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Wonder Why… Serve and Volley went out of fashion in Tennis

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Pete Sampras
Written by Shahid Judge
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Updated: November 21, 2020 3:55:50 pm

Pete SamprasPete Sampras at his prime. (FILE)

At the turn of the millennium, the All England Club – organisers of the Wimbledon Championships – sought to put in place new measures to maintain their fabled grass courts. The 8mm cut height was to remain the same, as it had been since 1995, but a new composition of grass was introduced to improve the durability of the surface. The catch was in the rye.

From the 2001 edition of tennis’ most prestigious Grand Slam, the previous composition of 70 per cent ryegrass and 30 per cent creeping red fescue was to be replaced by 100 per cent ryegrass.

But it wasn’t till a year later, at the 2002 event, when the true effects of the move came to the fore. It was the first time since 1978 that two baseliners, Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, had reached the finals of the men’s singles event. And it wasn’t by accident.

What the removal of the 30 per cent creeping red fescue grass had done to the Wimbledon surface was take away the speed from the court. Neither player possessed a powerful serve, so instead, they relied on their groundstrokes to secure points. And with no zip left in the surface, the traditional serve and volley style that was the bread and butter approach to tennis went missing as the match was now decided from the baseline. For a tournament that was often decided by a player’s ability to kill off points at the net, no player in that final approached the net on their serve.

Hewitt joined the winners’ list at the All England Club, but that final marked the beginning of a stark decline of the serve and volley game.

Consider the stats: at Wimbledon 2002, men’s singles players played serve and volley on 9168 points, as opposed to 1980 points in 2018, as per GFN. Similarly, the women’s singles players played serve and volley four times less in 2018 than they did in 2002.

That Hewitt-Nalbandian clash put forward the first indicator that the sport, as it was known and played till then, was about to change. But the wheels had already been in motion for years.

“When I was playing, the balls were light and the racquets were still very small, starting with the wooden frames, then they became fibre-glass and then graphite and so on,” says former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Vijay Amritraj.

“Nobody paid attention to the advancement in technology of the racquet. At the same time, the average height of the players went up by five or six inches. I’m 6-foot-4, and back then I was among the tallest players. Now I’d be average. So you put these advanced racquets in the hands of guys standing at 6-foot-6, serving big on fast courts, it takes the rallying skill out of the game.

“So the court became slower and the ball became heavier because the players became taller and the racquets became far more advanced. You had to compensate.”

SLOWER COURTS

Among the three predominant types of surfaces used in tennis, grass is considered the fastest, followed by hard courts and the slowest is clay. But as Wimbledon started to reduce the speed on its courts, so did organisers of hard court events.

“If you put your hand on the surface of the hard court, it’s very rough. Like a coarse sandpaper,” explains 2017 ATP Coach of the Year Neville Godwin, who has worked with 2018 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson.

“Earlier on the grass court or faster hard court the ball would (skid) off the surface. Now after the bounce, it sits up a bit higher because the ball grips more with the court. So it gets very difficult to get much pace off the surface to (end a point) when you play the volley.”

Neville Godwin, former ATP Coach of the Year who has worked with 2018 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson says it is difficult to get pace off the surface on slower surfaces. Facebook/Kevin Anderson

Slower courts allow a player to get to the ball in time to make a return, hence prolonging a rally. As a result, players tend to stay back at the baseline instead of coming up to the net, either on their own serve or while receiving – again leading to longer points.

“I remember the 1991 Wimbledon final between Boris Becker and Michael Stich. It was a horrible final,” Godwin adds. “Basically, points were ending quickly and it was just about whoever did well to return who would win the tiebreak. The same happened in 1994 with Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic.”

A total of 42 aces were hit in the 1994 final, and the longest point involved just six shots. Furthermore, according to the BBC, the first set that lasted 49 minutes had just five minutes of actual play. Meanwhile, in the 2008 final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the opening rally of the match lasted 14 shots.

After his first-round match in 2019 against Lloyd Harris, Federer, who has struck 11,344 aces in his career (the third highest in the leaderboard) commented, “I just felt like (the court) was slow, I really couldn’t have any impact. I don’t think I had an ace in the first two sets.”

Interestingly, it is the wear and tear on the grass that indicates a shift from the serve and volley mentality to baseline play.

