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3a. Trends within the Fashion Silhouette

Wardrobe Tips

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


3a. Trends Within the Fashion Silhouette - Fall 2005 Winter 2006


Designers Seek Inspiration

Every fashion season has new and previously seen themes running through it.  Fashion trend ideas that filter into mass fashion often start on the catwalk, but the street fashion of the masses and the way of wearing an outfit or self styling is just as likely to be copied by a designer.  Designers are forever seeking innovative ways of dressing the body.  Those main couturier derived fashion looks always act as a source for others to work with at mass level and main looks of this season were discussed on earlier pages. 

Designers travel to foreign parts, exotic and ordinary to get a fresh take on an old idea.  Most manufacturers and designers get a large chunk of their inspiration from the yarn and fabric suppliers.  Producers strive constantly to create novelty fabrics reviving and combining old and new techniques.  Every year textile and fabric fairs show buyers the latest colours and fabrics to expect 2 years hence.  Whilst fashions seem to come and go quickly to the everyday consumer they are often a couple of years in the making.  See mood boards here.

Those little differences the designer makes all adds up to a new feel and look to clothing.  Learning to spot those little differences can be done quite logically by starting at the top of the head and working down the body.  Below is a look at the parts of garments and how elements within the silhouette are changing this autumn season of Fall/Winter 2005/6. You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©


Trends Within the Fashion Silhouette - Fall 2005 Winter 2006


Coassack hat in fur  -  Fall 2005 fashion trendsMassive fur Cossack hats like the one left made from real and faux fur appeared at catwalk fashion shows.  Furs of every hue through the creams to gingers to brown to black range were shown.

Other novel hats were like high toques or mini bearskin hats, but made from mink.  Also for snowy days trapper hats with ear flaps are both practical and fashionable.

Baker boy caps made from tweeds, leather suede and fur reflected the fashion trend for 60's Beatnik and New Mod Looks.  These will easily morph into beret styles with small brims as the 1940s elements meet 1960s retro Mod.

Knit hats with tassels or pompoms were youthful in approach and are easy styles to craft at home as are berets.

Babushka headscarves and equestrian touches may herald the return of the square silk scarf.  This may be the year to invest in a luxury one by Hermès or raid your grandmother's wardrobe.

  All Fur Thumbnail Images Courtesy IFTF


Collar Lines

Fur collar -  Fall 2005 fashion trendsClassic Mandarin stand and Chanel collars are popular on military jackets and those with Victorian fashion styling.  Look for all sizes of collars, especially the smallest narrow and deep high stand necks.

Fur collars abound and many have massive shawl collars with extra volume such as this skin jacket left shows.

Often fur collars such as the one on the green coat above in the page header sit atop a high Mandarin collar.  Some high stand collars wrap to one side in true mid-late sixties style and are called funnel necks.    All Fur Thumbnail Images Courtesy IFTF

There are also detachable scarf wrap fur collars and knitted collars with striped or patterned knit scarves with pompom trims.  This is an easy way to buy into the Fall 2005 Russian fashion trend.

Dior featured oversized collar revers on short jackets, although the jackets were not especially cropped looking.  The very large coat collars created a highwayman effect. 

Coat/jacket collars are likely to increase in size to balance increasing lower body volume.  Width at shoulder level in wider collars will also emphasise how small the waist area is.

Softer looks include lace trimmed or filled in necklines in Edwardian or Victorian styled blouses.

Square necklines look modern and new and some styles have square smock panels of Folkloric embellishment.  Deep plunging Marilyn Monroe screen starlet halter V neck slinky gowns were shown for red carpet looks as were strapless and fine strap gowns.


Decorative Trimmings

Contrast colourful red piping set against navy highlights military lines.One of the most important fashion trends of 2005 is the cropped Hussar military styled jacket with double rows of buttons - especially brass or metallic buttons. 

Golden Buttons - Since they have been out of fashion for over a decade metallic buttons are likely to adorn many garments in the future. 

A garment may also have decorative non functioning oversized buttonholes, fashion features of the new military line jackets. 

