Next Score View the next score

    The biggest style hits and misses of 2012


    MISS: Emerald green named Pantone’s color of the year for 2013

    Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes it as “the most abundant hue in nature.” We describe it as the most abundant hue in golf pants. If emerald is the color of 2013, we’ll stick with the 2012 choice of tangerine, thank you very much. Since when did hues that evoke locations in the “Wizard of Oz” become stylish?

    HIT: Period dramas (and costumes) having a moment

    The clothes were just as entertaining (and in some cases, more entertaining) than the scripts and the acting in some television dramas.

    We’ve already come to expect retro sartorial eye candy from “Mad Men” (at left) — je t’aime “Zou Bisou Bisou” — and “Downton Abbey.” In 2012, neither show disappointed.


    The return of BBC America’s “The Hour” was another polished, mid-century delight.

    Get The Weekender in your inbox:
    The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    There were even highlights to be found in eras not usually celebrated for style acumen. Witness the poly-blend deliciousness of Ben Affleck’s “Argo.”

    Brian Feulner for the Boston Globe
    Boston Fashion Week.

    MISS: Boston Fashion Week 2012

    In 2011, Boston Fashion Week was a triumph.

    The city’s designers finally had the opportunity to show in a tent with proper lighting, seating, and organization.

    The tent was back this year, but instead of big names, the catwalk was turned over to up-and-coming designers.


    That meant Boston’s best were forced to stage shows at hotels all over town, and Boston Fashion Week went back to feeling like a smattering of hit-or-miss parties.

    PIERRE VERDY/AFP/GettyImages
    Colin Farrell in a V-neck.

    MISS: Plunging V-necks for men

    Men’s V-neck tees continued their plunge, leading to an epidemic of gentleman’s decolletage. You’ll hear little objection from us when this look is seen on Ryan Gosling.

    But Jude Law must think low necklines will distract from his high forehead (Hey Jude, they’re not working). On Colin Farrell, these pec-revealing tees and henleys feel more dirty than sexy. Can we bring the crew neck out of retirement now?


    MISS: Romper rage

    Rule of thumb: Rompers only look cute on toddlers and supermodels. If you do not fall into one of these categories, please steer clear.

    Taylor Swift.

    HIT: Taylor Swift gets preppy

    Perhaps it has something to do with her romantic fling with a Kennedy. Or a summer spent on Cape Cod. Whatever the reason, classic New England influences seemed to take pop princess Taylor Swift’s style to the next level.


    The A-line frocks with demure hemlines and crisp cotton blouses paired with sensible flats and a swipe of red lipstick — we suspect that Jackie O would approve. And a fashion statement that says, “I’m all grown up now” without flashing an excess of skin?

    We like it, Taylor. Even if you and a certain Mr. Wrong are never, ever getting back together.

    Alice and Olivia’s floral print bike, a part of the Neiman Marcus/Target collection.

    MISS: Collaborations that were just meh

    Four days after the launch of the highly anticipated Maison Martin Margiela collection for H&M, we strolled through the Newbury Street location to find the shelves well-stocked.

    Nearly a week after the kickoff of the Neiman Marcus and Target holiday giftware collaboration, racks at one Target were still neatly stacked and surprisingly full.

    We’d braced ourselves for another Missoni for Target mad dash, where fevered shoppers grabbed anything with a limited edition tag just to own a piece of the collection. But these collaborations were just meh.

    Next on the Target collaboration calendar is Prabal Gurung, which drops Feb. 10 and looks very promising. But will Kohl’s sleek capsule line with designer Derek Lam, also debuting in spring, steal our hearts and wallets?

    AFP/Getty Images
    Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton.

    HIT: The FLOTUS and the duchess recycle like everyone else

    There was some fashion deja vu going around the White House and Buckingham Palace this year as both first lady Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, tightened their narrow belts and dipped back into their closets for frocks.

    These weren’t simply day dresses making a second appearance.

    During the third presidential debate, the first lady wore the same Thom Browne-designed dress she wore to the Democratic National Convention weeks earlier. She repeated a Michael Kors dress on election night, and she’s been spotted in the same cobalt blue Preen outfit three times.

    In England, the duchess is known to mix and match jackets, dresses, and accessories, some of which have also been seen before.

    AP/Ralph Lauren
    Ralph Lauren Olympic uniforms.

    MISS: Ralph Lauren’s Olympic uniforms

    The quintessential American designer for the well-to-do prep set caused an uproar when it was revealed that his Olympic uniforms were made in China.

    His sartorial faux pas quickly became fodder for social media mavens and politicians.

    AFP/Getty Images
    Stella McCartney’s Olympic uniforms.

    HIT: Stella McCartney’s Olympic uniforms

    The British runway designer was tasked with creating uniforms for the British team, and the results were subtle, sleek, and scored her the gold from fashion fans.

    She incorporated elements of the Union Jack without turning British athletes into walking flags.

    We can only hope that other countries (we’re looking at you Spain) will learn from McCartney’s success.

    Ball and Buck on Newbury Street.

    HIT: Men get a bevy of shopping options

    After years of limited retail options for men in Boston, 2012 saw a boom of fresh shopping destinations.

    Local store Ball and Buck opened a second (and much larger store, joining other newcomers such as Fred Perry, Bonobos, Gant, Alton Lane, another J.Crew speciality store, plus a section just for guys at the new Rag & Bone.

    Guys, there are officially no more excuses for being poorly dressed.

    Diana Vreeland.

    HIT: Diana Vreeland had a very good year

    Diana Vreeland, the legendary Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue editor, passed away in 1989, but interest her winsome perspective and tornado of a personality soared this year with a must-see documentary, “The Eye Must Travel,” and Amanda Mackenzie Stuart’s extensively researched and exquisitely writtenbiography “Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland.”

    Newsweek once called Vreeland “the seismograph of chic . . . [whose] most famous creation turned out to be herself.”


    MISS: Sequins everywhere

    What’s with all the glittery garb in stores this year? Shimmering short shorts for evening, bedazzled sweaters for the office, sequined sweatshirts to wear while watching “Homeland.” Worse are the sparkly school clothes that make tots look like backup dancers for Justin Bieber. Here’s a New Year’s resolution: Let’s leave the rhinestones to Honey Boo Boo, shall we?

    Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

    MISS: A plague of pastels

    Thank you for being a friend? This summer’s explosion of pastels had us singing the theme from “The Golden Girls” as aspiring Blanche Devereauxs everywhere decided that hues of pale peach, washed-out pistachio, and unripened rhubarb were the best way to show off their girly side.

    It all looked like a cotillion sponsored by Baby Gap. Of course, the pastels weren’t all bad: My grandmother was thrilled that she was finally on trend.

    Meghan Douglas, “Paris.”

    HIT/MISS: Mario Testino’s ‘In Your Face’ at the MFA

    It was a coup: Peruvian photographer Mario Testino agreed to stage his first major museum exhibition — sexy, star-studded fashion snaps as well as royal portraits — at the Museum of Fine Arts.

    Opening night brought Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles to Boston, along with a parade of leggy models and the biggest names in local art and philanthropic circles.

    But not everyone enjoyed the show. In his review, Globe critic Mark Feeney wrote: “The pictures all look like ads for some unmentioned product marketed to very rich (if not very discriminating) consumers.”