New year does not always mean new fashion trends. We are entering a time in fashion where micro-trends are going as fast as they have arrived, but some have lasted well over the past year and are expected to continue into 2022.
Courtesy of The-Cøded
Matching Co-ords Are Here To Stay
Throughout the pandemic, co-ordinates have been a popular fashion choice. During the lockdowns, loungewear co-ords were the way to go to feel comfortable and somewhat put together for the endless Zoom meeting from the kitchen table.
When restrictions eased, we were not ready to leave the cute matching two-piece aesthetic at home. So we changed the hoodie and jogger outfits for a more dressed up look. From matching monochromatic tops and skirts to slick blazers and trousers looks have been the go-to look for many.
Both loungewear and party wear co-ords continue to be a favourite in 2022, while we have this hybrid of working from home and socialising with friends. co-ordinates are now a wardrobe staple for all events and will continue to be for quite some time.
2000s Fashion Resurgence Continues
What goes around comes around, and for 2021 it was y2k fashion. It is common for fashion trends to repeat themselves every 20 years, and the 2000s is no exception. Some 2000s trends have stayed in the past like frosted tips, but many have had a modern-day revival.
Some of the firm favourites include the halter tops, baby tees and chunky trainers. In 2022, it is predicted that some more 2000 trends will be at the forefront of fashion. Controversially, this includes low rise jeans, which have already grown in popularity thanks to supermodels Bella Hadid and is predicted to be a hot choice for upcoming fashion weeks.
Sustainable Fashion At The Forefront
Ph. Artem Beliaikin, Unsplash
For many of us, the pandemic made us think more about where our clothes were made – and who really made them. This has changed the way many of us now shop, leading us to more sustainable and ethical shopping brands.
Many of us have also started to create capsule wardrobes, buying high-quality staple items that can be worn again and again.
Companies like THE-CØDED are doing their bit by working directly with clothing manufacturers around the world, ensuring that they receive a fair share of the profits. They also like to highlight their manufacturers and their forward-thinking initiatives for a completely transparent approach to online shopping. Thanks to transparent brands like THE-CØDED, finding information about who made your clothes has never been easier.
Oversized Shirts - A Wardrobe Must Have
Oversized shirts have been a fashion trend for years, and they are not going away anytime soon. Oversized shirts are such a versatile wardrobe piece, with many celebrities, including the Kardashians and Hailey Bieber, opting for the oversized look regularly in their pap shots.
Oversized shirts are a wardrobe staple that works all year round, and similar to 2000s fashion they are predicted to be a large part of runway shows during the upcoming fashion weeks.
Bye-bye Gendered Clothing
Courtesy of The-Cøded
Genderless clothing has been a growing trend on social media, with people wearing what they want regardless of who the clothing is advertised to. Many fashion houses are on board with this, as many runway shows are thought to have both male and female models wearing the same clothing during spring fashion week.
This has already been seen on the high street, with many brands now selling the same clothing in both womenswear and menswear sections – both in stores and online. This includes knitted “grandad” vests, oversized blazers and structured coats.
Overall, 2022 is set to be an interesting year for fashion as consumers are moving away from the constant trend cycle and sticking to wardrobe staples that work for them. We will certainly be thinking more about sustainably made fashion and timeless pieces this year.
What trends will you be getting on board with?
The landscape of high street retail has changed drastically over the last decade, particularly for fashion retailers.
We hope you are familiar with the concept of Veganuary, as it has been taking place since 2014. But if you do not know in detail what it actually is, in a nutshell, it is an annual event that promotes a vegan lifestyle and motivates non-vegans to try a vegan diet during the whole month of January.
Ph. kalhh, Pixabay
But why stop only with food consumption and not explore more of the vegan products out there? Here are some recommendations to try a vegan beauty regime.
The Story Of Veganuary
The British entrepreneur Matthew Glover and animal rights campaigner Jane Land started the challenge, but now there is also a non-profit organisation with the same name that officially runs the campaign. What most people like about the campaign is that it is not all about going vegan, it is more focused on educating others about the effect of food on the environment and raising awareness of animal suffering. The campaign started in 2014 and each year more and more people take part, with an estimated 1.3 million people committing to Veganuary in 20191.
Diving More Into A Vegan Lifestyle
One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is climate change. It is believed by many that a plant-based diet can help fight global warming. If veganism offers so many benefits why not explore more of the beauty of leading a vegan lifestyle? Literary vegan beauty is taking over the industry, as more and more people decide to make more conscious decisions in terms of their everyday life and strive to minimise their carbon footprint.
It all started with a single cup of coffee from a small independent coffee shop. A sister passionate about skincare and a brother concerned with the waste produced from daily activities such as drinking a cup of coffee. The brother and sister duo launched the company in 2016 and they have been growing the brand ever since. A sustainable, ethical and high-performing skincare brand that is focused on incorporating circular economy to the skincare industry. UpCircle "products are unique in that not only are the sustainability credentials unparalleled, they genuinely deliver results for the skin", said Anna Brigthman, co-founder of the brand.
