The time has finally come and Spring is upon us and it’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to rearrange your closets so that your warm weather clothes are more easily accessible. Spring and Fall are my favorite, I love the transitioning seasons when it’s slightly warm but still crisp and the skies are bright blue and cloudless. I adore going for walks at night when it’s still light out, going to the Farmer’s Market and making huge, brightly colored salads, and of course, bearing some skin after months of being hiding under layers and layers of fabric.
So what’s on tap for Spring? As usual every magazine and fashion blog has a helpful list of what the New York, London, Milan and Paris collections showed for Spring 2012 – Fashionologie, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar & Elle to name a few. They go to the runway shows and examine them look by look to determine what the upcoming season will be all about. And this season we have: rounded shoulders, lace, 20’s art deco, ladylike silhouettes, florals, tribal prints, peplum tops & dresses, exaggerated & padded hips, wide belts, minimalism, head-to-toe white, mesh, sporty, cropped tops, bra tops…
As adorable as these models look, this isn’t a what I would call a real trend for real people. Truth be told, pretty much only Carrie Bradshaw can wear a bra top in public. So my goal here today is to give you some ideas for great Spring dressing that are more suited to our non-Sex In The City day-to-day lives.
Pastels are usually a Spring staple and this year is no different. However, rather than putting together solid candy colored looks, try mixing various soft, sherbet shades together for a colorful but subtle look.
Lindsey Wixson & Frida Gustavsson’s ad for Mulberry highlights the beautiful pastel trend perfectly. Why not try pairing pastel pieces with neutrals or even black for a tasteful work-appropriate look?
See FabSugar’s ideas on how to integrate pastels into your wardrobe in 5 Ways to Wear Spring’s Pretty Pastels or WhoWhatWear’s How They Wear Pastels featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Hanneli Mustaparta & Lily Collins.
You may already be sick of the phrase “pop of color” (right Holly?) but this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…
Why settle for one splash of color when you can have two like Judith Bedard does below? I love that she didn’t try to match her tights and oh-so-French scarf. They’re both beautiful, bright colors, and they’re both utterly different.
This is an ideal style for those – like me – who wear mostly black, since adding a bright scarf, pair of shoes, or purse is incredibly easy. Yet those quick touches immediately update your look, make it fresh and take it to a new level. So what did I do to ensure that I could pop pop pop all Spring long?
I bought myself a new best friend! 🙂
A scarf, hat, bag or piece of jewelry are all great choices for bringing this trend to life. But you can get even more creative and find other ways to flash some color. How about a bright hairpiece or headband? What about throwing on some brilliantly colored nail polish?
Similar to the splash of color trend is the modern style of adding a colorful blazer to your outfit to give it a bit of flash.
Above model Josephine Skriver shows just how to pair a bright blazer with a warmer look – slim pants, booties & long sleeves will all keep the chill away as we wait impatiently for the weather to heat up. Already warm enough to lose the pants in your neck of the woods, you luck duck? Try pairing a brightly colored blazer with shorts for a more Summery look like Liz Cherkasova from Late Afternoon does below. She even mixed multiple trends by adding metallic shorts & accessories as well as a floral printed blouse to her look. Quite the Mix Master!
For more tips on finding the perfect blazer, see Rachel Bilson‘s Spring blazer recommendations or Frugal Fashionista‘s great celebrity-inspired choices featuring fashion stars like Kirstin Dunst, Beyonce and Olivia Palermo.
While florals are always a Spring staple, this year you should also invest in some other types of prints as well – from tribal prints to chevron zig zags to typical florals to geometric patterns – there’s something to suit everyone’s style. Whether you want to add a printed bag or belt to a monochromatic look or bravely don head-to-toe print, you should definitely give this trend a try.
Hanne Gaby Odiele & Elisa Nalin were both ahead of the curve and showing off gorgeous prints during the Fall 2012 shows this past month. I like that while they’re both wearing florals their looks couldn’t be more different, they’re both quite creative with their personal styling.
Even if you’re still working up the courage to flaunt the all-over 70’s style print you’ve always admired, you can try something a bit more subtle to work your way closer to your goal.
A faint pattern like the two dresses above is a good stepping stone. It gives you a fun pattern to play with but isn’t quite as bold or dramatic as Hanne and Elisa’s looks at the top of this section.
Ashley Madekwe’s crisp Armani Exchange dress is light and summery, she paired it with black sandals and layered jewelry for a fun daytime look. While Natalia Vodianova’s dress shows the other end of the white dress spectrum, something fitted and more formal, with dramatic, nighttime accessories – bold purple heels and a crimson clutch.
