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Summer 2012 may not be in full swing as far as the calendar is concerned, but as far as fashion is concerned, it is. If I had to choose what the biggest and most influential trend is for summer 2012, I would say color. Color of some shade or variation is part of all of the fashion eras, styles, and looks we are seeing this season.
One way to add some of the latest trends as far as color is concerned is with piping detail. Piping detail is when there is another shade or contrasting color on the edge of a garment, accessory, or shoe. For example, a navy blazer could have red, or any other color piping around the edges of the collar, cuffs, hem, and pockets. Think Captain Von Trapp’s jacket from The Sound of Music, or a drum majorette’s uniform. I am not sure about the exact origin of this embellishment; it’s definitely got a military vibe to it, but it is used in both men’s and women’s fashions.
You could also call piping detailing a side or sub-fashion trend. It can stand on its own, or you could have a ’40s style dress with piping, a ’60s pair of chunky high heeled loafers, or a contemporary jumpsuit. Piping isn’t one of my favorites, but I do think it’s got a lot of pluses going for it as far as it being very versatile For instance, if you can’t decide on a color for an item you can go this route, which gives you both colors but is much more subtle than color blocking. Piping makes the main color stand out more, and it can also go the other way and tone it down so it’s not so stark. White would be a nice example of this. Piping also extends the ability of the item to be matched with twice as many color combos.
At first glance, piping detailing looks a little bit preppy, and if that’s not your style you may shy away, but don’t pass on this and go full speed ahead. Preppy can definitely be cool, as designers like Tommy Hilfiger have been showing us for the last couple of season. For the more seasoned fashionista, this accent is perfect to work with one of the other hot trends, like mixing prints. You can also go with more unusual color combos like orange and brown rather than traditional red and blue or black and white. I suggest you may want to go big with a coat, blazer, or oversized tote to get a nice noticeable effect, but you can always opt for something smaller, like a pair of shoes or a wallet, to test the waters.