Welcome to 2014! It’s the start of a brand new fashion year and Spring/Summer 14 items are beginning to slowly trickle into shops at last. As the sale rails are shrinking, we can’t help but be on the lookout for fresh, new fashion. Some of the trends are bound to change, but here are a few that I hope continue into 2014, both for their plus size wearability and their enduring appeal.
1: Skater dresses
The ultimate wear-anywhere dress, this is the trend I am hoping most strongly will carry on into 2014. The fit and flare styling means you don’t end up with the ‘fits on the hips but too big on the shoulders’ problem, you can dress them up or down for any occasion and they look at least as good on plus sizes as on smaller women. They also usually come with sleeves, which makes this trend very wearable.
2: Colour pop
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away (c. 2004 actually) it seemed almost impossible to get plus size garments in colours other than black, white or for the daring, hot pink. Maybe this was a financial decision made by high street stores to limit their spend on a small capsule wardrobe for plus size customers, I’m not sure. I do know, though, that it was incredibly boring. Being over a size 16 doesn’t flip a switch that instantly removes your need to see and wear a variety colours, patterns and prints! So I hope that the current trend for a better choice of bright and exciting clothing options continues in 2014.
3: 40s/50s Vintage
Vintage has been back for a while, but the focus this year has been around the 40s/50s era. The political climate of the time, with women encouraged to leave their wartime jobs for the confines of the kitchen was less than ideal, but it was a period where curves were celebrated rather than shunned.
4: The Bootcut Revival
Skinny jeans may be all well and good for tucking into knee length boots, but it always seems to be a battle to get skinny or straight legged trousers that either aren’t ridiculously sprayed on tight, or that fit in some areas, but go all baggy and wrinkly round the knees. So I was really glad to see bootcuts making a modest comeback towards the end of the year, not least because they are great at balancing for those of us with wide hips who’ve been hiding under long tunics since skinnies came in.
5: Knee length skirts
The trouble with mini skirts is that once you’re older than about 25, you either feel like you’ve nicked your teenage sister’s clothes or you spend the day secretly fretting that you’ll forget how short your skirt is and bend over, or that it will ride up or… anyway, you get the picture. On the other hand, long maxi length skirts are a bit of a liability if you’re prone to tripping over your own feet. Knee length skirts are the happy medium. Plus, if you’re a fan of those TV makeover shows, they always tell you to have your skirt stop at/just above the thinnest part of your leg – this is usually above the ankle or at the knee. They’re also very practical if you do a lot of cycling.
I’m pleased to see that since I first posted about this trend, it seems to have become a bit of a perennial feature in most stores. What I mean in particular by ‘monochrome’ in this case though, is not the classic black jacket & trousers/skirt with white shirt look, but bold print monochrome that makes you stand out rather than fade into the crowd. It’s a quick and easy way to look smart but I’ve been really glad to see plus size retailers recognise that you can look smart and sharp. Just because you’re a plus size, you don’t have to settle for ditsy print as the default pattern anymore!
Which 2013 trends do you hope continue into next year? And what are the new trends yet to come? I’ve seen a lot of white and paler shades in the new season collections, and I think we’ll see two distinct shapes next year: bodycon will become more popular on the one hand, but on the other I think the swing/smock shape will be the default loose fit option. What do you think?