a lightly gathered and flared bottom edge. The strict structure of the jacket is often highlighted by military-style rows of buttons. Look for larger lapels and textural fabric. Some designers are offsetting the strong shape of the jacket with softer colors such as a pastel pink, aqua and salmon.
The second big trend is the return of the pencil skirt. This versatile skirt is finding a new knee length, with a slit or a mini-mermaid kick at the bottom. This gives the skirt a flirty quality that is both restrained and sexy. The flirty kick is showing up as ruffles in many designs. The top of the skirt is also being elongated to accommodate different belt styles, including very tall belts that create a cinched-type appearance. The overall style of the season favors hidden sexuality rather than an overt display. The design aesthetic is somewhat conservative and almost virginal in its approach. The retro silhouette paired with modern design creates a sophisticated visual tension and sense of glamorous allure transforming the office suit into fashion.
When the jacket is removed, the blouse is likely to be a comparatively boxy cut, well-tailored and refined blouse. Sleeveless and short puffy-top sleeves were equally popular on the runway with the emphasis more on a design that can go from office to evening merely by opening the jacket to reveal the blouse. Semi-transparent blouse fabrics hint at retro slips and lingerie.
Continuing trends include chunky, large stone jewelry such as the bib necklace and wide arm cuffs made of hammered metal worn by Beverly Hills Housewives fashionista, Lisa Vanderpump. Belts are in from very narrow to very bulky. To create an updated look with your existing pieces; pair a pastel colored, well-fitted blouse with tapered dark pants, a narrow leather belt, and stockings with a Cuban heel. Expose those heels inside enclosed-toe retro pumps with a spiked stiletto in a bright color. Add a bulky bib necklace and arm cuff and your outfit will be fashion forward and ready for the office.