How we made trends meet: ShopGirl assesses 2008

Posted Dec. 26, 2008, at 10:34 p.m.

So long, 2008 — it was nice knowing you. OK, maybe it wasn’t. Especially for those of us who love to shop.

The economy pretty much tanked, and even the fortunate among us spent the latter part of the year reining in our expenses. Always one to look at the silver lining, I’d like to think that made us choose — and spend — more wisely.

One more upside? It’s almost as though the fashion industry knew people were going to cut back and decided to leave all the weird trends on the sewing-room floor. Yes, there were a few bizarre looks. But for the most part, all was tame. The wildest outfit I saw was a skin-tight pair of turquoise skinny jeans paired with Vans, but it didn’t look bad, just ’80s.

Without further ado, I present the ShopGirl 2008 trend lineup. E-mail me with your “best and worst” list of 2008, and I’ll post your answers on the ShopBlog: http://shopblogbdn.blogspot.com/.

The good

• Recessionistas! ShopGirl readers have long known that bargain hunting is the best sport there is. It’s nice to see that the rest of the country has caught up with us. As Maine goes …

• Fashion first (lady, that is). I’m all for the classics, and Jackie remains my first lady style icon. But love it or hate it, you’ve gotta respect Michelle Obama’s non-Oscar-de-la-Renta election night choice. I also love the way she elevates Gap to an art form. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

• Everything cold is new again. I’m guessing this “trend” is a result of the fact that people were banking on $5-a-gallon oil this winter. But suddenly, long down parkas, boots that actually keep your toes cozy and ridiculously toasty sweaters are, well, hot. When I heard that The New York Times had featured Sorels, it warmed my heart. And my feet.

• Let’s talk about specs. I’m not going to talk politics, but Sarah Palin’s iconic frames sent a “visionary” message to the American public: Chic glasses are the ultimate accessory.

• Let’s talk about “Sex.” Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte’s big-screen debut was reason enough for fashionistas everywhere to celebrate. But the fact that many turned the movie into the ultimate girls’ night out — Cosmos, limos, Manolos — was even better.

• Swept away. “Sweep” bangs are the best thing since Jennifer Aniston’s “Friends” cut. So cute. So sweet. So unattractive first thing in the morning.

• Fashion 2.0. Since I couldn’t afford a Kelly Bag or even the heel portion of Christian Louboutin’s stilettos, I appreciate the fact that my Facebook friends can send me luxurious “gifts” online.

• Scarf it up! The appearance of big, long, often flashy scarves — even in the dog days of August — warmed my heart. And my neck.

• Rising to the “Challenge.” I had the pleasure of emceeing the University of Maine Museum of Art’s Fashion Challenge and it was, hands down, one of the best events the Queen City has ever seen. The designers were amazing, the models were inspiring and the urban vibe was just what the doctor ordered.

• Local vocal. Both as a movement and a philosophy, the idea of supporting local businesses, restaurants artisans and designers couldn’t be more stylish.

The bad

• Eighties redux. I love ’80s music. I love ’80s movies. But ’80s fashion? Not so much. No more bubble skirts. No more colored skinny jeans. No more jelly shoes. What’s next? An off-the-shoulder cutoff sweat shirt and a perm?

The ugly

• Lipstick on bulldogs and-or pigs. Enough with the wayward cosmetics, both metaphorically and — like at least one farmer I heard on the radio — in reality.

• Knockoff bags. That “Marc Jacobs” bag — the one with the stripes that don’t match up at the seams and the fraying stitching — isn’t fooling anyone. Every year, this makes my worst-of list. Maybe it will all stop in 2009.

ShopGirl would love to hear from you! Send questions, comments or suggestions by e-mail to: kandresen@bangordailynews.net, by U.S. mail to Kristen Andresen, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329, or by fax to 941-9476. For exclusive online shopping tips, visit http://shopblogbdn.blogspot.com/.

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