September 28, 2006

Overcoming Schizo-Fashion

Print More

It’s an aggressive and fast-paced world we’re living in and the world of fashion is the quintessential example. Fed by the perpetually rising number of designers and clothing brands, instant web access to upcoming seasons’ runway shows and high-end style finding its way to the center of popular movies and television shows like The Devil Wears Prada and Project Runway, fashion is currently a fiercely competitive environment of full-blown national, even global, trends that last for mere minutes before swerving to the next huge fad. But as students at an Ivy-League university, we by no means the cash flow nor the time to give all of these trends a cozy home in our closets. Our solution: invest the bulk of your income in high-quality, timeless classics and mix in fewer, more economical accessories and pieces.
The denim jacket is a staple in American fashion culture. Because of their simplicity and versatility, jean jackets are favored by a whole spectrum of users, from punks to preps to all-Americans. For a jean jacket to last you years, it must be of excellent quality with a classic cut, making it worthwhile to spend a little more dough for a flawless fit. It’s easy to rock a jean jacket with today’s trends — pair one with leggings or cords which are currently being sold in a rainbow of colors or over a tunic or shift dress, knit tights and boots. Long and colorful, yet simple, necklaces or scarves layered on top of jean jackets are also sure to please!
Another variation of the jacket that everyone must own is a good blazer — a fashion staple lends a collegiate air while helping us transition from teen trends to those of chic women. We suggest a no-fuss tweed, wool or herringbone version which isn’t too tight or form-fitting, making it possible to wear on top of vests or sweaters for those chiller days of the Ithacan autumn. If you’re a first time buyer, start off with a muted color: black, brown, beige or gray. Wrap on a luxe jacquard pashimina and throw on some skinny jeans and flat, mid-calf boots for an easy, up-to-date look.
Solid wool or cashmere sweaters are basics that are easy to spice-up according to the latest trends. Choose a simple cut, for example, a crewneck, v-neck or turtleneck, in your favorite color. Steer clear of skin-tight sweaters, as looser cuts are more flattering and always chicer. Try wearing a v-neck over a collared button-up (tuxedo-style with ruffles if you’re aiming for today’s textbook example of trendy) and a skinny leather belt cinched over the sweater, high up on the waist. A sweater also looks hot this season when worn over a plain, white t-shirt teamed with black leggings and ballet flats.
Finally, the ultimate basic – jeans! Jeans can be tricky because it seems as though the right leg-shape or the perfect wash is always changing. As you probably guessed, the skinny jean is the newest incarnation of that extreme and while we are all raving about this style now, chances are the trend won’t last for long. Boot-cut jeans have been the long-standing champion, but after reigning for years, they are on their way out the door. Enter the straight-leg jean, a hybrid of the boot-cut and the skinny jean – this cut might well become the fall-back style for years to come.
Spending a little more money from the outset on high-quality, unpretentious basics will provide you with a blank canvas to fill in with the seasons’ trends. The secret to looking trendy and chic is to build up a foundation wardrobe so fine, you’ll still exude the Jackie O vibe even with plastic pearls!