Spring-song: Style to sing about (1987 article ‘Fashion-essense’ for a local paper)

Spring colours

What is new for spring?

Spring style is warm and beautiful. It is reminiscent of green earth and the sweet, mossy fragrance of a spring shower; vivid golds, corals, peaches and pinks trace a fashion rainbow for our wardrobes this year. Electric blue and warm red are also making a statement, with white accents to introduce us to summer.

Colour is everywhere this season. The makeup trend is showing more pinks and corals, and fashion is following suit. But don’t let your imagination stop there: simply keep warm tones together and cool tones together and use vivid colours to your heart’s content. Of course, natural earthy tones, mustard yellows, deep greens and leathery browns are still – and will – always be with us.

So don’t change your wardrobe for the season; build on it. Basic black, navy blue and white are obvious choices for almost every season, but the fabrics change: cotton sweaters and linen-blend jackets, for example, will replace wool as spring begins to replace winter.

Spring fabrics

Fabric trends come and go, as do colour and style, but obvious fabrics such as cotton, wool, crepes, linens, silks and rayons (better than ever) are primary basics – build your wardrobe on them.

Then add the fashion extras. Chiffon is back: sheer and sensual. If you aren’t comfortable in wearing chiffon anywhere else on your body, where it around your neck, or drape it over your shoulder with a scarf or a tie. Gently draped and lovely, sheers wonderfully coordinate with soft-suits and cotton knits.

Stripes are big in spring as well: narrow vertical striped pants topped by wide, horizontal stripes in your blouse look great; finish it off with a solid-colour jacket. Polka dots, nautical motifs, animal prints and Aztec prints are all strong in both accessories and fashion for spring tastes, as are subtle plaids with softer colours and less defined shoulders.

Spring shapes

Shoulder-pads may have moved out in the ‘90s, but only the drastic high, squared look. A modest pad accents most body types, and spring has left them in her styles, anyway.

Big, pleated dress pants with narrow cuffs topped by cozy cardigans, snug and fitted knits, shirt-waist dresses, and culottes are all exciting this season. And the walking short is back, pleated and professional: complete the look with a striped blouse and a solid-colour jacket.

Skirt lengths have moved up higher: two inches above the knee to just below the knee is discreet, about the same height as tailored walking shorts. The long swooshy, pleated skirts in soft rayons, silks or poly’s are also perfect spring attire.

In accessories, long strands of beads, woven straw accents, large (not too dangly) earrings and wide leather belts in every colour are easy to find. Hats, wide-brimmed to narrow are still waiting to be worn, and especially straw for spring; a narrow brim is less auspicious for the hat conscious.

Sling-back shoes with a ‘60s simplicity are with us again, and for the record, walking shoes are replacing running/jogging shoes for those of us who need comfortable walk-wear with our office clothing.

Spring denim

Don’t forget denim, though: simple cotton shirts (the wider the sleeves, the better) work with a leather belt and your favourite blue jeans.

Try a string of rhinestones around your collar and pass on the earrings. Denim and lace are a carry-over from the past two seasons and are still a favourite.

One last hint… every wardrobe should have at least one plain black knee-length skirt, and the LBD (little black dress). The LBD is dressed up with accessories (two golden bracelets, delicate chain necklaces, big earrings, maybe a scarf…) and dressed down (belted, bright coloured brooch…) for a casual look. This works for a look that you want in every season.

Spring YOU

Just remember to suit your style and personality, be as daring as you can with the season’s best, and have FUN accessorizing and accenting your wardrobe!

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