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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dress for Hot Success: Spring and Summer Fashion Trends

By Sassy Outwater

Ladies and Gents: The key to 2011 fashion is time travel! The days of comformity have passed, ushering in the dawn of self-expression and offering up something from each of the past five decades to spice up your style. Whether you like a little sixties glamour, some seventies sophistication or a little punk hippie bohemian… Go for it! Retro, unique and chic are the rules for Spring and summer clothes and accessories this year. Which is also great for your closet, since mixing and matching eras is the name of the game. The one big no-no this year is too much of anything. Less is more. Here’s a quick breakdown of the hottest clothing and accessory trends for guys and gals, with a few blind-friendly style tips.

Gentlemen: Back away from those skinny jeans and get ready to rock your flares. Flare-legged jeans and pants are in this Spring for you. Summer suits in lighter richer tones broadcast fun and business simultaneously, so don’t be afraid to practice knotting a tie. But be tasteful. Easy on the stripes, the patterns or the bright colors. A little goes a long way for you this year. With those flared jeans comes a blessing for you… heavy work boots are in. Show us your stud side, and pull out those big heavy boots. This year is all about letting the manly man out. Stick with classic and manly, and you’re on the right track.

Ladies: The tables are turning, and curves are in again. Skinny is on its way out the door, and beautiful women with confidence and curves are all the rage now. Femininity is in. Strong, confident women who can get tough, and still look gorgeous in a dress.

Flared jeans are replacing skinny jeans (finally). Wide-legged jeans that show off hips and fall straight to the floor from the hip are classy, stylish ways to dress up a casual day. Bell-bottom jeans and clogs, or platform sandals with brass studs are straight out of the seventies and straight into your closet for 2011.

Retro is in this year when it comes to accessorizing. Studs, chains, anything to bling up your shoes, purses and other accessories. Also, think exotic. Flowing shimmery dress fabrics straight out of the seventies, tassels and fringes on bags, shirts and shawls… Go a little wild. Back away from the animal prints and polka dots a bit this year, and think more sophisticated, retro look with a little punk thrown in. Clunky shoes, wide belts, big buttons… add a little something to every outfit that falls just a tad outside the box.

In the dress department, think sixties and seventies glamor. Dresses that flow nicely over your curves and have an eye-catching hem or skirt to blow in the breeze are in style this year. Tail hems—skirts with a longer hem in back—add a little modesty and flare to shorter summer sundresses and skirts. Don’t be afraid to show your legs off this year. Shorts aren’t the most body-flattering things in the world, but a flowing skirt draws the eyes away from upper body defects, enhances a woman’s natural curves, and gets men daydreaming. Sheer dresses are also in style, which means it’s time to rock that little black camisole or a pretty pair of leggings under your short sheer dress. Modest and sexy can co-exist very well this year. Sheer on top, just a hint of lace underneath, and everything is still nicely covered up.

When choosing your clothes and patterns this Spring, think stripes, Tie-dye, and nautical. Blues, warm yellows, deep greens, and deep purples are in this year. But pair wisely. Pick tops with strong bold stripes that compliment your figure. Once you have a patterned piece on top, pair it with a neutral jean or pant or skirt. If your skirt is brightly patterned, choose a neutral top. Lace is also in this year… but not the full lace pieces that have been so popular for the past few years. Accentuate a top with a delicate antique lace collar, or choose a skirt with a lace hem. A light crochet wrap for a chilly evening might be the perfect finishing touch. Things that look old or homemade, like antique lace or crocheted pieces are very popular this year. All over tie-dyes are out. One or two bold circles on a dark background, or a little judicious use of color on a skirt can be all you need to take an outfit from plain to stellar.

I know a lot of blind people who are rather scared of the changing fashion seasons. It’s not exactly possible for us to pick up a magazine and see what everyone is wearing these days. Most of us stick to basic colors, and steer clear of patterns or gaudy accessories for fear of wearing the wrong thing or not matching. But I am issuing you a challenge! Have fun this year! Fashion is all about expressing your individual style this season. The only way you can do it wrong is to not try to have fun with your appearance. Spice up your closet and have fun experimenting.

Bottom line, we’re still a struggling economy. Fashion is compensating by closet-diving and reviving old trends… mixed together to make a new trend. Mix and match judiciously and with an eye—well—hand toward individuality, and you know you’ll be a 2011 Summer trendsetter. Don’t break your bank, either. Hit the secondhand stores for that one-of-a-kind treasure, or dig through your closet for that skirt that hasn’t been in style for 20 years. Out with the new, in with the stylishly old. Now I dare you, put some Spring in those flared jeans! Strut your stuff, sexy!

Sassy Outwater is a totally blind chick, full-time musician, part-time writer, Yoga-instructor, health nut and style-junky.

For more fashion, health and beauty tips for the blind, or just to find out more about me and my crazy life, visit me on Twitter:

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