You know a fashion trend becomes nearly impossible to ignore when its progression gives rise to a full spectrum of modern renditions, each built with is own individual aesthetic, each designed to speak to a different segment of clientele. It’s the case of the crop top that quickly evolved into one of the most prominent spring 2014 fashion trends, influencing the ascent of the sophisticated cropped shirts on its way.

The sporty bandeau, another iteration of the crop top look, is all about infusing the stomach-baring trend with an effortlessly cool attitude for spring and summer. Wearing the bandeau with conviction is key to accentuating your individuality, despite the myriad of options allowing you to also do an excellent job in styling the bandeau all throughout next season. After the break, we take a closer look at the bandeau statement for summer, pointing out how to wear it, who’s designing it, and the trends to pair it with.

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bandeau top fashion trend

Click the thumbnails for full pictures:
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S
Barely there: a statement top for S/S

3 rules to rocking the bandeau for spring 2014

Some will say that the bandeau trend isn’t for everyone, and while that statement might be perfectly true, there’s a lot you can change about it provide you learn the secrets to an impeccable styling, along with a few useful tips and other smart tricks:

1. Acknowledge your body type, your assets and your flaws alike, learn what best works for you and what makes you uncomfortable, highlight your strongest features and embrace all the little things that make you unique; in doing all this you’re not only becoming more open to experimenting with fashion, but you’re also bound to figure out the perfect way to make a trend your own, bandeau included.

2. We don’t all go through life sporting the perfect abs, although it is entirely fine to work out hard trying to achieve them; the trick in rocking the bandeau this spring is exposing as much stomach as you feel comfortable with. It can be a peek, it can be a whole lot more, the most important thing is feeling great while doing so, after all isn’t that the point of adopting a new trend?

bandeau exposed stomach
The bandeau: exposing a lot versus exposing a litte.

3. Experiment in the styling department until figuring out what type of bandeau complements both your body type, and your aesthetic. Is it narrow and sleek, adorned with ruffles, cut in light fabrics or perhaps covered in bold prints? If you’re keen on exposing much skin wear the bandeau as an outer layer, otherwise master as many layering techniques as you can, and trade on cuts, shapes and volume in everything that has to to with the bandeau’s complementary garments (skirts, shorts, pants).

Styling the bandeau for spring and summer 2014

Styling is the one thing that can make or break a look. It can be your strongest ally, or your worst enemy, but what you can always do is work towards perfecting it. The runways prove themselves to be an endless source of inspiration in this department, so here’s how you can style the bandeau for spring:

The bandeau layered under.

Layering the bandeau under a particular type of garment gives you full control over how much skin you’re exposing, and what areas of your body you’re willing to cover-up instead. This spring, layer the bandeau:

ways to wear a bandeau top
The bandeau layered at Adam Lippes (1 and 2), Andrea Incontri and Barbara Bui, S/S ’14.

  1. Under sleek overalls, either in denim, leather or other lighter fabrics, keeping the look clean and basic.
  2. Under easy tops and laid-back dresses featuring a deep plunging neckline.
  3. Under a menswear inspired, laid-back pant suit. Go for high waists, relaxed cuts, and a jacket worn open to reveal a clean-cut bandeau. The ideal accompaniment: trainers or lace-up flats.
  4. Under unbuttoned cardigans with three-quarter sleeves, worn effortlessly on the shoulders. For the bottom part you can choose between a pair of high waisted shorts, or a high waisted pencil skirt, tied loosely with a belt. Finish off the looks with a pair of sleek ankle strap heels, or a pair of pointy toe flats for more comfort.

ways to wear a bandeau top
The bandeau layered at Colcci, Dion Lee, Jason Wu and Monique Lhuillier S/S ’14.

  1. Under a cool leather jacket, accompanied by wide legged trousers and sleek side parts for a fresh look –
  2. - or styled with a pair of slick sporty pants and minimalist heels for more of an athletic, edgy look.
  3. Under sheer tops, dresses or multiple sheer layers, adding high waisted skirts hitting below the knee, leather trainers or printed shorts to the mix. Keep the colours complementary and dare put on a sharp blazer, as a classy and final extra layer.
  4. Underneath delicate lace garments, the more feminine and sophisticated, the better. Go for an all white look for maximum impact, adding pops of colour through a bright pair of heels and a pair of red lips, and finally styling your hair in a wet look style.

The bandeau as pure statement.

Wearing the bandeau as the outer layer often means bearing much of the entire stomach in giving the trend a spot-on interpretation. Here’s where a pair of toned abs and a glowing skin would serve you just right, turning the bandeau into an amazing option, particularly for those hot summer days.

how to style a bandeau top
The bandeau as a statement at Barbara Bui, Mara Hoffman and Osman, S/S ’14.

  • Pants. With the sexy bandeau used as an outer layer, a balance must be set to the rest of the outfit to prevent things from looking unsophisticated, or even cheap. Here’s where a great pair of pants acts in harmonizing the entire outfit. You can choose between a pair of laid-back, wide-leg trousers in light colous, a pair of mid cropped culottes, or a pair of tailored pants featuring a high waist.
  • Shorts. The bandeau combined with a pair of short shorts makes for an outfit that is better kept for the beach, for a summer festival, or other related activities that don’t require a certain rigor. Choose a high waist for a chicer, more feminine rendition of the trend, use prints to maximize the unconstrained attitude, go for bold colours to epitomize the spirit of summer.
  • Skirts. Whenever paired with skirts, the bandeau lands itself a softer quality, appearing polished and adhering to the more elegant of categories. For a cute, girly-girl look you can pick a short, A-line skirt, as opposed to a sleek, pencil skirt, hitting below the knee that will render you looking sophisticated and classy. A floor-length, flowy skirt, cut in ethereal fabrics, often worn on top of bodysuits, or high-cut briefs can also work in complementing the bandeau.

The bandeau: key colours.

Going for something basic in terms of colours will keep you looking fashionable, while also assuring your bandeau’s versatility for the season. You can’t go wrong with black and white, both as your day and as your evening picks, but there are also plenty of colours to choose from. A full range of blues and greens balanced out the use of neutrals on the runway, allowing splashes of gold to have their own shining moment. You can even wear a bandeau dipped in bold blocks of colour if that’s a better fit for your style.

bandeau block colours versus prints
The block coloured bandeau at Maxime Simoens vs print bandeau at Tanya Taylor, S/S ’14.

Designs, cuts and fabrics.

Come spring, you won’t be surprised to stumble upon a large variety of bandeau designs ranging in between the basic, minimalist strip and the more complex silhouettes adorned with either weightless ruffles, sparkling sequins, zippers or other details able to materialize in cool textures. This season the strapless bandeau is also imagined bearing bolder cuts, particularly when it’s not decorated with cute bows and frills.

sheer bandeau ruffled bandeau
Sheer and ruffled details: bandeaus at Versace and Carolina Herrera, S/S ’14.

From lace to leather, from silk to neoprene, anything in between the more traditional choice of fabrics to the more unexpected ones, much like transparent materials, or denim derivatives, can help shape the bandeau’s brand new attitude for 2014.

Want more style guides and trends? Visit our spring 2014 fashion trends guide at that link.

More picture inspiration on styling the bandeau.

For more runway inspiration on how to style the bandeau for spring / summer, click on the thumbnails above and browse the gallery.

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