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Fashion Trends 2005
4. Consumer Mood & Luxury Fashion

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Consumer Mood & Luxury Fashion - Spring & Summer 2005


Female Fashion Trends, Fads and Fast Moving Fashions 2005

The possible fashion fads and trends suggested in these pages here for 2005 are related to female styling only.  These pages are my analysis, personal opinion and fad prediction of the next common new fashion themes we are likely to adopt.  (Page written early Jan 2005)

What is clear is that A NEW SILHOUETTE IS EMERGING AND IN COSTUME HISTORY TERMS IT MAY WELL THE MAIN OUTLINE THAT DEFINES THE NOUGHTIES.  This new silhouette is neat and small at the top, but much fuller in the lower half.

A long known fashion fact is that a season's main look always hinges on 4 or so key pieces. 

Choose the correct key piece for you and your body whilst camouflaging your imperfections.  The secret to getting a look that suits you is in simply picking out the bits you like, rather than going overboard on the whole look.  Less is always more.

I see key female fashion pieces for spring summer 2005 as being the shrunken cropped jacket, the fuller bigger longer 'gypsy' skirt,  cropped trousers or overlong trousers that get rolled or turned up, the empire line dress or top, flat or wedge shoes and masses of tribal style jewellery.   One other feature that is likely to develop, but more slowly, is hip and derriere interest in the form of soft bustles and side pockets/panier hips.  However there are plenty more looks available and discussed below.

A true trend is a change, a movement toward a new idea or new or different way of doing things.  For example it has been a strong trend in the past decade for women throughout the UK and the world in general to more and more wear trousers for every type of occasion.  The actual styled type of trousers they have worn though varied from boot cut to palazzo, to cargo pants to pedal pushers to low rise versions and are better described as fashion fads.

One fashion trend that is changing and has changed in the past few months is that of the bare midriff.  The bare midriff fashion is well and truly dead.  Over exposed flesh is now considered very trashy and very vulgar and well past its sell by date.  Anyone who is fashion conscious ditched this style some time ago.  Only pop stars living on faded glory continue to adopt it.  More decorum in dress is the new order of the day. You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©


Decoding the Key Fashion Themes

Most of you reading this will have keyed in the words fashion trends in an effort to find out what colours, styles and new materials are likely to be in the shops near you soon.  So let's not worry too much whether these ideas expressed in these pages for Spring Summer 2005 here are a trend or a fad, a theme or a preference or craze. 

The fact is fashion is moving so fast that we need to decode quickly the distinctive details that create a new key piece.   Today designers present a fresh catwalk idea, and within a few weeks they are horrified to find that more than one high street store is already selling the cream of their designer collection ideas.

Some of the suggestions for fashion listed here are already in the shops, the ideas and concepts having been ripped off even before a top designer can get his spring summer stock into his or her outlets.  This is having the effect of many of us having a more fluid wardrobe than we ever did in seasons past; where we are constantly adding and subtracting garments as we revise and update our concept of what is a contemporary fashionable image. 

The ordinary person can be as up to date as the woman with thousands to spend and indeed this is becoming a problem at the higher end of the market, as those who desire exclusivity often dress in a very similar way to those who know little or nothing about fashion, but just happened on an item in the shops that copy designer ideas immediately.

Shopping in the sales a few weeks ago, the thought crossed my mind 'why bother' as I saw little clutches of new clothes arriving which were far more interesting for my brain to feed on and lust after than anything dying on a sales rack.  I decided to wait for a few weeks and move onto the next fresher look, remembering the golden rule of never buy into a look that's on the wane.  

Fading high fashion fads should be left to fade away gracefully.  Remember the poncho - it's now another fashion fad that has become so ubiquitous that only those who have bought them already are wearing them still.  As a fashion it's fading and being replaced by warmer more functional capes. So any you see hanging around on sales racks are best left there now. 

Recall to mind the shearling or faux fur gilet?  Yes unlike the poncho it does fulfil a function of actually keeping the wearer warm, but sadly it has suffered from too much exposure.  But if you do still succumb to a gilet in the sales at least it will stand you in good stead in the garden on cold days that's if of course it didn't make you look twenty pound heavier.  Maybe it will morph into an Afghanistan inspired 1970s Mongolian hippy styled coat for winter 2006!   Hedge your bets for now and invest next in a newer shapelier cropped jacket for spring summer 2005.


Decorum and Modesty in Fashion 2005

In 2005 and 2006 a new attitude to comport yourself and be more lady like will emerge as grooming makes a welcome return as the film star look 1950’s look continues and this coupled with films such as Aviator, and the about to be remade Brideshead Revisited will rekindle designer and consumer interest in the fashions of the 1920s and 1930s. 

Decorum in dress is back - Trash dressing is dead - Ladylike is the mood of the moment.  Chic and refined, polished and dignified, graceful and groomed is in.  Revealing, scanty clothes and endless tawdry images of barely dressed celebrities are now tiresome to the point of boring.  We've seen it all before.  Gentler, less crude images are beckoning.

Manufacturers should have acted sooner and addressed the fact when designing for grown women that the majority have no desire to bare their belly button in public or show their top arms as the years advance.  You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

The Changing Consumer

There is no doubt that consumers are changing and are rather more sophisticated personalities than those of 20 years ago.  Many are older and wiser some are young and informed.  They simply refuse to fit into the demographic system that marketing men would like them to slot.