The cosmetic brand of Irene Forte is just another reason to fall in love with Italy. The Verdura Resort in Sicily is home to the organic farm from which the key ingredients for their products are sourced. Each product is created with ingredients such as organic olive oil, floral hibiscus, fragrant lavender and herbal rosemary from the organic farm at Verdura Resort. Together with the icy fresh mineral water from Sicily’s mountainous Madonie Regional Natural Park they make the product we see today. The low allergenic potential of their products comes from the unique blend of fragrance and feel, along with delivering great results. On top of that, they are also with low allergenic potential. Along with that every stage from manufacturing to distribution is considered for their impact on the planet, the user and the Sicilian community from which our products originate.
A British brand dedicated to eliminating toxins and chemicals from our daily lives. To achieve their goal they use only high quality natural and organic ingredients for their products. That also makes them good for both you and the planet. The brand also strives to implement sustainable practices in sourcing ingredients, packaging and collaborating with suppliers who share the same philosophy. Following their motto “We make good products, using good ingredients, that are good for you and good for our planet”, all of their products are vegan, cruelty-free, organic and handmade in the UK.
Wild Science Lab
The London-based botanical haircare and skincare brand, founded by husband and wife Ali and Zoe, is worth checking out. Wild Science Lab has created innovative, award-winning hair and skin treatments that harness the natural power of the wild. They are driven by the desire to create high-performance, botanical, eco-friendly products that guarantee exceptional results while maintaining an environmental focus. Striving to achieve the highest possible percentage of naturally derived ingredients because they believe that nature offers power and simplicity that can work in harmony with our bodies to achieve effective transformations of skin and hair.
The world’s first skin and hair care line devoted to the health and wellbeing of “Planet You''. Do you know what a microbiome is? This is all the brand is about! A microbiome is the protective layer of your skin which is made up of 1000s of good bacteria. The unbalance and stripping away of the microbiome can result in inflamed and sensitive skin, from which a number of issues arise. Through a patented combination of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics, Gallinée protects and nurtures your very own microbiome to ensure even the most sensitive and stressed skin can thrive even under the most severe conditions.
The number of benefits from using vegan cosmetics is immense: it benefits your skin, the environment and the animals. Why not make your new year's resolution to be more considerate of the planet? With the growing number of brands that offer vegan products, you have plenty of options to find your new favourite products.
Climate change is real and happening right now, right in front of everyone’s eyes. Hence, taking action is essential if you want to see the planet better.
Ph. Edward Howell, Unsplash
Sustainability should be the new normal. If this should be our approach to fashion, climate positivity will ensure that there is something to hope for in the future.
Climate change is amongst us and should be tackled immediately. For better days to come, we must look at the broader picture: the agenda of how sustainability promotes a better environmentally friendly life for all and, particularly, how to create a change capable of adapting to all lives.
Ph. Rio Lecatompessy, Unsplash
Climate positivity helps to minimise climate change while also promoting a positive approach in our society. Seeing a switch and aiming for a difference demonstrates a feeling of dedication. It embraces new sets of options and challenges in the hopes of improving the community, our society, and the ecosystem as a whole, so climate change will soon cause less damage. Eco-friendly, recyclable, and greenwashing are all keys to promoting climate positivity.
Sustainability And Us
Ph. Francois Le Nguyen, Unsplash
As people of the world, we all have the power to make valuable changes in our lifestyle; it just requires simple knowledge and awareness of what has been affected: people's livelihoods, our communities, and current attempts to control the climate change impact.
When it comes to sustainability, it is frequent to hear about it but we have no idea about how it is made, where it comes from, or what the day-to-day manufacturing process entails. Durable development should encompass more than just crochet, knitting, and locally sourced materials; it should also include a thorough understanding of history, care, and the work process. To create something high-quality, resistant, and long-lasting, assuring that future consumers will only have one job: to care for their garments, which includes caring for the biosphere.
Sustainability is about more than just keeping the ecosystem clean and safe for everyone; it also recognises the importance of ideals like renewal growth and diversity, as well as striving for greater social justice and equity. “Doing nothing or doing just enough is not going to cut it. We have to act in this decade to avoid the most severe environmental and socioeconomic effects of a changing climate,” said Dickon Pinner, who is the senior partner and global leader of McKinsey & Company’s Sustainability Practice.
The process will be seen if you look at the future profit; in the end, you only have a successful income if you have reliable consumers. Sustainable living expands every day, and consumers grow and adapt to a more positive lifestyle; therefore, change and evolution are required.
The beauty of seeing different kinds of clothing is the beauty of the world of fashion, and everyone wants to be a part of a trend or a craze. However, many fashion brands are on the verge of wreaking havoc on the ecosystem by employing fast fashion, low-wage labour, and hazardous production methods. Why is it wrong? Delilah Smith, who has spoken on fast fashion's impact on the environment, said, “A fast-paced model requires fast-paced production, and unfortunately, quicker production gives way to an increase in environmental damage.” Therefore, these companies make and distribute their products is neither safe nor equitable.
Consumers: The Key To A Sustainable Lifestyle
Ph. Jess @ Harper Sunday, Unsplash
The environment versus high fashion, how will everyone protect it? And how will everyone deal with the consequences? Clothing can be made more eco-friendly but we can also choose second-hand vintage clothing found in charity and antique shops, as well as on websites like Vinted and Depop, which filter items based on affordability, preference, and like-ability.
