Guest Columns

Spring Fashion 2012

GUEST COLUMNIST

I wish I could announce that Spring fashions are radically different from anything we’ve seen on the runway or in stores. Alas, what we are getting is basically more of last year. The good news is we can still wear what we purchased last Spring and enjoy a nice financial savings. For those of us who are yearning for fresh new styles, well we are just going to have to wait until designers get more creative.
Here are ten top trends Style Matters has picked for you, stylish reader, ones well suited for Colorado tastes.

1. Color — The stores are overflowing with bright, almost garish colors, especially corals and royal blues. As one who is more comfortable in muted shades, I plan to take a pass on this trend. I might invest in a tank top layering piece or a light-weight sweater in a bright color and leave it at that.

SM Tip: The new huge Forever 21 at Park Meadows is loaded with cheap, trendy colorful clothing; definitely worth a visit.

2. Skinny jeans — Not going away yet, although I see some of you hopeful in bell bottoms, don’t push it; skinny jeans are still all the rage. Where you can update is to buy colorful skinny jeans in shades of red, royal blue, green or yellow. If you are going in this direction, wear long tunic style tops in basic colors such as black and white with matching sandals. The point is to downplay as much of the colored jean as possible!

SM Tip: Find a large well-priced selection of colored jeans at Forever 21, H&M, The Rack and Express.


3. Summer dresses — Dresses take the brain damage out of deciding what to wear and how to match tops and bottoms. Buy solid color shifts that you can easily accessorize or the newer color block dresses.

SM Tip: Dress up or dress down a dress through the use of accessories. To upgrade casual dresses, wear dressy strappy sandals in metallics, a clutch handbag and sparkly earrings. To “casualize” a dress, wear flat sandals, white or denim jean jacket and an oversized handbag.

4. Tops — Big blouson tops are designed to wear with skinny jeans, jeggings and leggings for balance and symmetry. This year’s tops are over-the-top with large colorful florals printed on transparent gauzy fabrics. Most have simply too much pattern. Instead, opt for loose knitted, oversized sweaters worn over tank tops. You can find these tops at all price ranges.

5. The Gap — One of the challenges of summer dressing is the gap — not the chain store, but the space between the end of the top and the beginning of the jean. SM has a solution. Many stores such as Arden B and Dillard’s (ask for the Belldini brand or go to Belldini.com) carry extra long tank tops that can stretch almost to mid thigh. Wear these under everything and you will never suffer from embarrassing gap again. An added bonus: they have Lycra that helps hold in the tummy.

6. Leggings — A lot of women have yet to warm up to this trend. It’s time to give them a try. Leggings slim down the leg and give some added warmth on those cool spring evenings. Wear them with tunics and dresses. They convey a kind of hipness you just might like.

SM Tip: Don’t invest a huge sum. I like the leggings at TJ Maxx for under $10.


7. Handbags — Handbags have moved right to the forefront of spring trends. They are covered in wild patterns and bright colors. These add a burst of fun to solid-color outfits. Check out the new handbag department at Dillard’s. It’s loaded with colorful bags.

SM Tip: Best places to buy designer handbags at low prices: Nordstrom Rack, the TJ Maxx at Orchard and University, Broadway Shoes and DSW.



8. Shoes — The trend is still high-heeled platform sandals. Sales staff try their best to convince customers that the shoe doesn’t “feel” as high as it looks because of the platform. Right. Instead try colorful wedges as a way of staying on trend. Coming soon... slingback low-heeled pumps worn with skinny jeans and capris. Kitten heels are predicted to follow.

SM Tip: It is no coincidence that since the advent of the 6-inch high heel, manufacturers are also producing designer sneakers. Ahh, comfy. Look for cute sneakers from Ugg, DKNY, Coach and more. Also check out the adorable flats from Toms. For every shoe you buy, Tom gives a free pair to an African child.

9. Accessories — Chunky cuffs and oversized earrings, rings and necklaces are still very popular.

SM Tip: Don’t wear them all at one time. Choose one item and make that your statement.



10. Still hanging around — Stripes, animal prints, narrow belts, sequins and long asymmetrical sweaters are still in. Hold onto them for another season.

SM Tip: Don’t let me catch you rockin’ sequin shorts or any kind of short-shorts. I know the stores are showing them, but guess what’s going to be hanging on the sales rack at the end of the season.


Judie Schwartz, whose Style Matters columns appear in The Colorado Statesman, is the co-author of two best-selling books on the best places to shop in Colorado. Called “A Fashion-Lover’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Denver and Beyond,” the books are available at stylematters.us. Schwartz presents image seminars to corporations on the importance of a business casual wardrobe and entertains conventioneers with talks on how to look great on a budget. She is also a wardrobe consultant. Schwartz has one husband, three children, no pets and small closets. She can be reached at stylematters@coloradostatesman.com
or www.stylematters.us