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Have the Latest Trends Passed You By?

| Nov 26, 2012
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Some time ago I posted comments on an Australian friend’s fashion blog about the plethora of fashion trends that seem to come out every spring and fall. There are so many of them that not any of it makes much sense. And then what you see on the runways in London, Paris, and New York simply doesn’t translate to everyday street wear.

And frankly what I see in a lot of stores, especially for the plus-size gal like me, is garbage – prints that ought to be on your kitchen table or perhaps hanging on the windows. The quality is often questionable and the sizing is so variable that 50% of the women buying online have to return their purchases. And of course all this is complicated by the fact that women’s clothes are not designed for a male body.

So how do you know which trends to embrace and which to ignore. Many of us have limited funds or limited shopping opportunities (if you prefer brick and mortar stores) and choosing wrongly will only make Goodwill happy. I’ve always managed to pick a few trends to follow that are more or less classic, and a few that aren’t :-), but what happens when even your favorite trend seems to disappear.

Personal style is really important, but what’s the line between individual style and looking dowdy or having people ask you if that’s the new vintage look.  Following fashions like a slave is not going to guarantee you style.  But when you have found a style you love how long can you keep going with it before you look dated and frumpy? I love my maxi dresses and print skirts and the thought of them going out of style is something I dread, but I do want to remain contemporary. Unfortunately not being contemporary leaves the impression that you are older than you may be, that you are old-fashioned, or that you are out of touch; not an impression that you necessarily want to leave.

Trends will usually stay around for a number of years – think skinny jeans, pencil skirts, maxi dresses.    They flatter more body shapes and come with some variety so you can find the version that suits you.

  • Fashion fads: last 3-12 months
  • Fashion trends: last 1-5 years
  • Fashion classics: last 5-10 years
  • Fashion cycle:  about 20 years until a trend will return (but always in a slightly different way)

Can you guess which decade? Answer at bottom.

Just to get a feel for fashion trends, let’s just look at some skirt trends in the last century.

  • 1900s Skirts with trains
  • 1910s Hobble skirts
  • 1920s Drop-waist flapper style skirts
  • 1930s Long flowing skirts
  • 1940s Matching skirts and sweaters
  • 1950s Circle skirts with petticoats
  • 1960s Mini skirts
  • 1970s Wrap-around skirts with leotards – Boho
  • 1980s Straight conservative skirts
  • 1990s Casual skirt – the grunge look
  • 2000s Ever changing styles – haute couture and recycled trends

The sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties were all extremely distinct in style and trends.  Then we hit the millennium.

While I could list off certain fashion trends that I have seen in the last 20 years, not one single style defines this generation.

Fads are those that suit a few people – if you love it and it suits you, buy early in the fashion cycle.  Examples of fads might be very strong or loud patterns, cuffed boyfriend jeans, fluorescent colors, ponchos, and patterned trousers – they tend to be harder to wear, less flattering or more extreme (less mainstream) than trends.

Classics on the other hand change much less over time, though they do change and don’t last forever.  Examples of classics are the little black dress, trench coats, white collared shirt, shift dress in a dark neutral color, straight leg black trousers, pencil skirts, and now the ubiquitous jeans,

So should you keep your favorites?

Ask yourself:

  • Are they a fad, trend or classic?
  • When did you buy them?  How many years have you had them?
  • Could you go into a store and buy a similar garment today (if not, it’s gone out of fashion)?
  • Are they still in good condition?
  • Did you buy them at the start of the trend or towards the end?
  • Does it give you the a similar silhouette as the current trend?

Classic Dressing: A Long-Lived Trend

Over the years, fashion changes with the season and for various other reasons. Trends in clothing pop up and are popular for a while then suddenly disappear. It’s hard to anticipate what will be the right thing to wear at any given moment. Fortunately, there have been some classic styles that have bucked the trends and endured. These classic dressing standards never go out of style and are generally always met with acceptance in the world of fashion.

