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Heavy-Metal Shimmer Adds Versatility to Summer Wardrobe

July 25, 2008

By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Jul. 25–Metallic shoes, handbags, belts, hair accessories — and even apparel — give that blast of shimmer and shine to any outfit, day or night.

“Metallic-colored shoes are always my go-to color, because they go with everything,” says Heather Hannan, public relations manager for Macy’s Central. “You can’t go wrong with metallics. You can pair them with bold colors — such as red and purple. It gives pop to an outfit.

“With everyone focused on the upcoming Olympics, people are thinking about gold, silver and bronze. It is a great way to be patriotic.”

In addition to the standards of gold, silver and bronze, metallics can be seen in gorgeous shades from red to pink to green. Some pieces are completely metallic, while others have hints of color along the trim or a mixture of several shades.

Hannan suggests pairing metallic with warm colors such as khaki, camel or cream for daywear, and then jazzing it up with bolder looks for evening.

Metallics are versatile because they can be used to dress up or dress down an outfit, which helps when transitioning from the office to cocktail hour, says Justin Sigal, one of the owners of Littles Super Shoe Store in Squirrel Hill.

Look for the metallic trend to continue to brighten fall merchandise. Even UGG boots will show a metallic side for the cold-weather months.

“Metallics are so versatile … they come in many different colors now,” Sigal says. “They can be worn with black or brown or many other colors. We offer many styles and colors in everything from sandals to shoes to handbags, and we will have many other choices available come fall.”

Metallics are big with bold floral prints this summer, says Jill Rubinstein, owner of Footloose in Shadyside, who expects metallics will carry over into fall and winter. She says metallics also look great with white.

“Looking ahead to fall, we have boots in pewter and other metallics that can be worn with denim or so many other different colors,” she says. “Some of the metallics have jewels on them, which offer a different kind of style. And they can be worn any time of day.”

Instead of wearing a navy shoe with a blue suit, choose gun metal, says Alyson Leonhiser, a buyer at Footloose in the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon. That also saves the aggravation of trying to find a perfect match.

Rosemary Zottola, owner of Lucy in Oakmont, sees the metallic movement extending further into spring. Mettalics are “a must have,” she says, because they come in so many different colors, including shoes for athletes who want style and a sporty look.

Zottola recommends silver and pewter with softer colors and gold and bronze with earth tones.

Metallic overlays in clothing also are hot right now, she says.

“Metallics will match any fabric,” Zottola says. “They can often save the day. Check out ‘Platino,’ which is a gold with a wash of silver over it. It goes with so much because it is considered a neutral metallic.”

Metallics have always been around, but people are mixing it up a little and getting a little more adventurous, says Eileen Lewis, director of fashion strategy for Zappos.com, the onlilne shoe store. Men also are going to metallic, she says, in the form of loafers and oxfords to wear with denim.

She also has seen the metallic influence in jewelry and hair accessories, as well as apparel.

“Metallics give an outfit a little more pizzazz, and what used to be thought of for special occasions can be worn in the daytime for fun,” she says. “It spices things up. People are watching what they are buying, so accessories help give an outfit a fresh look. The metallic creates some excitement and bling for everything from shoes to apparel.”

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