Fall fashion forecasts a re-emergence of the ’80s. Strong shoulders — yes, that means shoulder pads — will give structure to oversized blazers. Metallics, geometric patterns and high-waisted trousers will all be key looks.
We asked four local fashion experts their opinions on where their clients draw their fashion inspo. Do they follow fads or prefer longer-lasting investment pieces?
“Chattanoogans march to their own drummer,” says Katie Langston at Pearl Ivy. She says that while they prefer to dress in classic styles, they do so with “Southern flair.”
1. What would you say is the most creative, interesting or unique fashion trend happening in Chattanooga right now?
Bakhaus: I see women fearlessly mixing prints, patterns and unexpected colors, bringing a fresh wave of creativity and joy to the realm of style. It’s evident that people are breaking free from conventional norms, thinking outside the box and embracing the fun side of fashion.
Paryse: I think the Swiftie trend happening in Chattanooga is fun right now. Pink is big, as well as bold fabrics, sparkles and sequins.
2. What do you have in-store that you feel most fits the latest fashion trends?
Bakhaus: One of the trends we’re obsessed with now is the puff sleeve. You’ll discover an array of styles with dramatic, voluminous sleeves.
Langston: We have high-waisted trousers, wide-legged jeans and blazers.
Paryse: I am loving all our sheer tops. You can layer a camisole or bralette underneath, and it elevates the style.
Peralta-Ramos: We have a variety of silver pieces, ranging from jewelry to accessories to apparel. Our dress selection is outstanding.
3. Do you find that Chattanoogans follow style trends or do their own thing and pick what they like?
Bakhaus: Chattanooga residents embrace individuality and self-expression. We witness firsthand the enthusiasm of our clients as they eagerly embrace new trends and become trendsetters. With a passion for staying ahead of the fashion curve, they are seeking the latest styles and adopting them before they become mainstream.
Peralta-Ramos: Chattanoogans are definitely aware of fashion trends and select the ones they wish to follow. I don’t feel that fashionable Chattanoogans have trends dictate their style choices, but they incorporate these trends into their personal style.
4. What’s the generational difference in fashion? How does Gen Z consume fashion compared to millennials, Gen X or baby boomers?
Bakhaus: Social media serves as a powerful source of inspiration for Gen Z and millennials. Sustainability is a key focus for these younger generations, driving their choices in fashion. Gen X and baby boomers prioritize quality and understand the value of investment pieces.
Paryse: Gen Z is thrifting more and “up-styling” [DIY fashion].
Peralta-Ramos: According to research, in recent years, Gen X has spent more money on higher-end fashion apparel. They tend to avoid trendier options and focus on classic pieces with modern twists. Gen Z is highly motivated and influenced by social media and much more manipulated by trends and peer influence.
10 Trends for Fall
1. High-waisted trousers, jeans and skirts
2. Oversized blazers
3. Chocolate brown
4. Faux leather
5. Tailored outerwear
6. Geometric and other bold patterns
7. Wide-legged jeans and cropped pants
8. Silver in jewelry, shoes and other
9. Cargo pants
10. Long pencil skirts
Sources: Cosmopolitan, Pearl Ivy, Antibes, Barn Door Boutique, Embellish
5. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed fashion? Are customers still wearing athleisure as their daily wear?
Langston: As we all stepped back into the world, everyone was ready to rediscover their fashion identity and amp up their wardrobe. However, athleisure is here to stay. I don’t think anyone is putting away their favorite yoga pants or sweat sets.
Paryse: Athleisure has been elevated. Some athleisure fabrics can definitely be dressed up.
Peralta-Ramos: COVID definitely changed fashion, from the way we shop to the type of clothing we wear. Athleisure will continue to play an important role, as comfort has become a significant part of fashion. People are, however, enjoying dressing up again and are picking clothing to reflect this. Fashion must be easy to wear as well as look great.
6. How have TikTok, Instagram and other social media sites impacted fashion?
Bakhaus: Social media sites have completely revolutionized the world of fashion. They’ve become incredible tools that curate, share and consume trends in the most exciting ways. You’ve got influencers sharing their outfits, giving style tips and giving all those juicy insights. It’s like having a front-row seat to the fashion world. It’s mind-blowing how fast trends spread.
It has also transformed the way people shop. You can see something on Instagram and instantly click and buy it. It has made fashion way more accessible than it used to be.
7. How would you describe Chattanooga fashion? Are Chattanoogans classic or trendy?
Paryse: It’s hard to sum up the area as a particular look. That is why I think Chattanooga is so unique with fashion. There is a wide population of outdoors people who dress for comfort, but you can go out to dinner or events and see the trendy side of Chattanooga.
Peralta-Ramos: Fashionable Chattanoogans tend to be classic with a modern edge. Our clients want to look updated and current but are not going to be extremely trendy. They prefer a timeless, effortless look. They also want to look unique and not “cookie cutter.” They prefer not to see someone in the same outfit at their party or event.
8. What’s one piece of advice you’d give women who want to look their best but are not confident when it comes to buying flattering apparel?
Bakhaus: Wear what makes you feel absolutely fabulous and don’t be afraid to embrace the magic of experimentation … Trying something unexpected can be a game-changer. It’s incredible to witness the transformation when women push the boundaries and embrace new styles. Confidence is truly the key to looking your best.
Langston: Be bold, be brave, take risks. Fashion is a creative expression. Every woman — no matter what bold fashion choice she makes — beams when she walks into a room wearing a statement outfit.
Paryse: This is our strong suit at Barn Door Boutique. We love helping dress our clients, getting them out of their comfort zones and trying new items. We hear all the time, “I never would have picked that,” but once they try it on, 99 percent of the time, they love it.
Peralta-Ramos: Our goal is to be a trusted adviser to our clients. We want to keep her looking updated and in outfits flattering to her. When you feel good in what you are wearing, you feel confident in whatever you are doing.
Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” and fads revived from the ’80s set current and coming fashion trends
Can you think of any decade when fashion has been so influenced by pop culture as it is currently?
Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” redefined the way fans dressed for concerts. No more jeans and a T-shirt for Swifties. They’ve plumbed the depths of their creativity to dress according to one of her musical eras, ranging from short, flirtatious sundresses and boots in a nod to her country music roots to high-waisted leather shorts inspired by the singer’s “Reputation” era.
In addition, Margot Robbie’s revival of Barbie has young shoppers looking at clothing through rose-colored glasses.
In fact, “Barbie pink,” inspired by the movie, builds on the exuberant fashion sense of Swifties, says Melissa Paryse, owner of Barn Door Boutique.
“Pink has been a popular color for a while now. It started with the Nashville [Swifties] trend last year. I do think you are going to see several ‘Barbies’ at the theaters.”
Even the way the digital world connects women to immediate fashion inspiration on TikTok and other social media affects buying trends.
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