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Spring Fashion – Su-Lauren E. Wilson

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Flowers are blooming, grass is greener and it raining quite a bit.  It must mean spring and with every new season comes all new fashions. Dust off those clothes racks and get out your Wellies. There’s cause to celebrate. Spring is here!

First things first, it’s a great time to start cleaning out that closet. Try on all your last years’ clothes. If it’s too tight, too dull, too cold weather or too unbearable, fold it up, box it up, and take it to your local charity clothes drop.  Want to try and make a little dough?  There are plenty of places around town that may buy or consign your good used clothing, but keep in mind they won’t want your cold weather stuff. If all else fails, try a garage sale or give it to someone to boost their garage sale. Either way someone wins and you can move on with your life.

Next, go shopping! The great thing about Spring trends are that they rarely change but are always updating in graphic prints, colors and styles. The usual peasant flower child look comes back around, as well as Indian tunics and Capri pants, glamorous gown-inspired dresses, jeweled sandals and bold black and whites. It’s also a great time for mixing prints in complementary color palettes or contrast. It’s all about getting ready for summer.

One of my favorite trends for spring is the mixing of prints and graphic designs in one outfit. You can wear a two-toned striped top (so Mediterranean) with a tulip-shaped skirt in a floral or graphic pattern.  As long as the color palettes are complementary, or exactly the opposite and contrasting, the outfit looks hip, young and effortlessly chic. If you are heavier on top, wear the smaller print there and if you are larger on bottom, put the smaller pattern there. You may not want to emphasize what your momma gave you, but if you do, go for it, by all means.

Another rule of thumb to remember is that generally prints look better mixed when the sizes of the prints are different. For example, if you are wearing a blouse with little flowers, you would want to pair that with a skirt that has larger graphic slashes on it. A similar all over pattern tends to wash out the wearer and makes one blend in a little too well with the wallpaper. This is not the goal at all when wearing patterns. Let the world see how fun you are.

A different and completely fun, versatile trend is the retro look that always comes back around. You can either be ‘60s hippie cool or strong ‘70s chic depending on your personality that day. Bold graphic prints, colors and dress cuts are all very ‘70s and all the rage as the weather warms. What to wear depends on you.

Long flowing tunics make great party dresses if embroidered with brightly colored thread or embellished with cabochons. A-line tunic dresses are great for both day (with a thin turtle neck or shell underneath and knee high boots) and hot for night (minus the under shirt and with platform heels on bare legs). If you’re uncertain about ‘70s style, Netflix a few ‘70s hits like Foxy Cleopatra, Live and Let Die or Klute. These will definitely get you on the right retro path.

With the weather changing, it is a great time to get outdoors and start that exercise regime. Don’t tell me you’re going to do power laps at Wilson Park wearing baggy sweatpants! A great way to showoff how your getting-in-shape body is changing and to motivate yourself to keep up the good work is to buy yourself a new coordinating workout outfit that’s a little more fitted.

If you have pounds to lose, it will certainly make you move more quickly on the track. If you are losing pounds, a more fitted workout outfit will boost your confidence by showing off your changing figure. After all that work, don’t you deserve it?

Inexpensive, cute workout clothing can be found everywhere these days, from big chain stores to independent sports outlets. Take the time to find clothing in bright colors with reflective strips on the back. Buy clothing with the technology to whisk the sweat away from your body or with zippers under the arms for ventilation.

A good pair of workout shoes completes the outfit, but make sure you buy the right kind. I’ve been guilty of buying the sleekest and most stylish sports shoes only to find out they aren’t appropriate for my sport. Ask a trained professional which shoe is best for you or pick up a copy of any athletic magazine. Spring always brings articles on starting workout programs.

But if you’re going to spend more time out with friends than on the track, buy yourself some of the hottest spring fashion items: Dresses and skirts—super long to super short—are all over the runways.

The babydoll, or empire waist dress, has made a huge comeback and the length is anywhere from barely there to ball gown train. It’s generally safe to say that super short or super long are not okay at work, but they definitely make you a hit after hours. Pair your dress with a wide belt, in either leather or chain, fitted along the empire waist and wow, what a looker!

While it is still chilly outside, it is perfectly okay to continue wearing your black or multi-hued tights, fishnets and patterned stockings until it is too warm. This is a great way to add a little coverage with those shorter skirts and dresses. Wear them with your platforms shoes or for a more dramatic look, wear them with your open-toed going-out heels. It’s very chic if the shoe is dramatic enough. But this is a definite no-no with more casual shoes such as straw espadrilles or sandals.

And on the subject of shoes, this year’s warm weather shoes are fantastic and fun. Wooden soled clogs and platforms, espadrilles, jeweled flat sandals, low slouchy boots, flat open toe skimmers—if it’s a style of shoe, it’s hot this season. The great news about the materials being used this spring and summer is that you can easily wear the shoes into the fall.

I would definitely invest in a cool, ‘70s style pair of wooden platforms with crisscross toe and ankle straps. Buy them in a fun ultra suede that you can wear year round and in a funky color so if you’re stuck wearing dull on top, you can still rock bright jewel tone purple or emerald on bottom.

And get yourself some pretty, work appropriate sandals too. These are great to wear on a day when you know you’ll be meeting friends for patio time on Dickson Street after work. Work chic and nighttime cool!

While you’re out buying shoes, you’ll want to be buying new accessories, too. Candy-colored jewelry, either in plastic or painted on wood or other material adds a fun twinkle to your outfit. Add in chunky stones set in heavy, unpolished silver or gold, as well as tons of metal bangle bracelets and big hoop earrings.

Where last year was all gold, silver is the hot metal this season. You can also mix metals for a very bohemian look or keep it streamlined and simple. Any way you slice it, you’ll definitely want to add tons of accessories to every outfit, just keep the combinations similar to the outfit.

Big bracelets go well with more streamlined looks and thin, piled on bangles go well with more embellished looks. But don’t take my word for it. It’s always better when you look like you would actually dress and not straight out of a fashion magazine.

Other than that, just have fun. Dressing up or dressing day-to-day can be an exercise in self-appreciation. If you invest the time daily to plan your clothing, you are also taking the time, daily, to invest in yourself. Wearing a new outfit can boost your self-esteem immeasurably, so why only save it for special occasions?

Spending time in your closet might seem indulgent when life is going on outside, so don’t set up camp there, but do understand that looking good on the outside boosts your self-confidence. Looking good should not be saved only for those days when you feel like treating yourself or for special occasions. Make it a habit.

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