Those of us who are just coming out of the cold, snowy season are looking forward to spring, and from the looks of clothing flooding into the stores it will be a bright and cheerful season for sure! Color (mostly bright) is everywhere and high contrast reigns (oops, not good for everyone). It is always fun to take a peek at the trends and invite one or two into your wardrobe. The key is to choose wisely for your body type, personality and lifestyle. My seasonal ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’ column will help you tag a few possible favorites to explore. Have fun!
Color: Color is everywhere starting with greens (especially emerald), watery blues, jeweled purples (which we normally only see in the fall so this is exciting for those who want some depth to their color) and, of course, the seemingly perennial orange/tangerine spring hype. While I personally can wear orange, it’s not everyone’s best choice. That said, there will be something for everyone and that’s what makes me happy.
Asian influence: The past few years we have seen a lot of tribal designs on the fashion scene, and they are still there. But, this season we are seeing much more Asian influence and it can be worn by everyone. Go full-out and get a Kimono style jacket or perhaps keep it a bit more understated with a beautiful Asian-inspired floral jacquard print like this dress (Click here for shopping information)L
Stripes: Stripes are one of those patterns that women approach with trepidation, especially horizontal stripes. I’m here to suggest that not all stripes are bad. Nearly everyone can find a stripe they like even if it’s not the typical black and white or navy and white nautical stripe we think of first. I cover more about stripes in my new book, “That’s So You!,” which will be released this month. For now, take a look at this pretty wavy stripe option (Click here for shopping information).
Lace & Macramé: Add a touch of lightness and texture to your wardrobe with lace or macramé. This lace overlay shift dress is a perfect example (and in a hot color for the season: watery blue) (Click here for shopping information).
If that’s too much lace for you add a hint of it in your top or even your shoes (Click here for shopping information) or go for something with the more casual macramé design.
Retro: Decades repeat themselves over and over, each time reinventing that particular decade of fashion. This season we get a bit of a break from the 1980’s and see mod styles from the 1960’s in contrast to the more demure styles of the 1950’s. Choose the one that most suits your personality and have fun with it.
Peek-a-boo strips: It sounds racier than it really is (or needs to be). You will find it in everything from a cable knit sweater to this pretty dress (Click here for shopping information). The see-through strips can be strategically placed or it is very simple to wear a skin colored tank under it to give the illusion of peekaboo without the exposure.
Berets: Hats have been gaining popularity for a while now and as we head into spring it can still be wise when the temperatures are cool to cover your head. Or, it might just be a fun fashion statement that speaks to your bohemian side. Now you can do it with a relaxed vibe in a pretty beret (Click here for shopping information):
The least wearable top: This summer be prepared to see lots of tube tops, bandeau tops, soft bustiers and bralettes (really!) sometimes covered by a cardigan and sometimes not. These are designed for very young, very small chested women and are not at all forgiving when you step outside those limitations. Be very careful!
Midriff exposed: It feels like just yesterday that this was the hottest style around, but it was actually a few years ago. Well, it’s baaaaack! One BIG difference. Instead of being paired with low-rise jeans or skirts, it is shown (here’s where the bralettes come in) with pants and skirts worn at the natural waist. So, it’s really from the waist to just under the bustline that is exposed. Again, a very young style.
Oversized, baggy jeans (circa 1990’s): No!
Oversized ruffles: Every spring, without fail, ruffles are in. I guess the designers are getting bored because this season we are seeing fewer dainty ruffles and more gigantic ones. It is too early to say how much of those will invade the mainstream stores, but keep a watchful eye so you can experiment with or avoid them. For most of us, it will be way too much busyness, but if it fits your personality and doesn’t overpower you, enjoy!
Gladiator boots: Also known as ‘Shin armor’ — these are the craziest shoes ever (well, maybe not crazier than those sky high platforms).
I can’t think of anyone I know wearing these and you won’t find millions of them out there (thank goodness). They are just a tad dominatrix for every day wear!
You will find them at every price point so you can’t just write it off as a lower end style. Here’s an example of one (Click here for shopping information):
Cropped (ankle) pant: Go away! This is one of the most unflattering styles ever. It makes most people look shorter and wider and if you have short legs to begin with, forget it. My advice: if you really must wear them choose a color close to your skin tone and make sure the opening of the pant leg is as slim as possible. My only hope is that they are so popular right now that by next year we won’t be able to find them anywhere, but that might be wishful thinking.
Graphic contrast (bold black and white): I know our culture has a love affair with black and the past few seasons this has extended to black and white worn together. While it looks great on someone who can wear this high contrast it is absolutely not most people’s best look. And, this season we are seeing the most expressive part of the trend as a very clear, sharp distinction between the black and white – almost architectural. In this dress you can see the very strong use of stripes (another hot trend) as well (Click here for shopping information).
Shorts suits: The difference between this year’s short suit and that of the recent past is that the shorts now are very short. They are not suitable for the office and I’m not sure where else you would wear it even if you did want to wear shorts that short.
Slouchy separates: What they are showing on the runway is an entire “slouchy” outfit. If you really must bring in the slouch and you want to make it work, choose just one slouchy garment and build your outfit around it. Keep everything else sleek or you will get lost in tons of shapeless fabric.
Patchwork Animal Print: Every year for the past 26 years animal print has been a trend…really! It has been tweaked here or there for the type of animal print or sometimes color has been added, and usually I like it. This is the first time I have to say…scary! (Click here for shopping information).
There are more trends out there like iridescent finishes, toile, drop waist dresses and “flatform” shoes, but the ones I have highlighted seem to be getting the most press so far. The warmer weather is a time to relax, rejoice and have fun so explore the trends and create a fabulous wardrobe you love.
If you need help, there are still a few spaces left in the upcoming ‘Your Style, Your Way’ workshop. Watch the video here. You won’t believe how it will transform your personal style and your approach to shopping!