Even though the calendar year doesn't match the fashion world's two polarities, spring and fall, a new year is a great time to reassess what you're wearing and more important, what should be put out of its misery.
Cuts have shifted dramatically in the last half of 2006, and a lot of formerly unhip things are hip again (jeans with ankle zippers, for one). The past year also brought us some unbelievably popular items such as Crocs, the worst footwear since the Sebago (Remember the barrel roll laces?). Even Danskos look like stilettos compared with these garish, plastic, hole-ridden atrocities. Please Richmond, don't go there. Step away.
Unexplainable phenomenon aside, it's easy to know what's totally out of style, but sometimes it's difficult to determine what's just slightly out. Staying on top of the subtle shifts from year to year can keep your wardrobe fresh without breaking the bank. A few key pieces can make all the difference.
So here's a guide to what's in and out for 2007.
1) Retire the low-rise pants.
We're sick of seeing your thong anyway. Waists are going up, which is good news if you have a spare tire. We know who you are heck, we've seen it.
2) Know your neutrals.
Brown made a fantastic comeback from its '70s glory days, but it's over. Gray is the new brown and black is very hot. Wear your favorite little black dress to death. It always looked good, but now it's in too.
3) Slogan tees: "So Over."
Instead, pick up a big blouse that's versatile, so you can wear it under a dress, blazer or even a sweater vest. That's right, the sweater vest is back, but this time it's shorter.
4) Skirts are short again.
Straight or poofy, the mini is back. If you're thinking, "How could I do a mini again?" that's simple: opaque tights. That means no more sheer hose, even with evening wear.
5) Thin, in.
Skinny jeans are all the rage, and the darker the better. Lose the distressed bootlegs jeans now go into boots, not over them. And when I say boots I don't mean UGGs. Those hit too big to stay hot. (The same may happen to leggings, so be careful.)
6) Bohemian is out.
Goodbye, tiered skirts and floaty silhouettes. A structured, angular, mod look is in.
7) Rules are out, white is way in.
Forget what your mama said about Labor Day.
8) Pointy shoes are for roach-killing.
Shoes are chunky and sexy. Think platform heels, rounded toes and lace-up boots.
9) Hats off.
Baseball caps have been out for a while. They morphed to trucker hats then short-brimmed caps, which now are being ditched for wool hats and front-snap caps.
10) No butts about it.
Sorry Philip Morris, but with cities increasingly banning smoking in restaurants and clubs, the once-hip fashion accessory is losing ground.