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

This beefy ex-cop has a delicate hobby: intricate paper-cut art

You can see Tom Sacco’s creations at the upcoming Everett Art Walk.

Slow-roasted vegetables make sumptuous sauce for pasta

Make the basic but good spaghetti with red sauce blissfully better with this recipe.

Mocking meatloaf: One man’s loaf is another man’s poison

Some don’t like it and some do. Here are six meatloaf recipes to try.

Roasted Brussels sprouts can be the apple of picky eater’s eye

Toasted sesame seeds and diced apple add flavors that compliment the sprouts’ earthiness.

Arlington eagle fest wants your nature-themed artwork, haiku

Local residents of an artistic bent are invited to submit… Continue reading

Dylan Farrow says she wants to bring down Woody Allen

The 32-year-old said in an upcoming interview that she is telling the truth about him abusing her.

Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith and U2 added to Grammys performance roster

Also unveiled is a performance by pop star Miley Cyrus and superstar piano-rocker Elton John.

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman listens to a guide at the Sci-Tech Complex in Pyongyang, North Korea, last summer. Rodman was arrested Saturday on suspicion of DUI in Southern California. (Kim Kwang Hyon / Associated Press file)
Rodman checks into rehab after DUI arrest

His agent says he’s dealing with his longtime struggle with alcoholism.

Hau Tran sings as Vietnamese seniors eat at Homage’s Center for Healthy Living on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 in Lynnwood, Wa. Each weekday the center offers its room for various cultures to get together for activities and lunch while speaking their native languages. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Seniors of four cultures gather for food, fitness and fun

Homage’s Center for Healthy Living offers a venue for programs in the seniors’ native languages.

Most Read