There is no denying that in the fashion industry sustainability is the buzzword right now. It is about sending a statement to everyone and, in some ways, addressing all of the challenges that fashion and the environment have with each other, as well as producing a vital message to highlight, showcase, and encourage climate positivity. Biyya Mansoer has expressed in an article, ‘You are what you wear’, “the way we express ourselves through fashion can provide an influential platform to drive change towards more ethical and sustainable practices in fashion supply chains. Here is where self-expression through fashion has evolved into something bigger – a choice and our way of life.”
A study by Dunja Radonic on the ‘fashion discount’ has displayed the percentages are different in all age categories. For general statistics, “53% of men and 47% women in the UK buy from sustainable brands” and “mature women between the ages of 35-55 buy from sustainable brands”; therefore, this data demonstrates how sustainable trends are still snowballing.
Goal For Change
The changes required to combat climate change are possibly tricky but necessary. If something is at risk, it is bound to have a resolution. Sustainability is critical because it allows for positive change for the improvement of both people and the planet.
Achieving circularity and sustainability has undoubtedly its challenges but the PUMA RE:SUEDE experiment showed that green footwear is not a wild dream anymore.
Photo courtesy of PUMA
Fashions Finest got in the loop with PUMA creative and sustainability team directors to know more about the challenges behind ecological shoes.
Sustainable production techniques have been making great strides in the last decade. Green shoes are real but challenges, the aesthetic implications and public reception are true too. Heiko Desens, PUMA’s Creative Director, and Stefan Seidel, Head of Corporate Sustainability, told Fashions Finest more about the RE:SUEDE pilot experiment.
Q&A With Stefan Seidel, Head Of Corporate Sustainability At PUMA
Stefan Seidel, courtesy of PUMA
PUMA's first sustainable experiment dates back to 2012; it was quite futuristic for that time but very noteworthy. What did you learn from your first attempt?
Our InCycle collection was probably ahead of its time. We saw that it was important to ensure the products get sent back to us after their use phase.
We did have an instore-take back system in place back then, but it was not possible to specifically sort out our InCycle products for composting or recycling purposes. This is why we will have a very specific take-back offer in place for the RE:SUEDE.
Do biodegradable, unconventional and/or alternative materials impact the final design and aesthetic feel?
Some of the materials indeed look and feel different. For example, we purposely left the leather for the RE:SUEDE in its natural colour – to support the natural look and feel. But the RE:SUEDE is still as comfortable to wear as the “classic” SUEDE.
Can a single, trend-driven feature reduce the eco-friendliness of a shoe?
The eco-friendliness of a shoe is based on many aspects. Important criteria are the materials used, the environmental performance of the manufacturer who produces the materials and the shoe, the type of energy used during production, the mode of transport and ultimately how the shoe is treated at the end of its lifecycle.
A single feature can help to draw attention, but to be eco-friendly, a shoe needs to ideally address all of the above aspects.
What is the least sought-after material which, in your opinion, may open unexpected possibilities in the shoemaking industry?
Over the past years, we saw attempts using pineapple leaves, cork or mushroom-based materials for shoemaking. Those are interesting but very difficult to scale to mass volumes.
Personally, I believe we should make those materials more sustainable, which are already in use today, for example by eliminating fossil-based feedstocks. Some of our partners are experimenting with CO2 from the atmosphere as building blocks for polymers – that would be great, provided that those polymers can also be fully recycled or decomposed naturally.
What is the most impactful moment on the ecosystem in a shoe’s life cycle?
When we look at the product lifecycle analysis, then the material extraction and conversion has the biggest environmental impact.
The RE:SUEDE project shows your commitment and dedication to a better future. Considering that there is still work to do and areas with room for improvement, what is one key approach that any brand can take for greener production?
There are many areas that we need to focus on, so let me pick two:
We need to transition production to low carbon materials and renewable energy, to be able to tackle the climate crisis.
We need to answer the question of what happens to the products at the end of their lifecycle. Biodegradation is one possibility, technical recycling is the other one. Ideally, we should combine both.
Q&A With Heiko Desens, PUMA's Creative Director
Heiko Desens, courtesy of PUMA
PUMA picked the SUEDE for its sustainable pilot project, but what makes this sneaker PUMA's real icon?
The Suede stands for timeless design that makes it different to a lot of high fashion sneakers. We chose the Suede because in theory you can wear it for many years and it always compliments any styling you go for and any occasion you wear it for. Doesn’t this make it an icon?
Everyone agrees on Gen Z being the most eco-conscious generation. Is circularity driven by the youngest or does PUMA have a less specific customer cluster in mind for the RE:SUEDE and future eco-friendly shoe models?
The Suede speaks to a wide consumer base and that gives us the freedom to choose who we are directing the message to. With the massive conversation around environmental issues nowadays, the topic is not just of interest to a younger generation, and it shouldn’t be. That’s why we chose the Suede for this project to generate interest in our RE:SUEDE project as much as possible.
How did your loyal customer base welcome the cooperation? Do you feel potential customers will value brands that take them so much into consideration?
We are still in the phase of evaluating the media/social feedback but we can proudly say that it has exceeded by far what we were hoping for. The next round of engagement with our loyal consumer base will start beginning of next year. This is when our project physically starts and consumers can register for the first round of RE:SUEDEs.
What is the biggest challenge encountered during the running project?
The biggest challenge was to meticulously identify and eliminate all potentially harmful elements from the materials and still maintain top quality and durability. Real sustainable materials are still not always easy to find. The next step was to make sure they pass established quality standards, so you can enjoy your product just the way you are used to for any other PUMA product.
