Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Is Small Town Fashion behind the times?

When you get to my time of life, you tend to wear clothes that suit you and hope that perhaps some up-to-the-minute accessories will prevent you looking utterly dowdy!

This is the sort of 'country style' I would expect from a small town in Wales with just a nod towards recent fashion with the Tangerine scarf and the Black and White dress. Not one of these colours is from the Pantone Spring/Summer 2013 forecast though.

I have absolutely no intention of dressing in Neon Yellow - or any other Neon colour, for that matter! And I'll gladly leave platform-soled shoes behind in the Seventies. 

Still plenty of stripes, polka dots and checks are everywhere. But the only sign of the chevrons that I've noticed abounding on shopping websites, was on some Kleenex boxes!

So noticing the latest trends in our local shops hadn't been a priority for quite some time. 

I found a lot of this very bright blue for both womens and menswear. (It was such a sunny day when I took these photos that reflections in the shop windows were a problem and made some of the blues look less bright than they really were.)

Once again the British Heart Foundation charity shop (check shirt, blue skirt and 'Poppies' floral dress) had clearly made more effort with their window-dressing than any of the other charity shops!

But then came the Surface Pattern course I took last winter. And it set me exercises that sent me off to the shops with my camera for precisely that purpose. 

Bright Pink with Turquoise seems to remain popular in spite of not being what Pantone forecasted!

And when I put on my 'designer's hat', it's useful for me know what people are looking for. 

Black and white was by far the most obvious 'trend' and I thought it was quite a novel idea to apply it to a nautical  pattern (the anchors) instead of the usual navy blue.

Abergavenny is a very small town. But it has plenty of upmarket, locally owned boutiques as well as small branches of some of the national chains. Quite a good cross-section of the clothing market, I think.

These I love! In fact I have a genuine 1930s aubergine-coloured lace dress in this style tucked away somewhere in my loft. I always intended to get  it repaired so that I could wear it but it's one of those things I never got around to.

The question is: Do I look to the online trend reports with their super-skinny models and fantastical clothes that often look as they've come straight from the costume hamper of a pantomime? Or do I look to the shops to see what people are actually buying? 

And, most importantly, is there a difference?

What do you think?


Mermaid Sue said...

I think that often in smaller-town/city situations shop keepers buy and display what they know their customers will buy and wear. Trends are often just that - trends. Most people want to buy something they can wear for more than one year (there are exceptions - but I think you know what I mean) or they want to buy something that goes with something they already have. Investing in classic looks and updating in small ways gives buyers more mileage and next year, won't scream that you fell out of 2013!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Sue, thank you for your visit and comments :)

I think you're right - colours and motifs seem to stay in fashion considerably longer than the trend reports would have us believe. And that's down to the reasons you've suggested, particularly these days when money to spend on fashion is often in short supply.

Brenda Sutton said...

Good question Judy. I ask myself questions like that too, especially as in New Zealand our seasons are behind. I just don't know where to look and what trend to pick up on!

Trina Esquivelzeta said...

I have thought about this too Judy. Fashion is just that - we are all just so easily lead, take the dreaded onesie - really!!!!
I find the best thing is to view the larger stores like John Lewis, etc. Zara home even does its own trend report. Underwater things, jungle, were there which is just a spin on floral...!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Brenda - I expect in the end it comes down to who is your target market and what doesn't conflict with your own personal style. That should eliminate some of the options and make it less confusing :)

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Trina - I'm pleased to hear about the 'underwater' and 'jungle' themes. I have some patterns in the pipeline for both of those! said...

Interesting post Judy! I myself would never look to the runways for fashion. Most of the times the styles coming off there are laughable and I have never, ever seen a regular person wear any of that stuff! The shops are a good indication of what people are actually buying. If you want to know what they don't buy look on the discount racks. LoL. Personally I wear what I like. Ok, my daughter always has something to say about it, but then again shes been doing that since she could talk. Comfort, style, and color that is complementary to the person wearing the item is the best choice. I tend to stick to the classics. :-)

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Crystal - thank you for your comments. Brilliant idea to look at the discount racks as a way of judging what wasn't popular! I'll try it :)

Jayne said...

Very interesting post Judy. I used to wear the "in" styles back in my teens and early twenties, but since then, not so much. I go for comfort and ease of wear now, lol. I *do* have some bright blue in my wardrobe though, and florals but no stripes.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jayne - thank you for your comments. I don't think I have anything striped in my wardrobe either these days! But, as they seem to be everywhere in the shop windows, it's something I can happily incorporate into designs for products I sell through Zazzle :)

Janet Palaggi said...

Judy, I love all these fashion styles. I'd love to see more American children, teens, and woman wearing these clothes, and I certainly would wear them for longer than the styles are popular, as I dress in what appeals to me, and the classic styles never go out of style.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Janet - thank you very much for your comment. I think you're right that there's so much more to 'style' than just following the latest 'trend'.