In today’s tight economy, women are looking for the best way they can stretch their wardrobes. Of course they still want to look fashionable. That is important in the world’s ever-increasing focus on youth and image.
Those who are in need of updating their spring wardrobes should consider carefully how they can stretch their choices so that they will work in other seasons as well. Savvy shoppers will stick to a neutral pallet that can be accessorized to update and change it as needed.
Certain classic clothing pieces are sure to remain in style through all or most of 2009. These are considered fashion “must haves.” They include:
- Trench coat;
- Pencil skirt;
- Button down shirt;
- Blazer; and
The trench continues to be an important part of a woman’s wardrobe. However, the choice of fabric should be suited to the individual as well as the area of country in which where she lives and, of course, her typical lifestyle.
Since the coat may need to last from spring through fall, light to medium weight fabrics are likely to be the most popular choices. Waterproof or water-resistant fabrics will be popular as well. While double-breasted trenches are all the rage, women may also choose from a handful of other alternatives.
Trench coat lengths will end just below the hip line for some and reach down to the knee area for others. Colors for the most part will remain neutral, with lots of women opting for the classic khaki trench. Those with a few bucks to spare, however, may want a second trench in one of the season’s vivid colors like hot pink, dark orange, or deep lime green.
Stores like Target, Macys, Nordstrom’s and J.C. Penney will carry a variety of trench coat options ranging from around $39.99 up. Online, one can go to Bluefly (.com) or Amazon (.com) to find the perfect trench option.
Pencil skirts have always had a certain following among professional women. However, in the last few years, the skirt has moved into the mainstream. Now, almost every fashionable young woman owns at least one.
Choosing a neutral color is best for this wardrobe staple. That way it can be paired with colorful blouses, blazers, and vests in order to update the piece for the season.
Pencil skirt fabrics should be somewhat sturdy, easy to clean, and simple to care for. Some women may opt for a wool blend while others stick with fabrics that are wrinkle-resistant and durable.
Lengths for pencil skirts will vary greatly from woman to woman. However, for the most part, they will fall just above the knee to no lower than mid-calf.
Pencil skirts can be found almost anywhere women’s fashion is sold as well as in many standard discount department stores like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, or Target. Online, skirts can be found at sites like Newport News Clothing (.com) and even Ebay (.com).
Prices will vary depending on the type of fabric used as well as the designer. Average prices will range between $24.99 and $39.99.
Button Down Shirt
For 2009 the men’s wear inspired button down shirt will go a bit softer. A touch of lace, a bit of ruffling, pin tucking, or draping will make it clear that the wearer is all woman and not afraid to show it.
White will continue to be the most important addition to a wardrobe. Women with a bit of extra money may also add one or two shirts in 2009’s city chic colors like steel blue or traffic light yellow. Others may play toward Mother Earth’s neutral tones in muted browns and greens.
Shirt fabrics will vary greatly, ranging from petal soft peach skin to standard cotton and even some of today’s newer micro fibers. The truth is the fabric and color will be of less importance than fit. This year will see a return to the classics with use of darts and seaming meant to show off a woman’s figure; not disguise it.
Button down shirts can be found in women’s specialty clothing stores as well as most department stores that feature women’s clothing such as Sears, Bloomindales, or Dillards. Online, these shirts can be found at popular home retailers like Home Shopping Network (.com) and QVC (.com).
Prices will vary depending upon the fabric from which the shirt is made and the designer. However, the average price will range between $19.99 and $49.99.
In 2009, a lot of women will move away from cardigans to strong structured jackets in classic styles with just a hint of femininity added in. Look for shawl collars, softer fabrics that can be draped without losing structure, and accents that make it clear the jacket isn’t made for a man.
Longer lengths that hit mid-hip or just below are likely to be the most popular. However, that doesn’t mean that shorter jackets will disappear. They will remain, but take a backseat for awhile.
Some blazers will feature touches of leather, velvet, or other fabrics to add texture. Others will display embroidery, hand painted designs, or delicate jewels.
Women’s blazers can be found in any clothing store that carries professional style clothing like Lane Bryant or J.C. Penney. Online, these jackets can be found at Overstock (.com) and Shopzilla (.com).
Prices will vary depending upon the jacket’s fabric, style, and cut, as well as its designer. Prices can range from a low of $29.99 to a high of several hundred dollars.
All pants will vary widely in 2009, which may well be deemed the year of extremes. The ever-popular blue jean will be no different. While skinny jeans will not be as prominent as they have been in the recent past, a few women will hold on to them.
Where 2008 focused more on a good fit, 2009 will focus more on the “look” of the jeans. The new jean will be looser, more relaxed, and far less fitted than anything that has been worn in the recent past. In fact, some women may take a page out of Katie Holmes’ book and start wearing their husband’s or boyfriend’s jeans.
Dark wash indigo colors have held the major focus for the last few years in the jeans’ industry. But jeans in 2009 will go back to the faded or multiple-wash look. Neat and clean is out while slightly scruffy and torn is definitely in.
Hollywood stars like Cameron Diaz have already been spotted wearing jeans that have been purposely ripped or torn to show off the assets. The more skin showing through, the better. Look for jeans to be cut off to capri, pedal pusher, Bermuda, and even Daisy Duke length with lots of rips and tears for accent.
Most women are particular about the brand of jeans they wear. Brands like Seven, Lucky, and True Religion can be harder to find than more standard brands like Levi. Look for some of the most popular brands of jeans at Old Navy, Kohl’s Department Store, and even Macys. Online, look for jeans at Alibaba (.com) or Nextag (.com).
Prices for blue jeans can range from $19.99 to several hundred dollars depending upon the designer.
Another “must have” clothing item not listed in the top five is the dress. Dresses made a come back a couple of years ago and show no sign of leaving anytime soon. The plain sheath dress, particularly, in black, is an excellent staple for any wardrobe.
Women will add color and texture to staple pieces with “must have” accessories like scarves, handbags, belts, and jewelry. When dollars are low, these are the items that provide the most bang for the buck for those who already possess a wardrobe of basic staple pieces.
Resources: Glamour Magazine, Elle Magazine, Self Magazine