To smartly communicate that the RE:SUEDE will not simply biodegrade in a conventional composting environment. It needs a specialized technical set-up.
In the future, our footprint will finally be lighter. Thanks to alternative, biodegradable materials and circularity experiments like PUMA RE:SUEDE this day will soon approach.
The countdown to New Year's Eve is getting closer, and so is the time to plan your outfit for the last night of 2021. An explosive mix of sparkles and red-carpet glam is the most popular choice, but there is no rule. We encourage you to dress to impress as you are.
Ph. Inga Seliverstova, Pexels
Are you not sure about what to wear on New Year's Eve? No panic! The editorial team put together their best festive outfits in this NYE stylebook where the key denominator is your personality.
We did it many times: buying a shiny, daring, excessive New Year's Eve outfit and wearing it just once. Fashions Finest's team opened their wardrobe and picked their best NYE looks. Browse our unconventional lookbook for inspiration and tips to let your personality shine and save some money for the new year!
Bethan’s New Year's Eve Look
"My NYE look is styled with a 1960s' glamorous American housewife in mind," says Bethan Carrick, fashion historian and editorial intern at Fashions Finest - "think Mad Men's Betty Draper, my ultimate style icon. My plans for NYE are up in the air so I'm keeping my options open with this outfit but making sure I'm glowing. I have gone for a palette of luxurious golden hues which is tied together with a black Prada centrepiece - can you ask for much more? It is always important to me to match what I'm wearing on my feet with what I'm wearing from my neck and upwards: so these delicious jewel-encrusted Manolo Blahnik heels which no doubt are inspired by the court of Versaille are paired with an equally luxurious vintage gold pill necklace. To balance out the statement of gold I'm wearing a dainty Chanel cloche hat. These Batsheva orange dotted trousers signal to me where luxury meets comfort, which I am all about. Finally, wherever I will be it is going to be cold so I'll need a cosy jacket to take me through till 12 am and this Dior faux fur jacket is ideal. This outfit makes me feel like I'm going to gracefully glide my way through 2022. Cosy golden vibes only, please."
"I've chosen Vestiaire Collective to source my NYE look as I'm a big supporter of resale and believe it's the future of fashion. I spend a lot of time trawling through this site looking at beautiful garments that I hope to one day have money and space in my wardrobe to own."
Leila’s New Year's Eve Look
"This is an alternative and mainly vintage-inspired take on the New Year’s Eve outfit. It does not always have to be a dull sparkling glitter dress. Embrace the ‘90s and draw all eyes to you, while simultaneously supporting small independent designers and sustainability by shopping pre-loved."
Leila Katharina Kaess, international student and editorial intern at Fashions Finest, goes into more detail: "Snakedivine is an independent brand, based in Kassel, Germany and run by Rebecca. She studies free arts, makes tattoos and began to engage with CGI. Most of her items are unique single designs with an exclusively-limited batch of one to three pieces. This makes everything you buy extraordinarily special and individual. With one of these pieces, you are safe to avoid turning up in the exact same outfit some else is wearing. Rebecca is also keen on sourcing the fabrics from small sellers, remnant fabrics and second hand. The entirety of the range offered online is carefully crafted by hand. In an attempt to conquer fast fashion and overconsumption she invests a lot of time and creativity in every single piece. Thus, it is all the more devastating to see that a variety of her designs have been stolen, manufactured in horrible conditions and with synthetic materials, by the Chinese ultra-fast fashion brand SHEIN, to be sold for a few pounds. She is only one of several upcoming designers to be named. That is why we must support small and independent businesses!
The corset jacket by the infamous ‘90s brand Catwalk Collection is now considered deadstock, as those are not produced anymore, so you might want to get one as long as they are privately sold. A cute bralette underneath means that you could also open up the jacket or get rid of it entirely if you want to wear it as a top.
The well-beloved NODALETO platform Mary Janes pick up the jacket’s black velvet material, thereby creating a continued theme, as well as bringing top and bottom together coherently.
A cute little handbag to fit all the little things one needs when heading out are perfectly stored in this lovely vintage Vivienne Westwood bag. Vestiaire is always a good place to buy designer handbags since they are vintage (good for the environment and your wallet) and undergo testing for proof of authenticity by professional staff, which ensures that no dupes are sold. Lots of chunky silver jewellery and the eyecatcher, a huge Vivienne Westwood pearl choker, bestow the look with an edgy retro vibe. Also, notice how the cross earrings pick up the green colour of the bag, while the nail polish and lipstick match the colour scheme used in the trousers. Attention to little details like this compliment an outfit. This compilation can be used as inspiration, maybe you have some items in a similar, or would like to try your hand at an upcycling project."
Olivia’s New Year's Eve Look
"For me Christmas and NYE is the best excuse to wear a full outfit of glitter and this dress is the perfect example." Olivia Brecque, editorial intern and Fashion Design Management student at the LCF, considers the holidays as the perfect time to do something good for someone in needs: "To get you in the Christmas spirit I decided to pick my outfits from Cancer Research in Islington as I believe there are endless choices of outfits in Charity shops, not only is it good for the environment but you are helping to raise money for a cause. This outfit in total cost 69£. Any pair of black boots that you own should do the trick as all the focus is on this glitter dress. I would like to thank the staff at Cancer research Islington for being so helpful and kind."
