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Fashion Directions for 2006

By Mary Bailis

Fashion styles are forever changing. What do this year's changes bring forth? Fashion is up and down and all around this year. Accessories are going to sizzle this summer, hemlines are going down a bit, pants waistlines are going up, necklaces are going down, scarves are fluid, earrings are dangling, handbags get soft, and belts are back. Feminine, sexy and sultry styles will keep those heads turning. Sheers, crocheted lace, silky satin and flowing gauze will be everywhere. Comfy cool and sexy, sounds like a great year for women!

Accessories are fabulous this year and are leaning in the arts & craft direction. We will start with necklaces. They are beady, long and plentiful. Where a single large beaded strand with artful beads or pair them up with several. Long is where they are at as well as big and with interesting beads. Plastic, glass, wood, handmade, crocheted, and metal beads in all variations have invaded the necklace world. Find them beaded alone or with lace, sheer or ribbon. Artisans beware; fabulous finds are in high demand! While you are at it, dangling earrings to match will complete the ensemble. Hoops and beads are dangling in the earring category. Out with the chandeliers and in come the dangling beads.

Belts are back big-time accentuating the waistlines. In the gym lately? You'll need it this year! Belts run the gamut this year in all styles. Wide big belts are back as well as plenty of other styles. Crocheted lace belts, pom pom end belts, leather, and fabric belts are all a hot ticket. Sheer or lace belts are big that can be used two fold. You can where them as a belt or as a scarf. Get creative and find those great finds at art fairs in fabric belts or crocheted belts.

Gold is big this season. Find it in handbags, jewelry, clothing and shoes. Don't go overboard with gold; remember a little goes a long way. Don't cover yourself in gold from head to toe; you'll look like a left over Christmas ornament! Gold shoes and a great gold handbag will look great with any outfit and you will not be overdoing it.

Handbags are always a favorite; you can never have enough of them. Soft leathers, straw and fabrics are very in. Larger size handbags are big. Look for lots of gathered ends on the top and visible pockets on the outside. Straw is hot in all colors and new styles, crochet and appliques are abundant. You will see simple designs to more artistic designs. Stick with simple if your outfit is strikingly fabulous. When going for a more conservative or simple style, then go with a more artistic handbag to set it off.

The ups and downs have it this year. Necklaces are going down as well as hemlines. Not too much though, just mini's are out. Look for knee length and long flowing skirts and dresses. Lacey, satin, sheers and gauze is it for skirts and dresses. Yes, I did say dresses; they are making a comeback big-time. Comfy and sexy at the same time! Skirts styles are very full along with A-lines are very in. Pants waistlines are starting to go up which is what is bringing belts back in. It may take a while but at least they are not going down any farther. Was there any room left to go?

Let your accessories sizzle and your femininity and sex-appeal reign in this year's styles.

About The Author

Mary Bailis is a designer and owner of an online custom handbag and accessory boutique. She enjoys fashion, reading, being creative, exercising, nature and spending as much time with her three beautiful children.


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