July 13, 2024
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Fall Fashions Blend Style and Ease as ‘Cozy Chic’ Moves In

Teaneck—Comfort or fashion? Fashion or comfort? For centuries, the style-conscious has had to make a choice. If they want to look good, they need to sacrifice feeling good. Over the past few years, however, a shift in fashion has taken place. True, anyone can open a fashion magazine or star-studded event and see painful-looking ensembles, but it has become increasingly common to look at fashion and think, “ I may actually be able to wear that and breathe.” From Rachel Zoe’ s vintage-inspired fashion collection to online clearance dresses, all-day wear can be found everywhere.

This year’ s New York Fashion Week, the premier resource for upcoming fashion, showcased many fashions that blend comfort while still displaying a chic and stylish panache. For many, the added factor needs to include the ability to adapt into a modest lifestyle. So while Cher Horowitz’ s mini plaid skirts, made iconically famous in the classic film “ Clueless,” were on the runway, it may not catch on as quickly in all Orthodox circles. Not to mention the fact that those who wore the fashion in the ‘ 90s will cringe to see its return. As will their parents.

At the same time, many designs prove that comfort and style can exist symbiotically. Remember the zipper trend from a decade ago? Zipper-trimmed flowers on shoes, zipper roses on headbands, they were everywhere. Many designers, including Alexander Wang, took this a step further and made oversized stitching—loops, metals, fabric panels and connections—and made them a conspicuous and edgy accent to clothing. This embellishment can be added to many different types of clothing, and will not impact the comfort level.

Maxi dresses, always a staple of comfortable fashion seekers, still shines as a trendy option. This year the style is updated—or, rather, retro-dated—to include a bohemian flair to it. Many designers are showing layers and tiers to add an additional touch of whimsy to this look. Others still favor sleek lines that give a more tapered fit.

Sara Engel, a speech therapist during the day, and mom, well, always, has found this shift in fashion particularly suited to her needs. She favors the Wukogal-style dresses for what she refers to as “ an easy choice for everyday wear.” Accessorizing with different styles of belt and various colors and styles of dresses, Engel said, “ I look and feel modest in the professional world, and I still feel very stylish and put together.” She found that being able to have an outfit that looks great and still allows her to feel comfortable has made “ mornings much easier and leaves more time for the kids.”

With so many uncomfortable fashions out there, hope looms for style lovers with personal comfort in mind. Let the reign of cozy chic grow.

By Jenny Gans

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