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Spring fashion trends brighten the season

  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Published Monday, April 22, 2013, at 5:39 a.m.

It’s time to stock up on spring trends and get excited that one day soon we won’t have four layers of winter clothing between our skin and the sun. And we’re very, very lucky that our spring shopping list has a host of items worth waiting for.

Global prints

Whether you choose to wear prints from the Middle East or the American Southwest, global flair is a must, and mixing is strongly encouraged. The print-averse may only feel comfortable with accessories – bangles and handbags are plentiful. But color-lovers will revel in lower-priced designer lines like the Duro Olowu’s global collection of bold patterns at J.C. Penney or Derek Lam’s Brazilian-influenced line at Kohl’s. And anyone looking to invest in higher-priced statement pieces will seek looks from Marc by Marc Jacobs’ spring collection of intricate pattern-blocking that is vaguely tribal and wholly intriguing. Even J. Crew has jackets that seem inspired by Aztec prints, and the all-American Gap has cardigans that allude to Guatemalan ikat.

Solid brights

Embracing the true spirit of spring, bright accessories are popping up like garden flowers after a long, frosty winter. Look for golden yellow watches, tangerine sneakers, cobalt blue patent leather sandals or orange leather clutches to strike the proper mood. Choose them as a great dynamic complement to jeans and a T-shirt, a smile-worthy flash to basic black or a more-is-more pairing with the season’s look-at-me prints. And don’t forget about your nails. Gray remains a popular formal hue, but melons, mangos and magentas are a great way to lighten up your everyday.

Different denims

Global prints and graphic patterns aren’t just for dresses. If you’re buying a new pair of jeans this season, take advantage of the print variety. The skinny versions of tribal prints or abstract florals are the season’s best wardrobe refresher. Paired with a plain slim-fitting tunic or a blazer and tank top, printed jeans are a casual way to be playful but covered. For spring there’s a host of lightweight denim options that pair well with sandals and will have you skipping out the door.

Black and white

Fashion’s go-to hue is bigger and bolder than ever. Thanks to some spring runway shows that featured larger graphic and mod versions of the two colors, there will be little room for gray. From Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs to Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana, black and white was rendered in bold strokes from the expected stripes to exaggerated checks. Whether you’re looking for waves or chevrons, polka dots or giant paisley, you’ll enjoy how designers play with maximalism in the minimalist combo.

Ankle pants

Not cropped or cuffed but slim ankle-grazing pants are must-haves this season. Why aren’t they cropped? This is a little subjective, but there’s a look that elongates the leg and a look that chops you off around the calf. It has a lot to do with how smoothly the pants taper, and a few extra inches of fabric make a world of style difference. The pants can be low-waisted and hip hugging or have a high paper-bag waist and breathing room, but a stiff boxy cut will look dated.

Floral blazer

What better way to welcome spring than wrapped in a field of flowers? Choose a print on a soft white base or something more vibrant like pink, green or yellow. There are muted versions for those who prefer that their clothes speak softly, but don’t miss out on adding one of these to your wardrobe staples to jazz up a ho-hum sheath or rock out denim and a collared shirt. Two-piece floral suits won’t be too hard to find, but only the fashion daredevils need apply. The bomber jacket is also having a moment if you’d prefer a seasonal layer that’s solid and tame, but it’s not nearly as versatile, and it’s certainly not as fun.

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