Fashion and winter

Photo illustration by Sara Norgon

As the season begins to change, the leaves go from plain old green to beautiful arrays of color, and then back to brown as the weather gets cold. In the fashion world, however, colors seem to be going from bright colors back to the basics: brown, gold, black and red.

Even though you would have to go to New York City to see models walk the runway wearing famous fashion designers’ latest styles, you can find a lot of the newest fashions in Eau Claire this winter.

“Graphic tees are … being replaced by polos and button downs. … Generic is in.”Stephen Kelley

When it comes to pants, there are a variety of styles for any occasion. Debra Selvic, a manager at Express in Oakwood Mall, 4800 Golf Road, said its ‘editor pant’ or dress pant, has been a “top, top seller.”

As far as denim goes, destroyed pants, embroidered pants or even pants decorated in rhinestones still are popular, said Katie Kannenberg, assistant manager at rue21.

Sophomore Stephen Kelley said ripped blue jeans and “fashionable” sweatpants seem to be especially popular among men.

Hot Topic Assistant Manager Seth Gile agreed.

“We sell a lot of fake-vintage look and super-weathered and pre-worn looking stuff; otherwise, we stick to our guns,” he said.

Seventeen Magazine Fashion Director Gina Kelly said, “The newest thing is drain-pipe jeans -something super, super skinny … so they fit about 2 percent of the population.”

The jeans’ back pockets often are embroidered or have patched holes and drain pipe jeans tuck well into “fry” boots, which are rugged and not too high, almost like cowboy boots. Kelly also said jeans coming this winter aren’t as low-waisted and are a little bit darker in color.

Senior Sarah Davis said the hottest trend she has noticed is gaucho – or parachute – pants worn with knee-high boots.

Senior Lindsey Raymond, who works as a team supervisor at Vanity in the mall, said the store carries five different styles of the pants in brown and black. There are a variety of waist bands, including elastic, sash-tie and fold-down. The store gets a box or two of new merchandise in every other day; which include the equivalent of 50 pairs of pants or 10 outfits in six different styles.

Kannenberg said gauchos were really big this fall and still are popular going into winter.

As far as tops go, shrugs, little half sweaters that tie or button in the front, down vests and clothing with lots and lots of sequence are popular, she said.

Express just started to get more sweaters and holiday halters and camis, or thin tank tops, Selvic said.

The assistant manager at Maurices, who declined to give her name, said it sells a lot of brown and natural-colored tank tops for layering.

“Track jackets are in and on sale,” Kelley said.

Amber, the manager at DEB, declined to give her name because of company policy. DEB is a clothing store in the mall. Amber said it has a wide selection of popular jackets, from “baby fat” jackets to “South Pole” jackets to ones with fur. Zip-up sweaters and off-the-shoulders can compliment any wardrobe.

“Graphic tees are going completely away, being replaced by polos and button-downs. Generic is in,” Kelley said.

Other styles for men include brightly-colored striped shirts that are a bit tighter – what Kelly referred to as “hip hop” style, being “thinner and softer” – and Greek fisherman hats that are wool and have short brims.

When it comes to women, this winter they are more likely to find glitz and glamour, sequins and jewels on clothing and accessories, right down to their feet.

The assistant manager at Maurices said its clothing has more shimmer than it has had in years past, such as sparkly angora sweaters.

Accessories can accent any outfit. A trend popular in most stores are sequined purses and glittery handbags, new this year.

Everything is long and beady, Raymond said, and it seems like everything has sequins or beads on it. Necklaces of all kinds are a hit in Maurices, as is true at Vanity.

Maurices sells long beads, pearls and bracelets that wrap around the wrist several times, she said.

Particularly chunky, wooden beads covered in fabric are popular for winter, Kelly said.

Vanity also has shoe toppers this year that are all fur and go up to the knee, Raymond said.

Many fashion ideas often come from hugely trendy teen shows, like “The OC,” Kelley said.

Senior Tess Larson said she likes to be comfortable and warm in the classroom, and to do so wears pieces that are versatile enough so she can wear them when she is a teacher’s assistant in the high schools.

As for what some students say they are avoiding this winter, senior Tiffany Kruszka said her list includes Ugg boots, faux sheepskin boots and knee-high boots with short skirts for women, as well as the popped-collar look for men and too-short-for-winter jackets that show one’s whole torso.

Shoppers looking for the inexpensive route can find good deals at Old Navy this winter, said Brenda Komanec, a customer service supervisor. It sells popular fluffy jackets for adults, priced for less than $30, as well as logo sweatshirts for less than $20.

Logo sweatshirts always are popular because they’re inexpensive and warm, Komanec said. She added the store sells different colors of khaki pants with embroidery or rhinestones around the pockets for less than $25.

“All sweaters are cropped, layering pieces that you can put over your favorite T-shirt,” Kelly said.