Hemlines and the economy

Miniskirt

Image via Wikipedia

Does the economy affect hemlines?

Have you noticed that in the past few years, the style of clothing has changed, specifically with the hemlines of women’s dresses and skirts?  Only a few short years ago, I remember moms complaining about short skirts and shirts that show tummies when their teens would leave the house.  Was it a Brittney Spears or Beyoncé influence or was it correlated to the economy? In the nineties businesses were booming, jobs were lucrative, shoppers were buying everything in sight.  Both male and female shoppers spent a great deal on their wardrobe, which included current trends, fads, building a diverse wardrobe, emulating superstars and replacing old items.

If one looks around in their department stores now, shirts are long, tank tops are long, skirts are long, and clothing is loose fitting.  Clothing seems to be all business and back to basics. Perhaps the length of hemlines is affected by the economy.  Do we care less about our appearance in a poor economy?  Do we spend less on our clothing in a poor economy which results in a less fashionable look?

In the past, economists believed that hemlines were shorter when the economy was booming.  Women went with a shorter hemline to show off their silk stockings[1], which was a sign that people were spending more money on textiles and had more money to spend.  Hemlines were longer around the time of the great depression, perhaps to cover the fact that people could not afford silk stockings.

In the sixties, miniskirts were everywhere, people would be daring and buy new things.  Perhaps it was a sign that the economy was lucrative.

Today, with the longer hemlines, one could argue that it is not a significant factor in the economy due to the fact that textiles cost so much and the more material that is used to create one piece, the more expensive the item of clothing will be.  But one could also argue that people are replacing basic pieces in their wardrobes and not concerned about the extra accessories as basic pieces are needed for job interviewing and it could be a sign that things are tough when everyone buys boring basics and does not expand their wardrobes to include fun fads.

When consumers begin to expand their wardrobe and start buying extras to keep up with the fads and not just basics to replace worn out items, then they are investing in their wardrobe again, and economic times may be improving.  So perhaps it is true that the hemline theory, which states that shorter skirts are a sign of good economic times[2], is accurate.  If not, I think I’ll just go with the casual day theory and it’s a new world order for the fashion industry.

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Archived article: Spring 2013 Fashion Must Haves

 

Asian model in green dress.

Asian model in green dress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year, think in color.

 

As the warmer Spring and Summer months arrive, so do the warmer colors like peach, coral, and tan.  However, this year emerald green and bright tones of blue are a big hit.  Many of us get the itch to go shopping with the change of the season. My annual top ten list of this season’s essentials are listed below.

 

You can take this list to your closet and see what you already have.  Perhaps you only need a few items, or venture out to buy everything on this list.   Just be sure to have atleast one lace item this year.  

red soles louboutin heels stilettos long lace ...

red soles louboutin heels stilettos long lace skirt (Photo credit: …love Maegan)

Here’s my annual top ten 2013 Spring/Summer Fashion Must Haves List:

 

  1. Lace dress
  2. Tank dress with a geometric pattern
  3. Printed capri pants
  4. Geometric mini skirt
  5. Sleeveless blazer
  6. Swing coat
  7. Hippi style long skirt
  8. Maxi dress
  9. Low rise sandals (clear heels are big this year)
  10. Top handle/attache style handbag

My top ten list is based on my research of the many fashion magazines one can refer to as well as my personal opinion of what I, as a consumer would wear.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

 

Archived article: Spring 2012 Fashion Must Haves

Do you have the must have items for your Spring 2012 wardrobe?

As the warmer Spring and Summer months arrive, many of us get the itch to go shopping and update our wardrobe, replace older pieces of clothing and add new trends to our wardrobe.  As we transition into the warmer months, so too does our wardrobe.  We begin wearing lighter colors and lighter materials to keep cool.  But what are the must have items for Spring 2012?  Do you already have them stashed away in your closet?  

I have put together a list of my top ten essentials for Spring 2012.  My top ten list is based on my research of the many fashion magazines one can refer to as well as my personal opinion of what I, as a consumer would wear.

