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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Trend Report: Leggings in 2010

Last week we took a cheap shot at denim leggings, or rather, the branding of denim leggings. (Lori’s insisting we call them “leans” in lieu of “jeggings,” but we’re having none of it.) We have nothing against denim leggings – we heart them quite a bit – but socks had to have their moment. We’ll circle around to leggings soon enough (probably at the expense of socks; we are so fickle).

In the interim we had a chance to sit down with some industry friends in New York working in the hosiery trade and talk about once and future trends. Men are not excluded: in the interest of a well-heeled (heh) story, we got the skinny on menswear trends as well.

Lori’s: Let's start with a review of 2009. What did you find were the big trends?

Women’s: OPAQUE. We had a huge push for an opaque leg. We also saw a trend in patterned opaque

Men’s: Casual. Men are dressing down more than ever and even if they are dressing up they are probably wearing casual socks, meaning heavier weights.

Lori’s: At the store we did brisk business with a lot of patterned leggings and embellished pieces – zippers, studs, sequins, etc.

Women’s: Embellishments for spring 2010 will be seen in socks using Lurex yarns in a playful way carried through into fall as a bolder spangle-like option. Still lots of shine!

Lori’s: Now that we are in 2010, how are those trends evolving or new trends emerging from them? What will be the must-have colors and textures for spring and fall?

Women’s: Spring colors will start off soft with lilacs, pinks going into splashes of dark tangerine followed by saturated pinks. We are seeing textures evolving in an interesting way by combining sheer and opaque. For fall we’re seeing a lot of deep greens like spruce, forest and loden with aubergines for a sophisticated leg using rich textures.

Men’s: Spring is “ath-leisure”: a combination of casual and athletic. This translates into casual socks with arch support, cushioning, anti-microbial and wicking properties. Fall is always the classic argyle! The argyle comes in a casual and dress weight. Colors trend towards heathered/marled looks. Brown heather, oatmeal heather, loden, wine heather. The fashion color is Royal Purple seen in pops of color on a sophisticated dress sock or a heathered plum on a casual sock.

Lori’s: Which are your favorite looks and how would you accessorize them?

Women’s: My favorite spring/fall look is an anklet peeping through ankle boots paired with cropped or rolled skinny jeans, a great tank and cardigan topped off with a cozy scarf! My favorite winter look is a mini paired with a solid opaque leg or texture leg worn with a peep toe heel.

Men’s: Socks are where men can really step out without being too much. The banker that has to wear a suit can wear an over-the-top dress sock with shots of purple in the pattern. The more casual guy can hide the pink contrast on the heel and toe of his sock in his shoe.

Lori’s: What is the "look" for spring?

Women’s: An oxford paired with an anklet or crew length sock worn with a relaxed pair of shorts.

Men’s: I think that the overriding element for spring is more athletic type socks and no-shows or peds for guys so they can wear their loafers with a no-sock look.

Lori’s: For fall?

Women’s: Dresses are still very important for fall so we will continue with an emphasis on the leg seeing rich textures and bursts of saturated colors.

Lori’s: How are leggings a part of that look?

Women’s: I still think the legging will be important in 2010. It’s an easy, comfortable wear.

Lori’s: We have a huge demand for denim leggings – the ultimate skinny jean. What's your take on it?

Women’s: Personally I love the look, paired with a comfy tee and/or sweater … making sure the length hits just right!

Men’s: The overall trend for guys are socks that work for them – anti-microbial and wicking, arch support, mesh top for breathability, placed cushioning so the sock is fit for left and right wear, socks that don't shrink when you wash them. SmartWool technology: the sock is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A seamless toe or a reinforced heel and toe for comfort. Socks that stay up and don't fall down the leg over the course of wear.

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