My Predictions for 2011

Here is my ‘short list’ for what to wear and what to avoid in 2011.  In the interest of time, detail is minimal.  Look for more posts in coming weeks on specific styles, and as always comments are welcome.


The Look:  20th Century Recon with Emphasis on 1990s, 1960s, 1930s.

One Bold or Voluminous garment, worn with simple, complimentary items.  When choosing basics, look for natural fabric and classic shapes.  This is less about balance and more about showcasing one stand-out piece.

Knits all Year Round will be huge in 2011, and probably onward.

Contrasting Colors and Textures are key.  Minimalist styles are not monochromatic this year.  Bohemian styles work best when chunky textures ground airy fabrics.

Curvier Styles with More Emphasis on the Waist, likely from more pronounced waistbands and belts.  Clingy knits are the remnants of ‘Mad Men’ style.  Not likely to see tailored pieces everywhere, but moving towards an hourglass shape.


Steer clear of Extremes:  Harsh Lines and Billowy Layers Need to be Subdued

1980s and 1920s inspired looks, which rely on straight lines and severe colors.  The drop or undefined waist is on the way out, as is the bubble skirt and monochromatic mini-dress.

Ankle or calf-length structured pants are a no.  Short pants in lighter material, with cargo or military details will be in for summer.  Just avoid any fabric stiff enough to hold a fit and flare cut without grazing the foot.

Metal Detailing on Clothes/Shoes is replaced with metal jewelry that uses fabric.  Sorry, garments.


The Look:  Any shade found in nature, with an emphasis on Secondary Colors.

Gray is still the go-to neutral this year.

Blue and Navy with hints of slate make good alternatives.

Orange is the go-to bright color this year.  It’s the go-to color, period.

Khaki makes a great alternative to overly heavy browns and grays.  Just don’t choose a cut that looks like a uniform at a wilderness preserve.

Olive will be hot, as part of the military-inspired trend.

Teal is a tricky one, but 2011 will bring back popularity of a saturated, blue-heavy teal.  Look for jewel-tones instead of sea-foam shades.  Go with the closest shade to true blue that has a hint of green.


Any Color With Harsh Blue Undertones and Muddy Browns.

Pink, and all pastels, should be worn to suit your complexion, not as a style statement.  Easter egg colors in Spring are a no-no this year, unless you are under age twelve.

Chocolate Brown is OK for leather, but not a suit.  Avoid brown knits paired with fur, and brown tweeds.

Neon Yellow is not the bright of choice anymore.  Like pink, replace it with orange.

Bright White isn’t even trendy for brides anymore.  Unless you have a very dark complexion, skip this one.


The Look:  Embrace Extremes with Restraint

Square Bags will be an emerging trend for at least the early part of the decade.  Look for bags that maintain a cube shape throughout, instead of narrowing at the top.  Go for one that is structured (but no frames, please) and small to medium sized.  The look should be unfussy and modern.

-Chunky but Feminine Shoes are the hallmark of the return of practicality this year.  Well, as much as can be expected.  Go for thicker soles, chunkier heels, and wedge shapes in classic colors.

Mixed Metals are going to be a huge trend this year, with metal being the material of choice for jewelry.  Go big or go home:  mixing all shades together is perfectly acceptable if done in equal quantities (don’t wear a stack of silver with one gold chain, for example).

Sculptural/Irregular Beads are likely to be the only beads seen this year.  Think rugged or unfinished shapes used sparingly instead of strands.  Seed beads and tribal styles are out, Ke$ha.  Wait, did I just type that….

Natural Materials are the thread joining together the eclectic range of bold jewelry that’s popular right now.  Unique elements like fabric or ribbon look much better if all natural.  Synthetics show.


Big pieces made with small, uniform beads, and anything in moderation.  Either chose stark simplicity or over-the-top mixed media pieces.

Round Baubles and Beads if strung in a traditional or expected style are out.

Cascading Styles with layered strands falling over the chest are out, even chains.  Choose a metal bib instead, with one strand around the neck and others arranged only in front.

Plastics are just bad.  Really, really bad.

A small mention for beauty trends in 2011:  Try neutral eyes and rust lips, dewey skin, and unfussy hair.  Avoid pale or super-glossy lips, and bright eye shadow paired with graphic  liquid black liner.  Even dramatic looks should be soft and lines smudged.