Define Normal? Normcore Trend Turns Fashion on Its Head

For years, the most talked-about trends were thought to be unique, unexpected, and exciting. Then, just when we were getting the hang of things, normcore happened. Lost? Let’s take a closer look at the style so average, it’s edgy.

Normcore Trend Turns Fashion on Its Head

The term, a hybrid of “normal” and “hardcore,” means normal to the nth degree. Basically, it’s a style shift back to basics as outward expression of the ordinary. Used in a sentence (or tweet): “I just scored some serious Birkenstock sandals. #normcore.”

Get it? Now, you’ll need dad jeans – that’s what the kids are wearing these days. And any sort of offbeat athletic clothing or a vintage graphic tee. Before you know it, you’ll be rocking normcore with the best of them. Or, perhaps, like the rest of them? Still a little unclear.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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July 3, 2014

A Harem-Pant History: From the Persian Empire to Hammertime

With a relaxed fit and cinched hem, the harem pant is a cool option on a hot day. But before you seek stylish relief in this versatile piece, find out where it has cropped up in the past.
History of the Harem Pant

First appearing in Persia 2,000 years ago, the original loose-fitting pant was a practical and modest choice for women. The baggy fit allowed them to comfortably complete household chores without revealing their feminine shape (to do so at the time was frowned upon).

Fast-forward a few centuries and head over to the Western world, where harem pants were worn by women’s-rights activists in hopes of breaking gender stereotypes.

In more recent years, “drop-crotch” pants have popped up on TV (NBC’s I Dream of Jeannie), the silver screen (Disney’s Aladdin), and on stage (Hammertime, anyone?). Now, while these may not be the most stylish of examples, you can rest assured that today, we’ve finally mastered the slouchy look.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column.

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June 27, 2014

More Than Just a Number: The Trick to Finding a Just-Right Fit

The difference between a relative fit and finding a piece of clothing with that just-right feel? Completely attainable – with an understanding of alpha sizing, that is. Lost? Don’t worry. We’re about to break it down for you.

U.S. Size Conversions for Women
Alpha sizing is actually the designation for two numeric sizes. According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s more efficient for retailers to create four size templates (XS, S, M, L) than eight (2, 4, 6, and so on). So, while many brands still use numbers, you can expect to see more small, medium, and large designations popping up in the future.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why am I a size small in some stores and a medium in others? Well, the truth is, when it comes to alpha sizing, there’s just no standardized way to combine two sizes. But don’t fret. S, M, L doesn’t have to mean FML. Simply utilize the dressing room, and when online, check out the product details. Here at Rue, we provide the measurements of each and every item to create a virtual fitting room for our Members.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column.

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June 5, 2014

Watch & Learn: The Theory Behind Chanel’s Color Palette

This past fall, Chanel launched a series of short films recounting the history of its now-iconic brand. And last week, the online storyboard (aptly named Inside Chanel) released its 11th chapter. Giving viewers an inside look at the label’s key colors and what they meant to the brand’s visionary, Coco Chanel, it’s the most interesting installment to date. Don’t believe me? Check out the clip below.

For the fashion set, this short film is pretty eye-opening. It proves that although black and white are signature Chanel colors, Coco was also loyal to beige, gold, and red in her designs.

To dig deeper into the history of Chanel, check out the entire series.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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May 30, 2014

Ladies in Wading: A Look at the Lengths Beachgoers Went to Cover Up

Today, baring skin at the beach is the norm – but that wasn’t always the case. Let’s rewind a century or so and observe the difference between wearing a cover-up and being told to cover up.

The History of Beach Cover-Ups

Victorian Bathing Machines
In Victorian England, beach etiquette was a big deal. If women wanted to swim, a contraption called a bathing machine was brought in. Basically, ladies would enter the portable bathhouse on dry land, change into their swimsuits (often a tunic/bloomer combo), then be wheeled out to sea. That way, not even an ankle was exposed to male onlookers.

Prohibition-Era Beach Censors
Imagine a time when alcohol was banned and swimsuits were supposed to skim the knee. Less than a century ago, officers – known as beach censors – actually combed shores (like Coney Island, NY) to arrest scantily clad swimmers. Those in question would be given the opportunity to either change or “tell it to the judge in the morning.” Which is the nice way of ordering people to either cover up or ship out.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column.

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May 23, 2014

Beyond Ball Gowns: Met Gala Honoree Made Practical Pieces, Too

On Monday, The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated the career of American couturier Charles James – first with an exhibit featuring the designer’s famous ball gowns and then with a white-tie and decorations theme at the Met Gala. But while Monday may have been all about James’s more extravagant designs, he’s also known for some pretty practical pieces. So before you get any anxiety about corset comebacks, take a look at the couturier’s other famed creations.

Charles James Original Designs

Image via Vogue

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May 8, 2014

Green Chic: A Guide to 4 Eco-Friendly Fabrics

Making Mother Nature proud and staying on-trend? Easy. This season, some of the biggest names in fashion are incorporating eco-friendly fabrics into their designs. But before you shop, check out this breakdown of today’s most popular sustainable threads.

Sustainable Fabrics in Fashion

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April 17, 2014

Color-Coded: The Masculine History of Soft Pink

Pink is for girls and blue is for boys, right? Not always the case. Yes, when it comes to color, it’s time to rethink those gender stereotypes. Because, as it turns out, it was men who first identified with the hue (and this is long before pink polos were popular).

Masculine History of Pink

You see, before WWII, society looked at these two colors in a very different light. In fact, in a 1918 Ladies’ Home Journal article, readers were informed that “blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” At the time, pink was a stronger color signifying masculinity (as derived from red), so it was considered better suited for boys.

The pink-is-for-men trend continued through 1925, when pink suits – like the one shown in The Great Gatsby – were worn by men as stylish symbols of wealth. Somewhere along the line, however, the postwar generation decided to switch things up. Evidence of that change first came in 1947 when Christian Dior introduced the ultra-feminine New Look and offered it in pink. And ever since, women have taken to the decidedly feminine color with abandon.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Thursday.

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April 10, 2014

Fashion Throwback: The Bucket Bag Reemerges

It’s official: Bucket bags are back. So if you held onto one from a decade ago – or inherited an aunt’s 70s original – you’re in luck. But before you set out on a recon mission to secure said bag, let’s take a closer look at this carry-all’s past.

Bucket Bags Are Back

It all began in the 1970s, when women opted for breezy, easygoing looks that went hand-in-hand with their free-spirited lifestyle. And the bucket bag, with its long, hands-free shoulder strap and roomy shape, fit that to a T. Equal parts form and function, it quickly became a must-have accessory for every woman of the era.

Today, designers have updated this boho style with new materials and luxe accents, making it a true modern classic – and it’s topping every trend list this spring.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Thursday.

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April 3, 2014

The d’Orsay: A Look at This Season’s Must-Have Shoe

Flat or heeled, d’Orsays are officially the shoe of the spring season. But before you grab a pair of both (like I did), let’s take a look at the origin of this namesake style.

BLG-XXXX-WAYRW

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March 27, 2014