Fashion trims might be rich metallic braids, tonal frogging, Russia soutache* braid decoration, or contrast colourful piping set in high collars.

Mandarin stand necks are set with contrast narrow piping such as red piping with black or navy as the main fabric.  They can also be adorned with shiny lustrous plaited braids.  Some jackets are trimmed with leathers especially leather with texture such as a crocodile, snake or other reptilian finish.Gold braid epaulette.

Grosgrain ribbon, Monte Carlo tape, Picot braids and herringbone coloured variations of these braids, plus bullion gold cords and rosebud trims are combined with construction features where the fabric surface is textured.

Note rows of carefully placed tiny buttons, tucks, pin tucks, fine gathers and application of feathers and marabou trims with embroidery, Assyrian cross stitch patterns,  embroidered Austrian style braids and appliqué.

Fine channels of fur trim are often used on cashmere cardigans and many longer cardigan coat knits have large fur collars.  Fur and Mongolian fur are used to trim purses.

Lace is used extensively as both a trimming and a fabric. You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

(*Russian/soutache braid is about 3mm wide with a central channel to stitch between the covered cords.)


Winter corset belt  -  Fall 2005 fashion trendsCinched in waists are back.  This summer hardware studded leather belts were very popular slung on the hip and covering that old belly gap between skirt and top or low rise jeans and top.  Left image Courtesy Arcadia

This winter corset belts are a viable alternative.  Topshop have this great deep corset belt left, which combines all the features of trimming and texturing of leathers for fall.  Look out for corset belts in all stores and those with equestrian touches are interesting.<

The belt also continues to be worn low on the hips an often worn with short bolero spencer cardigan wraps that tie just under the bust. So the waist and the long torso gets a new focus in that the bust and hips are all lines which are emphasised.


Look out for the return of sleeve interest against sleeveless garments as in some spaghetti strap and strapless dresses.  

Beret sleeves, bell sleeves, angel sleeves and very full leg o'mutton sleeves give volume fullness and echo period costume. 

For those not quite ready for so much volume, note that many newer sleeves have quite small puffed heads.  This is especially noticeable on neat tailored jackets where a small well cut puffed head can give a sharp shoulder line.   

The number of buttons on lower sleeves is increasing with rows of lower sleeve buttons for about one sixth of the sleeve with an average of 6 rather than 3 or 4 buttons. 

Jacket with cape style sleeves  -  Fall 2005 fashion trendsBlouse cuffs are often now deeper with a depth of 5 or more inches in Victorian style. They can also run the lower sleeve to elbow acting as a slim line long cuff especially when topped with a fuller puffed top sleeve.

Cargo sleeves are an interesting innovation where sleeves have pockets set on the upper side arm.

Some sleeves flop over the hand and others are firmly three quarter.   Other sleeves just go straight into capes or mantelet effects!

Cape mantelet sleeves on suits are a new development not seen for many years and have a theatrical quality.  Capes and cloaks are gradually returning as an acceptable 'new' cover ups. 

Make Easy Wrap - free pattern.   All Fur Thumbnail Images Courtesy IFTF


Mongolian style fur trimmed winter coat  -  Fall 2005 fashion trendsThe coat is the favourite item of many designers this season.

60s influence means wearable fashion coats.  The New Mod fashion trend has easy wear double breasted pea type jacket coats, plus 60s coats with wide square collars Jackie Kennedy style.  It also means bold check coats, huge collars and extra metal hardware such as belt straps and grommets on coats and jackets.

As stated earlier, a Military style cropped jacket is a seasonal must have fashion garment for autumn 2005/winter 2006. 

Check out River Island who stock a military velvet jacket at £50 and Hobbs for a great short pea coat.

It's a long time since we have seen a great deal of topstitching, but topstitching and contrasting white or cream saddle stitching has reappeared.  Some folkloric items have loop (blanket) stitch around edges and hems and many easy wrap pareos have fringe on lower edges.