You can take this list to your closet and see what you already have.  Perhaps you only need a few items, or venture out to buy everything on this list.

Here’s my top ten 2012 Spring Fashion Must Haves List:

  1. Peplum top
  2. Shorts suit
  3. White pumps
  4. Printed frame sunglasses
  5. High waisted flare pants
  6. Pleated skirt
  7. One shoulder dress or top
  8. Oversized rectangle clutch
  9. Lace or crochet accented top or dress
  10. Metallic tank

oversized clutch

wear shorts as a suit

Is it okay to wear black to a Spring wedding?

Would you wear black to a Spring wedding?  Please take our survey below.

Signature A la Mode’s response: Yes and No.  Sure that’s helpful right.  Well, the answer depends on what time of day the wedding is scheduled for.

If the wedding is scheduled for morning or early afternoon, it would be best to refrain from wearing black.  Traditionally, black has been reserved for funerals and formal settings.  During the day, in the Spring a more colorful attire is typically more accepted by a group of diverse guests.  Pastels are a common choice for bridesmaid dresses in the Spring, so if you choose a pastel, a small shrug or shawl over your dress would help deter attention should the bridesmaids have a similar color as you.  It is safe to go with a print dress for a daytime Spring wedding.

A black dress is acceptable to wear to a night wedding in Spring as black is an evening wear color.  However, it is advisable to add color for a more festive look as one does not want to be reminded of funeral colors in the church.  Adding colored shoes and a colored clutch is a great way to display a pop of color.

What are the staple items for a Spring Wardrobe?

Spring is a good time to clean out our closets.  We tend to discard clothing that we no longer wear or clothing that does not fit us anymore.  When you clean out your closet this Spring, keep in mind that there are essentials that every girl should have in their closet for Spring.

Spring is a good time to take inventory and replace worn out items as well as thin out your closet of clutter.  As we leave the cooler months of Winter, we seek light weight clothing and lighter colors. Basics for Spring include transitional clothing that we can wear to work, after hours, to weddings, baby showers and also be prepared for those “Spring Showers.”

The staple items I feel all women should have in their closet for Spring are:

  1. White short sleeve blouse
  2. Camisole
  3. Neutral color t-shirts
  4. Khaki pants
  5. cardigan or jacket
  6. High heel sandal, peep toe pump or espadrille
  7. cotton skirt
  8. Straw handbag
  9. Sundress
  10. Cropped pants
  11. Flat sandals
  12. Evening cover up
  13. Evening clutch
  14. jeans
  15. Denim skirt
  16. Trench coat

A white short sleeve blouse is a classic piece that can be worn for many occasions.  One can pair this blouse with a lightweight cotton skirt and be dressy for work, attend a luncheon, or even a PTA meeting.  A classic look for spring is a lightweight pair of jeans, a white shirt, a lightweight jacket and high heel sandals.  This is a classic look as well as transitional for leaving the winter months.

As we leave the winter months, we tend to wear more lightweight clothing, so too should our colors change.  Lighter colors are brighter and make us feel cooler as the warmer months approach. Light colored t-shirts paired with a cotton skirt can look professional with the right accessories, or casual with a denim skirt or cropped pants.

A classic sundress for Spring is very versatile and can also be worn for many occasions such as weddings or baby showers which tend to be abundant in Spring.  This time of year we can dress up our outfits with high heeled sandals which are great for weddings and peep toe pumps are ideal for the workplace.

On the cooler Spring days, we can keep warm with a cotton cardigan.  Caridigans look professional with skirts as well as slacks and can replace the heavy business suit jacket that goes along with your winter wardrobe.

Khakis are a great pair of trousers to have in your Spring wardrobe as they are lighter than wool or knit pants that we are leaving behind with winter.

An evening cover up over a sundress and an evening clutch can dress up any skirt or sundress for more formal occasions.

A lightweight classic trench coat is ideal for those rainy days we tend to see in Spring.  Shorter lengths are ideal for Spring.

So when you do your Spring cleaning of your closet this year, feel free to use my above checklist to see what you may already have and what you may wish to add to your wardrobe.