In a recent survey of fashion experts, the results are surprising: 14 percent trendy; 16 percent sexy; 17 percent unique; and 53 percent classic.
The trend is toward dressy to casual. For example, isn the past, lacy tops were chosen for weddings and special occasions, then put away for another formal event. Now lacy blouses top jeans. They are put to use for daily wear. There are not separate closets for special clothes. The dressy is mixed with casual and the entire wardrobe is utilized.
You don’t have to shy away from wearing the same outfit, according to Pat Fuller of the Orange Blossom Boutique. “Just accessorize it — use with the same outfit for different looks.”
Fuller said most “dressing up” is done for weddings and other special occasions. The “wear your best” concept is not necessary reserved for church going anymore.
For spring, she said “brilliant colors are great — lavender, lemon yellow ... the spectrum of flower colors.”
In your spring and summer fashion, go white on the bottom. Have a white blouse and add prints and colors for the top. Get a good pair of white pants and add color or go neutral with black and so forth.
Black and white is the most versatile combination for the fall and can go anywhere.
For the last couple of years, the trend has not changed. Fuller noted the big variety in skirt lengths — “every length is out there,” she said.
She added, “When the economy goes down, so goes the hemline.” And she said this has been consistent trough the years.
Looking at trends for the fall: Boots are mainstay — Western looking with tooled leather and embellishments. There is a big shoe trend toward gladiators (ankle high with zipper in back).
Look for large handbags, Fuller said, but she advised to be wary of weight that cause back injuries.
Fashion dictates wearing 11 pieces of jewelry including charm bracelets, earrings — layers of accessories.
Personal style is big and people dress with more confidence, Fuller said. “Who’s to say what’s hot or not — not always with flow of fashion or trend.” She noted everyone is not Martha Stewart ... “Be your own best self.”
The attitude is what counts when it comes to dress — when you feel good. People want to be comfortable in what they wear.
She tells women also they should not be afraid to buy sleeveless. It’s easy to add scarves, jackets, sweaters and so forth to create new outfits. The secret is to “mix.”
In shopping, Fuller advises to buy quality instead of quantity. It’s more important how you feel? ... What is the fabric? ... What will it look like after laundering?
The boutique has a full line of shoes and it caters to every age. Her youngest customer is 11 and her oldest is 101.
Orange Blossom Boutique, she noted, is a specialty shop — the place to come to for that once-a year special outfit, as well as daily wear. And many people don’t realize they can afford to shop smart. The shop offers casual and dressy clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories — no formal wear per se.
Also, she said, people should buy local. They don't think about the taxes going to our local schools. Cleveland offers the same quality and brands that you can find in the big cities such as Atlanta or Knoxville, she said.
Fuller feels service is most important and her business is based on service. She said her pet peeve when shopping is not finding a clerk to help. A gift registry — with sizes and preferences listed — was added in the store also to help out the men especially when buying for their wives or friends. The “old timey services,” she said are offered in the shop.
Fuller has had her shop almost four years. It opened July 4, 2006, and it has sustained the down economy. She said she began the Orange Blossom because “I just wanted to be home off the road — want to be a local girl.” And, she continued, “Fashion is fun ... helping people choose clothes for a special occasion.”