“In the earlier days, the grass was worn out at the service line, where you’d come up to volley. It was completely rubbed out by the end of the two weeks,” says former India Davis Cup captain Anand Amritraj.

“Now it’s happening at the baseline or even behind the baseline. So that means that the Europeans or South Americans, who were used to playing on slower courts from the back, were now able to play and compete on the grass-court with the heavier balls and better racquets. They didn’t need to serve and volley anymore. Now the service area started to be green and the baseline was getting brown.”

HEAVIER BALLS

The other major change made by organisers since the 2002 season is the use of heavier balls. Even the way the balls were treated was to make sure they were heavier to hit, needing players to generate more power to make an effective drive.

“My last Wimbledon as a player was in 2002, and I had the feeling that they had taken out some of the pressure from the balls and that they added more felt to it,” says Godwin, who coaches 2017 ATP NextGen Finals winner Hyeon Chung of South Korea.

“That makes the ball, not flat, just very heavy. So the ball doesn’t shoot through the grass, it just sits up.”

Playing with heavier balls was a major deterrent to a serve and volley or net-rushing player. The volley as a shot does not have a long back-swing as compared to the groundstroke, especially since a player does not get much time to load into a shot while at the net. And then there is the surface which doesn’t provide much pace.

“The volley is a short-swing shot, so to get speed on the ball is very difficult, especially with the ball now being heavy and the court being slower,” Godwin says. “So if you cast your mind back to the 1990s, and imagine the Sampras of then playing the Novak Djokovic of now in those earlier conditions, Novak wouldn’t stand a chance.”

RACQUETS AND STRINGS

Arguably, it was the development of the racquet frames that first prompted a change from the serve and volley style. The use of a new type of strings, in particular, played a major role.

“In the old days everybody played with gut,” says former doubles world no 1 and three-time men’s doubles Grand Slam champion Mark Knowles. “Now, a company called Luxilon makes them with polyester, which allows everyone to generate more spin. The ball does so much more now than it did in the past, you can create top-spin, dip the ball.”

There are three ways to counter a serve and volley player or a net rusher.

The first is to either hit a passing shot through uncovered areas. The second is to play a lob, which sails over the opponent but has enough dip to let the ball fall within the court-lines – a great deal of spin is required for this, aided by the new strings. The third measure, usually the most potent method played while returning serve, is to play a shot that, though powerful, goes over the net and then dips at the feet of the player at the net, making it difficult for the volleyer to get the ball back in play.

Stefan Edberg AP.jpgPowerful racquet frames and strings and heavier balls of the modern era have made it difficult to be a pure serve-and-volley player, in the vein of two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg. (AP)

“The racquets and strings have become more powerful and conducive to make returns,” says Anand. “The changes in the technology, the slower courts and heavier balls, they’ve given an advantage to the returner.”

VARIETY LOST

Technically, coming up to volley after the serve makes sense. In a service routine, the ball toss is angled to the front of the player, who would then leap forwards while reaching for the ball to strike the serve, and then land inside the baseline. That forward momentum is conducive for the rush up to the net. But the trend now is to apply the brakes after hitting the serve and taking a step back behind the baseline to get into position for a rally.

The power-hitting style from the back, especially with slower courts, has taken away creativity and variety from the game.

“You miss the Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe matchups, the Sampras-Andre Agassi ones, where you had a net rusher play a baseliner,” says Knowles. “Contrasting styles makes it so entertaining. What these guys are doing today is amazing, the athleticism has doubled over the last 10-15 years. However, (variety) is missing.”

The new trend has even trickled down to the junior levels.

“If you go watch junior tournaments and watch them warm-up, they will spend four minutes hitting groundstrokes, and maybe a minute warming up serves,” says Knowles. “They don’t even go up to volley. So I think the transition game is not taught at the lower level anymore. So we are seeing a general shift.”

Anand meanwhile asserts that coaching youngsters the baseline game is essentially easier than the more tactical serve and volley approach.

“If you’re at the baseline, you know it’s coming either forehand or backhand,” he says. “But if you’re coming up, you need to know the timing, measure your footwork, see the direction of the return. You have to know what kind of serve you’ve put in – a kick serve will give you more time to come up whereas a fast flat serve will not give you much time. There’s a lot more skill required for serve and volley.”

