This week we’re ignoring the alpine snow and hopping on the spring-fling bandwagon! Fashion Week just took place in NYC, and all of our favorite fashion mags are predicting not another snowfall, but a great heap of patterns and patent leather shoes. Join us for a little spring break.JC: Fashion is not dressing like a snowplow and that is all I feel like I should be wearing nowadays. Just a big plow so I can get around. How unfashionable.
EP: I’m excited about patent leather shoes, from pumps with piping to flats with buckles on the toes. I feel that they are best worn in spring: they come in exaggerated versions of the colors of new blooms, fresh grass, and spring sky, and their shininess recalls joyful kiddie raincoats and boots. I hereby declare April “Patent Leather (and other assorted shiny materials) Month.”
KW: I do love patent leather, too. I just bought a pair of kitten heel mary janes in lovely, shiny black patent leather. I am also in love with the full-skirted dresses I’ve been seeing. Maybe this is because I have a secret desire to be a housewife in the ’50s, but whatever the cause, full skirts are just so feminine and flirty. They are also flattering on so many body types, giving a shape to boyish figures and disguising a larger bottom half. Furthermore, you can combine a full skirt with other trends, like florals and bright colors.
EP: Scour the stores for them, people, full skirts will be a spring must-have. They’re great for that transition time as well because they don’t look silly with boots, and look fabulous with belts, cardigans, or, hey, a belted cardigan. The point is that you can easily incorporate some heavy winter pieces with a full skirt, while still getting a springy effect.
AA: What I’m looking forward to are spring jackets. I don’t care how fashionable designers pretend their bulky winter coats are — I think they are the bane of fashion. But I love little spring coats: light trenches, blazers in pretty colors, or cool fabrics like brocade or denim that really brighten up an outfit, rather than drag it down into the ugly snowplow fashion rut that Jen mentioned.
EG: Agreed! I’m really looking forward to wearing light blazers and cardigans, too, especially since they are in so many beautiful colors for spring. The best color I’ve seen in a cardigan this year is papaya, a vibrant, almost salmon tone. One other thing I’m digging but not quite sure about: bright slacks. I’ve seen some hip chinos and capri pants in deep orange and yellow. Really, I’m all about the color, but not so sure about the pants.
EP: Orange is so huge this season. It might be safe to say it’s the new yellow, if we were in any way ready to give up that color! What’s fun is all the play between rich and muted tones that’s happening: dove gray is so wonderful, a great neutral with any bright, as are peachy tones, soft beiges, and the classic white. These neutrals can be as “bright” as more saturated tones, but are also very light and airy. Anyway: in spring, stay far, far away from dull browns, caramel colors and black (unless it’s in a great print). We are SO done with these colors.
KW: Speaking of prints, can we talk about how much I love florals? This spring florals are huge (both in size and trendiness) and extremely vibrant. Wearing such big flowers can seem a little daunting, but paired with something simple, a big print isn’t overwhelming. I like a floral top under a more subdued blazer or cardigan to bring the print into submission. These big, colorful florals aren’t as dainty as in seasons past and they make much more of a statement.
AA: Spring is certainly the time to experiment with prints of all kinds. Combining prints is something that I have thought of trying, but it’s a very slippery thing to try and combine prints in your outfits. When it’s done carefully it certainly can work. You could try working with patterned tights — they’re everywhere! — paired with either a printed skirt and solid top or vice-versa.
We might be stuck in the Arctic right now, but in a few months we’ll all be able to do some wardrobe spring-cleaning — and get some color back in our lives. For now, snowplow fashion will have to do!