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Six must-haves in your wardrobe

This season, fashion for women is bold and beautiful. Here are six big trends to make sure you are not left out in the cold. Read on to know find out more...

fashion and trends Updated: Jan 03, 2011 12:44 IST
Parul Khanna Tewari

Fashion this winter is quite interesting. It’s combining the best of contemporary and retro styles; it is stylised and yet wearable. It’s a season where fashion is playing a balancing act – there are ’60s inspired structured and masculine military coats and then there is soft and feminine lace. There are long maxis and short skirts and dresses. Boots and stilettos co-exist. The keywords are classic, feminine and curvy. And it is upto you to bring all these elements together to create an individualistic fashion statement. Never before has fashion been so forgiving.

We decode a few big trends that you can model this winter.

Printed leggings and tights
Breaking the cyclic pattern of fashion, leggings continue to rule the ramp. It’s not surprising that fashion forecasters couldn’t let go of this comfortable garment.

But leggings have been re-introduced with a twist – graphics, bold prints, stripes and animal prints in both bright and muted shades have replaced unicoloured ones. Take your pick from woollen, net, nylon, lycra and even brocade options.

How to wear them
The key to wearing leggings is to contrast their fitted silhouette with something loose on top. Pair leggings with a flowing top and wear a belted sweater or a military-style long coat with them. You can also wear a short skirt over leggings. Wear high-heeled sandals or boots for an illusion of length. Avoid flats.

Never pair leggings with short or tight tops; even if you have a great figure. There is a great danger that you might look tacky.

Knits (woven wool)
Knits are just sweaters, but in a fancier avatar. Considered ‘not cool’ for some 15 years, knits were tucked away by most of us, but are now back with a bang. Apart from sweaters, knitted dresses (short and long, fitted and loose), leggings, coats and even skirts are all ‘in’. And there is a range of rainbow shades to choose from. So slip into this very cosy and form-fitting trend.

How to wear them
Knits are best worn as casual wear. You can pair knits with knits (a knit sweater with a knit skirt), but that may carry a risk of looking too casual. So, it’s advisable to stick to the safer combination of knits with non-knits. Knits work very well with denims.

Keep to neutral shades – beige, grey, white or blue - when you choose knit sweaters, coats and skirts. But if you are wearing a knit dress or top, go over the top with colours.

Aviator jackets
Fashion this season is not endorsing any one silhouette, but is working with a variety of them. There is the shin-skimming, loose trenchcoat and also the short, form-fitting aviator jacket. Inspired by what Amelia Earhart, the world’s first female pilot, wore, an aviator jacket is short (it just about reaches the navel) and is form-fitting. The original Aviator is dark brown, in soft leather (another favourite this season) with a shearling (fur) collar. The jacket is also a popular look with men.

How to wear them
You can find aviator jackets in different fabrics (fur, tweed, wool, polyester) and shades (reds to whites). The jackets pair well with straight pants, denims, flowing dresses and pleated skirts. Those women who are game to experiment can pair it with cocktail gowns. It looks good with skin-tight denims, narrow skirts and form-fitting dresses. Wear a feminine blouse to complement its rugged look.

If you are top-heavy, do not opt for an aviator jacket with shearling or fur. It will add bulk to your body. Also, don’t wear a bulky knit underneath the jacket.

Military fashion
When fashion magazines say military fashion, they mean pieces of clothing (mostly blazers, jackets and pants) with elements of uniforms – big buttons, structured jackets, big collars, buckles, in variations of blue, green, khaki and the like. This is all about masculinity and smartness.

How to wear it
Military coats and military-style trousers have loose silhouettes, so pair them with fitted garments. Contrast military styles with feminine touches.

This trend is inspired by military uniforms. Do not go around wearing the uniform (camouflage pants and shirts and belts are passé).

It’s just the fabric this winter. Lace looks ultra-feminine, skims a woman’s body and falls lightly on it. It has a peekaboo effect. Its unstructured look adds grace to an ensemble, especially if you are wearing an aviator jacket or military-inspired coat. And that’s a big reason why, despite being an unlikely fabric for winter, it’s on this list. Lace dresses are a big favourite, but you can also wear lace blouses/tops.

How to wear it
Layer your lace with lots of warm clothing, or you might just freeze to death.

Don’t overdo this look; have just one element of it in your ensemble or it will look too summery.

For the longest time, socks have been in oblivion. But because they are functional, modest movements to give them a new lease of fashionable life have been seen – either colourful, with motifs like Santa and Superman, or polka dotted or net. However, this season socks have been inducted into the fashion mainstream. Catwalks across Paris, New York and London have had models sashay down runways showing off socks (with stilettos, over skin-fit jeans and paired with short skirts and dresses).

This works well since this winter, dressing is all about showing a bit of leg. Choose from a variety of socks – net, colourful, black, woollen, printed – in all lengths (ankle, knee, over-the-knee). Match them with your outfit and create varying looks.

How to wear them
Openly flaunt your socks with short dresses or skirts. Pair them with stilettos and booties (have a hint of sock peeping out from them). You can also wear socks over denims. But at all times, be careful to match your socks with the colour of your outfit.

Do not wear socks if you want to go to a formal do or a party. Otherwise, visible socks appear experimentative, grungy and casual. So be careful where you wear them.

- From HT Brunch, December 19
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