His younger brother, Vijay, concurs.

“When people start tennis now, they’re playing from the back of the court and they’re getting good by the time they’re in the U-12 or U-14,” he says. “So they don’t get into a mode of moving forward. You have to lose first before you can win, or change. In a few years, they’ve grown and they have set their style of play. It’s difficult to change the attitude later on.”

Vijay Amritraj employed serve and volley to knock Bjorn Borg out of the 1974 US Open.

How to make the serve and volley effective

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

Knowles draws on his experience of working with the likes of Mardy Fish (former world no 7), Milos Raonic (former no 3) and Jack Sock (former no 8). He asserts that the younger generation of players are more ‘success’ oriented and judge charges up to the net accordingly.

“When you think about Patrick Rafter, who was a very aggressive player, if he won 55 per cent of the points in a match, he won the match and he was happy with that. But if the modern player gets passed on the first time he comes to the net, he will remember that and not want to try it again,” Knowles asserts.

“It’s a very contentious point with some of the players. They have a success percentage attached to it. If they win eight out of 10 points at the net, you’re still winning 80 per cent of the points when you’re moving forward, so that’s a winning strategy. And then they would counter that ‘no, I remember getting passed on this and passed on that.’ They are hesitant to come up again.”

Meanwhile, Vijay remembers watching Becker, also a net rusher.

“You felt there was no way you could pass him and he’s diving around. So you really truly needed to thread the needle to get past him at the net,” Vijay says. “It’s the attitude. It’s not that he had the greatest volleys in the game. But he literally bullied you into an error. You can have a big guy, 6-foot-6, come to the net and look like Michael Chang (5-foot-9) if he doesn’t have the attitude.”

One of the taller players today, 6-foot-8 Anderson, has added the volley into his arsenal despite being a baseliner while growing up. It’s resulted in the South African reaching the final of the 2017 US Open and 2018 Wimbledon.

“It’s something that was a progression in his game, something he trusted more and he made better decisions, and that helped him reach the Wimbledon final,” Godwin adds.

Interestingly enough, Federer, considered among the best volleyers of his generation, too needed a push towards the net.

“When he first started practising volleys, he hated it. He wasn’t good at it,” said Peter Lundgren, the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s former coach who helped him win his first title at Wimbledon 2003, to The Tennis Podcast. “It was like there were sharks inside the service box.”

RETURN OF THE VOLLEY

“Serve and volley on a regular basis,” opines Anand, “is pretty much dead. The guys who tend to come up to the net now only do it if they have to.”

Crucially, there are still players that don’t shy away from rushing up to the net, be it after their own serve or during a rally. And importantly, some of the better-known proponents of the dying art are some of the NextGen stars – the likes of Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The duo, with their flashy one-handed backhands, and flair for aggression off the baseline, are known to let that attacking-instinct guide them to the net to finish off points.

And it’s in players like these that the older guard – the ones that professed serve and volley as their go-to method before the baseline brawls started to dominate the sport – sees a potential revival in their cherished tactics.

“If one of those players wins a Grand Slam and becomes the top player in the world, then (serve and volley) will come into fashion again,” says Knowles. “Then some of the youngsters will have someone to look up to and say ‘wow, he plays this aggressive style and he finishes up at the net, this is how I want to play.’

“Ultimately, the juniors are going to try and copy their style.”

That’s the new hope for the old trick.

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Fashion

The truth about fast fashion: can you tell how ethical your clothing is by its price?

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What is the true cost of a Zara hoodie? In April 2019, David Hachfeld of the Swiss NGO Public Eye, along with a team of researchers and the Clean Clothes Campaign, attempted to find out. They chose to analyse a black, oversized top from Zara’s flagship Join Life sustainability line, which was printed with lyrics made famous by Aretha Franklin: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: find out what it means to me”. It was an apt choice, because the idea was to work out whether any respect had been paid to the workers involved in the garment’s production, and how much of the hoodie’s average retail price, €26.66 (£22.70), went into their pockets.

This was no simple assignment. It took several people six months, involved badgering Zara’s parent company, Inditex, over email, slowly getting limited information in return, and interviewing dozens of sources on the ground in Izmir, Turkey, where the garment was made. The researchers analysed financial results and trading data, and consulted with experts in pricing and production. It was, Hachfeld says on the phone, with dry understatement, “quite a huge project”.