My website readers are ordinary people, ranging from Miss Mere Mortal to Miss Musthavethatnow.  From research I have done with them I believe that just about everyone interested in fashion today, assumes that not only can they aspire to designer (ready to wear) goods and have their eyes on even costlier ranges, but they can and do often buy them.  Nor do they mind mixing TopShop or Monsoon clothes with Dolce and Gabbana or Matthew Williamson.  They buy what they like and woe betide a manufacturer who misses the vibe they have tuned into.  Poor customer knowledge and mismatched goods in store means the retailers never recoup lost sales.

Take spectacles as an example.  Consumers may purchase new spectacles once a year or every 2 years, so many now only opt for a designer brand name to ensure the spectacle shape has some wearing credibility in styling terms. 

The same goes for special occasion, 'reward myself' buys or recognisably costly shoes or bags.  Access to luxury is available to all consumers with goods such as sunglasses, perfumes and beauty products being the starting points.  From there it is one step to the belt, or designer jeans or the luxury bag.   In fact compared to the new luxury designer brands, standard ready to wear designer items are often not that luxurious.

An Ageing Female Consumer

There are certain fields where this is happening more and more even among your grandma or great grandma who may well be a baby boomer and cash rich.  The huge purchasing power of baby boomers may mean that a separate youth culture may be in decline.  In 2006, just one year away, 50% of the UK female population will be over 40.  Marketing men would like to get inside Ms.40's head, but somehow find her elusive and changeable, when what they mean is they have less control over her once easily recognisable predictable whims.

High street goods are now seen as not only affordable, but also disposable and we find marketing men in despair as they cannot track how the consumer is thinking as well as they have done in the past. 

There is no one fashion look.  The look is eclectic, with many global influences all paying a part.   Much of the mode is no longer exclusive because of digital communication which has an immediacy and an instantaneous characteristic about it, that no other communication has ever had.

The Customization Empowered Consumer 2005

This dribble down effect to the masses in what is comparatively an instant not months though can have a negative effect on brands.  Those who once sought exclusive brands now seek out designers who produce personalized goods or very limited editions of an item or even one offs that are edgy and have a buzz.  This is the world of demi-couture.

Logo Fatigue in Fashion

Only China and Japan (see footnote) still consider logos desirable aspects of dressing, with many westerners rejecting them years ago.  Now in Britain, only chavs really wear logos to any extent these days, with logo fatigue ensuring that others reject any item or fabric associated with logos and by default with chavs and their lifestyle and attitudes.

Logo fatigue is reason enough for the next 'clunky' arts and crafts look taking off in a big way.  No two pieces of a craft inspired piece should strictly speaking look alike.  For tomorrow and next year and the foreseeable future individualization, personalization and customization which empowers the consumer with some measure of self selection and personal designing input is what it's all likely to be about.  Visual logos the same as everyone else wears are now out, and to be really fashionable your style must be customised and made more personal to have cachet. 


Limited Editions in Fashion

Exclusivity and scarcity has returned so that the luxury market can reinvent itself providing personalized luxury items with a fleeting life and few in number.  Some companies will in future produce limited editions of around 50 items or 100 items.  Many are already doing this.  One method of doing it is to make perhaps 80 items and give away half of them to friends and high profile celebrities.  Then hold back the items until they become highly sought after and are hard to find and so are then desirable and must have items within a specific group of decoders of fashions.

Waitlists are big news.  By the time a person reaches the top of a waitlist they may not even desire the item any longer as another luxury item will have come along or a mass manufacturer will have captured the elements.  The scarcity value increases it's desirability.  You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

Beyond Luxury Products

'Beyond luxury products' will become a new norm for the rich to seek as they crave rare materials and unusual finishes not generally seen.  An example of this is the use of Tyvek with marvellous technical properties used in garment making in previously unexplored ways to created unusual crafted clothing.  Another 'beyond luxury product' might be custom made jeans at $1000 basic price when made with superior $40 a yard denim plus even extra costs for custom enhanced diamond studding when required.

Having a personal fragrance made easily falls into this category, but clothing is the most outwardly obvious signifier.  Moneyed celebrities do this all the time.  Scent systems sell pink lotus a perfumed oil used by Madonna.  It contains pink lotus Sandalwood, and tuberose at £107 from 8ml.  It's from Scent System in UK.

The ultimate personal fashion indulgence item of this decade is of course a nip and a tuck, teeth whitening or implants and let's not forget the removal of tattoos once a wanted personal fashion accessory for many.  All at a beyond luxury price. 

Fashion involves seduction of the senses.  We see an image of a product which is new and we fix our mind so often on obtaining that new ‘thing’ whether it be a piece of the latest jewellery, a garment, a car, a hairstyle, or even a holiday.  All are subject to fashion whims.  We do this even though we know that fashion is fickle and ephemeral and that fashion will move on almost the moment we have established in our minds that this is the new ‘new’. 

So no sooner than you have read this will you be wondering what will be new for autumn winter 2005/6. You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

Chinese Market Footnote

The Chinese market is huge and the Chinese luxury market is still way behind the level the western world enjoys and is a market still to be captured.   However sociological differences and attitudes between regions means that manufacturers will need to tailor their goods accordingly.

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About looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era.  Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear.  These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.Fashion History can take no responsibility for any information on the site which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or indirectly.  This site is owned, designed, written and developed by author: Pauline Thomas and Guy Thomas. This site is designed to be viewed in 1024 X 768 or higher.

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