Because Seattle's roots are in the outdoor and athletic industry a lot of the fashion that could be found on the street is casual athletic wear. However, some fashion innovators and trendsetters, especially the students, are riskier in their styles. It is still evident that Seattle falls behind as a fashion industry. The fashion leaders in Seattle are more likely to wear vintage, retro and rock apparel. Still, there are some trends, aside from niche lifestyles and markets, that are popularly seen this fall in Seattle.
Firstly, it is important to note that scarves are very popular. Animal prints are especially popular this fall along with furs and leathers. Leather jackets are incredibly popular in the northwest and have a style reminisent of the 1950's and 80's. Trenches are the most popular closet piece for ladies, and can be found in dark neutrals or in trendy colors (like mustard yellow and plum violet). Trenches have been found in many varieties, older generations seem to have pulled out their long and vintage trenches. Seattlites are now more likely to wear designer denim pants, in fact, in Bellevue these are very popular. The denim pant is worn with a printed or graphic tee.
Interesting thing to note about this fall season...neon colors, metallic fabrics and sequins are again becoming popular! This is interesting because we are in an economic recession. Even though our economy is slowly picking up again, polls show that people still believe that the economy is doing badly and are continuing to be fringy. When the recession first started we saw many designers play it very safe in fall with their silhouettes and only play with texture and prints. Still colors remained somber until fall of 2008 (this is why 2006 was the best fall for couture and 2007 was the most boring). But the reason they were playing it safe was because they were araid to introduce crazy innovations in fear that people were not interested in purchasing it. Those that did go to extremes lost a lot of money because people really did stop shopping for a while.
However, just like during the 1930's depression we are beginning to hit the opposite spectrum of the pendulum swing and we went from somber to overboard neon colors and bold patterns like leopard print. In the 1930's when the great depression first hit hemlines got long, dresses slim and style very somber. It was not until mid 30's that Elsa Schiaparelly began to utilize Rhodophane and sequins and beads in her work and work with surrealists and dadaists in order to create bright and interesting pieces of art. This is because people got tired of the somber mood and wanted something bright, but in a simple silhouette. And the same thing is happening in Seattle now. People got tired of dark and somber colors, so now they want bright and crazy colors. Still, the silhouettes of clothes remain classic and simple.
Today the majority of Seattlelites (teens are wearing neons) are wearing mustard yellow in a pretty low chroma...which I guess is as close as it gets to a neon color at mainstream or mass market. But mustard yellow is everywhere....handbags, boots, shirts, trenches, dresses. Also all over sequin is a MUST. Sequins are on shirts, shoes, blazers, etc. For men the blazer is back in hues like green and blue and red but in low chromas. Also leggings and tights are now available in, and only bought if they are available in, bright colors and leather like textures and prints.
Oh, in case anyone hasn't noticed...pants are getting skinnier and skinnier. However, now the denim has to be designer, or in a bright color or in a cool print or texture. Washes are very important. And many men are leading the style of the skinny jean. Interesting thing, men's fashion has changed in very interesting ways recently. Before men and masculine products were advertised in a very 'macho' way. today however, the market is all about creatin your own sexual identity and its all about diversity and acceptance. In fact, the milleniums (genY) are the the second biggest target market and are leading many trends. They are the ones that are creating this new advertisement market. Especially during the metrosexual movement when men began to wear sheer tops and make-up and nailpolish. Today's men wear their girlfriends jeans...and those jeans have now reached a popularity level where all men can find a pair in the men's department, cut and fitted for them. Anyways, I'm in Mexico right now and must go and enjoy some refreshments. But I will come back again.