Their research suggested that the biggest chunk of the hoodie’s retail price – an estimated €10.26 – went back into Zara, to cover retail space and staff wages. The next biggest slice, after VAT at €4.44, was profit for Inditex/Zara, at €4.20. Their research suggested that the textile factory in Izmir received just €1.53 for cutting the material, sewing, packing and attaching the labels, with €1.10 of that being paid to the garment workers for the 30-minute job of putting the hoodie together. The report concluded that workers could not have received anything like a living wage, which the Clean Clothes Campaign defined, at the time the report was released, as a gross hourly wage of €6.19.

When the research was covered by the media at the time, Zara said the report was “based on erroneous premises and inaccurate reporting”, that the €7.76 sourcing price was wrong and that the workers were “paid more than the amounts mentioned in Public Eye’s report”. But at the time and when I contacted Zara for this article, the company declined to set out in greater detail where the research was inaccurate.

Workers in a small garment factory in Istanbul
Workers in a small garment factory in Istanbul. Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images

What is clear is that trying to find out the true production cost of a garment is a tortuous and potentially fruitless process – even when assessing a major high street retailer’s flagship “sustainability” line.

Hachfeld points out that Zara is by no means uniquely opaque. It is doing more than many clothing brands and has long-term commitments in place to work towards living wages. “They are launching initiatives and consultations with trade unions. But the question remains: when will they deliver on it?” he says. Vanishingly few retailers guarantee living wages across their vast, complex supply chains. According to the not-for-profit group Fashion Revolution, only two of the world’s 250 largest fashion brands (OVS and Patagonia) disclose how many of their workers are paid a living wage – despite the kind of resources that make billionaires of founders. Forbes estimates that Zara’s founder, Amancio Ortega, is worth $77bn (£55bn) and that H&M’s founder, Stefan Persson, is worth $21.3bn; the Sunday Times puts the wealth of Boohoo’s co-founder, Mahmud Kamani, at £1.4bn.

Throughout fashion, the numbers just don’t add up. High-street clothing has been getting cheaper and cheaper for decades. A major reason why, according to Gordon Renouf, the CEO of the fashion ethics comparison app Good on You, is that so many western brands have “moved from onshore production 40 years ago to larger offshore production”. Often, the countries they have chosen have “much lower wage costs, weaker labour movements and laxer environmental regulations”. Of course, we know all this, but we have also become accustomed to reaping the benefits. Our perception of what clothing should cost – and how much of it we need – has shifted.

In 1970, for example, the average British household spent 7% of its annual income on clothing. This had fallen to 5.9% by 2020. Even though we are spending less proportionally, we tend to own more clothes. According to the UN, the average consumer buys 60% more pieces of clothing – with half the lifespan – than they did 15 years ago. Meanwhile, fashion is getting cheaper: super-fast brands such as Shein (which sells tie-dye crop tops for £1.49) and Alibaba (vest tops for $2.20), have boomed online, making high-street brands look slow-moving and expensive by comparison.

But the correlation between price and ethics is knotty, to say the least. The conversation about sustainable fashion tends to be dominated by expensive designer brands: at Stella McCartney, for example, a wool-cotton jumper costs £925; at Another Tomorrow, each $520 sustainable viscose carbon-offset scarf neck blouse features a QR code in the label that outlines every stage of its “provenance journey”.

On the high street, many who proudly opt out of shopping at Primark or Boohoo for ethical reasons may be unaware that most reassuringly mid-priced brands don’t guarantee workers living wages or produce clothing without using environmentally harmful materials. A garment’s price is often more about aspiration and customer expectation than the cost of production. Hachfeld points out that the Zara hoodie was priced higher in Switzerland (CHF 45.90; €39.57), where Zara is positioned as a mid-range brand, than in Spain (€25.95), where it is perceived as more mainstream and affordable.

Another Tomorrow scar-neck blouse.
‘Provenance journey’ … Another Tomorrow scarf neck blouse.

Online, debates about the price of clothing can get heated. The sustainable-fashion writer Aja Barber, for example, uses the phrase “exploitation prices” to refer to very cheap clothes, such as the 8p bikini offered by the Boohoo brand Pretty Little Thing last autumn. “Either the company or the garment worker is taking the hit, and most likely it’s not the company, because that wouldn’t be a profitable business model,” she says.

