NEW YORK — It's probably safe to retire, or at least put to rest for a long winter snooze, your skinny-leg pants. Once the first signs of spring start to stir, the favored silhouette will be loose and easy.
"Wide pants — if you invested in the dramatic floppy leg pant that just skims the ankle, you are in luck. These are still a big trend for (2009)," says Avril Graham, Harper Bazaar's executive fashion editor.
That's the thing about fashion: Almost every look, good or bad, comes back, even if it's slightly tweaked. The key is gauging how fast the boomerang is moving.
Take Uggs, for example. Constance White, eBay style director, says the cozy, furry boot is already a must-have item again for many women, and it's a trend driven by consumers.
"The fashion gods forgive me: I will not throw out a pair of Ugg boots. ... They dipped, came off the radar and weren't 'it' anymore, but they've had the huge rise in popularity again. All you have to do is look on the streets and you'll see hundreds of women and girls who just think they're the cutting edge of fashion all over again," White says.
Some other likely top (and not) looks of 2009:
--Sandy neutrals and tropical colors are likely to make a splash, but there might be a changing of the guard for regal purple, which has reigned for a few years. Painterly prints had a shorter run, but Graham says they, too, are on their way out. "Best to look for sweet florals," she advises.
--Logos are out and subtly is in. "It's not the right time for flash," declares Graham.
--Safari styles, whether they're vintage Yves Saint Laurent or new Banana Republic, are enjoying a high point on their arc of popularity. That's good news, says Graham, because it's an easy look for most women to wear.
--The 1980s continue to both inspire and haunt fashion, but if you ever wore harem pants and highlighter colors the first time, you might consider giving only a wink to the decade with a bangle bracelet or fluorescent accessories.
--A low-platform heel is a shoe that takes you through every season and most occasions, says eBay's White. If you're cleaning your closet, extreme platforms can get tossed, but hold on to all your peep-toe shoes, she advises.
--The popular gladiator-style sandal will triumph again this summer, but it'll be even more aggressive looking with higher heels.
--The big statement necklace popular last year is still a trend, but it's one you can cut back on.
"If you've accumulated three or four, part with two of them," White says. "Instead, hold on to any bracelets — cuffs or stacking bracelets, especially. They're fresher, new and they're going to be hot right through spring and summer."