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With the dark dreary days of winter behind us and the smell of spring on the horizon, it’s time to think about adding a few of this season’s latest trends into your wardrobe. This season people are shopping differently than in years past. I advise all of my professional clients that it is not necessary to invest thousands of dollars on a new spring wardrobe. Learn to shop in your closet and make a list of the casual outfits or working suits that need a bit of spice and magic to bring them alive for spring. Simply take your list and this Top Five Trends for Spring article to your favorite stores to help you interpret the trends and select a few new pieces while still watching your budget. If you add four to six new items to your spring/summer wardrobe, you will look quite stylish and modern.

Before we talk about the trends, it is always important to understand the colors for the upcoming season. Pantone, the company that works with the fashion industry and designers, has introduced the new colors on the spring runway to be in shades of melon, lemon yellow, dark citron green, violet, fuchsia red, blue and neutral tones like soft lavender, slate grey and rose dust.

1). Neutral Tones

I personally love neutral tones. I feel there is so much versatility and elegance to a woman who knows how to project style and sophistication through the harmony of dressing in one neutral tone from head to toe. Spring’s neutral palette is more subdued than last season. It is highlighting barely-there tints like alabaster, cement, grayed blues, pale camel and soft blush hues. Along with this trend you will see how white is used as a neutral and mixed with gold this season as we move further into the summer months

Jackets / Tops / Blouses Jackets are cropped trench styles, tailored blazers and neutral pantsuits in beautiful fabrics. After all, don’t we always notice the woman who wears an exquisite fabric with a few details that can make a boring neutral color come alive and look smashing? For weekend wear, smock tops and blouses will be in metallic and matte tones to add some texture to those great white summer pants. I love mixing neutrals with white. It’s so fresh and clean looking!

Pants This season look to add a few pairs of slim, cropped pants to your casual wardrobe. These pants are more flattering on medium to tall women, as the pant just skims the silhouette.

Dresses Neutral tones will be shown in all types of dresses including shirtdresses, casual dresses with ruffled collars and jersey styles. Don’t forget to look for fun details that add some gathering, like fine smocking details on these solid styles throughout the waist, hem, or upper bodice to give some pizzazz to that plain neutral dress.

Accessories Are you tired of all those same ol’ handbag styles? Look for the long bag with short handles, which is a new style of bag for spring. A soft shape, like a slouchy bag, looks great when paired with a more casual outfit. For work try a new soft leather clutch in a neutral tone, or the new white handbag that will go with your entire summer work wardrobe. Spice up your shoes a bit by wearing natural materials, woven leather, woven metallic and neutral tones with pops of color like yellow or blue on the shoe. Opened-up footwear will call for those polished toes to be seen this spring, as you will want to wear more peep-toe pumps, as well as sandals in great metallic and neutral tones. White shoes return, and you can look more modern by shopping for ones with accents of gold added to the white leather. If on a tight budget, think about adding a few pieces of jewelry, especially brushed metals. Look for white and gold throughout the accessories departments in handbags, shoes, jewelry and belts.

2). Cuban Colors

Color is back this season in addition to those fabulous new neutrals. Cuban colors are not the bold bright hues like in seasons past, but a palette of mid-tones that are new for spring.

For ready-to-wear pieces you will find colorful prints and patterns with a mix of stripes, floral, polka dots, plaids and checks. Colorful silhouettes will be simple but revolve around core wardrobe pieces like blouses, jackets and skirts.

Jackets / Blouses / Tops Fitted blazers and belted jackets in fun colors will be woven throughout this colorful trend. Dressy colored blouses and shirts will be embellished with details like pin tucks, ruffles, and cutout lace sleeves. For your casual wardrobe try a scarf-printed top, bold graphic floral or a colorful smock top paired with white slacks or jeans.

Sweaters Buy a new sweater for your business casual look and layer your ensemble to look more professional this season. These will be in citrus colors, as well as patterned sweaters like argyle, striped, floral and geometric.

Skirts / Pants To show off your great legs, wear a variety of great spring skirts from the dirndl, gathered, pencil and tulip styles in everything from solids to floral and tonal stripes. Instead of denim for casual this spring, look for the new non-denim pant – great cotton and Lycra pants in white, khaki, or stone. They actually look better paired with the mid-tone color and neutrals of spring. If you love your Capri’s, opt for a pair of slim cropped pants in a Crayola® box of colors.

Dresses When you wear a dress there is no fuss to get ready in the morning, because you don’t have to worry about coordinating separates. Look for shirtdresses with belts or set-in waistbands; shapely sheaths or shift dresses that look elegant with a few pleat details at the neckline or waistline – very “Jackie O” looking in their shapes and silhouettes.

