By: Margot B

Fashion is looking used or worn, incorporating 'found' items or recycled 'treasures', such as patchworked pieces, unmatching grandmother's button box buttons, hand-assembled effects, pre-washed fabrics, and "collectible" embellishments. Pieces that look handcrafted [like those with embroidery] take on a new spin when worn with sleek dark denim trousers and a sophisticated boot and belt combo. A ruffle-bottom skirt is cute, too, especially when worn with a structured top. Many dresses feature a structured top with a gathered or draped skirt.

Jeans and peasant blouses are good together. Jackets and skirts in denim are still favorites and the trends point toward straight, skinny jeans. Handcrafted looks, peasant touches, and rugged outerwear - top the list of important trends for back-to-school teen fashion - all with denim. The glittery ones in your closet are no longer stylish, choose low-cut basics. Wear with pointy-toe, kitten-heel boots for fresh diva style; top with a romantic top for a stylish look [smocking, gathers, puffy sleeves and embroidery touches] - smart when paired with jeans and boots for fall.

Fabrics for winter 2002/03 are knits, jerseys, and tropical wools, as well as banner stripes, distressed leathers and silks. Military looks with a feminine touch, featuring navy blue, which hasn't been shown in years for fall, as well as Army greens. It's an elegant look - rather than a grungy army fatigue look - with epaulettes, gold buttons, double-breasted jackets, pieced together with feminine blouses. Wear a printed tee shirt, knit or blouse to tie a theme together. Animal prints are still 'in', but now with feathers and furs added.

Colors go from various shades of black to light sandblast. [Medium-range tints won't be as stylish]. Worn looks continue: whiskers, faded knees and bums, frayed hems keep the vintage trend alive. Gone are the glitter and studs of seasons past; instead, look for leather laceups and embroidery around the leg area, seams and cuffs.

For something different, striped jeans [as in engineer styles] or replace jeans with cords. If worn with a fitted black top, the look is striking - or a low-slung fringe belt. You can go for a distressed brown leather style or a sleeker macram version and still achieve the same funky look. Worn low on the hips and with lots of attitude. Also, to keep the prairie floral or gauzy tops looking smart, pair with dirty denim or suede. Other groovy looks include crochet, suede, and beads. And don't forget the turquoise just yet. The always-in-style pieces like fitted denim jackets, chinos [khaki trousers], and oxfords are key pieces that can be worn with any trendy look to avoid going overboard.

Check out plaids, tweeds, and argyles in fresh patterns, and keep an eye out for fitted cable-knit sweaters, low-button polo tops, and monograms. Keep the look new by mixing it up - wear a rugby style top with a big suede belt; pair the plaid skirt with an athletic hood but keep it color- coordinated, wear khakis with a funky little peasant top and kitten heels.

In America blues are important in various shades as seen in the sky and water to give comfort during a difficult economic period. Metallic colors, including silver and gold, are often worn with white.

Ethnic groups are represented in fashion, such as Choctaw, Chippewa and Iroquois and leather fringe trim on boots.

For dress-up: fur in bibs and trim, along with handsome fox wraps. Plenty of hot colors, such as crystal-embroidered brick jackets and turquoise-flared minis over beautiful Inuit-style, hand-sewn ankle boots with fringes.

Some models appeared in the latest fashion show dressed as citified Inuit in their high red heels, bobby sox, and a tight skirt under a draped strapless silk bustier. Also, actually wearable was a short brown shearling jacket with furry stripes, worn over a multicolored elastic hip girth and colorful chiffon skirt.

The whole theme is primitive. A lot of the outfits have an unfinished look - it's a casual line with a lot of bleaching and sandblasting.

About the Author:
Margot B is a writer & web site designer - has written a book and 100s of articles on health and the environment.

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