After the blur of crazy weather we’ve dealt with so far this winter, spring can’t come fast enough. Just the thought of losing all those layers of bulky sweaters, scarves, and coats and swapping them for bright colors, lighter materials, and styles that are less utilitarian and more celebratory makes me giddy. And especially when I think about all the fun, warm weather trends that are in front of us right now. Here’s a list of the highlights among them, from details and designs to colors and accessories—all of them something to start shopping for now, and to start wearing before we know it.
Sequins, feathers, and fringe:
Sparkle was unavoidable on the runways for this spring thanks to a deluge of sequins, from Tom Ford’s collections to Dior and Chanel. Marc Jacobs designed them into tops and Gucci sewed them into silk dresses, on whimsical green and blazers, and Elvis-like jackets. There was also Versace’s over-the-top sexy gowns for evening. But to make yours work off the runway, pair your sequined top or jacket with structured casual pants like denim (of any color). Or throw on some shoes that up the glam factor similarly—like stilettos from Victoria Beckham and Tom Ford.
The same strategy could be said for those other two embellishments that are equally hot right now, feathers and fringe. In their shows, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent sent out entire dress hems with substantial plumage all around, as did Maison Margiela and Celine. Meanwhile, Rihanna gave the widespread fringe trend an early stamp of approval when she rocked Saint Laurent’s dramatic boots teeming with the stuff. But I also love the detail when it’s done in a low-key, everyday way—like Loewe did it, on a long and asymmetrical, soft T shirt dress in beaded fringe, sporting the brand’s name in scrolled lettering. It could be worn on its own to the cafe on sunny days, over leggings, or when it gets really warm, to the beach or pool as a cover-up.
Every year it seems like the fashion world urges us to get a new trench coat, but most designs seem pretty similar to those that came before it. This year the classic, belted silhouette also endures, but the switch-up is in the new pastel colors. Check out the offerings in soft hues like periwinkle ($228 at bananarepublic.com), dusty pink ($87 at asos.us.com), and light rose (Ted Baker’s for $347 at bloomingdales.com). The pop of that unexpected and eye-catching pop of color brightens up any outfit underneath it, and revs up the trench tradition.
Hybrid straw bags and statement straw hats:
Accessories are taking a detour with the warmer season in mind, most notably with the entrance of oversized and adorned floppy straw hats. Clearly a go-to grab mostly on weekends and vacations, this year it’s a little more sophisticated, thanks to bow-topped versions at shows like Jacquemus and Delpozo, so you can feel confident grabbing one on your way out to lunch, too. If those big statements (with equally big pricetags) just aren’t yours thing, you can score midsize versions for far less in beige, white, or black at H & M ($14.99). Straw bags, too, are almost always a natural fit with almost any spring ensemble, and that’s still true this season. But now we’re also seeing them evolve, on satchels that mix both straw and plastic, and straw and leather. The result is a more structured version that can (and be put down) nearly anywhere—like the Nikole Tote ($79.99 at sole society.com).
Whether it’s a few slices of sheerness in a royal blue sequined dress at Christian Dior, sheer trenches from MaxMara, or barely opaque pencil skirts from Victoria Beckham, clear was the way to go in this season’s runway shows. (A favorite: Prabal Gurung’s clever frock—demure in every way—its dusty pink hue, it’s puffy sleeves, crewneck, and midi length—except, of course, for its sheerness.) Now you’ll find it off of runways, and while it’s not the easiest trend to wear for work or class, it can be done with just a little bit of strategy. For example, the long-sleeved, turtleneck mesh blouse by Xhileration ($19.99 at target.com) over a camisole strikes the right balance of covered and uncovered.
Lavender and big brights:
Color always take a new turn in spring, so I’m happy to welcome lavender to the top of the list. The popularity of ‘millennial pink’—that hue that seems to have been everywhere in fashion and home decor these last few seasons—is still sticking around, but its next of kin sure seems to be the whisper-soft purple found at Victoria Beckham and Michael Kors Collection. It’s such an undeniably happy, pretty color, whether it’s in a satin slip dress for a dinner date or to a meeting in Living Breeze Lavender Sweater ($39 at modcloth.com).
In contrast to that, bold bright colors are still going strong, too; at the shows, Stella McCartney’s electric red gown with huge ruffled necklines was impossible to forget. And it’s easy to replicate that kind of excitement yourself with Trina Turk’s V-neck Ponte Bell-Sleeve Dress ($298 at neimanmarcus.com).
Tory Burch did it in dresses like her flowing green, white and pink scarf dress, as did Peter Pilotto in silken green and pink separates, and Dolce & Gabbana in curve-hugging midi dresses. More wallet-friendly is Leith’s Rucked Body-Con Dress ($56 at nordstrom.com), which is especially in fetching in Coral Cedar and perfect once the temperature rises, thanks to its tank sleeves and light cotton blend. Using the classic gathering technique in all the right places can do wonders to flatter and is frankly a lot more comfy than all those zippers and buttons can be. And if comfort is also a part of this spring’s best trends, I say bring it all on.