Most winter fashion coats are fur trimmed on neck and lower sleeves, but many have fur trim up the centre front or button stand (left) and just as many have fur around the hemline.  This look was very very popular C1972/3 and looks great with boots. Some of the best affordable fashion boots are at M&S.  You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©



A rich velvet skirt is a sure winner to add to your wardrobe.  This is likely to be a major fashion trend this autumn winter 2005/6. 

One of the best to die for opulent folkloric velvet skirts with rich decoration of gold, buttons, beads appliqué and embroidery on deep plush rich wine/burgundy velvet is by Oscar de la Renta. It is such an opulent  look and has been shown with a fulsome 'luxury' white peasant blouse – marvellous.    Lets hope there are plenty of great copies!

The nearest skirts to gypsy skirts will be will be those that are long and dramatic with fewer tiers, perhaps just a hip yoke, but in richer more opulent fabrics like velvet.  Many will have more ornate beading, appliqué and contrast of textures such as mini ruching.  Babushka dirndl skirts drip with the enrichment of Appliqué, metal studs, grommets, leather trims, soutache, beads, and sequins feature on skirt materials as varied as tweed, velvet and cotton.

Some of these folkloric decorated skirts made an appearance in the shops in July and are an easy transition from Gypsy.  You may even already have added a similar item to your wardrobe. You are reading an original fashion article by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©


Hip cowls have appeared on straight skirts, but this is a difficult look to wear and can be clown like if the choice of fabric is poor.

Puffball skirts have been shown by many designers, but it may take some time before consumers take pouff skirts seriously!

The range of skirts to choose from is enormous, from slim and pencil straight to voluminous, long to knee length.   Select from longer elegant Edwardian lines to knee length Victorian dirndls that have peek a boo touches showing chiffon underskirts beneath hemline frills.  Look out for those with smocking to hip and cross stitch bands of folkloric embroidery.  That waist will be on show so get exercising now.

However the elegant look shown on this link here by Oscar de la Renta would be perfect for a special winter function if you are seeking a new look.  The problem with this look, is that the high street version is unlikely to hack it well this year.  For this look to work the wearer needs confidence and the tailor needs great construction skills where tapes and stays are used underneath to maintain a great shape as originally intended by the designer.  This is where couture and high end designer ready to wear can outdo the high street.

  Image Courtesy Arcadia

Designers Armani, Moschino, Versace and Vuitton all favoured the pencil skirt, but this is another fashion that seems women often reject in favour of more comfortable, less formal options.

Of course all the skirt styles this season are also made as mini skirts as shown in this Topshop version left. Topshop Mini skirt and Tibetan influenced shrug -  Fall 2005 fashion trendsThe denim mini skirt right worn over a check mini dress is part of Topshop's AW05/06 fashion range and called Tibetan.

£35 €53

£30 €46

£30 €46

£15 €21

£90 €137

Trousers & Jeans

We seem to be wearing trouser styles that we feel suit us rather than adopting one main style.  But trouser shapes are changing and this autumn the skinny jean should become more popular.  Narrower trousers are needed to push into boots to get the right look.  Skinny black or grey drainpipe jeans will be just the ticket for the lean Tomboy Look.  Gap skinny jeans have great fit and are not expensive and Topshop and River Island both have skinny jeans in stock now.

At Topshop seek out their Baxter line.

Embellishing and personalizing your own jeans with decorative touches is also a great tip for autumn and great for those who like to create individual customized clothing.

Skinny riding jodhpurs also look good tucked into boots with a cropped or Aviator line jacket.  The skinny jodhpurs look especially good with traditional British tweeds giving country/Equestrian styling.

Other styles include wider Oxford bag shapes Aviator style.   The masculine style of tailored trousers have a Hepburnesque touch and can be glamorous when worn by well groomed woman.

Cavalli's trousers have a hint of Katherine Hepburn turn ups and the space age 60s version by Balenciaga has the skinniest of button front trousers that flare low down are another possible style for many.

Some designer trousers such as Galliano at Dior showed decorative button areas or button cuff inserts at the ankle of trousers especially on narrower trousers.  This was an interesting novel new touch and may well be a really innovative look that filters into mass produced goods. 

