Reinventing Your Style In 2020
If you’re looking for fresh fashion inspiration for your reinvention this year it’s going to be a bit of challenge.
Designers have taken their cues this year from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, often by duplicating almost exactly what we wore back then! For those of you who have been hoarding some old favorites, you’re in luck.
But if you want to create a new you, you’ll have to be a little, well, creative. Otherwise, you might definitely look like you’re trying to hang on to a prior era. Fashion is about change and reinvention, after all.
So here are some of the themes. See which of them might turn a few heads in your direction.
The 1970s Look
If you liked the 70s look of long denim, buttoned midi skirts worn with fitted ribbed sweaters…they are back! Think Peggy Lipton in the Mod Squad. The combination definitely has a very throw-back vibe. But denim is back in other big ways.
You’ll also find it knee-length pencil skirts, artistic asymmetrically-flared skirts, and of course, jeans. High-waist jeans are the newest standard and longer hemmed, looser straight-leg or boot-cut jeans are the more hipster version than our previously beloved skinnies. And yes, you’ll even see some bell bottoms! Wear them with one of the newer crochet tops (yes, really, crochet tops are back) and you’ll be set for a 70’s party.
In Style Handbags
Last year, in an attempt to shock, some designers showed runway models carrying teeny-tiny handbags (we can hardly call them that) that could scarcely hold a lipstick. This year it’s super large, soft leather triangular tote bags. They are more practical than mini bags and will catch some attention. And maybe because a lot of people just want to get past winter, you’ll be seeing straw bags offered throughout the season, even long before the summer.
For a pop of color, squishy leather and soft woven leather clutches are a more feminine style that’s appearing in colors that speak loudly including cheerful oranges, metallic purples, reds, pinks, golds, and magentas.
The Power Suit
We’ve gotten used to multi-purposing our suit pieces i.e. wearing jeans with a herringbone blazer or suit pants with a leather moto jacket. This year the complete, tailored, traditional suit is back. But you’ll find that for some of them, “big” is the operative word. That means that the 80s and 90s power suit has been dusted off. We’re seeing suits with longer jackets and bigger shoulder pads. One very elegant trend there includes a return to the pleated, slouchy, toe-skimming pant. They are almost universally flattering and can be part of your multi-purpose wardrobe by wearing them with your favorite cashmere sweater or a shorter leather or suede jacket.
Speaking of sweaters, chunky woven cardigans are the very feminine take on the cardigan now. Many of these are sporting large, decorative buttons and puffier sleeves. And about those puffy sleeves, they are everywhere in jackets and blouses. Short puffy cap sleeves, large mutton chop sleeves that narrow at the wrist, puffy elbow-length tops or blouses with low cut square backs and peplum waists are showing up in sheer textiles, floral prints, and shiny satin. But understand that this is a slightly costumey look. Still, it will certainly turn a head or two.
The Floral Trend
The floral trend is still in vogue and you’ll see it in extremes: small and delicate or very large and slightly overwhelming. But the 70s and 80s influence has overtaken the newer prints: psychedelic, rainbow, and ombre designs. The colors range from pale to eye-popping and in textiles from delicate to sheer, in woven textiles and reflective skins.
Extremes seem to be the word this year, and either end would be pretty eye-catching. Stripes and polka dots are big too. Look for bigger polka dots and small stripes.
Then there are the accessories. As for shoes what you might already own – snakeskin boots and booties, lady-like elegant flats – are pretty much all you need and that’s what most of us will be wearing. But if you want to make a real statement, pair your slouchy slacks with one of the new REALLY chunky high heel loafers or platforms. Yes, platforms are back too, or heels with architecturally-shaped heels.
For a more refined but no less edgy look, we’re seeing high heels with pointed toes decorated with chains, mostly ankle chains. It’s kind of a nod to a “bondage” look. If anything will turn a head, that would. Square toes are all the rage in (mostly) multiple thin-strapped sandals for the spring. But the look doesn’t say “look at me” as much.
Then there’s leather, a known noticeable element if you want to stand out. We’ve already embraced it pretty boldly in jackets, and coats (and there are a lot more great-looking leather coats now) and pants. But go for one of the new skirt styles: ankle length, midi, short and even softly gathered knee-length leather skirts. Or try a fuller leg slouchy leather pant. These are mostly solid colors in soft or patent leather.
A Dramatic Look
If your bust line hasn’t inched too close to your actual waistline, try one of the many new wider statement belts and wear it with a slightly oversized white, solid color, polka dot or striped blouse. That’s a bold and somewhat dramatic look.
And, large hoop earrings are back. This time the metallic golds and silver ones have wide flat hoops instead of rounded ones that are more than an inch wide in some cases. Then there are large acrylic, lucite and resin hoops in tortoiseshell and lots of spring-like colors. The small squat vintage-style colored acrylic hoops that were ubiquitous in the 90s and early 2000s are also back.
Finally, maybe because we are so taken with the royals, but can’t bring ourselves to wear actual tiaras, headbands are a big new trend. There are padded, bejeweled, pearl-encrusted, chiffon-pleated, knotted, bowed, floral or in raw silk or suede. They are, mostly, a feminine touch that will definitely get you noticed. They may turn a few heads, but frankly, they give me a headache!
Now, take these “new” trends and go forward boldly into 2020!
What are your favorite 2020 trends?
Andrea Pflaumer is the author of two books: the Amazon best-seller Shopping for the Real You: Ten Essential Steps to a Perfect Wardrobe for Every Woman: Fashionistas, Fashion-phobes, and the Over 50 and She’s Got Good Jeans – a guide for how to shop for and where to find the perfect jeans for your body and budget.
She does in-person and online wardrobe and shopping consultations for women worldwide and blogs at Shopping for the Real You. Her free course, Lazy Person’s Guide to a Perfect Wardrobe is available on GoHighbrow. Andrea hosts two video series: Vital, Vivacious, and Visible after 50 and Shopping for the Real You: Expert Edition. She interviews women in the areas of fashion, beauty and wellness on her Shopping for the Real You YouTube channel. She is a regular contributor to several national and international publications for women over 50 and is presenting an online class this November through the American Institute of Image Consultants.
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