Shining with Sequins

Tiny disks are synonymous with celebrations
GLISTENING FASHIONS FROM KITTENISH From left: Desiree Ombre Sequin Long-Sleeved Dress, $78; Shelby Hustad, model. Posie Charcoal Sparkle Dress, $62; Sarah Courville, model. Manhattan Black Sequin Jumpsuit, $88; CeCe Barnes, model.

Fortified by holiday spirit, even ordinarily reserved ladies take to dressing like disco balls, shining and shimmering in their sequin styles. Today, sequins are more frequently worn year-round than they used to be, but they will always be strongly associated with year-end holiday parties.

As we know, fashion repeats itself. Sequins may seem modern given their dazzle and because most are made of plastic. But the sequin can be traced back to ancient Egypt; it turns out that King Tut was a fan.

When the king’s tomb was discovered in 1922, he was found to be wearing gold sequin-like discs, said to ensure wealth in the afterlife. Sequin is derived from sikka, an Arabic word for coin.

With the news of Tut’s to-die-for fashion statement, the 1920s saw a surge in sequins, primarily worn on the dresses of flappers. These early sequins were made of a gelatinous material that unfortunately melted in heat or rain. Thus, Herbert Lieberman and Eastman Kodak (yes, that Kodak) set out to make sequins as we know them today.

Sequins have a long history and a future that looks just as bright. When winter months roll around, local shops see an increase in shiny purchases from clutches to party dresses.

“Historically, sequins have been synonymous with celebrations and parties — you can see this in fashion, accessories and home décor,” said Kathleen Nagel, owner and founder of Gray Boutique in Pensacola. “Sequins are representative of happiness and festivity.” 

Always the life of the party, sequins don’t age and seem to know no age. They are worn by the 8-year-old in her adorned party dress and by the 80-year-old on her sequined brooch.

On a large or small scale, sequins are meant to be noticed. Don a show-stopping sequined dress or pair a statement-making metallic top with jeans or a fitted skirt.

Nagel suggests that sequins pair best with timeless pieces. Try a sequin blazer with jeans and a neutral-colored T-shirt. Against these classic cuts, the pop of pizazz will stand out all the more.

“Sequins are so fun because you can pair them with almost anything,” said Mackenzie Pearson, design assistant at the Kittenish store in Miramar Beach. “Leather, denim, knitwear, you name it. Depending on the occasion or the attire for the gathering, feel free to get creative.”

Pearson encourages mixing and matching fabrics, such as pairing a sequined dress with a leather jacket, flared sequined trousers with an oversized blazer or a sequined mini skirt with an oversized sweater.

Pearson predicts that the high-end/low-end styling approach will make its way to sequins this season. Consider a sequined slip dress under knitwear, embellished tops worn over biker shorts or a sequin gown with sneakers.

Some may wish to sprinkle in only bits of sparkle. Consider earrings adorned in sequins and beads, an eye-catching hairclip or a dramatic bag.

Sequins aren’t going out of style any time soon, especially during the holidays. The trick to brightening the trend each year is finding new ways to style them.

Categories: Fashion, Trends