Barber has a personal threshold in mind when she buys an item. “Any time a dress is under £50, you really need to break down the labour on it,” she says. “Think about what you get paid hourly – think, could a person make this dress in three hours?” She doesn’t base this calculation on local wages in the global south, either, which are so much lower “because of years of colonialism and oppression”. She buys new clothes infrequently and tries to avoid polyester, which is made with fossil fuels and generally used in garments to make them cheaper.

Barber gets annoyed by the accusations of snobbery that ripple through social media when anyone criticises super-cheap brands. Largely, she says, these comments come from middle-class people “who want to participate in the system and not feel bad about it”. In her view, fast fashion is propped up not by those with very low disposable incomes, but by middle-class overconsumption.

The only way to tell if a garment has been ethically produced is by combing through the details on the manufacturer’s website (although many brands give little or no information) and checking out its rating on Good on You, which compares fashion brands on the basis of their impact on the planet, people and animals. Even among brands that have launched with sustainability as their USP, greenwashing is rife. Renouf warns against those that talk vaguely about being “natural” and “fair”, or bang on about recycled packaging, without giving details about, say, the materials they use or whether they engage with unions in their factories.

For the fashion retailer Sam Mabley, the idea that fashion can be ethical only if it is expensive is a myth. Mabley runs a sustainable fashion store in Bristol; he thought it was a shame that he was selling so many ethical T-shirts at around the £30 price point. Usually, he says, such T-shirts are created in small batches, by “cool indie brands who do printed designs – a lot of the work is in the design”. He decided to invert that business model, ramping up the scale in order to get bigger discounts from suppliers and creating plain, organic cotton, ethically produced Ts in black and white for £7.99. With just a month of social media promotion, he secured 4,000 orders.

A model wears a Yes Friends T-shirt by Sam Mabley
‘Buying power’ … a Yes Friends T-shirt by Sam Mabley.

He believes it would be fairly easy for fast-fashion brands to use their buying power to “drive change for millions of workers around the world” and guarantee their factories paid living wages, without drastically affecting their margins. He is not alone in this view: Jenny Hulme, the head of buying at the sustainable fashion mainstay People Tree, believes ethical production is necessary and possible in every part of the market. “If you order in big volumes, it does reduce price – if a company really wants to improve, it can,” she says.

The reality of high-street clothes shopping is still very far from this ideal. Apart from a few “sustainable” lines produced by the big fast-fashion brands – which I am loath to recommend, because of so many accusations of greenwashing – it is almost impossible to find new, ethical clothing at rock-bottom prices, because the business models that have enabled clothing to get this cheap rely on inexpensive, environmentally damaging fabrics and very low wages.

That may leave anyone wanting to dress ethically on a high-street purse feeling out of options, although Renouf points out that buying better is possible at every budget. That is why, he says, Good on You aims to “provide ratings for as many brands as possible, rather than simply promoting the most sustainable brands”. You could, for example, move from an ultra-rapid fashion brand to a more engaged high-street fast-fashion brand, which might not cost much more, but still could constitute progress.

Buying fewer, but better-quality, items might save you money overall and is the most consistent advice you will hear from fashion campaigners. “Buy the best quality that you can afford, perhaps in end-of-season sales or by buying a thick jumper in the middle of summer to wear the next winter,” says Hulme.

Stepping out of the trend cycle, and avoiding brands that trade on planned obsolescence, is another avenue to explore. For example, Patrick Grant, a judge on the BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee, explains that his Community Clothing brand aims to give shoppers more bang for their buck by stocking basics rather than continually designing new collections (it also does without retail space and marketing). Working to slimmer margins means he can invest in good fabric, but keep prices fairly low: his £49 hoodies are made from 470g 100% loopback cotton, a thicker, more durable fabric than you might find for a similar price on the high street.

A blazer from ethical brand Lora Gene
A blazer from the ethical brand Lora Gene. Photograph: Lora Gene

For those who can afford mid-high street prices, researching small, sustainable brands might glean results. A quick look at the Zara website today shows silk dresses selling for as much as £199, with plenty of others at £49.99, while H&M-owned &OtherStories sells blazers for about £120; Barber points out that at these prices, shoppers could switch to ethical brands including Lora Gene, for which she has designed a collection, and Ninety Percent. (There is a dress I like the look of for £64 in the Ninety Percent sale; a mustard Lora Gene blazer is £139.)

