Fashion Trends of 2011: Simplified

Fashion Trends of 2011: Simplified

Because you don't want to look like a clown and can't look like a model.

Fashion was certainly a blast from the past in 2011. Not that fashion is really ever new, but simply innovative mash-ups of elements of fashion history. Take it from me, it pays to dig through your mom's closet for big-shoulder blazers and silk blouses from the '80s. Yes, they are back again.

But sometimes, fashion trends are a little bit harder to wear on a day-to-day basis. As crazy as you are, you probably don't want to look like a clown when you walk into your neighborhood coffee shop for your cup-o-joe. Let's take a look at some of 2011's biggest trends, and discuss how you can make them work for street wear:

Double-breasted suits. For dudes, these double-breasted suits are all over the place. They shouldn't be that hard to pull off if you work in a place where suits are expected--everyone was doing in every decade before the '90s, you know. But these are a bit tougher to dress down than a typical suit jacket with a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. If I were you, I wouldn't try it.

Androgyny. For ladies, androgyny is in. That means button-down shirts and suit jackets, skinny pants and tuxedos. Androgyny isn't anything new, but the new element of this year's trend is upscale touches: fancy bowties and cummerbunds, you know the drill. The runway likes to give these androgynous models some bold red lips and hoop earrings to feminize the look, but if you don't want to look like your dad at some opera gala, I'd recommend ditching the silk pants for a pair of skinny jeans and Chucks.  

Jewel-bright colors. Jewel-bright colors are all over the runway in jumpsuits or in matching tops and skirts or pants. If you don't want to look like Designing Women incarnate, though, I'd suggest that you pick one really bright piece to pair with a laid-back jacket and dark jeans. Try a pair of bright pants for an unusual look, circa 1985 in the right way.

Chunky knit sweaters. Thankfully, chunky knit sweaters have hit the runway in a big way, so we all can say we look fashionable when stealing our grandmothers' oversized cable-knit from their 1960's to Ireland (I wish that I had were a true anecdote). On the runway, these knits are long and flimsy, and many of them appear to be cashmere. I would suggest a sturdier knit. If you're going to wear a heavy-duty sweater, you need it to hold up in heavy-duty weather.