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Press :Warm up to winter trends

BeachcomberJanuary 13, 2011
By Laura Dignan

LONG NECK — The winter season is upon us and stores are fully stocked with warm, comfortable clothes fit for the bitter cold. Consumer Alisha Commer said she has seen a lot of leggings, chunky sweaters and boots in stores.“There’s everything to keep you warm in the winter, but obviously it seems like a lot of stores or designers add something to flare it up or make it different,” the Long Neck resident said.

Erika Chloe, founder and chief executive officer of My Image Expert, an image and fashion consulting firm based in Baltimore, said this is true because some articles never go out of style.

“Every season designers try to update an existing trend,” she said. “They want to offer consumers variation while staying true to the trends they love.”

One item that has taken retailers by storm, Chloe said, are leggings. They’re still a big hit due to versatility; they can be paired with chunky sweaters, oversized T-shirts and any type of boot.

A variation of the legging this winter is the “carrot pant.” Chloe said these are made in lighter fabrics, such as linen and thin cotton, and are woven and narrow at the ankle with pleats to elongate the leg and slim the hips.

“(Leggings are) an unsettling trend that is here to stay so designers are creating unique ways to make this undying trend more aesthetic and fashion forward,” she said.

Commer said that she has a plethora of leggings, naming them as one of her favorite clothing items. “There are a lot of different ones coming out, not just black or plain colors so I want to get some of those,” she said.

Whether it’s ankle- or knee-high, a boot should be paired with most outfits, but make sure the heel is flat so walking over ice and snow isn’t difficult.

Since these types of shoes keep the toes and legs warm, Chloe said many may already be on sale as department stores want to gear up for the spring and offer lighter footwear.

As for accessories, large bags and totes are a winter favorite according to Beth Thomas, a manager at the Kate Spade outlet in Rehoboth Beach.

“You’re carrying more,” she said. “You need a big bag because you’re taking off your scarf, hat, gloves and you can throw them in (the bag). You need more in the winter, while in the summer you can fly a little freer.”

No one wants to be behind the times, so Chloe said it’s important to update your closet every season, even if it’s only a few items.

“You don’t need to buy into every trend but you should definitely incorporate a few updated pieces in your wardrobe every season to keep it fresh,” she said.

While shopping, Chloe also suggesting seeking items that are timeless and classic that won’t go out of style.

“This method will leave you with a functioning wardrobe,” she said. “This will, in turn, allow you to mix and match your wardrobe each season without having to shop for a lot of new items.”

This is an approach Commer tries her best to follow.

“Obviously no one these days can really afford to buy an entire new wardrobe,” she said. “I usually pick a few things that I like from before and buy a few things that would match for the upcoming season.”

Thomas said even Kate Spade offers an array of bags with snaps or buttons that allows the item to be versatile.

But despite restricted funds, Commer said the changing trends each season lure her to the stores.

“I try not to go too crazy but when you go shopping and see something new and in (style), sometimes it’s hard to resist,” she said.

Leggings

This trend has been resurfacing due to their versatility. Those printed to look like jeans, leather or others with abstract and geometric prints are popular this year. “Carrot pants” are fairly new and in style with woven bottoms, pleats in the front panel and a narrow ankle to help elongate the legs and slim the hips. Since this trend is hot right now, leggings can be found in almost any apparel stores or anywhere on the web.

Boots

Lace-up ankle or over-the-knee boots with a flat heel are popular during the winter season since snow provides a challenge for walking. Not only is the flat heel in this season, these shoes keep the toes, calves and knees warm. Stores like South Moon Under on the Avenue in Rehoboth Beach, Journeys or Rack  Room Shoes in the Tanger Outlets and Payless Shoesource on Coastal Highway have plenty of fashions to choose from.

Handbags

Large and chunky totes are perfect for holding extra accessories necessary during the winter. These bags can hold hats, gloves, coats and even an extra pair of shoes to change into after walking through the snow. And ladies, there is always extra room for your wallet, phone and lip gloss. The Coach and Kate Spade outlets in Rehoboth Beach offer a large array of totes.

Coats

Any outerwear with fur or faux fur trim is in. Knee-length coats are best to keep fashionistas warm and some patterns such as plaids are great as well. These can be found at Sears, Walmart and Marshall’s on Coastal Highway and more.

Hats

One of the top accessories to add to an outfit when it’s cold outside is a hat. Oversized beanies, hats with fur on the inside and fun animal hats with pom-poms on top are hot this season. Many apparel stores in the Rehoboth Beach Tanger Outlets designate an area to accessories.

Colors

In general, colors tend to get darker during the winter season. Any neutral earth tones — such as navy, brown and gray — are perfect. But a splash of other earth tones to any outfit is welcome — such as green  or burgundy — though purple is also welcome this year.
 
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