Deborah New Year's Eve Look
"I have chosen a look from my wardrobe because I like the idea of thinking sustainably and reusing clothing rather than buying new clothes that I don’t really need." Deborah St. Louis, founder of Fashions Finest, is a champion in sensible fashion choices.
"Most of the items I have worn many times and in different ways. The ASOS top is a new purchase and I love the combination of burnt orange with the black floral design. The warehouse tan skirt is one of my favourite items which I have had for over 10 years so no longer available online but here is a similar look from Warehouse which I’m sure anyone could find in a charity shop for less than half the price.
I have finished my look with a selection of jewellery that I have had for many years and that will complement any look. Similar jewellery can be purchased at an affordable price from Accessorize.
My go-to leather handbag has been with me since the '90s and it cost me around £20.00 back then. Here is an alternative from Ted Baker. My go-to heeled boots, which finish this look so nicely, find a similar alternative online at ASOS.
Now I’m all set to step out and enjoy my NYE party with friends without even having to spend any money on an outfit."
Valentina’s New Year's Eve Look
"How things change... In the past, I was more bothered by the idea of celebrating the year leaving us rather than looking for party outfits and having fun. The fussy me was not ready to bid farewell to the year, especially if it was a generous one for me!
My NYE outfit idea has the typical broken student, my old me, in mind. Here is a versatile look that allows you to reuse the dress and any item in the new year, again and again. The OOTD plays around colours and feels making the '70s the decade of freedom, youth and carefreeness. The essential piece is this Reformation 'Briea' halterneck mini dress. Pattern, colour palette and neckline take inspiration from the party decade for excellence. Move around in this dress; as the silk flows, the cubed pattern acquires fluidity. Geometries break.
Reformation follows the Net Sustain 8 eco-conscious production keys. A candid ZARA faux fur jacket accompanies the dress to keep toasty and conceal the sensual open back. It is 100% artificial fur and crafted in line with the brand environmentally-friendly standards.
2021 footwear saw barely-there sandals and chunky heels alike. These vegan MONKI ankle boots give a strong sense of stability with their structured heel so your feet will thank you too!"
Valentina Chirico, chief editor at Fashions Finest, moves on matching jewellery. "The handpicked accessories recall the dress warm colour scheme: gold. NuebeStudio polymer clay drop earrings in the shade Sahara are a dainty touch of exclusivity and lush: 100% handmade with 14k gold leaf. Behind NuebeStudio is Noelia, a former Spanish model turned SEO marketer, then jewellery maker.
Gold is rather expensive, so why not add some brass bracelets instead? These stackable brass bangles are handmade and fair trade by People Tree, plus they shine like gold! '70s' earthy and saturated colours find a nicely surprising balance in this Louis Vuitton embossed leather pochette in an acidic lime hue. You can go second-hand for that piece of luxury you deserve."
"My country wants red as the go-to and super lucky colour for the festivities, including NYE. But this year, I want some gold and sunshine in my makeup.
Swirl Benefit Galifornia blush on the apples of your cheeks and forehead for an instant healthy glow. Galifornia is more of a warm peachy shade with a sweet and exotic fruity scent. For more gold and lush I would ask imPRESS, it replies with its 'Luxurious' press-on nails dipped in champagne gold and pearls. If time is running low, I trust the brands' innovative cushioned glue pads for extra hold and its superb salon-worth designs.
I almost convinced myself to celebrate this year!"
Katie’s New Year's Eve Look
"2022 is right around the corner and people across the world are readying themselves for fresh starts, inspirational Instagram stories and resolutions that they will definitely stick to this year. The best way to channel this positivity and abundance into your New Year" - says Katie Bowman, social media intern at Fashions Finest - "is to dress for success, or so the old saying goes."
"This year I will be ringing in the New Year with my best friend and her daughter at their home, so my take on the glamour and glitz of New Year’s Eve may differ from previous years. By this I mean pyjamas.
This pale pink satin trouser pyjama set from John Lewis is the perfect co-ord to sip strawberry daiquiris on the sofa. To keep in with the pink colour scheme, these pink fluffy slide slippers from Ugg matched with this cosy dressing gown from Boux Avenue will make you the envy of everyone who decided to party out in the cold.
So whether you’re out in the club, staying in with friends or asleep before the clock strikes midnight, have a wonderful and safe New Year and enjoy the night in style."
Find Katie's picks:
Pijama set - Slippers - Dressing gown
Sophie’s New Year's Eve Look
"I have mainly chosen this outfit because you could wear this outfit for any occasion. You do not have to underdress or be overdressed. This is more a sort of casual wear."
Sophie Schot, creative media student and media intern at Fashions Finest, embodies a young and practical take on the festivities.
What a way to wave goodbye to 2021! There are many ways to dress up for New Year's Eve, all varied and still valid, whether you plan to spend the last night of the year partying all night out or staying in all wrapped up nice and cosy.
Mixing and matching our favourite clothing and wishlist picks was a fun game and a good style exercise. Fun aside and most importantly, our NYE stylebook wants to be more than a simple shopping guide. Indeed, it is not.
