To keep you current in 2006, we’ve divined from our (admittedly dubious) sources those trends cresting next year’s horizon — and those that need to be sent straight to bed.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi of “Car Talk” gave SUVs the thumbs down years ago, but these days, with gas prices soaring and environmental concerns on the rise, you don’t have to be an MIT-trained mechanic to realize these monsters are nearing extinction.
A favorite form of cheap taxi all across Asia, rickshaws are a cart pulled by motorcycle, bicycle or human leg power. One of the motorcycle variety has turned up in Asheville as a tourist-transport novelty. Hopefully more of these hip, economic rides will soon find their way to North America.
The name says it all (as in ugh!): These fleece-lined assimilations of clubfoot are seriously over. The fact that they’ve finally arrived at every discount store should be a clue, and — ten years into the Ugg craze — even Hollywood starlets like Kate Hudson have retired theirs. So, unless you’re a surfer or are trekking out back to the woodpile, bury those ’90s-version moon boots, at least until they become retro.
In: Frye Boots
Popularized on college campuses in the ’70s, these Western-styled tall boots have made a big comeback. If you’re on top of the trends you know this was big news last year — but this year, Frye footwear has found its way to popular local retailers like Discount Boots. Want to be really hip? Buy a vintage pair on ebay.
Out: All-Purpose Prophets
Isis, Egypt’s traditional goddess of fertility, motherhood, magic and life itself, is unfortunately losing some of her cache: Blame her name’s increasing appropriation for baby daughters by determinedly bohemian American mothers. And poor St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, may need to find another cause until gas prices go down.
In: Boutique Angels (Or: Saints For Special Needs)
Appeal to obscure St. Hubert if you’ve contracted rabies; St. Genevieve is who you want to call if your region is experiencing excessive rain.
Out: Skinny Blazers
Unless they’re corduroy or feature a poplin waist — and, even then, you still might want to consign them come spring. Today’s blazer shapes are the style barometer skirt lengths used to be.
In: Shoulder Pads
But only if the pads are in a second-hand jacket or blazer. Never in blouses, never in dresses, and never in any article of clothing made after 1984 — especially anything new hanging from the racks of JC Penney’s Misses’ department.
Out: Burberry Plaid
This British-born institution will always come around again, but right now it’s as yesterday as those crayon-colored Louis Vuitton bags.
In: Less Trendy Tartans
Check out www.tartanstore.net and discover that a plaid scarf can come in more than 300 permutations of checks.
Out: Kitschy Ethnic Bands From America
Specifically, enough already with gypsy-chic novelty acts from the U.S.’s Eastern Seaboard.
In: Kitschy Ethnic Bands From Their Native Countries
Go figure — the Warsaw Village Band actually grew up in the Eastern Bloc.
Out: Caribbean Vacays
Distinctly middlebrow by now.
In: Regional Forays
Learn something about where you live — and think of the money you’ll save. Take a Gullah Tour in Charleston. Climb Cold Mountain. Use that fancy digital camera you’ll get for Christmas to photograph the wild ponies of the Outer Banks (within limits, of course). Any of these options beats the possibility of mass gastrointestinal flu on a cruise ship.
Out: Quirky Band Names
PlEasE, wE beg you, No more JumPinG beAN lettErs or Weird, SEEmingly meAninglesS p.u.nct?UAtion UseD JUST to StanD Out. It’S SO 1999. (moe., are you listening?)
In: Better Band Names
Spoon gets by somehow, but other one-name bands are sounding very Korn and Tool these days. The proliferation of neo-garage (The Hives, The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, et. al.) has made that path similarly too well traveled. A notable exception: The Decemberists — an appellation as atmospheric and theatrical as the group that rocks it. Symbiosis — it’s what you want in a band name.
Out: Beatles Worship
Yeah, we get it. The fab four were … fab. No one’s debating their place in rock ‘n roll history — just the wisdom of near- obsessive idolization. Even Spoon front man Britt Daniel admitted to listening to the Beatles’ Revolver each night while recording his latest album, Gimme Fiction.
In: Yoko Ono Admiration
John himself insisted that Yojo didn’t break up the Beatles, so let it go already and give this lady her due. Her avant-garde installations and performance pieces might not be to everyone’s taste, but she’s been on the cutting edge of the art world for more than half a century — not to mention the hefty donations she’s made to charitable organizations.
Out: Victoria’s Secret
Seriously, what secret could Victoria possibly still be hiding? Not to mention Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, and all the other runway queens who’ve pranced about in wings and balconet bras over the years. While there’s nothing wrong with lacy lingerie, it’s time to unthrone these fussy unmentionables in favor of something that doesn’t require a supermodel bod to pull off.
In: Hanes Her Way
Somehow this utilitarian undies company has turned packaged panties into everyday lingerie. And the best part is they’re made for real women. A host of styles include all cotton, sleek satin and line- free microfiber.
Out: Brad & Jennifer
Though it’s sad that yet another pair of celluloid lovelies bit the dust, it’s hardly surprising. No one expects Hollywood A-listers to go the long haul — if they did, the tabloids would be out of business. Still, the sordid details of their breakups seem tired, if not completely regurgitated.
In: Bono & Ali
They were high-school sweethearts, married young and managed to keep it together for two decades and four kids — and are still going strong. Sure, he’s a rock star, but his husbandly devotion makes him that much more likeable. And she’s not just Mrs. Bono — check out her socially conscious clothing line, Edun, at www.edun.ie.
Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, but always overpriced: This Sunday tradition feeds on the lowered intelligence of weekend late- risers waylaid by Saturday-night indulgences. What’s so great about a limited menu of gussied-up standards (omelets, pancakes, wraps) served by hungover waitstaff in overcrowded cafes?
In: All-Day Breakfast
Here’s what Brunch aspires to be: Eggs, grits, sausage and toast served all day long. No frills, just good plain food that tastes exactly the way you expect. It’s this kind of menu that keeps favorite local haunts like the Hot Shot Cafe going strong.
Out: Boutique Hotels
There’s nothing wrong with blowing it all out for a posh getaway, but these days economy often trumps lavish spending. So, trendy as these one-of-a-kind, every-whim-indulged hotels are, they’re only “in” for special occasions.
Want to get out of town without maxing the credit card? Consider staying in a hostel. Long big all over Europe for backpackers and family travelers alike, hostels have been slow to catch on in the U.S. More laidback and D.I.Y. than hotels, hostels offer amenities like cheap dorm beds, communal kitchens and the chance to get up-close-and-personal with travelers from all over.