Bringing sexy (silhouettes) back

Why fashion needs an electric shock to be brought back to life if it wants my money.

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Winter Fashion

With a birthday on the horizon and a need for new wears, the idea of shopping for the latest winter fashion is giving me the heebie-jeebies.

Is it just me or has women’s fashion gone down the gurgler the last two years?

Some of the more reliable fashion brands, Country Road, Witchery, Supré and Trenery have lost the best part of their feminine edge and appear better aligned to Ricki Martin or Justin Beiber.

“I can’t wait to hide my boobs and hips under a box shaped shirt and slouchy oversized knit collar“ – said no fashionista ever.

No wonder interest rates have been cut to boost consumer spending!

Yet active wear, slouchy knits, box shapes, a-lines, cover-alls and triple tiered layering (not to mention the constant inclusion of sweat pants) are blending together to form a trend I like to call ‘nano styling’.

I feel like fashion needs an electric shock to bring it back to life.

Perhaps one explanation for this ‘nano styling’ is the prevalence of shopping online.

In 2011, Australia’s leading retailer was Asos.

In 2014, 95 per cent of all retail sales were made online according to The Daily Mail.

And a recent report by National Australia Bank noted a 12.4 per cent increase in online spending over the last 12 months.

Online shopping has become a significant influence not only in the way we live our lives, but also on the way fashion designers approach design and styling.

In the absence of a consumer being able to walk into a shop and try on an item before they buy it, it is easier to ensure a consumer ‘fits’ an item and therefore doesn’t return it for a refund or exchange if the product has a more forgiving shape and therefore ‘fits’ a wider range of body shapes and sizes.

The classic box shape shirt is a perfect example of a forgiving silhouette. You might even find you can get away with going down a size if the shirt is particularly forgiving.

By comparison, however, longstanding brands who have avoided e-commerce, such as Chanel have glossed over these forgiving silhouette trends by attaching 70’s, 80’s and 90’s shaping.

It took me many years to rationalise why Kookai never had an e-store attached to their website until recently. Their product has more defined silhouette shapes and so, again, one explanation for this could be the lack of influence from online shopping.

And all this makes sense because fashion is influenced by life.

So, can we please bring sexy fashion back yet?!

Probably not anytime soon.

But one great thing we can thank online shopping for is that it has led to greater predictability and consistency in sizing. For example: at Witchery, a size 39 shoe is a size 39 shoe.

That makes shopping online helpful and convenient and in itself reduces refunds and exchanges for our retailers.

In the meantime, as for the need to buy-up-big for my birthday: I am not inspired. No, wait. I am inspired: Inspired into trawling my clothes archives in search for something, anything with a cinched waist, figure-hugging fit and neckline lower than my forehead.

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