Spring Fashion | Style, March 2012

Written by on March 1, 2012 in From this Issue | March 2012, Style - No comments

Season’s Best

Spring welcomes a wide range of fashion trends

Click here to read in the zMagGood news for those with wide-ranging fashion tastes. Spring’s key trends can be summed up in one word: diversity.

“We’re seeing a huge amount of diversity in colors, silhouettes and patterns,” says Gregg Andrews, a fashion director for Nordstrom. “It’s an opportunity for women to dress in a way that features every aspect of their personal style.”

Here’s a rundown of the season’s top looks, which offer many ways to experiment with color or find a brand-new style to add to your repertoire.

Get in shape


INC International Concepts dress available at Macy's.

Spring has two main silhouettes.

“One is very soft and feminine with draping, pleating, ruffles and soft detailing,” says Nicole Fischelis, a Macy’s fashion expert.

Minimalism, featuring clean lines, is growing in popularity as well, Andrews predicts.

“There’s an absence of ornamentation and embellishment,” he explains. Look for pieces with ruched hemlines or asymmetrical details. Often these pieces are layered with one another.

Color club
Spring’s blossoming color palettes have something for everyone.

Fischelis says one key combination is black and white accented with a bold primary color.

As far as brights go, Andrews names sunny yellow and citrus orange as key colors, as well as just about any shade of pink.

Spring typically means pastels, and this year is no exception. But pastels have become more faded as if they’ve been left out in the sun for a while, Andrews says.

Another prominent color palette is what he calls “desert neutrals” –– shades of terra cotta and beige.

Block party
A huge trend this season –– and an easy way to wear those bright colors –– is colorblocking.

“Colorblocking is a great way to take very simple, somewhat basic pieces and make a big statement,” Andrews says. “One of the most modern ways is to take a bright, saturated color and pair it with a warm neutral.”

Or you can pair high-contrasting bright colors together. If you want more than two colors, use a neutral for your third color or use it sparingly, in the form of a bag, shoe or belt.

“It’s about mixing a warm shade with a cool shade,” Andrews says. For example, pair a cobalt blue with kelly green, or a deep pink with a bright yellow.

An important piece in this trend is a colored pant or skirt.

“Black pants and a hot pink blouse won’t really do it unless you have a contrasting shoe or belt,” Andrews says. For this combination, a yellow handbag or belt would work well, as would a cobalt shoe.

Up-to-date denim
Colored denim is the latest take on this wardrobe staple. Look for denim in just about every color, from sapphire blue to plum and soft lavender to pale yellow.

Andrews admits that not everyone will feel comfortable in a pair of bright jeans. But when you pair them with a neutral top, the trend might be more digestible.

“A bright pair of jeans with a neutral-colored boxy knit sweater is a great way to transition into spring,” he says. “It’s an easy way to update your wardrobe.”

Skirting the issue


Kate Spade Aubrey dress from Nordstrom.

Dress up with soft, full skirts in lengths from the bottom of the thigh to mid-calf to even maxi skirts.

“They look their best when worn casually,” Andrews says of maxi skirts. “Pair them with a great, simple flat sandal. That’s when they look their most chic.”

Prints charming
Fischelis calls it a “print explosion,” and it’s an appropriate term for one of spring’s top trends. Prints are everywhere, and they’re an easy way to make your wardrobe current for spring.

You’ll see flowers of every shape and size, but most are what Andrews calls “botanical florals.” Geometric prints; birds; horizontal stripes, including both nautical and those that look more like brush strokes; small retro prints, from polka dots to small art deco-inspired shapes; and bold, oversized prints that are a modern interpretation of motifs from African and Native American cultures are ubiquitous.

“The great thing about prints is how they take a very familiar item that you know and make it look new,” Andrews says.

Tops and dresses will be the easiest way to wear prints, Andrews notes, but if you really want to make a statement, try a printed bottom.

Extras, extras


Alfani bracelet and necklace from Macy's.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that wedge sandals continue to be a hot style in the world of shoes.

“They allow a woman to get height but more comfort and more stability,” Andrews explains. “It’s a great way to add contrast. The upper might be one color, the wedge itself might be another.”

Other styles to look for include shoes with prints and patterns, minimalistic sandals (for example, those with a wide band around the foot and a band around the ankle), embellished flats, and boat shoes styled in an unexpected way, like with sequins or prints.

The colorblocking trend continues in handbags. Look for colorblocked bags in neutrals or brights. Other popular styles include satchels, tote bags and doctor-style bags.

“We’re not seeing a lot of superfluous embellishment,” Andrews points out. “It’s more about function and cleaner shapes overall.”


Helen Back oversized square polarized sunglasses from eyebobs.com.

You’ll find lots of ethnic-inspired jewelry that mixes different textures, like wood combined with bone or stone. Cuff bracelets are huge, Fischelis says, as are bangles worn in multiples. Oversized earrings help draw attention to the face, and large watches continue to be a popular accessory.

Just remember to pick one statement piece, and let the rest of your jewelry play a supporting role.

When it comes to sunglasses, look for modern interpretations of cat’s-eye styles, Wayfarers and aviators, like those with plastic frames.

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