We like to think we are like no other e-zine around. We do not want you to feel compelled to buy so that you can feel gratified and conformed. Fashion should make you both look good and feel happy. You can do it in many ways; for example, you can join the secondhand brigade and give new life to pre-loved clothing online or in-store. You can buy to support a cause dear to you, wear independent and handmade labels, rent a luxury outfit or even design and sew your own holiday outfit! Being fashion smart is always among the latest trends, and there is no shame at all in wearing something casual on New Year's Eve or repurposing glam pieces to spice up your daily outfits.
Use this NYE outfit stylebook to steal some great tips. Save on money (and headaches), not on fashion!
A little thatched-roofed cottage in the middle of nowhere, lavish afternoon teas in a garden surrounded by homegrown plants and vegetables, sounds dreamy, right? The Cottagecore aesthetic encompasses all of that and much more.
Amidst all the ruffles, flowy long dresses, reading poetry like you are the main character, manifesting, learning about the power crystal stones inhabit, baking deliciously indulging banana bread loaves (the list of proposed pastime activities goes on endlessly), a more contentious side lies in the Cottagecore trend.
In our first part on this topic, we have already expounded upon the definition as well as where the aesthetic is historically rooted, and why it suddenly rose in popularity. So, if you need a quick refresher or missed this one skim through it over here to get the full picture.
@thebunnyboudoir in a gorgeously transcendental setting. As a horror fan, she frequently incorporates these kinds of spaces.
As beautiful and awe-inspiring the content we see online is, this aesthetic sadly has its fair share of negative aspects, which are widely ignored or misinterpreted especially by young Gen Z participants, who are notorious for shortly immersing themselves in hot trends whilst the hype lasts, but quickly turning to the next one shortly after, perfectly reflecting how fashion cycles currently develop to become shockingly short-lived to an unprecedented extent.
This approach culminates in an artificial desire to reinvent one’s own style literally every few weeks, so we cannot help but wonder: is this aesthetic really as wholesome, sustainable, and supportive as it seems? A hard question to answer because, after all, things are not always black and white. Therefore we will take a closer look at the other side of the coin throughout this second part in an attempt to unveil some lesser-known realities of the Cottagecore trend.
To Put It Straightforwardly, Why Is Cottagecore So White?
Ph. courtesy of Sinem Bahadir
Sinem Bahadir aka @sinembhd is a popular Germany-based influencer, fully embracing the Cottagecore vibe. She is an inspirational, positive example of diversity. In wearing a hijab, she fiercely signalises pride in her heritage, permeating all unspoken limitations that some within the movement might want to impose. In that, Sinem's dreamy images encompass a message beyond beauty. Everyone can partake in any kind of aesthetic, no matter their nationality, religious belief, gender, or looks. An important message to convey, indeed.
To start this off, let us tackle the most prominent and heatedly debated matter. A huge lack of diversity is more than apparent within the digital movement, to a point that a controversial debate on whether Cottagecore is inherently racist erupted. This issue has been widely discussed in public discourse, both in a myriad of articles and YouTube videos. The first thing appearing on the screen when typing in Cottagecore, be it on any social media app or simply Google, is a bunch of prototypically beautiful, young, slim, white women standing in countryside fields, wearing vintage-inspired attire. Is this due to the respective platform’s algorithm favouring white people’s content on account of their programming, or are there actually so few people with other ethnicities and body shapes embracing the aesthetic?
@sinembhd sees herself as a visual storyteller, hence indicating to her following that there is more to pictures than meets the eye. Partaking in the Cottagecore aesthetic is certainly not limited to the British landscape. Living in Germany, she showcases that beautiful places fit for retreat into nature can be found anywhere in the world. We highly recommend taking a look at her feed. Prepare to get lost in a dreamy world of truly magical photographs, displaying an alternative and very unique take on Cottagecore. With Sinem you are in for a treat, that is for sure! (Ph. courtesy of Sinem Bahadir)
What is safe to say is that algorithms are created to promote a specific idealised, preferably Eurocentric beauty standard. This has long been common knowledge, though TikTok made it blatantly clear to all its users since it is so obviously repetitive when it comes to outward appearances of the chosen creators that ultimately land on a for you page. Studies suggest that the app rates videos for potential success based on the attractiveness of those in it by means of a beauty assessing algorithm. A machine is able to identify how far an individual’s measurements of certain landmarks of the face deviate from an expected average. The algorithm then measures and evaluates the degree of fit with the previously established ideal, thereby providing a kind of ‘beauty score’. It goes so far as to even pick up a person’s skin texture, lowering Koinophilia (non-normative traits for an attractive face that is) by unevenness, discolouration, and wrinkles.
So, as we could see so far, Cottagecore seems to have a visible lack of people of colour. The issue becomes even more problematic when keeping in mind the negative implications of land ownership and its connection with the slave trade in the British Isles, which was only ended in 1833 by the Slavery Abolition Act. The historical background comes into play, as the aesthetics’ style, especially in clothing and accessories, is vastly reminiscent of bygone eras. Prairie dresses, fancy bonnets with attached lacy bows, Victorian-inspired parasols, gloves, and everything we would associate with the time periods it aims to imitate and take inspiration from. Is it just a harmless dress-up, a true passion for original vintage style, or a deliberate attempt to undermine people of colour, by consciously signalising a harsh exclusivity of the look? To be candid, the reasons behind every individual's choice of fashion can hardly be overgeneralised without being presumptuous. Seeing that most of them are either very young or truly submerged in rural seclusion, holistically embracing a sustainable lifestyle with competence and awareness. In the end, everyone engaging should be careful not to idealise the past while forgetting what context the time period indicated was embedded in.
