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Colorful fashions ready now to carry wearer into spring

Friday, February 22, 2013
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Fashion


The trends here include bold color mix, leather detail, skater skirt. Pictured here: Aqua Milly leather collar sweater ($325); MISS WU "Lush" striped silk skirt ($275); Vince "Celeste" pumps and bangles by Alexis Bittar and Sequin. All clothing courtesy of Nordstrom.
The trends here include bold color mix, leather detail, skater skirt. Pictured here: Aqua Milly leather collar sweater ($325); MISS WU "Lush" striped silk skirt ($275); Vince "Celeste" pumps and bangles by Alexis Bittar and Sequin. All clothing courtesy of Nordstrom.

— It has been cold lately, but soon enough the weather will warm and you’ll want a pop of spring to relieve the weariness of your wintery black wardrobe.

But which of the many spring trends — cropped jackets, graphic black and white, vibrant color mixes and global print-a-paloozas — do you choose to get you through the winter blues?

“Spring ’13 trends offer something for everyone,” said David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group, a New York-based retail and fashion consultant.

“There are a great many directions happening all at once with each designer/label offering looks that are true to themselves. Colorful and optimistic sums it all up, very possibly a reaction to a world fraught with problems and disasters. Fashion is acting as an escape mechanism.”

And gone are the days when you saw something on a runway in October and waited half a year for the trend to hit your mall. With the Internet — and the thousands of fashion bloggers and self-appointed stylists it has spawned — couture trends translate much faster into retail reality than they used to, Wolfe said.

Almost instant

Such “fast fashion” means antsy fashionistas like me can get a spring-look fix well before winter is over.

“There used to be a real ‘ripple-out’ timetable that said, ‘Paris now, Peoria in 18 months,’ ” Wolfe said. “That is no longer the case. For those who care about fashion, it is almost instant.”

And that ability to satisfy a fashion fan’s desire for the new hasn’t just made trends more accessible, it has made them easier to afford.

Wolfe points to the spring 2013 runways. They were full of black and white — which Wolfe deems “hardly a revolutionary idea” — and nearly immediately, fast-fashion retailer H&M is pushing black-and-white outfits. The Swedish retailer is selling a black-and-white-striped sheer blouse for $25 that looks like something off the Marc Jacobs spring runway.

But what to choose for your escape from now until actual spring without looking like you’re blindly following trends? After all, what works on the runways doesn’t work for your life.

“If you like a trend, you should try it,” said Sarah Bennett, personal stylist manager at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. “Every trend is wearable; the key is tailoring it to your own personal style. Color is everywhere for spring. If you’re not ready for head-to-toe color, try starting small with a colored shoe or handbag.”

Dizzying array

But the array of trends is dizzying. From the boxy silhouettes of Chanel’s sweet suits, Derek Lam’s saturated featherweight leather, Peter Pilotto’s hypnotic exotic prints, Chloe’s blinding white ensembles, Gucci’s giant undulating ruffles or Michael Kors’ blue-green color mix — what’s a girl on a limited budget to do?

“With so many trends happening simultaneously, a smart shopper takes the time to familiarize herself with the options and to only adapt/assimilate those that truly suit her real lifestyle and budget. Forget Kim Kardashian and all those starlets on the red carpet,” Wolfe advised.

His easy solution is to choose something that looks like your style, but in spring’s favorite new colors.

“Color, color, color! But not any one specific color,” he said. “There will be brights, pastels, black-and-white and neutrals, too. ‘Proven newness’ is an important consideration. That means choosing something familiar [a garment or an accessory] that is in a new color or new material. It’s safe, but sort of exciting.”

Costa Mesa, Calif.-based fashion blogger Beth Jones of B. Jones Style agrees.

“Bold color is still in. Purchase one statement item in a bold color and pop it in your winter wardrobe, but get ready to wear it when spring comes around,” she said.

Self-expression

Choosing a trend that makes you feel like the ultimate version of yourself is the best way to introduce newness into your wardrobe.

“Fashion is a form of self-expression,” Nordstrom’s Bennett said. “It’s a way to tell the world who we are and who we aspire to be without saying anything. If we didn’t have fashion, we’d all be dressed the same; part of our identity would be erased.”

 
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