Bringing back the 40s

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Fall trends for 2017

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor


No matter how many times I do it, writing about fashion is always an enjoyable experience for me. It’s probably because fashion, especially seasonal fashion, is this odd thing that’s ever-changing, but also cyclical. Meaning, though trends seem to always rise to prominence and then quickly fade, they usually tend to come back; either as part of a decade’s aesthetic resurgence, or just as an individual feature within a larger, well-dressed picture. This fall, you can expect to see a little of both.

The first thing that I’ll get into is the resurgence of a 1940s-vintage aesthetic, because most of the other trends I will mention kind of play into this one. What characterizes the ’40s fashion-wise is a long and lean silhouette, the experimentation with gender fluid clothing, and the use of certain fabrics like silk and wool to achieve contrasting “soft” and “hard” impressions to accentuate that gender fluidity. The trends I mention in this article will tend to be for both men and women, because unisex is something you can expect to see a lot of going forward in your fall fashion journey.

If you’ve been keeping up with what’s happening in the fashion capitals—like New York, Paris, and Milan—the next feature will come as no shock to you. Large collars have been displayed prominently through many large-scale fashion shows as something that will define the fall season. This kind of relates to the ’40s resurgence in that these collars play up both hyper masculine and hyper feminine silhouettes. Large lapels like those found on men’s dress shirts and suit jackets, as well as collars made out of layered ruffles and either real or faux fur—such as ones more traditionally associated with female fashion—will be a big thing. The gendered styles will tend to be mixed and matched, so expect to see men’s wear rocking a peter pan collar or fur stole, while women break out the power suits, or vice versa.

Next up will be the cuts of things. To achieve that long and lean silhouette that characterized the ’40s you’ll need to prepare yourself for floor-length everything! As a general rule of thumb, floor-length pants and dresses may not be seen as “sexy,” but they do make you appear taller—and that’s what we’re going for this season. In the ’40s it was the goal of women to appear “boyish,” meaning short hair, not a lot of emphasis on cleavage or curves, and to look almost gangly. This gave the illusion of effortlessness. Adapting that to more modern notions of bodies, where we like to celebrate all types of bodies; You can expect to see the floor-length, but done in fabrics that will flow freely around the body or caress it—so that the sexiness you might miss will be in the peeks of curve and body shape, and not in actually showing a lot of skin. This whole long and lean thing will relate to men as well, so expect longer cut or asymmetrically cut shirts, oversized sweaters, and coats that come to the mid-thigh or even the knee. You’ll also want to invest in some layering material, flannel shirts, scarves to elongate your torso, that type of thing. The goal remains to make you appear as tall as possible. You’ll need to break out the accessories to really embrace that ’40s vibe; Paper boy caps, suspenders, slender dress belts, and patterned socks will all help you master men’s fashion this season.

Lastly, let’s talk colour palette. It’s fall, so generally the colour palette will be the same as it always is—warm earth tones, muted reds, oranges, things that go well with a pumpkin spice latte and an almond danish. Because you will probably be seeing a lot more silk used this season, you can also expect that metallic will be in fashion: For example, bronze or metallic green combined with dark browns or creams, depending on the garment.


The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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