The smart dressing guide

BT More consults experts and gives you a preview of the hottest dressing trends in 2008.

Bibek Bhattacharya        Print Edition: December 30, 2007

BT More consults experts and gives you a preview of the hottest dressing trends in 2008.

Lightweight fabrics
Lightweight fabrics
FABRICS
What’s hot:
Derivatives and functional fabrics. Derivatives are fabrics softened with chemical washes. Clothes made from transitional fabrics help you bridge the gap between winter and the new collections arriving in March.

Why it’s hot: Winter to Spring transitional fabrics are always a good idea. Fabrics like light chiffon help you make some of your winter wardrobe work in early Spring/Summer as well. Lightweight wool and other lightweight fabrics will work very well when dressing for work. They are light enough to be worn the year-round with suitable embellishments. For classy Indian cuts, try the three-button bandhgallas in tropical wool.

When will it be available? Clothes in derivative and transitional fabrics are already available. The new Spring/Summer 2008 collections will hit the stores around March.

DESIGNS

What’s hot: Functional designs and sleek leather. A vital part of fashion, designs are slated to become more functional next year. Leather seems to be back for good, but the cult of the price tag takes a beating.

Why it’s hot: Designs stay interesting, but there might be a scaling down as far as ostentatious luxury is concerned. However, designs for accessories like belts are slated to become more interesting. As always, it's a matter of building a wardrobe, so keep your share of interesting belts in the closet. Leather straps for watches are in and will remain so. Forget chunky designs and metal bands for now. Prints could be back in a big way, especially in womenswear.

When will it be available? The Spring/Summer 2008 collections will hit the stores around late March.

COLOURS

A structured silhouette
A structured silhouette

What’s hot: As clothes become more functional, uncluttered black and white designs will endure. For the youthful look, the colour is blue.

Why it’s hot: Clothes with a straightforward black/white will always have takers and with cuts becoming functional, these colours will be your best friends this coming year. Dark shades of blue and black will remain the colours of choice for denims. If you want to experiment with pre-fades, steer clear of “whiskered” jeans, i.e., jeans with artificial fade lines in the crotch area. In womenswear, pinks will dominate.

When will it be available? Many of the styles are already available. A greater variety will arrive with the Spring/Summer 2008 collections around March.

CUTS

What’s hot: Silhouettes to fit you. The lean silhouette stays hot, but learn to dress according to your build.

Why it’s hot: A lean structured silhouette continues to be vital to good apparel. Suits may make a slight move away from classic silhouettes towards peak collars, but the navy blue two-button suit continues to hold its own. Classic tailored shirts that hug your body can be worn casually. Go for narrow and skinny ties if you can carry it off. Coming off the year of skinny jeans, straight leg jeans in solid dark colours make a comeback. But don't write off skinny just yet. Best advice—get yourself enough options.

When will it be available? There is a wide variety of styles already in the stores. For the absolutely new collections, you will have to wait till March.

WHAT'S NOT (BOX)

Patent Leather: Bright colours are always welcome in men’s clothes, but steer clear of clothes, bags and shoes where there’s a layer of shiny gloss. While this looks good on women, men would do well to steer clear of patent leather.

Metals: Yet another in a long list of fashion trends to avoid in 2008. Bronze and gold are two colours that are extremely difficult for men to pull off, so imagine how a shiny golden suit will look?

80’s Style: Think Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Huge jackets coupled with skinny jeans and white sneakers should be a strict no-no for 2008.

Changing climate
Changing climate
WEATHERMAN FOR FASHION(BOX)

In the ever-changing world of fashion, one constant has been the changing seasons. But even that seems to have changed now. With winter getting shorter and summer longer, things are becoming tough for retail firms.

So, guess what? The $200 billion (Rs 8,00,000 crore) American apparel industry is hiring people with a new designation: weather forecaster.

Liz Claiborne, for instance, has hired a climatologist from Columbia University to predict weather for its designers, reports the New York Times.

And Weatherproof, which supplies coats to major department stores, has bought a $10 million (Rs 40 crore) insurance policy against unusually warm weather.

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