Escapism At Its Best – Content Polished To Perfection Distorts The View Of Secluded Country Life Realities
@monalogue, the queen of Cottagecore and her husband @aaron.etc perfected the art of capturing awe-inspiring moments in naturalistic environments, suspending the spectator's reality for a fleeting moment. (Ph. Aaron Gibson)
A good bunch of those engaging in Cottagecore by publishing their content on social media propagate a highly idealised idyllic landscape, which in fact is far from reality. Sure, the British countryside is breathtakingly beautiful, but living in a secluded cottage takes much more than simply dressing up and sipping some tea in your garden. Not acknowledging the hardship of rural life and work, acknowledging what it actually takes to obtain a cottage is seldom shown. The pictures convey a drastically polished version of what is an escapist fantasy.
In a time when owning property becomes more inaccessible due to constantly increasing market prices, young adults strive for independence from sometimes ridiculously brazen landlords. Their demands and rent increase seemingly come under little state regulation and, especially in big cities, the situation appears to get only worse with time passing. Scoring an apartment in an acceptable area in London feels like mission impossible for youngsters with limited money recourses. Even if you are lucky to claim an apartment, suffering damages or problems with the property is often met with landlord’s inaction, a well-known issue, as both tenant and landlord know that there will always be plenty of people eager to move in instead never mind the state of it. This situation strengthens the inherent desire to own property, the land is significantly cheaper, after all.
Like a scene straight out of Poldark! Those of you who have read the first part of this series should be familiar with these two. Ramona and Aaron have been in the game for many years by now, though they are not pretending to indulge in a utopic world, but provide informative insights into what obtaining a cottage in the countryside actually demands. (Ph. Aaron Gibson)
Ramona Jones aka @monalogue with the aim of sharing her expertise and personal experiences released a book called ‘Escape Into Cottagecore: Embrace Cosy Countryside Comfort in Your Everyday’, in which she openly concedes that the idea of Cottagecore is evoking “a soft, fairytale world”. Notwithstanding, she also opens up about mental health and her own struggles. Dealing with sensory and social issues as a child, staying at her grandparents in the countryside felt like a safe place, a “haven from the rest of the world” where she could be herself, free of any judgement or constraints. This early on kindled her love of nostalgia and rustic life. It just so happens to have become a trend recently. Ramona successfully passes on her knowledge, personal recommendations, alongside tips and tricks ranging from herbology to mindfulness. It is true that you do not necessarily have to live in the British countryside, cut off from any kind of technology and isolated from everyone else, to experience what the movement is about, visually or in a deeper sense in its core values and aims. This brings us to the next conspicuousness: technology.
As Contradictory As Its Oxymoron Name – Is It Detoxed Relaxation If Every Step Is Filmed And Put Online?
The paradox is more than clear, the Cottagecore trend champions anti-modern attitudes towards everything that is wrong with our fast-paced city lives and hustle culture, but it seems to primarily exist and thrive in modern spaces through public sharing on social media and online platforms. Maybe though, that antithesis is one of the aesthetic's greatest strengths. Rather than demanding unrealistic attempts to completely ditch modern devices and technological progress, it appears to encourage a reassessment of modern values. It may even offer a bridge between the past and a more sustainable future. As inherently social beings, humans completely shutting themselves away, in the long run, would actually be an unnatural thing to do. Finding like-minded people online to connect with in times when socialising in real life became a struggle, bears a huge potential for some.
Aesthetics intentionally inspire an emotional response, often instilling a sense of calmness and evoking a soothing effect within us. Due to our unlimited access to all forms of art on demand, we increasingly crave beauty and have developed a longing for the picturesque, thereby trying to incorporate it into literally everything. It becomes problematic however when recorded moments get fixed to such a degree that they are not accurately representative of reality and are amended to what we want them to be, rather than what they really are. Yet, there is a distinction between dramatically edited posts, where alterations are noticeable at first glance, and the currently favoured approach of editing to a lesser degree. This quickly leads to a coincidence of reality and fiction, blurring the lines further and further, while distorting the views on what is shown. It gets dangerous if users fail to further reflect upon the content they engage with.
@thebunnyboudoir, shown in everything that makes a Cottagecore enthusiast's heart beat a little faster. Floral patterned ruffle dress, pinafore, a straw hat, and of course some fresh flowers. (Ph. courtesy of Melody Cardoso)
Despite the many downsides, what has been exemplified here shall not overshadow the various positive ways Cottagecore has actively promoted positive activities and values in the public eye. Sustainability, taking globalisation seriously, freedom of heteronormative norms, mindfulness, meditation, looking inwards, paying attention to personal well-being, educating yourself through reading, anti-capitalism, challenging the belief that all progress is good, and so much more – to an extent that listing everything here would certainly go beyond the scope.
In the context of a global pandemic a little dose of escapism should not necessarily be a bad thing, it may very well have helped some to overpass the time between amplification and easing of restrictions. Many activities are congruent with traditional housewife work; however, not everyone seems to be fully aware of the negative historical implications. Ultimately, the motto should be: 'vintage style, not vintage values '.
In the long run, it can indeed become a lifestyle, existing outside the internet or simultaneously without being dominated by it.