First, the ever dependable trench coat. It is perfect for wearing over sportswear or even when going out on a special occasion. It can be counted on to be double-breasted, have two pockets and a belt at the waist and always the perfect length at just below the knee.

Another long enduring trend is the pump.  These vary with stiletto heels or they can be as flat as a ballerina’s slipper (and are usually somewhere in between).  The toe also varies from rounded to pointed, even squared off. It can be made of many different materials but the ever present design has never left our consciousness as an acceptable style statement.

Finally, the little black dress, or as it is commonly referred to these days, the LBD. The cut is usually kept fairly simple but may vary depending upon current trends. No matter what trend the fashion world is focused on, it continues to stay near the top. It has remained a long lasting fashion trend because it can always be dressed up in a variety of ways. Whether adding belts, shoes, jewelry or pins, it always looks good and makes the wearer feel at the top of her game.

Montblanc CEO Lutz Bethge says, “Before launching a product now we make sure to ask, will our customer love the product in 10, 20, 50 years? That is what is important to consumers.

Take a quick look here and see how fashions have evolved since the 50s:

Best 2000 Fashion Trends

Denim made a comeback into the fashion world’s media glare.

Hipster and skinny jeans made our parents wonder how and why we squeezed into such tiny pants

The boho trend became a phenomenon with women across the country when A-list stars such as the Olsen twins, Nicole Richie, and Lindsey Lohan wore the hippie inspired styles daily.

Leggings made an appearance circa 2005 underneath the baggy layered looks, but really made a statement in 2008 being worn with everything from dresses, to short tunics and even as tights under shorts.

Khaki made a return and designers such as Donna Karan based entire collections around the theme, giving customers a more grown up lady-like style with long dresses, pencil skirts and wide belts to cinch in the waist.

The maxi dress make a comeback, flowing and colorful maxi dresses became an easy to wear summer staple.

I hope you appreciate this last clip. Ruth is 101 years old and was featured in Pilates Style magazine. This woman is still stylish, attractive, and fit. I can also tell you that red lipstick (my favorite) goes well with gray hair – Ruth obviously has a cool complexion and can wear the jewel colors.

Answer to picture above – 1970s

  • Yum

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion


About the Author ()

Tasi was a transgender, married, lifelong crossdresser. She passed away in late 2018. She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger including fashion articles for Tri-Ess, TG Reporter, Repartee, and Pretty T-Girls magazine. Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House and her blog, the Fashionable TG Woman are dedicated to fashion and style for the transgendered woman. Tasi’s book, "Top Ten Fashion Mistakes By Crossdressers and How To Fix Them" is available on Amazon or on her site free to subscribers.

Comments (2)

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  1. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Hi Dina. Good thought. Actually I’ve identified more than 100 fashion blogging sites, many of which talk to the plus-size woman. The issue that I have with many of these under 30 girls is not their personal style but their selections are not appropriate for the more mature women. And I even question many of their styles. I looked at the four you mentioned and only one would I ever choose to follow on a regular basis that I thought had an enduring sense of style.

    I’m reminded of a comment by Clinton Kelly of TLC when he said fashion in America went away in the 90s. Well, not completely, but you have to look hard.

    When my own sites ( and blog (The live after the first of the year, we’ll be talking about fashions that not only look good on CDs and T-girls, but how to put a complete outfit together from wigs to shoes. I’m seriously not impressed with much of what I see on the internet and that opinion is shared by my very fashion-conscious wife.

    Are there some good ones out there. yes, and they’ll be on my blogroll. I suggest our ladies look at sites like Fabulous After 40 and check out Marci Guavara and her HelloStyle channel on YouTube as well as her personal blogs.

    I’ll do a future article on the subject.


  2. dina dina says:

    Tasi, my Dina’s Diner column this week mentions some young plus-size fashion bloggers. I thought that some of those sites might be good places for T-girls and CD’s to get fashion ideas for large-size frames.

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