Maybe it’s because of world tensions. Maybe it’s because we’re just tired of looking frumpy. But fashion this spring seems to have done a one-eighty.
Oh, yes, you will still see the more masculine and aggressive exaggerated shapes and styles (wide-wide- wide leg pants, loose blouses, oversized blazers and coats), but dig just a tiny bit further and you’ll find a cornucopia of elements and trims that we haven’t seen for a very long time.
The question is: will you wear them?
What does it mean for a style to be girly? Well, you can look to two elements. Those are construction and details. In terms of construction, we always consider the shape of the garment. Things that are very loose or unfussy are considered more “natural” in style. And those that are oversized or contain exaggerated elements are considered more dramatic.
But girly implies feminine. That means that there will be an emphasis on featuring a woman’s body in shape, but in a more delicate way than a tight fitting garment would do.
So what you’re going to be seeing in terms of construction is a continuation of the puff sleeves in dresses and blouses. Some of these will have sweetheart necklines which traditionally bring a youthful flavor. As for dresses and skirts, you’ll see flared, tiered and ruffled tiers. You’re also going to see them super short in minis. Yes, minis are back. God help us.
And then there are the details. You’re going to be seeing the opposite of those simple, classic styles that work for almost everybody. So, if you’ve been searching for the perfect white blouse, and you want to embrace this more feminine take on that look, here are some of the details to look for.
Blouses have gotten a makeover through the addition of elements like pin tucking, small ruffles, gathers at the neckline or sleeves, small pleats, and the bundled pull-threads called “faggoting,” all of which are a kind of demure throwback to the early 1900s fashions.
You’ll also see fabric covered buttons. Then there are the so-called “poet” blouses, incorporating several of these elements as well as deep yokes and ruffled bibs. There are also Puritan style blouses with large ruffled collars.
In terms of textiles, there is a reemergence of what we considered the “old-fashioned” fabrics like eyelet, dotted Swiss, embroidered lace, and seersucker.
If you want to go all-in, then a dress with any of these details is the ticket. But yes, it might be a tad too fussy for a lot of us. So pairing one of these more delicate and detailed blouses with pants or jeans can definitely work. Keep your shoes simple and forego the clunky platform heels or loafers for something like a sling back low heel or simple but dressy flat.
If you want to wear them with a skirt, keep that fairly simple. A mid-length skirt or below the knee tailored pencil skirt could work. But frankly, most of the new blouses are being shown with jeans and pants. I guess even the younger girly crowd will only go so far in a girly direction.
One way to wear them, and embrace another trend at the same time, is to wear a pair of wider leg pants, slightly cropped or ankle length, depending on how much ankle you like to show. These work well with low or mid-height heels or simple flats.
For either pants or skirts, these blouses look best as tuck-ins, not to be worn loose, unless they are specifically designed with details on the hem that are meant to be shown.
Now if you just can’t stomach fussiness of any kind, especially little details around the neckline, but you still want to embrace your femininity, you can look for a top that has the fewest of these details and make sure those are away from the collar and shoulders and are in a softer textile.
What do you think of “girly” style? Would you wear it? Do you have any antique or vintage pieces in this style?