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The best and worst of spring fashion

The ability to dress slightly boyish, but still keep one’s feminine flair, has been exceedingly popular in women’s fashion for decades.
Some of my favorite designers, Yves St. Laurent and Helmut Lang, have based entire empires on the idea of androgyny.
To clarify, this does not mean dressing like a dude.
It means merely taking ideas from men’s clothing and translating them to women’s, forming a creative blend of two separate fashion ideals.
Since then, the androgynous look has taken two turns, one for the better and one for the worse.
This spring is a perfect example of that.
These are my predictions for the best and worst styles of spring 2009.
The Shirtdress
I’ve always thought button-down shirts looked great on all guys, no matter what. They are perfect for any occasion and look really sharp. 
My forecast for the breakout style of 2009 uses this as inspiration and transforms the original button-down shirt into a feminine ensemble.
This season, the shirtdress, a woman’s button-down shirt the length and fit of a dress, is the best trend that will emerge in full force this season. This style was hinted at in fall 2008, but these next couple of months it should begin showing up everywhere.
The best thing about the shirtdress is that it is accessible to everyone. Any body type can be represented, as well as any budget.
A good shirtdress is pin tucked at the waist and flares slightly at the hips, which is flattering to just about every body type.
Usually in a plaid print, it is commonly paired with a belt at the waist, tights or leggings and any number of shoe styles such as a plain low-top tennis shoe or simple ankle-high boot.
This style is really timeless and easy to put together. I predict it will be around for a long time to come.
“Boyfriend Jeans”
Hollywood stars seem to look like they have everything figured out when it comes to their fashion sense.
Most can dress themselves pretty respectably, which I admire.
However, some choose to wear clothes that don’t fit them at all, and I can never figure out why.
I know, I know. Stars aren’t supposed to care what they look like. They should be able to dress like hobos and still look fabulous, right?
Wrong.
This spring 2009 season has brought about one style I would not call fashion forward.
The “boyfriend jean,” a way-too-loosely fitted woman’s pant, is made to look like you stole them right from your boyfriend’s closet.
They also look like your boyfriend lived out on the streets for a good, solid portion of his life.
They’re ripped to shreds, rolled at the cuffs and sag in all the wrong places. Homeless Boyfriend Chic.
The “boyfriend jean” is an oversized, tattered mess that no girl could keep up over her butt without wrapping a belt around a couple times.
And not to mention paying boo coo bucks for them.
Actually, you know what? I guess I could pay the extra hundred or so, just as long as they run over the pair with a semi truck a few times. You know, break them in a little.
If I’m going to start looking like a homeless dude, I’m going to do it right.
“Boyfriend jeans” are available at various way-too-expensive denim retailers. Designers claim that they look like men’s jeans, but are made for women. I’m just not seeing it. They are shapeless, baggy and just don’t translate to women’s bodies. Not even skinny-Minnie models from Urban Outfitters can pull this one off.
For the good of all humanity, this trend cannot be successful.
If I have to start shopping at Big & Tall for all of my denim needs from now on, my world might come to an end.
Bottom line, this is one trend that is headed straight for the sale rack.
Justine Harris is a sophomore public relations major from Normal. She is the Voice editor.
Direct questions, comments and other responses to jmharris@mail.bradley.edu.
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