The days when designers dictated hem lengths, necklines, shapes and fabric are gone.
There will always be one look more popular than another but now fashion shoppers are spoiled for choice.
There are rules, but they are about dressing to suit our shape, not our hair colour, age, size or budget.
Spotting seasonal trends for spring and summer this year has "easy-as" written all over it.
Only the colour-blind could miss the outburst of orange, red and brilliant blue. The punch continues with a rollout of prints: zigs and zags rub along with a riot of flowers and foliage and more versions of paisley seen since the 1960s.
Retro enthusiasts will welcome the return of the peter-pan collar, peplums, gold embellishments, tribal designs, and the first sighting of wide-leg pants (not yet edging skinny pants out of the picture).
The shorts worn over tights and leggings in winter have been recut to deliver slouchier shaping, but the look remains citified and looks good teamed with a sharply cut jacket.
Layers are with us still - floating one over the other in a mad mix of fabrics and colours and as ever offering genteel flattery to every body.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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