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Fashion’s repeat performers include bow blouses, fanny packs and ruffles

Pick your favorite saying: Everything old is new again. What goes around comes around. Nothing is ever really new under the sun.

Then pull out your fanny pack.

When it comes to fashion, designers do delve into the past and attempt to re-create favorite styles for contemporary times. Many things from previous decades have made comebacks in recent seasons – from fringe, flares and short suede skirts to jelly sandals, hair scrunchies and cold-shoulder tops. Recent runs of designer fashion shows in New York – plus a look at what retailers are offering for Fall 2016 – revealed a few more.

Below, we highlight just five (and be sure you read the story on Page F3 on TV tray tables making a comeback, too).


It may sound odd to say that something that dates back to the world’s earliest civilizations has made yet another comeback, but we’ll say it anyway. Chokers are back – again. In March, the National Jeweler publication noted this online: “Long before they encircled the necks of goth girls in the 1990s or were made popular by the Princess of Wales in the late 1800s, chokers were donned by women in ancient civilizations, worn to protect what even back then they understood to be a very important part of the body, the neck.”

Now, they’re all over the runways and are spotted hugging the necks of celebrities. Last February, after designers unveiled their Fall 2016 collections in New York, wrote this: “Whether you’re more of a downtown Alexander Wang girl, or an uptown Oscar de la Renta lady – chances are, you’ll be wearing a choker come Fall 2016.”

And possibly next spring, too. Tory Burch, Zang Toi and Monique Lhuillier were just a few designers who showed them earlier this month. Shop the stores now and you’ll find chokers bejeweled or plain in a variety of materials and finishes including silver- and gold-tones, velvet, faux suede and more.

Puffed sleeves

Actress Karla Souza wore a dress with puffed sleeves to the Carolina Herrera fashion show earlier this year. Singer Bebe Rexha attended the iHeartRadio Music Awards last spring wearing a long-sleeved cropped top with puffed sleeves. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, appears to prefer a slight puff at the shoulder seam as well. Very slight, as seen on the bright-blue shirt dress from designer Joseph Altuzarra she recently wore and the cream-colored blouse by British brand Goat Fashion she donned in May.

More exaggerated puffed sleeves appeared on the runway showcasing the Marc Jacobs collection during the recent New York Fashion Week. They were seen on an army jacket worn over a camouflage-print dress but grew even puffier on baby-doll dresses with balloon sleeves. Ultra puffs! On, fashion critic Suzy Menkes wrote that Jacobs’ “long, puffed sleeves suggested a costume party for 7-year-olds.”

Tie neck blouse

Tired of wearing scarves? The tie neck blouse – once associated with the ’70s and power dressing – has made strong showings in recent seasons. Last year, the Huffington Post suggested women not run in the other direction but rather give them a second look and consider a few tips: “First, when wearing a tie neck blouse, keep the rest of your outfit simple, so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a costume (the blouse makes a statement on its own). If you want to play it safe, buy a tie that you can add to a blouse instead of getting a blouse with a tie built in. A cream blouse with a black necktie is a classic, but if you want to really take a risk, go for a paisley or floral pattern – they go perfectly with most denim bottoms.”

During this month’s New York Fashion Week, model Niki Taylor wore a polka-dotted dress with tie neck to attend the Marc Jacobs show, while Justin Bieber music video star Cailin Russo wore a gold blouse with a huge bow – paired with a green tweed miniskirt, long coat and platform shoes.

With fall shopping season now underway, note that Macy’s includes some tie neck blouses in its fall collection, including one from Charter Club in an oversized floral print shown with a long cardigan and slim-fit ankle pants. J. Crew offers some, too – as well as blouses with ruffles, which leads us to the next comeback trend ...


We’ve written about ruffles before. Plenty of times over the years. Ruffles cascading down the fronts of cardigans and blouses. Ruffles on toss pillows. Ruffles in tiers on skirts. Some years are more ruffled than others – and this may be one of them. Buffalo native Adam Lippes showed them in New York earlier this week, including a ruffle trim on the bib of a black jumpsuit. Many more ruffles were found at New York Fashion Week – at J. Crew, Christian Siriano, Michael Kors and others.

Fanny packs

Forget the jokes – and even the awkward fanny pack photos found online. Fanny packs, if they ever really did go away, have made fresh appearances on the runways and are readily available from retailers ranging from Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters to Eastern Mountain Sports and Macy’s (which offers styles from MICHAEL Michael Kors and other popular brands). Variations go by names such as “belt bag” and “waist pack.”

At the DKNY show staged earlier this month in New York, designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow showed them oversized, prompting Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan to write: “And there were giant fanny packs that one could only imagine being favored by someone who wants to strap their groceries to their waist.”

Way to pack on the calories.


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