That ’70s style: Flares, fringe, faux fur

That ’70s style: Flares, fringe, faux fur

Are you ready for the return of oversized tops, jumpsuits, flare pants and funky prints?

This fall, the trends of the 1970s – which also include Bohemian-inspired accessories, platform shoes and button-up skirts – are making a comeback, according to local fashion experts.

Erica Cole, a personal stylist and consultant in the Portland area, said that fringe, especially on clutches, skirts, dresses and vests, is in style, as well as duster coats, sleeveless vests, trench coats, high-waist pants and over-the-knee boots.

Much of what’s now trending is also influenced by the 1920s, ’40s and ’90s, said Cole, including shirt dresses, trousers, blouses with pussycat bows, and wool and felt hats. In Maine, she said, women in their teens to early 30s have “completely embraced the bohemian vibe,” which she loves. Her favorite trends are fringe dresses and skirts, lace-up high heels, over-the-knee boots and sleeveless trench coats.

“I love these things because it sums my personality up no matter what I style them with,” said Cole. “Everything has a little flare to it. I feel feminine, yet powerful.”

Personally, Cole would like to see the styles of the ’90s disappear, with the exception of the tying-a-shirt-around-the-waist trend.

“I think that can add a little edge to a simple ensemble,” said Cole, a former model and 2005 titleholder of Miss Maine USA.

When she’s working with her clients, Cole tends to blend old and new trends, as well as high- and low-end items. For Cole, helping clients improve their wardrobes isn’t necessarily based on current styles, though.

“I never just focus on what’s in style because that would limit me and my client’s ability to express ourselves through fashion,” Cole said. “For some body types, certain styles won’t work, so it’s incredibly important to always dress for your body type and not what is trending.”

Her advice for women is to focus on finding their “style personality.” According to Cole, clothing is a person’s “second skin,” and style “is a way of communication.”

“Be inspired by what’s trending now. If the trend of the season is prints, find one that works for you,” she said.

But “if there are trends that you don’t love, don’t push it,” she added. “You have to dress for you, who you are, and what you represent. Express yourself and be confident in your style choices, and most importantly, have fun with it.”

Cole and another Portland-based image consultant, Ashley Jordan, agree that, while the skinny-jean trend isn’t going anywhere, wide-leg pants are re-entering the fashion world.

“You will see a lot of flares, but also the resurgence of things like the classic Levi’s 501 (original fit jeans),” said Jordan.

She encourages women to add some of these ’70s-inspired items to their closets, since they are, for the most part, “classic.” However, she does have some advice when it comes to embracing retro styles: Don’t wear it head to toe.

“You don’t want to look like an extra in a movie or like you are wearing a Halloween costume,” she said.

Portland-area fashion designer and seamstress Erika Lynn Smith said in general she’s been noticing more “vintage” trends, and people shopping at thrift shops.

“Even my 19-year-old brother will shop at Goodwill or a thrift shop to find 20-year-old L.L. Bean flannels, Levi jeans and snapbacks (hats),” she said. “All fashion trends circle back around.”

She agrees with Cole and Jordan that the ’70s “hippie” style is a big fashion trend for spring/summer 2015, as well as for fall, including high-waist bell bottom jeans, large prints and loose dresses and tops.

“I am a huge fan of the romper,” or one-piece, said Smith. “I am so glad it is back in full swing.”

According to Smith, fall is also “the return of the classics,” such as plaid, tartan prints (like in Scottish kilts) and tweeds.

This fall, higher-waisted pants are definitely making a comeback, she said.

“This look is loved by many women; it accentuates the waist and makes the leg appear to be even longer,” said Smith.

Tights, especially in “fun prints,” she added, are “always a fun way to jazz up a simple dress or skirt.” So-called statement jewelry, such as necklaces and brooches with “lots of bling” are also trendy.

And the list goes on.

The latest shoe trends, said Smith, include ’90s-inspired combat boots as seen on the runway by fashion designer Marc Jacobs, and loafers.

“I am inspired by current trends when designing my own pieces,” said Smith, who creates custom designs for local events such as the WMPG radio station’s annual fashion show and the Blue Wrap Project Runway Fashion show in Portland. “My love is designing women’s clothing and accessories. I am inspired on a daily basis by my surroundings.”

Shay Johnson is a local fashion designer, image consultant and owner of women’s clothing store Sashay’s, which moved from Route 1 in Falmouth to Main Street in Freeport in late August. She agrees that fringe is a fall must-have, along with faux suede and leather, laced-up shoes and boots, pleats and faux fur.

She said what’s coming back in style “is reminiscent of the ’70s.”

“Last winter, faux leather was really big, and this year, faux suede is really everywhere,” Johnson said. “Suede was really big, even for summer. Everywhere I went, I’d see suede shoes,” including boots and pumps.

The runway “sets the tone of what’s going to be trendy and in fashion,” said Johnson. “Designers work their whole clothing lines around those trends.”

Sashay’s already carries suede sandals with fringe around the ankle, she said. Though she doesn’t plan to carry either in her store, faux animal fur vests and fur shoes are also making a comeback, she added.

“This year you will see a lot more of it in stores and on people,” Johnson said.

In addition to the usual fall jewel tones, like emerald green or amethyst purple, aubergine (a dark purple, eggplant color) and teal are dominant fall colors this year, Johnson said.

In terms of accessories, she said, long- and multi-strand necklaces with pendants are also fashion-forward.

“They really go a long way to elongating a woman’s body,” she said. “It gives the illusion of being taller and thinner.”

But Johnson, who is approaching 50 years old, stresses to her older clients that current trends are more targeted toward “20 somethings.”

However, “There are things that older customers can certainly get away with, and not look ridiculous, she said. “No matter what your body shape, you are going to be able to find something that is still trendy and works for your particular body shape.”

Fringe, as seen on this model’s skirt, is reminiscent of the 1970s, and is coming back in style this fall, say local fashion experts. Courtesy photoFlare jeans are also making a comeback this fall.Courtesy photoPortland area fashion designer and seamstress Erika Lynn Smith. Courtesy photo

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