Spring Trends and Wacky Weather

Waiting for your summer romance to sweep you off your feet? Maybe this season’s romantic styles will instead. This summer’s feature trends are lace, ruffles and off-the-shoulder tops, i.e. the perfect recipe for a date night. The bipolar weather lately also means it’s the best time for layering, so grab your fave spring jacket and let’s get shopping!

Lace is easy to tackle because you can dress it up or dress it down, and it works with almost every item from dresses to tops to accessories. I’m also a big fan of “twosies,” outfits made from two separate items matching in structure or print. That’s why Abercrombie’s lace crop cami and matching lace shorts are on my wish list. The lace pencil skirt is another versatile piece that can look classy or flirty depending on how you style it. A nice blouse or sweater will give a dressier feel while a crop top or gray v-neck tee will dress it down for lunch in the city or a dinner date. Of course, you can always take the easy route and opt for a pastel or white lace dress and wedges for a timeless summer look. Believe it or not, lace was also one of the recurring trends for men’s fashion on the runway this season. Dare to make it your own?

For ruffles less is more, but a few accents can really dress up an outfit. A ruffled top or blouse, though typically formal, creates a happy medium with light wash skinny jeans and a sleeveless trench coat. Ruffles layer nicely with jackets, cardigans and vests that can be worn open, like a blazer or leather coat. To avoid looking like a 5-year-old at a princess birthday party, pick larger, structured ruffles and make it the statement piece of your outfit. Typically a blouse has ruffle extending from the collar down the middle, but a more unique look might feature ruffles on the sleeves, around the hem of the skirt or on a tiered top.

It’s time to give your sweaters the cold shoulder, because the hottest trend right now is bare shoulders. Whether it be a cutout detail or completely off-the-shoulder style, you can keep cool and look cute at the same time. I can’t think of a store that doesn’t sell this style right now, and it works with almost anything. I especially love cold shoulder tops with maxi skirts or ankle pants to show a little more on top and a little less on the bottom.

One of my personal summer faves is the deconstructed button down. Maybe I’m the only one who admittedly loves oxford shirts, but many designers have reinvented the button down’s summer role. Cropped, sleeveless, ruffled, twisted hem, tie-neck… what can’t you do? All of these and the shirtdress are easy breezy ways to keep your button downs in your closet all summer long. Looking for inspiration? Try Zara’s frilled poplin shirt or Topshop’s Short Sleeve Ruffle Short.

Men’s fashion is always a little crazier on the runway and this season was littered with bold patterns head-to-toe, jumpsuits (overalls), bowling shirts, and short shorts. What to make of this mess? Bold patterns are in, especially Eastern themes, but pick one pattern as a focal point for a shirt and match it will solid colored bottoms and accessories. Do try out some funky, spring patterns though. Florals are not just for girls. From skirts to pajamas to short shorts, bottoms were a little all over. If you’re not feeling as adventurous, try a relaxed fit jean, the more distressed the better. But hey, I’m all for personal style and pushing boundaries, don’t be afraid to embrace the wilder side of the runway! Maybe it’s about time.

In the meantime, while we dream of beaches and flip-flops but the weather still demands we keep warm, that doesn’t mean we can’t dabble into our spring wardrobes a little. Your best friends right now are jackets. I’m still pulling out my winter coat for the occasionally freak flurry, but when the sun gets a little brighter our jackets will get a little lighter.

Trench coats are both a never-go-out-of-style staple and the love of my life. I love the contrast sleeve look for girls. I tend to stick to tan or camel but an x-long medium gray duster is currently on my want list. For men, gray was the runway ‘it’ color this spring and single-breasted rain coats were aplenty. Suede is still in from the lingering 70’s revival so guys can also try a suede zip up or, for super casual rainy days, the Anorak is back.

Underneath that, a light sweater layered over a bright or pastel colored button down is a great look for either gender. This is your opportunity to slip into some gingham – my to-die-for pattern. I recently purchased a light gray sweater and pink gingham shirt by Tommy Hilfiger from Macy’s for $30 each. You might not think of dresses as layering items but I swear they work too! A sleeveless dress or jumper look cute paired with a tie-front blouse, turtleneck or simple tee. Don’t forget tights, too!