Sophistication returns to fashion without being stodgy

  • Friday, December 7, 2012 3:50pm
  • Life

This season’s clothes aren’t taking their cues from club kids, college students or teenage rebels. There’s something grown-up about some of the most popular looks: They’re a little refined and very wearable, but they avoid being stodgy or, worse, just plain old.

Some of the influence could be coming from pop culture, with “The Great Gatsby” and “Anna Karenina” among the most anticipated movies before year’s end, and the popularity of TV period pieces such as “Downton Abbey,” “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

No flannel PJ bottoms or ripped jeans there.

Polished sophistication can be tempting after periods during the past decade that have alternately favored bohemian, aggressive and blingy looks.

Some of the trends on retail racks include rich jewel tones of purple, blue and green, lace handiwork and refined accessories including brooches, opera gloves and top-handle bags.

Buttery, work-appropriate leather pants, equestrian jackets, quilting and gilded baroque embellishments are also on the sophisticated shopping list.

It’s not just fashion experiencing this adult-quake, Tom Morton said.

Morton is North American chief strategy officer for forecasting and advertising company Havas Worldwide. He prepared a report that dealt with the “pushback against youth obsession.”

“People are going where the money is,” Morton said. A side effect of the economic downturn is that teenagers and 20-somethings aren’t entering the economy as early as their counterparts did a generation ago, he said.

Women aren’t necessarily using fashion and beauty as a tool to look younger, he said.

Instead, they’re using those tools to be the best 40-, 50- or 60-year-old they can be.

Younger women are learning that sophistication doesn’t mean matronly, and they’re seeing these grown-up styles as a fast track to confidence and credibility.

Samantha Critchell

Associated Press

More in Life

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Secret garden: Privacy trees that won’t outgrow a small space

These plants offer some height to block out unwanted sights without taking over your yard.

Stock your winter bookshelf with these animal and nature reads

Four new books cover outdoors topics from butterflies to wolves.

The Shed Players recently released their new album “Our Shingle Most Favorites.”
Listen here: Josh Clauson, The Shed Players release new CDs

This feature is all about Snohomish County’s homegrown talent: locals who make music and record it.

Newfangled cooker isn’t for those with tried and true methods

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley recently succumbed to peer pressure and purchased an Instant Pot.

Now is the time to assess your student’s back-to-school plan

Take a good look at how your kids are managing their new routine, class, teacher(s) and homework.

Author’s talk of birds and clouds kicks off Marysville series

1. Birds and clouds Marysville’s Outdoor Adventure Speakers Series is kicking into… Continue reading

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Oprah Winfrey joins ‘60 Minutes’ for 50th anniversary year

The media giant debuts on tonight’s show, reporting on a story about America’s political divisions.

Most Read