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Bargain shoppers alert! With post-Christmas markdowns, you can find the best fashion deals of the year at department stores, boutiques and online shopping sites. Look for these five essentials for 2012 and you’ll not only amp up a tired cold-weather wardrobe, but also get a jump on spring styles.
1. The Jeans. Slim-fitting jeans and jeggings that hit at, or slightly, above the ankle will remain the dominant look in fashion for the next few seasons. “A slim silhouette on the bottom gives you more options for tops,” says Los Angeles–based fashion stylist Adeel Khan, who loves the new animal-print jeans that are arriving in neutral and bright colors. “Skip the wide-leg jeans. They can look dated fast,” he says. If animal prints are too trendy for your taste, look for deals on fall’s skinny plum, wine or washed pink jeans from makers such as Joe’s, Rag & Bone or Guess.
2. The Dress. Say goodbye to last year’s ’70s maxi dresses. Instead, look for two distinct styles: the drop-waist flapper style, or the ’50s nipped-waist, full-skirt look, says Ise White, a New York City–based stylist. The sequined flapper dress from Gucci’s spring collection is already showing up on red carpets and, in less decorated form, in stores such as Nordstrom and Anthropologie. The drop-waist or blouson shape, often paired with dolman or lantern sleeves, is a very forgiving silhouette, says White, “so it works on a lot of body types.”
3. The Jacket. Save your jean jacket for the dude ranch and pick up a polished blazer. Black is a classic, but Khan suggests selecting a bold color, especially white. “It adds light to your outfit and will stand out in a good way,” he says. This year’s modern twist is the schoolboy blazer. Its nipped waist, shrunken proportions in luscious fabrics such as velvet, satin or deeply colored wool make it a chic topper over slim jeans. J.Crew and Banana Republic offer them in velvet; Anthropologie in rich woolens.
4. The Fun Top. Makers including Banana Republic, J.Crew and Diesel are offering sparkly, slouchy tops. You can find sequined T-shirts and cardigans, or blousy tank tops shot through with metallic threads. A must for a glam look: “You can also wear a night piece casually for day,” says Phoenix stylist Fawn Cheng. Try a sequined bolero with a plaid shirt and jeans for edgy daywear. Skip looks that are like a solid sheet of sequins, says Khan, and keep your accessories basic, like a big ring and simple studs.
5. The New Color. What began as burnt sienna has become a blazing, tangerine orange that’s showing up in winter coats and jackets, cashmere V-neck sweaters, pencil skirts, patent leather clutches and skinny belts. Come spring, tangerine can pair with hot pink, green or, for an understated look, heather gray, white or ivory.
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