If those prices are out of reach, swapping clothes, shopping secondhand, repairing and rethinking what you already have, and occasionally renting for special occasions can all be cheaper – even free – alternatives.

Voting with your wallet will only go so far, however, and won’t be possible for many people who are struggling, as the number of people in poverty in the UK soars to 15 million. Questioning the magical thinking of rock-bottom prices is not about blaming the consumer. Instead, you could write to MPs and CEOs and demand that they do something about living wages and the environmental cost of fashion. The responsibility lies with brands, and with the government, which should be held to account for a broken system.

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Fashion

9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping

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9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping

You’re already well-acquainted with Amazon as your shopping preference for everything from household products to books, tech accessories to groceries. But since 2017 one of the world’s largest retail marketplaces has made a pointed effort to expand past their traditional stock. In less than four years, Amazon has introduced dozens of in-house fashion brands, making their mark on the style world in the process. (And with free speedy shipping on most Amazon Prime items, there’s never been an easier way to do a spot of last-minute shopping).

We’ve gathered the nine standout Amazon fashion brands you need to know below. Whether you’re looking to refresh your underwear drawer, update your closet with some trend-focused finds, or simply add a few wardrobe essentials, the mega-retailer is literally your one-stop destination.

Core 10

What it is: High-quality workout-wear with tons of amazing reviews

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If you’re looking for affordable activewear that performs just as well as brands three times the price, Core 10 is your answer (it comes in extended sizing as well). Sports bras, leggings, shorts, hoodies, and more—it’s got all your workout needs covered.

Highlights include a ’90s-fantastic collaboration with Reebok launched earlier this summer and a “Build your own” legging option. Shoppers can customize their perfect pair with three lengths and three waistband styles, resulting in one shopper saying that they’re the “best leggings [she’s] tried. Hands down.”

Wild Meadow

What it is: Basics with a ’90s feel that all cost less than $30

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Launched this spring, Wild Meadow brings that easy-breezy youthful ’90s vibe and all styles are offered up to a size XXL. The best part? Not a single item costs more than $30, which means you should stock up—ASAP.

In the market for a tie-dye cami dress? A tie-front cropped tee? Still hunting for that perfect slip dress that will take you from day to night with a simple shoe swap? Wild Meadow has you covered with all that and more.

Amazon Essentials

What it is: Non-basic basics that are budget-friendly

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The Amazon Essentials brand includes food, household items—and wardrobe basics. Essentials, yes, but they’re anything but boring. Expect to find everything from floral t-shirt dresses to cozy fleeces, yoga leggings to bathing suits.

It’s affordable—prices are pretty much all under $50, with most under $25—and available in plus sizes. An important-to-know factor that makes this label stand out is how many maternity options there are, should you be in the market. In short, you can curate your entire wardrobe virtually no matter your size, budget, or stage of life.

Goodthreads

What it is: Trend-driven closet essentials

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Goodthreads started as a menswear-only Amazon brand but quickly expanded into the womenswear market. This line has a lot of wardrobe essentials, like button-down shirts, chinos, and sundresses, but they’re a bit more fashion-focused than some of Amazon’s other basics go-tos (like Amazon Essentials).

Here, you’ll find cinched-waist midi dresses, tops with subtly ruffled sleeves, and colorfully striped button-downs. The biggest draw, though, is the denim, which is sold in six different silhouettes, showcasing an impressive number of length and wash options. The size range for Goodthreads is XS-XXL on most pieces.

There is

What it is: Everyday underwear and lingerie, plus great swim options

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Amazon’s own lingerie brand offers everything from underwire bras to slinky slips and lace-trimmed thongs. If you’re looking for underwear or sleepwear of any kind, this is your brand.

For casual everyday wear, Mae offers cotton briefs and bras, lacy bralettes, and future go-to t-shirt bras to name a few. If you’re looking for more of a special lingerie moment, consider their wide selection of sexy, flirty sets and separates. The brand has expanded into swim, shapewear, and pajamas, too.

