Starting with the 1950s, think I love Lucy for a new trend from an old classic. Housewives are back with the shirtdress, but its no longer confined to the kitchen. And lucky you, A-line hems and belted waistlines make this classic look figure flattering. For something fun, try it with a funky pattern or bold colors. And to avoid looking like an Ethel clone, pair this dress with girly flats and simple jewelry.
A few years later, Hollywood it girls Elizabeth Taylor and Jayne Mansfield were sporting the sexy and cool Cats-Eye sunglasses. Steal this retro look for a once again cutting-edge style. For this type of frame, smaller is sleeker, while oversized can look too gaudy.
The headband has made a comeback, but start thinking more Audrey Hepburn than second grade school picture day. This sophisticated trend will bring life to any boring up do, and its simple at the same time. Sweep hair into a high bun or a low braid. Add a satin ribbon for a dressy look or a cloth stretch band for a laid back style. Stay away from plastic headbands. They dig in behind your ears and make you look more like Dakota Fanning than Natalie Portman.
Back again for yet another season are the popular elephant legs, a.k.a., gauchos. Born in the 1960s, these pants/shorts are designed to have the flowing look of a skirt, but are as comfortable as sweatpants. Its easy to personalize this trend now that it can be found in every possible fabric and color. A pant that goes to mid-calf with a simple print can be paired with heels and a fitted jacket for the office. Add some slip on shoes to a shorter cotton pair for a day at the beach. But enjoy this versatile style while it lasts-it will be gone by next year.
Long and straight rules again. Runway models sported the hairstyle of choice from the 1970s, middle part and all. The twist for 2006: Volume. Big side swept bangs or lots of long layers will make your mane more flowing and less slicked down. Use this subtle style to tone down a dressy outfit. Another perk: Your fanciest jewelry will still look suitable for an evening out with this simple do.
Disco may have died, but the platform shoe has somehow lived on. This style came about in the early part of last century when shoemakers began experimenting with cork for soles, and even earlier in Asian countries. But the trend brings us right back to the late Travolta days of Saturday Night Fever. This time around, lose the goldfish and stripper style heels. The higher the better no longer applies. Stick with sandals and pair them with a flirty sundress or cropped pants.
Moving on to the 1980s and bell bottoms are out. Skinny jeans were all-the-rave back then and reappearing everywhere today. Remember there is a difference between a skinny jean and a tapered leg. Make sure they fit snug from the waist to the ankle, and skip the tight rolling fad this time. Try wearing them with stilettos so that the hem falls to the mid length of the heel. This helps to elongate your legs and keep you from looking like an extra in the movie RAD.
Arguably, the greatest trends of the 80s are those from the hair-bands that ruled MTV. Unfortunately, 2006 will not be bringing back the crimped, bleached-blonde, sky-high bang look, but we are getting back the shield sunglasses. These are the over-sized one-piece frames that make anyone look worthy of hanging with Bon Jovi. Think solar eclipse; no sunshine is getting through these bad boys. These shades are flattering to almost every face shape. And although they are straight out of the 80s, they are the most modern frame on the market. But since they make such a bold statement, if you do choose to wear them, youve got to rock them.
Lets skip the grunge look of the 1990s and head straight to the sporty and preppy. Its Kelly Kapowski from Saved By The Bell, with a little Jessie Spano in the mix. Think bold-colored knits and Polo shirts worthy of Wimbledon. Try stripes, polka dots, or layer lots of colors for a funky style. Wear this trend with white shorts or a simple jean skirt. To complete the look try a pair of slip on Keds or the ever popular Converse-Allstars.
Vests are cooler than ever this season when they find a happy median between the Harley-Davidson wardrobe and a fourth grade teachers holiday knit. Try a cargo-style khaki, or cropped, jean one. Personalize the look with fun details like buckles and colored zippers. For an updated look, skip the fringe and wear it with bare arms over a sleeveless dress or simple tank-top.
There are so many different ways to wear the trends this season that any of them can be individualized to fit your own style. The most important thing is to find those few key pieces that you fall in love with and make them fit into your current collection. Everyone needs to feel comfortable with their style, but step outside of your comfort zone and try something new this season. Happy shopping.
Krista Hirr is a freelance writer from Traverse City.