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Navigating fashion’s season trends

Durban - I am frequently asked what is in fashion or on trend for the new season and it is a question that has become increasingly difficult to answer.

Our seasons are not as clear cut as they used to be. Durban, for example, has about two months of winter and therefore, stocking up on the latest “trends” for the season, is not easy. Stock for the forthcoming season seems to arrive far too early and most of us dread having to buy autumn/winter garments in the heat of March.

Layering is good in Durbans winter, like this combination from Trenery at the 2014 Woolworths Winter Preview. Picture: SDR PhotoLeather and pattern make a feminine combination, as shown in this Kathrin Kidger dress from the Durban Fashion Fair.  Picture: SDR PhotoThe shift dress, like this from Country Road, shown at Woolworths Winter Preview, is a wardrobe staple. Picture: SDR PhotoTailored patterned pants  like these by Terrence Bray  at the Durban Fashion Fair, can be dressed up or down. Picture: SDR Photo

Seasonal trends are not as obvious as they used to be. If we think back to the 50s and 60s, we can picture a specific look from those eras. These are repeated time and again, and merely adapted to create interest and different perspectives.

These days, there is much more freedom to create your own style based on your personality and lifestyle, which I find exciting. People are finding their own identity and dressing according to their age, what they want to portray about themselves and the practicalities of their day-to-day lives.

Today’s generation is more aware of trends, and can acquire them quite easily, since “disposable fashion” has become huge. So how do we transition from one season to the next?

Add-ins. Remember that high fashion dates, so don’t spend a fortune on it. Think about what you already have in your wardrobe and then add pieces that will work together. Accessories are an affordable way of introducing a trend.

Colour. This is a key seasonal influence, as there is a definite difference between winter and summer colours. If you want to invest in new garments when going into a new season, buy something that is in a colour that suits the season and, more importantly, that suits you.

Pattern. Some choose to avoid it, as it can come across as quite bold. I personally love a tailored pair of patterned pants for summer, as they can be dressed up or down, and are an item that adds variety into a wardrobe. At the moment, botanical prints are popular. If you are nervous, don’t wear two contrasting patterns at the same time – keep the top half plain.

Layer. In Durban, layering is an integral part of the look, so you can peel off if the day gets too warm. Pastel coats will hit the stores soon. These are a great new addition as they can be layered over almost anything. Make sure that you get the length of the coat right – what a six-foot-tall (1.82m) woman can carry off, a shorty cannot. Proportion is the key.

Classics. A classic shift dress is timeless. Add texture for interest – a touch of lace, or leather, silk or tweed. Country Road has successfully showcased some of these elements in their latest range.

Look local. All our local fashion designers have something different and fresh to offer. Looking back at The Durban Fashion Fair 2013, Terrence Bray stands out with his beautiful range in botanical prints, while Kathrin Kidger introduced leather and pattern in a feminine way.

Clean out. As we start moving towards winter, do a seasonal wardrobe clean out, and make a list of what you need.

Establish a capsule wardrobe which allows you to mix and match your garments. Get rid of the clutter – most women wear 20 percent of their wardrobe 80 percent of the time.

While our options are endless, the most important thing is that we feel comfortable in what we are wearing. There is nothing worse than trying to wear a trend that really doesn’t work for you. When we look good, we feel good.

Be your own silent sales team – wear it and live it. Be the best you. - Daily News

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