Accessories If you like this Cuban color trend and want to just add a pop of color, look for jewelry pieces in turquoise, coral, jade, rose quartz and ivory. Shop for bright colorful stones in cuffs and necklaces. Scarves and bold gold necklaces can add a little pizzazz to your ensemble. Handbags will emerge with flap-over shapes, colorful envelope clutches, fun bright crocodile styles and supple tote satchels. Stretch belts are making a comeback and a great way to accentuate a waistline and layer a bit more. Look for stretch belts ½” to 1 ½” wide in colors like tan, white, navy, yellow or melon. You will find colorful shoes in wide strap wedges, flat sandals and classic pumps.

3). Garden Florals

With all the spring tulips and poppies about to emerge from the earth, we will see florals bringing a romantic theme to the season.

Floral prints, a mix of print on print florals, and an abundance of flowers will be woven into many fabrics, silhouettes and accessories.

Jackets / Blouses / Tops This season the soft-rounded jackets with small ruffling around the collar or front in soft pastels or neutrals will emerge as the new modern jacket. Store those traditional structured jackets until fall, and swing into the warmer months with a few new modern jackets with the goal of creating some interesting layering. For work you could choose a very small floral print blouse, or a ruffled blouse worn under your power suit. For those casual spring days shop for a printed peasant top, or a top with eyelet or ruffle details to wear with shorts or pants.

Sweaters – Floral printed sweaters will help you express your romantic, feminine side at work or play. If you are wearing this trend to work for a business casual day, I suggest keeping the floral print small and not too distracting.

Skirts / Pants Full skirts with floral prints are beautiful and fresh this season. Pair this with a solid romantic blouse, and cardigan to look modern and stylish for a casual day. Capri’s this time around are returning in floral prints. This trend looks great on younger women and those women who have an inverted triangle shape that can wear prints on their bottom torso. If you are a triangle or shapely hourglass, be cautious that too wild a print on your derriere only draws attention to this problem area. Keep your fun floral prints on the upper torso.

Dresses Floral prints will abound in full dresses, shirtdresses and sheaths. These are great dresses to pair with a sweater for those chilly summer evenings when you want to be fashion forward and modern.

Accessories – Whether it is jewelry, shoes, or handbags, you will find rosettes, flower petals, and insect details like fireflies and butterflies adorning your accessories. Scarves and hair accessories will be incorporated into this trend. If you are a true romantic, you will love this floral trend and can mix a flower pin or necklace with your work attire.

4). Artist Palette

This trend is best interpreted with the watercolor brush strokes of the great artists like Matisse and Monet. Printed fabrics in this trend look like an artist’s brush strokes and spattered paint on a canvas. This is the updated version of the old tie-dye looks from the 70’s. Head to toe you will see this trend as one of the cutting-edge, modern bohemian-chic looks with all kinds of artisan details.

Blouses / Tops – The new update to the old tie-dye tee will be this newer version, one of artistic paint splattered on the top to give an artsy feel. Pair these fun tops with shorts or casual pants.

Skirts As spring becomes fuller with foliage, our skirts become fuller to allow for all of the watercolor and brush stoke prints full of color. If you are wider on the lower torso, be careful with this artistic trend. Look to add your splash of color in a fun blouse or top and keep your lower torso in a soft neutral.

Dresses – For a feminine look, try a watercolor or painterly print sheath or shift to look modern at your next art institute fundraiser or outdoor wedding.

Accessories Painted scarves and shoes will evolve as the newest items for spring. You will find color blocking in handbags, and if you want your shoes to be the focus of attention, look for a pair with the new architectural heel. It is definitely a showstopper. When looking for jewelry or belts, look for an interpretation of modern day artists in stones, beads, and details.

5). That 70’s Look

This trend is reminiscent of the 1970’s when peasant tops, halter-tops, maxi-dresses, flared jeans, vests, tie-dye, batik and paisleys dominated everywhere from the fashion runways to Woodstock. Throughout this style you will see influences of this era by way of crochet, macramé, beading, patchwork and appliqué details in clothing and accessories.

Jackets / Blouses / Tops Safari style jackets remain a modern classic in this trend. If you love ethic styles or hippie chic styles, this season is for you with stylish peasant tops, embroidered blouses, kurtas or caftans worn over your casual pants.

Pants Flared jeans will begin to come back into style along with cargo pants and wide-legged Capri’s.

Dresses Maxi dresses in great prints are everywhere for spring. You will also find border treatments like ruffles and stripes on shorter dresses.

Accessories Think boho-chic when you shop for your must-have accessories. You will find ethnic pattern bags, patchwork, and fringe handbags. For jewelry try a pair of gypsy earrings, a chunky stone necklace, an ethnic pendant or a patterned wooden bangle. Wooden and natural materials will be woven into jewelry, handbags and shoes to give an earthy, neutral feel to this bohemian trend.

As you navigate the stores this season, look for a few of these trends, and add a few new pieces to your working and casual wardrobe. It will make you feel more confident and sassy in times when we all need a little boost to our attitude and image.

Source by Sarah Hathorn

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