[Trendzilla] How to Make Sequins Truly Sparkle

Look! Something Shiny!

I’ll admit it: I’m a bit like a raccoon when it comes to texture.

If it’s shiny, glittery and pretty, I’ll go right to it.

Unfortunately, glitter doesn’t go with everything, and sequins aren’t always the most sophisticated of media. Kindergarten craft corner was a few years ago, after all.

But there’s good news for us easily distracted, glam-loving types out there: sequined anything. It’s a trend that’s still loitering.

Though minds tend to flash to shoulder-padded, gold-sequined, flamey-print, cropped ’80s nightmares, the new wave of sequined outerwear is a whole lot more . . . well, stomachable.

While it’s true that sparkly little jackets have been around for a long, long time—coming out especially during the holiday season for all those parties—the sequin has taken on a fresh new look these past few years, with sparkly tank tops, blouses, and even leggings and shorts.

Tons of top designers sent sequined items down their autumn/winter 2009 runways: queen of print Diane von Furstenberg, Balmain, Derek Lam, Vera Wang. So, the sequin dress? It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Alexander Wang (swoon!) explained it best: “You slip them on like T-shirts but still get this hard-edged kind of glamor.” Pumps, booties, even contrasting lace-up combat boots—they all work with the sequined dress.

As usual, a decent, affordable sequined frock is hard to find. A quick online search reveals $795 blazers, $575 slip dresses, $340 belted cardigans. Miu Miu’s embellished cotton knee socks with delicate floral explosions of patterned sequins and beading are sold out everywhere. At $345 a pair, they’re being deemed the “next big thing” in 2010. (But the good news is that they’re also nothing a little DIY session can’t replicate.)

As usual, don’t overdo the sequin thing. With something so flashy, it’s easy to go overboard. Everyone expects sequined cocktail dresses, skirts, shorts, and shirts, so I’d go for the freshest way to show off the sparkles: outerwear.

It’s coming out in all shapes and sizes this season, in oversized boyfriend blazers, tiny boleros, wraps and cardigans. Look for untailored, slouchy shapes, a great way to dress down something seen as nighttime- and party-only wear. The more streamlined and tailored, the more the jacket will remind you of Grandma’s Christmas sweater.

Pair the pieces with anything relatively plain: Solid-colored V-neck T-shirt? Sure. Skinny jeans or a shift dress? Even better.

Try sticking to solid-colored sequins—all black, all gold—to safely steer clear of the tacky factor.

And as for finding inexpensive sequined outerwear? Topshop.com boasts an excellent collection of shiny trophy jackets that are okay even for daytime wear. My pick goes to H&M’s black sequined jacket (pictured), $69, in stores now.



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