Ph. courtesy of Sinem Bahadir
This article is by no means supposed to ridicule anyone committed to this movement, but rather an attempt to raise awareness on some less discussed shortcomings which are easy to dismiss and overlook. All content creators featured throughout this article are enlightened and knowledgeable about the aesthetic they engage in, and they are a truly delightful addition to the scene with their stunning visuals.
Those who are still most prone to perfunctory misconceptions are teenagers, especially those who just recently discovered Cottagecore. A huge contributor to this is the set limitations of some social media platforms. Instagram has been around for quite some time now, the difference to TikTok though lies in the extent of content that can be shared. On Instagram, each creator can elaborate on the visuals in lengthy texts underneath. On TikTok, instead, the time span for videos was limited to merely 15 seconds until most recently, when the company decided to bulk it up to 60 seconds. Users are therefore provided with a very narrow time frame to convey a message beyond the perceptible. Quite a challenge! The majority of people within the community certainly mean no harm, nor should any bad intentions be at play. With everyone having the recourses to further research the topic straight from their mobile, it lies in everyone’s responsibility to do so by means of trustworthy sources before immersing head over toes into something new, unaware and in ignorance.
It is coming to the final weeks of Christmas when everyone panic buys and the high street stores are usually busier. This time of year is the worst for Christmas shopping. To make life easier while shopping for him, you can look online for all the items on your wishlist. The reason is that you are more likely to find the sizes for him online as most of the stores will be out of stock for sizes by this time.
Ph. Clem Onojeghuo, Pexels
If you want some inspiration for fashion presents, this guide will do all of the dirty work for you by discussing the on-trend fashion items and showing you those that will be best for a Christmas gift.
Here are some of the best clothing items to buy for him this Christmas.
With Christmas being particularly chilly, every man must have a winter coat in his wardrobe. The problem is there are several styles to choose from when it comes to a man’s jacket. However, there are only a few that are currently in fashion at the moment. These coats are perfect for the colder months and, many luxury fashion brands have got behind these styles.
Parka jackets are very much in fashion at the moment. Some designs are suitable for spring and summer, other parka coats are suitable for the autumn/winter season. Either way, we will be looking at those that are much warmer and waterproof. A go-to place is House of Fraser, one place that has an extensive variety of parka jackets.
House of Fraser has a wide selection of jackets with its online store; additionally, it also offers a range of luxury brands to choose from. When it comes to picking a gift like this for him, you need to research on what are his preferred brands. Look at his existing wardrobe and see if he has any preferred brands. You could also ask him yourself to make sure that you get the right brand. Males are much more brand-driven compared to females, although, some males are happy with unbranded apparel. Brands can be expensive, that is why you should double-check which they prefer.
This jacket is for your dressier occasions and formal events. An overcoat will usually be longline and it will sit just above the knees, keeping the thighs warm. One thing to take note of is that an overcoat is generally made of wool; hence, it is not waterproof. It will protect him from drizzle or snow but, it is not designed for the heavy downpour. Still, it is an essential winter jacket style that every man needs.
As mentioned before, overcoats are for dressier occasions. Nonetheless, they are great for strolling around the Christmas markets whilst feasting on a bratwurst hotdog. The last thing to keep in mind when it comes to buying an overcoat is that it usually does not have a hood. Make sure that your man has a hat to go with his overcoat with that being a flat pack to walk around with a peaky blinders style or the usual woolly hat. Either way, your man needs to be well wrapped up with headgear with its flat cap.
Ph. PNW Production, Pexels
This is a jacket that has very much been on-trend in previous years. Denim jackets are much more casual in style; nonetheless, they take a man’s outfit to another level in the most simple but effective way possible.
Denim is quite a heavy material, especially when bought from a premium brand such as Levi Strauss, a brand that is known for durable denim garments. Yes, items from this premium label are higher in price but, you pay for quality with Levi Strauss. Furthermore, another brand that is great for denim jackets and we can recommend is &Sons.
Every man and woman needs loungewear for those lazy Sundays. Tracksuits are the perfect outfit when it comes to doing nothing all day. They have also been around for many years, going back to the 1980s; however, the style of a typical tracksuit has changed much more than the usual tracksuit a man would usually wear.
These days, men's full tracksuits tend to be made of cotton or wool, in a more relaxed fit, and they are very much on-trend. If there is any item that he will be using and wearing as soon as he opens his gift, it will be a full tracksuit.
Hat, Scarf And Glove Sets
A set like this is another essential for a man when it comes to this time of year. Although it will not be the main present, it is more appropriate for a Christmas stocking. There are many luxury brands out there like Calvin Klein, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger and others that design premium hats, scarf and gloves set. You do not need to go all out on a set like this but, if there is a particular fashion brand that he likes when it comes to his clothing, this is the perfect gift idea to buy from that brand.
There are a lot of options you can consider buying when it comes to fashion gifts for him. However, it is all about purchasing items that are trendy at the moment. Trends aside, think also and foremost about something that he needs: is it a coat or a jumper? A hat or a thick pair of woolly socks? Just remember when you are buying for Christmas, you want to make sure that your wearable gifts are going to be perfect for these cold temperatures.
Whatever you do, do not forget about stocking fillers either! These can range from an Eau de toilette to winter skincare essentials; these small gift ideas will be always very welcome.
Good luck on your shopping spree this Christmas.
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