Whether you’re planning to attend a garden party or have a hot summer night out on the town in mind a white dress is a great choice to show your tan off to perfection. Try adding colorful accessories to keep it fun during the day, chic black & white in the evening or even try out an all-white look if you’re not prone to spilling things… 🙂
In the mood for some more inspiration, check out the Native Fox’s white & red look on Lookbook.nu.
I love shirtdresses! They always look crisp and fresh, and a little more of a formal feel to them than most sundresses so they’re acceptable in a number of social situations. Versatility is key!
A shirtdress can be worn casually during the day with sandals, a floppy hat and a cute tote bag, but it can easily be dressed up at night with heels, a cinched waist and some serious costume jewelry. It’s all about the accessorizing ladies!
If you need a tutorial on this subject head over to The Stylist’s and read their latest series Lessons For A Modern-Day Lady and their most recent piece How To Wear A Shirtdress.
This is one of my favorite looks for Spring, cropped pants are universally flattering and whatever your personal style, there’s the perfect pair for you. From bright colors to basic denim to harem style to classic Jackie O inspired black.
Want to take your crops to a new level? Try them in something textured or an interesting new fabric. Miranda was downtown chic in brown leather Capri pants and a basic denim button down. FabSugar as a great breakdown on the best cropped trousers for Spring – from J.Crew and Zara to Thakoon, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tibi.
Finding yourself inspired for Spring? Don’t forget to enter the Spring Giveaway for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Bloomingdale’s!
Anyone can be a slave to new trends, it doesn’t take creativity or style to dress in a runway look head to toe. So what is style? What does it mean to be chic and stylish rather than a fashion victim?
Style is a very personal concept, it can be different for everyone. It’s about knowing you body type, knowing what looks good on you and knowing what you’ll be comfortable wearing. You can ignore every trend that ever graces a magazine cover and still be a fashion icon.
Good style is eternal.
Whether you consider Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland or Lauren Hutton to be your ultimate style icon, there is something that each of these women possess. She is true to herself and has created a style that is inherently “her.”
What are the basic guidelines that every lady must follow in order to be stylish?
[1.] Know thy self – Take a good, hard look in the mirror and understand your assets & limitations. What are your best characteristics – Great shoulders? Long, lean legs? Christina Hendricks curves? Find a style that plays up your assets. Yes, you can mix up your style each season and incorporate great new looks to keep things fresh, but you need to first have a good understanding of what you can, can’t and shouldn’t bother trying to pull off. Do you have short legs? Stay away from skinny jeans and don’t even think about wearing mid-calf boots, both will make your legs look truncated. On the curvier side? Stay away from ruffles and busy tops, they will make you look top-heavy. You don’t need to look like Gisele to look polished and put together, you just need to know how to work with what you have!
[2.] Find your sweet spot – Once you know what works best for you, the next step is to create a style that is totally your own, a home base of sorts that you can always start with or go back to. Whether you love Twiggy-style shift dresses, sexy menswear, a darker pallet, retro ladylike silhouettes or Alexa Chung-inspired hipster looks, make the look yours by adding personal flares. If you’re comfortable and confident in your clothes, you’ll have every eye on you as soon as you step into a room. Wear your clothes, don’t let them wear you! My personal look is very classic and a little formal, I love dresses and skirts, but with a bit of an edge. My favorite looks are traditional with a modern twist, like a chic LBD with funky pearls and patent leather booties.
[3.] Invest! It’s always fun to try new trends – if you’re careful with them – but a large portion of your clothing/accessories budget should be devoted to classic, long-term pieces. High quality basics that you will be able to use season after season, which can easily be spiced up with the newest handbag or sunglasses. A trench coat, great jeans, a button down shirt, a Little Black Dress, (see Real Girls Need Real Closets & Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition) these are the building blocks to a great wardrobe, regardless of your style. When you see pictures of Jane Birkin’s bangs and little tunic dresses, Audrey’s trenches, Coco’s pearls or Bianca Jagger’s suits they still all look chic and modern. Why? Because they were stylish women, not slaves to trends.
Some words of wisdom to think about when you’re considering you personal look:
- “Style isn’t about change; that’s fashion’s job. Style is about knowing yourself, knowing the image you want to project, and finding the look that suits you the best for your goals.” TLo from Tom & Lorenzo: Fabulous & Opinionated
- “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Coco Chanel
- “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” Yves Saint Laurent
- “Attitude is everything.” Diane von Furstenberg
Have you seen the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face?
There’s this phenomenal dance number with Kay Thompson, who is one of the highlights of the film, called How To Be Lovely. Whenever I think of being stylish and chic, I think of this scene and it makes me laugh. This is a great reminder that fashion is supposed to be fun!