What to Expect for 2014 Fashion

2014 isn’t going to be a shy year for fashion. Designers are doing what they do best this year by harvesting inspiration, revamping retro looks and spinning up classic shapes to fit today’s lifestyles.

Though still relaxed, the new year is once again celebrating the art of dressing with purpose and refinement. Men and women are relaxing in the office with looser fits of more traditional looks, while still keeping things smart with pointed-toe shoes and classic collars. For play clothes, a diverse range of cultural celebratory garb has seeped onto the runway, bringing reason to celebrate no matter your heritage. Also, sportswear is as hot as ever, making for play time all the time.

For ladies, some tweaking in silhouettes can be expected. As the saying goes, “what goes up must come down,” and in 2013, top-heavy looks dominated by way of big sweaters and beanpole leggings. Call it fashion or call it physics, but in 2014, wide legged pants are making their comeback and cropped jackets are popping back on the radar. Don’t throw out your sweaters and skinny pants yet, though, because fall will likely see more cumbersome furs and boxy styles changing the silhouette back to its top-heavy state.

If there was ever a year to live a wanderlust life vicariously through your clothes, 2014 would be it. Influences of Asian and African cultures are ripe on the runway with designers using beads, organic shapes, and traditional garb as muses for vibrant motifs.

Last year’s black and white trend has classic staying power, but bold is for the rainbow this year and the hottest trends are accelerating towards playful and fearless. Even men are getting in on the playfulness, with printed pants and color-blocked shirts making statements for both genders.

Miley can swing on a wrecking ball in the buff, but fashion isn’t listening. Hemlines in trend are staying below the knee, with tea-length skirts making demure statements of class. Even workwear is keeping things under wraps. Loose-fitting button-ups are staying steady on the trend-dar for both their versatility and comfort. Not only are these office approved, but they keep the fashion about the clothes and not about the fit.

That isn’t to say that fitness doesn’t matter, of course. In fact, fitness is as popular as ever and the fashion industry is chomping at the bit with new ways to meld lifestyle with flair. Bright colors, durable fabrics, and athletic innovation is making it a cinch to maintain the do-it-all pace. This fad is crossing over to both sides, with both men’s and women’s fashion weeks boasting unconventional shapes and patterns to bring out the stylish athlete in all of us, just in time for those wellness-oriented resolutions.

If there were ever a year to trade clothes with your boyfriend or girlfriend this would be it, as it seems that normalization is happening across the board. In menswear, once considered feminine floral prints are having a moment and even Nike and Vans have unrolled some college-budget friendly options for guys’ footwear. The classic suit is easing up a bit as well, with softening angles and a more relaxed fit. Juxtaposed to the ladies relaxed button-up, it is clear that designers are seeing tradition as important, but know that staying starch-stiff isn’t always practical.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for more metallics, deep blues and art prints on garments this year. Whether you are vying for a spot on the 2022 shuttle to Mars, feeling “blue,” or are cultivating your eclectic inner self, there are countless ways one can make 2014 a year of style to remember.

Overall, positivity is reigning supreme on the style forecast for 2014, and if optimism came in purple, then it would certainly be Pantone’s color of the year for 2014, “Radiant Orchid.” The color was chosen to bring joy and happiness with its purple and pink undertones. With any luck, this happy hue will transcend fashion and brighten all 365 days.