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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tone down this full sequin skirt from Ralph Lauren with an understated solid sweater. (Credit: LordandTaylor.com)

Sequins have definitely had their time in the sun. 2017 saw sequins not just as a trim, but covering entire dresses, and 2018 looks to carry on the shiny legacy.

These iridescent disks were found in fashion long before the psychedelic sixties adorned everything with them. According to Smithsonian Magazine, gold sequinlike disks were found sewn onto garments in King Tut’s tomb. Since the ancient Egyptians believed in preparing the dead for their afterlife, it stands to reason that King Tut would need to be fashion forward there, too, or at the very least prepared for his next New Year’s party.

Since then, early incarnations of shimmer have been found throughout fashion history. Sketches were found in Leonardo da Vinci’s notes of a machine that would be used to punch small disks out of metal. The use for this machine is still unknown, so whether it was for fashion or function remains a mystery.

In the 17th century, nobility and women of court wore sequins similar to how they are worn today, as an embellishment on a dress to add an extra bit of sparkle. The price of fashion was steep—metal disks added a significant amount of weight. It was not until the mid 20th century that sequins became lightweight, shiny vinyl disks of sparkle, and they have been a fashion mainstay ever since.

What is it about these glittery accents that made us come back to them decade after decade? According to Vogue magazine, sequins allow the wearer to feel elegant and red-carpet worthy, no matter where they are. A flash of sequin on a sweater, an entire skirt covered in sequins or even an applique on a sock can be what the magazine called “an accessible and lighthearted entryway for those who might not be able to pull off the full runway look.”

In addition, in this age of Snapchat and Instagram and other social media, people like to feel “photo-ready.” The bling factor of sequins dresses up any outfit. A sequined t-shirt paired with jeans, or sneakers with a sequin-adorned skirt, can change an outfit from blah to fun.

In North Jersey, fashion has embraced this trend as well. Petite Chic owner Dassie Fuchs caters to children and teen fashion and has found that for this age, sequins are more of an accent than an entire article of clothing. Additionally, she has found that the sequin trend for teens is popular for weekday clothing, dressing up a graphic tee or funny-phrased top.

Adrienne Mittan, co-owner of Rayna’s Boutique, has found that sequins are popular for ladies’ fashion as well. She explained that sequins are growing in popularity, but are still worn in moderation. To meet the demand, they ordered sweaters and tops with jewels and sequins as accents.

Of course for the gung-ho sequin crowd, accents are not nearly enough. Look for skirts or tops completely adorned with sequins, or even a whole dress.

Have fun and sparkle on.

By Jenny Gans