“The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.”
— Coco Chanel
When I look back on 2011, I'll remember three outrageous fashion moments: all the weird hats guests wore to Kate Middleton and Prince Williams' royal wedding April 29, and mercenary shoppers fighting for affordable fashions during Missoni for Target's launch on Sept. 13 and the Versace for H&M debacle in Palm Beach Gardens on Nov. 19.
Although I've been writing this column for seven years and consider myself a die-hard fashionista, I have to say this year's color-blocking fad and trend of mismatched animal and floral prints really confused me. Women began to wear pink tops with red pants and to pair brown leopard jackets with yellow zebra skirts. I even spotted women on Lincoln Road mixing polka dots with stripes. It made me dizzy, and caused me to long for the '90s, when people stuck to basic black.
This was the year Christian Dior fired John Galliano after Galliano went on an anti-Semitic tirade at a café, and it was the year the Kardashians demonstrated they do have some fashion talent after launching their Kollection at Sears. This year, lace dresses and python purses and shoes were hot commodities, and the 1970s made a comeback in the collections of Chloé and Marc Jacobs with midcalf-length dresses and wide-leg trousers. But not everybody got it right this year. Following are the best and worst fashion moments of 2011:
Big, bushy beards. OK, on some guys this rugged look works. But for most men, these beards make them look like hobos, Osama Bin Laden or Alan from The Hangover. Light facial scruff in the style of what Bradley Cooper wears is a more-approachable take on this trend. Unless you're Zac Brown, shave the beard.
Flat lace-up boots. This was the boot trend that didn't know what it wanted to be. It wasn't about work boots, motorcycle boots or combat boots. When starlets such as Lindsay Lohan and Emma Roberts attempted to rock the new version of lace-up boots, they looked as if they were auditioning to play henchmen on Boardwalk Empire.
Versace for H&M. The line was overpriced, and shopping in H&M stores for the collection brought out the worst in people. Do I really need to spend $130 on a chintzy purse that can barely hold an iPhone and lipstick? Does my boyfriend really want to wear a $90 sweater covered in bright-green palm trees? No, and no.
eBaying Missoni for Target items. I got hate mail from eBayers after I wrote a column in October that criticized Missoni for Target hoarders for trying to make a quick buck off the rest of us. Simply because we didn't rush out and buy up all the Missoni the morning it went on sale, we got nothing. I thought about it again, and yes, hoarders, I still hate you.
Rompers. These are the equivalent of onesies for adult women. They're for sleazy, South Beach sugar daddies who want their girlfriends to look like high schoolers. Gross.
Pajama jeans. This jeggings look has been around for a couple of years, but it's a trend that won't go away. If you can sleep in it, you shouldn't wear it in public.
Fruit prints. Fruit belongs in only three places: trees, slot machines and refrigerators.
Bondage look. Metal spikes appeared on Christian Louboutin shoes, and designers such as Lanvin and Temperley London began harnessing their models with leather straps and chains. I can't wait for us to escape this look.
A dress by Missoni for Target
The new year is just around the corner, so what should we wear to the Mayan apocalypse? According to Elle.com, some of the trends we can expect to see this spring include bird prints, flapper-inspired drop-waist dresses and abstract art on clothing. Midriff tops are slated to make a comeback, too. Frankly, none of these trends appeals to me, especially the belly-bearing bit, so I've decided to dig a little deeper into the fashion forecast for the new year. Pastel hues, from pale yellows to light pinks, were spotted on the spring 2012 runways of Versace, Louis Vuitton and Valentino. Baroque patterns popped up in the spring 2012 collections of Stella McCartney and Thakoon, and oceanic looks such as sea-shell purses and shark-tooth necklaces are being shown by Givenchy and Alexander McQueen.
Esquire.com is hinting that bolder colors will be big for men next year, particularly mustard-hued shirts and green pants. While I don't really see guys buying into this trend, I can see them going for the double-breasted blazer, which also is returning to the style scene. Now, I don't predict men will start purchasing these jackets. They'll just start wearing what they never bothered to get rid of in the ‘80s, when these jackets were popular the first time around.
Esquire also is reporting that the skinny-pant look for dudes is officially over. Really, I don't know how to thank the writers at Esquire enough for this. Men in skinny pants are distracting, making them look as if they'd raided their little sisters' closets.
While I can appreciate the idea of shelling out $1,050 for a pastel, floral Versace blouse at Neiman Marcus, why would I drop a mortgage payment on one item? Here are some stores to hit this spring to get trendy looks for less.
The abstract-art look: printed sequined dress for $89.90 on Zara.com. This textured, black-and-white dress is part optical illusion, part glammed-out clubwear. You'll be a walking work of art in this irresistible minidress.
Oceanic trend: Jessica Simpson Coral Cocktail Ring for $35 on Macys.com. This coral-inspired ring has an earthy texture, and gives the wearer a look that's perfect for a seaside adventure in Miami.
Bird fad: Little Love Birds Scarf for $9.50 on Charlotterusse.com. This fabulous black scarf adorned with dainty birds is a great way to fly into spring and to wrap your wings around the bird trend without losing your nest egg.
Unfitted trouser trend: George Men's Suit Pants in black for $13 on Walmart.com. These flat-front trousers are an instant classic that will lead any guy back to looser pants. And he'll still have money left over to pick up a round of drinks.
Contact Joanie Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.