Who says that the Midwest isn’t interested in being just a bit more stylish? Katie Rogers, a savvy reporter for eTruth, a newspaper in Indiana, contacted Second City Style’s Senior Editor Joanne Molina to get some summer style advice.
Here’s the reportage:
Don’t be afraid to walk on the styled side
When Kimmi Healey and Carmen Yoder parked their cart near the rainbowed racks of accessories at a local Target, they unknowingly fell prey to a writer researching summer fashion.
When asked about their favorite new trends, Yoder, an 18-year-old who likes to shop at Target,
Wal-Mart and Kohl’s, gave the sort of response expected during the summer months: "I like the cute little spaghetti strapped tank tops. The bright colors and jean skirts are nice … oh, and flip-flops!"
Three-dollar flip-flops, cheap Bermuda shorts and comfortable tank tops are staples to any summer wardrobe, basically because they’re tried-and-true: They keep things breathable when the sun’s out.
Healey can’t help but wonder what lies beyond the walls of Technicolor
rubber and ribbed knit cotton. She buys "all of the magazines, every
week" in hopes of finding something wearable, but admits that there
aren’t many fashion-forward options in Elkhart. Trips to bigger cities
and the occasional bargain hunt, she said, are two wardrobe-building
techniques she uses to keep her stylish.
"The older I get, the
more risk I take with fashion," said Healey, 37. "You can find some
(fashions) at T.J. Maxx … they get stuff from other areas of the
Healey’s comments helped generate a theory I like to
call fashion’s "trickle-down effect." In other words, what does it take
for clothes to make it from New York Fashion Week runways to
bargain-focused stores in Michiana?
The idea of swapping
comfort for style might go against the no-hassle philosophy of summer,
but, locally, some clever local options do exist for women who’d
wouldn’t mind a walk on the styled side:
Try a modern classic
in Elkhart offers a selection of jackets and apparel in houndstooth, a
staple found in Elle’s June 2007 issue. The classic black-and-white
pattern — often popular on dresses, jackets or skirts — is brought
into the modern age with the introduction of a zoomed-in take on the
pattern, said Stephensons’ buyer Danny Reynolds.
around it’s definitely the enlarged or oversized houndstooth that we’re
seeing," said Reynolds. "It’s origin in this variation has a lot to do
with the whole kind of mod thing that’s going on right now, the Sienna
Miller in ‘Factory Girl’ thing."
If the pattern seems too heavy for summer wear, don’t worry: Reynolds predicted it will be big for fall, too.
a cropped, zipped jacket with your favorite pair of black pants," he
added. "(Houndstooth) lends itself to leaner silhouettes, like the
cigarette leg, which is the direction that pants are going, anyway."
go for broke: If you’re not quite sure how this print will suit you,
Target offers a houndstooth-print silk headband for $5.99.
Try ‘look at me!’ color
blue has been billed as the new black, but statements like that should
be taken with a grain of salt: Tomorrow, it will be orange. The day
after that, bright green.
Bright colors are usually in style
every summer, but then comes the risk with buying pieces in a color
that might be unflattering or tacky.
"I believe in taking fashion
risks," said Joanne Molina, senior editor of the online magazine Second
City Style, in an e-mail. "But if you don’t feel confident then why
Molina said that a good way to experiment with color is starting out simple.
and runways are there to inspire you," she added. "So if the trend is
loud, bright colors … you might want to try a pair of large polka dot
flats with your black office ensemble or wear a solid color dress in
indigo or magenta and then simple shoes."
Don’t go for broke:
Payless offers bright, patent leather flats from American Eagle in fun
colors like bright green and, of course, electric blue. At $14.99, the
flats are an affordable way to play with the colors of the moment.
Fanfair-Steury owns Gift of G.A.B., an "alternative" boutique inside
the Concord Mall. Delicate earrings and funky, Bohemian-inspired tops
abound on the women’s side of the store, while tables full of T-shirts
and brightly decorated hats are reasonably priced on the men’s.
want art and fashion to meet and walk out the door," Fanfair-Steury
said. "I just don’t want to have a boutique that turns into a gallery
where nothing gets touched and worn."
To keep this from
happening, Fanfair-Steury regularly has to face one of her biggest
challenges: Convincing her customers to get creative with color.
lot of times people look around and say ‘there’s nothing to match
this,’" said Fanfair-Steury. "One of the things I tell people in the
store is don’t be afraid of color. You just have to think a little
outside the box."
Don’t go for broke: Gift of G.A.B. features a
women’s wall where each piece is no more than $10. Summery halters in
unconventional patterns — I liked one in an orange-and-white zebra
print — can be found there, and could be the affordable starting point
for a mismatch made in heaven.
Contact Katie Rogers at email@example.com.See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40