The recent fashion for shorts from tailored and cuffed to short shorts may only make it through winter if wearers adopt textured tights and some of the wonderful boots on offer.

But there are also items called a SKORT (yes you read skort correctly) a new concept of a short skirt with modesty shorts beneath.  Skorts are available from Milletts in UK and are suitable for active holidays.


The Empire Look

Raised high empire waists offer an alternative to the fitted cinched in 1950s Screen Starlet Look of the Hitchcock Heroine variety.

At Dior there was a move from halters to 2 straps emerging from the centre of a bust yoke as a V shape.  Asymmetric straps and itsy bitsy straps are still popular for red carpet events.

The dress is important in fashion now since women rediscovered how versatile an item a dress can be. Look out for slender 1960's shifts and ethereal empire offerings. You are reading an original fashion article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

Colour and Brilliance

Read all about autumn/winter 2005/2006 colour, fabrics, texture, prints.

From the wide range of autumn winter 2005-2006 looks available make your own personal fashion statement.  Only a few items will emerge as key looks from those detailed here.  Note again that the big fabric trends are velvet, flatter tweeds often with fur and embellished skirts and all usually in strong rich deep inky jewel colours.  Tailoring has structure and form and whilst the rolled under hem may create a pouff effect, so far the uptake is slow for this pouff skirt fashion. 

Velvet and crushed velvet can be worn day or evening If you think you might feel overdressed in velvet then opt instead for shoes, bags or scarves.  Suede velvet gloves can also add allure.

As predicted earlier this year closer neater shorter jacket have become even more cropped to the ultimate snug cut of the Spencer jacket stage.  Little knit shrugs like the Topshop Tibetan one shown above add a welcome extra layer of warmth to a brief top.  Monsoon has lots of styles of shrugs, tie front wraps and little cropped cardigan spencer lines and bolero cardis.

The Noughties Beatnik Look.

Obviously black is the main feature of this Beatnik New Mod autumn 2005/ winter 2006  look.  Black skinny jeans worn with a short skinny fitted Sgt. Pepper military jacket can be teamed with a long tunic that is not so long and that it can easily double as a mini dress when required.

High street shops that will do this look well include Topshop, Miss Selfridge, George at Asda. Marks and New Look.

Autumn has a beatnik air and for this you need pastel pale make up. This look of course is only complete with make up that is pale and interesting with smoky kohl lined eyes and pastel pale lips.  In the sixties to get this look, lips were wiped out with Max Factor pan stick makeup or smothered in a lipstick Max Factor made and called strawberry meringue.  You are reading an original fashion article by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

English Lady Hitchcock Heroines

Women over 30 who want a sixties vibe in their wardrobe can either add throwaway touches like Baker Boy caps and scarves or opt instead for the full on glamour look of the Hitchcock ice queens.  For this you need an hour glass figure and a desire to embrace grooming and style with the generous full skirts of 1950’s debutantes.  Look out for appliqué and dull copper and pewter sequins that glimmer as these circular skirts move.  Or opt for the slick pencil skirt of Hitchcock heroines.

Difficult Looks Autumn 2005

If you are not sure as its such a new look, then avoid puff ball skirts as well as bulky voluminous tweed skirts.  Tweed skirts are fine, but stick to the flatter less cumbersome versions.  Try on half a dozen styles in finer tweed suiting and recognise which flatter and which do not.  Don't forget to check that mirror to see the back view.

The Beatnik Look is aimed at daughters, not mothers, so be careful if you adopt this look as it may make you look like mutton dressed as lamb especially if you saw this fashion with first hand experience.   Forget fake tan with the noughties beatnik look unless the chav touches are essential to your existence!  But some long willowy sleek hair extensions might capture the Julie Christie hairstyle look.

Modesty in fashion is the order of the day - forget exposed bellies and vulgarity in dress.  Happy autumn shopping.  You are reading an original fashion article by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©


Read all about autumn/winter 2005/2006 colour, fabrics, texture, prints.

Read all about the main looks in fashion trends for fall 2005/6.

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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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