Daily Ritual

What it is: Comfortable basics that go up to 7X

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Daily Ritual is your go-to for comfortable options that look presentable enough for stepping out with friends or running errands. The brand is known for its selection of casual essentials that are anything but basic, and most items are made of a super soft cotton jersey or fleece.

There’s a bit of everything, including puffer jackets for when temps get chilly, but the majority of the pieces focus on classic cotton tees, joggers, and the like. An impressive amount is offered in plus sizes up to 7X, providing real universal appeal. For the shopper who loves to dress simply, stay comfortable, and look put-together, this is the Amazon fashion brand for you.

The Drop

What it is: Limited-edition collections co-created with some of today’s biggest social stars

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Built on the concept of curated, limited-edition capsule collections that are only promised to be available for a quick 30 hours, The Drop is Amazon’s most coveted line. Each collab is designed and curated by a rotating list of bloggers and influencers uniquely catering to their individual style at affordable prices—it’s either pieces they want for their own wardrobe or have developed a signature look around.

Past influencers to participate include Charlotte Groeneveld of The Fashion Guitar, Leonie Hanne of Ohh Couture, Quigley Goode of Officially Quigley, and more. Depending on the influencer, The Drop could include everything from wrap dresses to faux leather pants; teddy bear shearling coats or shackets. You have 30 hours to order originally, but some styles (like the below) make a reappearance.

Cable Stitch

What it is: Classic knitwear silhouettes, updated

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The name literally says it all: Cable Stitch is the Amazon brand to go to if you love a good knitwear moment. Cardigans, pullovers, dresses…you name it. The range will appeal to minimalists and maximalists alike, with classic solid colors and brightly colored stripes in the mix.

When Amazon creates an entire line centered around knitwear, you know they’re going to go big or go home. You can shop an array of the more unconventional knits that are trending (like side-slit midis and puff-sleeve pullovers) as well as basics. Most pieces retail between $20 and $60, though some outliers will exist from season to season.

The Fix

What it is: Stand-out shoes and bags that can upgrade everything in your closet

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Accessory obsessed? You need to know about The Fix. Specializing in the little pieces that make or break a look, this is your shop for all the trendiest footwear and handbags you’ve been coveting since you first saw them explode on the street style scene.

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Fashion

The 7 Fall 2021 Colors You’re About to See Everywhere

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The 7 Fall 2021 Colors You're About to See Everywhere
fall colors

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

While editors and fashion enthusiasts are poring over the next ready-to-wear and accessory must-haves, we’re also taking note of Fall’s emerging color trends. As in autumn seasons past, there was a noticeable shift in 2021 to traditionally warmer tones, like clay and army green. Brighter colors, like fuchsia and silver, were also notable color combos. Keep on scrolling to discover what shades we’re forecasting for fall, and get ahead of the game by shopping out our favorite hues right now.


Indigo Child

This distinctive blue tone sauntered down the catwalk in dresses, puffers, and of course denim. The color is said to promote higher levels of concentration, too.

indigo

Tod’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, Schiaparelli

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


(Army) Green with Envy

Everyday staples are elevated in an army green hue. The shade was reimagined in patent leather jackets, mini dresses, and cool tie-dye prints.

army green

Versace, Balmain, Sportmax

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Play with Clay

Warm up your autumn wardrobe with fuzzy bombers, sweater dresses, and overcoats that can be mixed-and-matched with your existing brown accessories.

clay

Zimmermann, Victor Glemaud, Acne Studios

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Seeing Red

This maximalist primary color can adapt to minimalist wardrobe collections. Incorporate red into your classically tailored suits or swap your LBD for a slinky red version.

red

Antonio Marras, Adam Lippes, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Fun with Fuchsia

Invigorate any piece with a bold fuchsia color palette. Tone down the ultra bright hue with neutrals in camel, grey, or ivory.

pink

Chanel, Gucci, Stella McCartney

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Lean into Lilac

Move over pastel pink. Lilac is taking over the scene in the form of bodycon dresses, outerwear, and serene head-to-toe suiting.

lilac

Jil Sander, Salvatore Ferragamo, Givenchy

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward


Silver Linings

No need to save your silver for special occasions. Parade the invigorating color on everyday staples like pleated skirts, blazers and cable knits.

silver

Balmain, Louis Vuitton, ROKH

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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