Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered Spring 2016 Fashion Trend Update

March 9, 2016

I have to say that it has felt like spring more than winter for the past few months so it is exciting that the date is finally catching up with the weather (and I’m hoping we don’t now have winter weather in the spring!). I have recently been busily researching and evaluating the fashion trends for the upcoming season so I can share my Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered fashion update with you. This is a no holds barred assessment of what you have to look forward to (or not!) when you shop this spring and summer. It holds some promise and a few eye rollers. For those of you who wear more conservative clothes to work I am still not seeing a huge surge in those fashions—things are staying ultra casual (don’t get me started!).

For now, here are the fashion trends to consider on your next shopping trip.


Cape Dresses & Tops – This is a trend we haven’t seen before (although it has been slowly creeping into the stores). You will either love it or hate it and it is certainly one of those trends that will look dated within a short amount of time. So, if you are intrigued by it, buy one piece and enjoy it. By next year it will not be in style anymore. Here it is in a top (that also comes in black and coral):

And, here’s a dress I’m rather fond of. And, being that this is a dress for a special occasion and because the cape is more subdued you won’t have to worry about this going out of style quickly.

Victorian Influences – This includes puffy sleeves, high necklines (especially those made out of lace), ruffles (especially around the neck) and floral patterns. Here’s a pretty top that blends the Victorian feeling with a bohemian peasant style.

And check out more options along with a very cool pair of boots HERE.

X-factor Necklines – Halter style necklines are often popular in the warm weather and this year is no exception. But, they have put a little twist on it. The halter and body of the top form an X. Some of them can make you look very droopy (especially if you have sloped shoulders), but here is one that is extremely flattering (and you can see more HERE)

Knife Pleats – These types of pleats can look frumpy in a heartbeat, especially a pleated skirt because they add width at the tummy. I am putting them in the bewitching category because if they work they’ll be gorgeous. They have a very feminine and soft feel. If you are drawn to them, a good alternative (and one that will not go out of style quickly) is to buy a gown (I know, I know…how often do you need a gown) with the pleated skirt. It’s beautiful and will look amazing when you dance. Maybe it’s a case of, “if you build it they will come” and the perfect occasion at which to wear it will surface like magic.

Or, give a nod to the trend with pretty pleated sleeves:

See more HERE.

Tie Dye – I do not personally wear tie dye – it just doesn’t fit with my personality and inner beauty words being that it is a little too bohemian, free-spirited and funky for me. But, on the right person it can be fun. However, here is one that I would even consider wearing (if it were in my colors) because it is a bit more ‘controlled.’ You can see several other beautiful options HERE as well.

And, a great way to add a touch of tie dye is in a soft summer scarf like this one:

Fringe Hems – They are milking this trend for all it’s worth. Since it has been around for two or three seasons now I doubt it will last much longer so, if you like it, buy it sparingly. That said, you do not have to completely ignore it. There are fun ways to incorporate it for nearly everyone.

Again with the gowns, but this is a stunningly gorgeous use of fringe:

Or, go wild and make the most of it:

You will notice that most of the fringe suggestions I recommend are in black or neutral colors. That’s because if you add fringe to something colorful not only does it magnify the fringe but it also can make it look slightly kitschy unless it is done really, really well.

If you are going to do fringe in a color, here’s a good way to do it:

I share many more ways to do fringe in a classy way and often in ways that will not go out of style HERE

Lightweight Denim – One of the biggest complaints I get from women about wearing denim in the summer is that it is hot! But, the look is one that has a great casual feel and it’s hard to give that up. However, feeling hot and sticky is not high on anyone’s list when the temperatures soar. Introducing ta-da…lightweight denim. It’s about time! But, there is one downside. Part of what is so appealing about denim is that it has some body to the fabric. Take that away and it can appear limp and shapeless. I did some research and found some beautiful items in lighter-weight denim that I want to share with you:

This simple, feminine wrap dress is light-weight and still fits your curves.

Or go for something totally different and wear this denim jumpsuit (although I would slim the legs a bit – I know cropped flares are in, but they look bad on most people).

See many more examples of light weight denim HERE.


Paper Bag Waist – In case you are wondering what this is imagine you have a bottle in a bag and you are holding onto the top of the bag around the stem of the bottle. That’s what the pants look like. They are high-rise with a belt or tie of some kind and fabric sticking up above the belt. It can look very chic and can also look dowdy in a heartbeat. You must be very slim with a long enough torso that the top of the paperbag doesn’t come right below your bustline. And, you must wear either a crop top (that lets must of us out) or a very form-fitted top tucked in. See examples of what I am talking about HERE (at the bottom in the group entitled ‘Trends Gone Wrong’).


Flat Mules – I know these are probably comfortable, but they look like men’s slippers and are almost universally unflattering. The only pair I am sharing is a pretty pair of mule slippers! You are on your own for the rest of the styles.

Spring Colors – While it is nice to see some lighter brighter colors I am a bit dismayed that they are suggesting two pastel tones for the spring. Pastels are often hard to wear, making many people fade away or look tired. This season rose quartz and serenity blue are the hot colors (although, so far I am not seeing tons of them in the stores…phew) and while a little bit is good (for those who rock pastels), too much would be devastating. Here is an example of Rose Quartz:

And here is serenity blue. The nice thing about it is that it is a very soft periwinkle. I am hopeful (fingers crossed) that this means we will see some deeper tones of periwinkle surfacing as well since they are flattering on a lot of skin tones. In the meantime, here is the serenity blue of the season:

See ALL the proclaimed seasonal colors HERE, but please know that other colors will be in the stores as well (so don’t panic if none of these light bright colors look good on you).

Off the Shoulder – It’s summer so it is no surprise the bare shoulders abound. But this look is super duper tricky (believe it or not). Pretty much none of the models should be wearing the current off the shoulder trend. The horizontal line only magnifies the fact that they have very broad square shoulders. As envious as I am of their shoulders this makes them look disproportionate to the rest of their body (see the sections HERE on ‘Off the Shoulder’ and ‘Trends gone wrong’ for more examples of good and not good).

If you have narrower shoulders the horizontal line is good, but I still think keeping the neckline a bit curved is more flattering on pretty much everyone. Here is one example:

Find more flattering off the shoulder looks HERE.

I left out a few trends that are either obvious (like florals) because we see them every spring or ones like ‘netting’ that are supposed to be ‘in’ this season, but I have yet to see them in the stores. Perhaps with the netting it is a case of waiting for more summer trends to hit the stores although I do provide one example in the catalogue HERE if you want to see what it looks like.

As always, be sure the colors you choose look great on you and the fit is beautiful (or can be made so with a tailor’s help). Think about how you will complete the outfit while you are buying it rather than 5 minutes before you want to wear it (you know this happens!) and you will have a fun, versatile wardrobe. And, of course, if you need help, let me know (AND stay tuned for my NEW online course complete with a lot of videos to be released soon)!

Please note: All garments pictured here (and in the catalogue) are vegan-friendly (made from fabrics that did not harm any animals).

Some of the affiliate links may generate commissions for Total Image Consultants which helps support the time spent creating these very specific recommendations.

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