Transitioning Is the New Black
by Seth Elliott
We mourn the loss of summer annually. Those pool party hangovers, hot summer kisses, and scantily-clad posts are logged for the year, and while our memories may fade, social media is a less forgetful place. As trees show signs of fall’s return, remember to mirror the mood in your current profile picture. Once the temperature and your caloric intake dip, due to your Halloween costume diet, your sexy summer shot skews more blatantly scandalous than coincidentally seasonal.
Hot trends of the coming cold months promise plenty to look forward to: inspirations also have us looking at the past, and making “old” the current new. Reimagine the possibilities of your current closet’s arsenal. The year’s variety of denim trends makes pairing your personal style easier than finding the right fitting pair. Whether you’re ready to get out and shop for a new love or you prefer to rescue your dearest old faithful denim, there’s a place in this world and season for you . Variety is the spice of life and the new season’s trends offer more to savor than the artificial pumpkin spiked deluge that’s soon to follow.
Don’t ditch the white denim once the P-Town party weekends have passed for the year. That Betty-Crocker-Era rule has no place on the current fashion plate. It may feel odd at first, but consider the context. Your best friend didn’t think twice about wearing white on her wedding day, did she? Her “live-fast and stay-pretty” attitude cultivated plenty of scandal in the past, but she’s living in the now, and so should you. Get into it by swapping the summer’s nautical topping with fall’s black and white stripe dressing. Bold burgundies, rich camels or charged greens paired with your winter whites will make your look pop. Throw on a jean jacket anytime for another modern layered look. Its denim-on-denim for dummies, but you can strut like a pro. For the faint of style, start with trusty fall basics or an athleisure leftover to complement the five-pocket punch of this new cold weather basic.
If you’re going to carry over summer’s perfectly fitted version to the coming season, bring that summer body as well. The best summer bodies are made in the winter, but so are the best holiday meals. Know when to say when, or opt to splurge on a crisp, white, winter-weight-fitting pair instead. The holidays call for fresh baked goodies, not season-old muffin tops.
Flip Flop your top layers this year. The coming cold months make opening up the coat closet crucial. The trend we showed last year is back, and has amassed an impressive following.
Coat-on-Coat styling has returned in a major way. Rules have loosened up, and everyone is taking a swing at it: the fashion forward, the hipster elite and the mainstream men all agree – it’s something they could get into. Last year’s top layer can be swapped for this winter’s go-to bottom. This look is essential on fashion’s frigid street corners but no wind chill is required to get in on the action. Start by slipping a denim jacket into your favorite winter looks. At first, it may feel like a tight fit under that camel-hair classic. However, once you get used to the idea, you’ll be working it into ensembles you never imagined. This trend knows no limits as lighter fall jackets can be kept in rotation all winter long. Put a slick nylon number under a thick winter tweed. Try that light fall leather under your dressy double-breasted topcoat to lighten the mood. If it’s your first attempt at the new season’s technique, go for something easy. A trial run with an outerwear vest is a simple way to venture out of the box. Play with it as a bottom layer paired with coats and jackets too formal for the slopes. Now counter that maneuver and try it as a top layer over a sport coat.
Experimentation is key, but so is a comfortable fit. Don’t take on or put on more than you can handle. Remember you must be able to drive, open doors and lift your cocktail with ease. To keep this new style experience pleasant, never leave the house looking as though you may burst at the seams and always have cash for coat check.
Salvage your selvedge this year. We all have those choice pairs we broke in carefully, and blew out regretfully. It’s hard to say goodbye to yesterday’s denim casualty. Buried in dark corners they await the next closet cleaning, when the memories have faded like indigo and we are ready to let go. This year with a few simple tools and a quick trip to the tailor you could be reunited and it will feel so good.
Distressed denim has designers slashing, fading, shredding and fraying new fashion denim, from the runway to the street. The choice designer versions look effortless, but perfectly proportioned imperfection comes with a price. The drool-worthy versions are worth their weight in work but the pair you lived in and loved on are the ultimate inspiration.
Refusing to let go can pay off this year if you upcycle an old friend. A talented tailor can reinforce and patch almost any and keep that beloved fit intact. These denim doctors’ skills come with a price but, remember you get what you pay for. Be aware of weak spots that are worse-for-wear. These repairs are meant to be seen so get them all reinforced and patched before the inevitable rip. This will keep them looking rock-star ready and avoid any Lenny Kravitz-style wardrobe fails, unless it stands to work in your favor.
Need to add a few slashes to even out the look? Try making a few small horizontal slices, followed by clawing the loose threads with a staple remover. Trace the new cuts with a Q-tip in bleach to add to the aged aesthetic. Then wash, try on, and repeat, to ensure flawless imperfection. Sandpaper can also strategically add to wear and tear or turn a stain into styling.
Not to be confused with its distressed counterpart, Patchwork is also getting revamped this season. This is not your grandmother’s fix-it job. This resurgence has chic designer denim on the mend. While it also poses an opportunity to give new life to old denim, this season’s samples are polished. No iron-on patchwork will get you this look-for-less so leave this project to the pros.
Tatters, tatters everywhere and not a hint of dapper, will take these looks from taste-maker to deal-breaker on the street. Both trends play easily with the military or earthy inspirations from the coming season, but why stop there? Challenge yourself to take this worked-on and worn-in look to a higher state of consciousness. Break out that smoking jacket with your repaired indigos to hit the hot spots in town.
Transitioning is the new black, and doing it with style this year means embracing the old and mixing the new. A few smart steps can keep your bank balance poised to splurge when your heart desires. Layers are one of the best parts about the coming season when Blackwatch, Houndstooth and leather are all neutrals. Fresh new denim collections provide boundless options or keep rocking the ones as white as snow. Despite all the cashmere, holidays and glad tidings ahead, it’s natural to dream of the return of hot summer days because, ultimately, we all look better wet.