Wanna chase away those snowy blues? Think ahead to spring fashion’s hot trends and warm up! Nautical-inspired shirts with stripes and sailor shorts have sailed back in for spring. Along with the striping sensation, we’re seeing a ‘70s flashback with high-waisted bottoms. And pulling from the ‘80s, crop tops are back in style. The fusion of the two eras brings two trendy styles together for one complete retro-chic look. Learn how to wear all these tricky trends, plus get advice on how to wear winter shorts and sheer lace tops. Three stylists share their fashion tips on how to look fabulous in five of the latest and trickiest trends.
In Short Supply: Tips on wearing shorts before spring
Balmain Spring 2011 RTW, Paris Fashion Week
Can’t wait for spring to wear shorts? Not a problem. With winter’s latest fashion trend in tights, you can wear your shorts year-round. Wemi Opakunle, resident stylist of boutique Rue de Chic, says, “The past seasons have been very kind to women looking to transition their summer items into fall and winter looks. The magic piece that can help you achieve a flawless transition is a pair of tights.
“Opaque, textured and colored tights allow you to wear shorts or mini-skirts in the winter without looking completely crazy and out of place. The beauty of black opaque tights is that they're quite slimming, you can wear them with simple black shorts or your favorite cut-offs from the summer, layer a simple blouse or a stretch poplin shirt with a school boy blazer and you have a super chic look.”
The look put together by Saks Fifth Avenue combines geometric pumps and opaque black tights with a bloomer-inspired pair of shorts. Stylist Noelle Cellini says, “Since winter shorts alter the proportion and play with the line of the leg, it’s best to keep everything the same color and help make your legs look longer,” since a longer leg line can make you look taller.
If you want to make a bold statement, try wearing a pair of over-the-knee socks with a velvet, suede or wool pair of shorts.
Striping the Way: Tips for wearing stripes
Aquilano e Rimondi Spring 2011 RTW, New York Fashion Week:
From Versace’s ready-to-wear collection filled with vertically striped dresses to Aquilano e Rimondi’s horizontally striped tops paired with patterned skirts, fashion week in Milan and New York was brimming with designers hooked on stripes for spring.
“Stripes are back and bolder than ever!” says Colin T. McDonald, celebrity/fashion stylist and commentator. “If you’re concerned about how they might look on you, don’t fret because various horizontal stripes can work to balance out your body with a little color blocking. When it comes to color combination, black and white are all the rage and making a bold statement for 2011.”
ModCloth’s Stripe for the Picking dress uses color blocking to bring in the sides and give shape to the body. Who knew stripes could be so slimming? McDonald says, “The key to wearing stripes is to always combine striped and solid pieces.”
You can create a trendy look by pairing a striped top with a solid-colored, high-waisted bottom like what’s done with the tee from Urban Outfitters. Another option would be to wear a low-rise jean and pull a mid-length jacket or cardigan over the tee.
Noelle Cellini, owner and personal stylist of My Best Foot Forward, gives one last bit of advice: “If you’re hesitant about wearing stripes, try a bag, a scarf or a striped flat.”
Cropped Up: Tips to wear crop tops
Giorgio Armani Spring 2011 RTW, Milan Fashion Week:
The comeback of the crop top doesn’t mean bare midriffs are back in. Practicing some simple styling tips will help keep crop tops tasteful as well as trendy. The goal of this look is not to bare it all but rather to give only a hint of skin, which stylist Opakunle says is always sexier anyway.
Wearing a crop top doesn’t have to be tricky. The trick is to combine a couple of spring trends to successfully pull off this look and make it work.
“Last summer ushered in the ‘80s with the emergence of crop tops, neon colors, bowling hats, ripped jeans, etc. This upcoming season, we’re going one decade back and taking inspiration from the ‘70s,” Opakunle says. “Pairing a crop top with high-waisted jeans allows you to merge the free spirit of the eras they came from while remaining tasteful.”
A quick note on color: Giorgio Armani made waves on the runway with his entire Spring 2011 RTW collection in shades of dark blue. If you don’t want to try on the crop top trend, try something else like a top or bottom, or even a bag, in a shade of beautiful blue.
On the High Rise: Tips on wearing high-waisted bottoms
Fendi Spring 2011 RTW, New York Fashion Week
“Get ready for a ton of high-waisted and wide leg looks,” Opakunle says. “One major pro to this trend is that pants cut this way can actually make you look tall and lean and frankly, who doesn’t want that? The con is that it is all about cut and fit. These pants are like couture—if it doesn’t fit perfectly, it’s a disaster.”
On What Not to Wear, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly do what they can to get women out of “mom jeans,” jeans that are high-waisted, shapeless and, all around, unflattering to any self-respecting woman’s lower half. The problem with the jeans is not the rise of the waistband but the overall fit. Or in the case of a “mom jean,” misfit.
Designers and stylists can’t emphasize this point enough. Fashion stylist Colin T. McDonald says, “Fit is key to this look and keeping that hour-glass figure is the name of the game. When wearing anything high-waisted, be sure to keep everything tucked and fitted. Adding a belt gives a more cinched look for those with a bit of a tummy. Heels are a must if you’re on the shorter side. Some of my favorite looks are a pair of high-waisted jeans and a v-neck tee or high-waisted skirt and a classic button-down.”
Bare-Lace: Tips to wear sheer tops
Alberta Ferretti Spring 2011 RTW, New York Fashion Week:
“To be seen in sheer this spring is a must!” McDonald says. “It’s a look that can be worn both on and off campus. They key to this look is layering, and the trick is to cover up without covering everything.” McDonald suggested wearing a jean jacket or boyfriend blazer over a sheer top or a stylish bra or cami under. An added suggestion was to layer your sheer tops to give a look that is flirty, feminine and fun.
The lacy, sheer look is a lot like wearing a crop top—you get to decide how much you want to show by how you style your outfit. If you want a sexy look for going out on the weekend, you might choose a top like the one from Urban Outfitters that has a sheer lace inset down the middle, and you can always cover up a little by layering the tee with a nude-colored cami underneath. This is definitely one of those tops that says, “I look great, and I just threw this on.”
If you want to wear a top that is all-over lace or sheer, Wemi Opakunle says to start with a stylish bra and throw on a chic boyfriend blazer. “This adds an air of mystery to your outfits,” she said. “There’s skin showing but not quite. Plus, the blazer trick allows you to transition easily from a day to nighttime look.”
Now think Spring!
Noelle Cellini, owner and personal stylist of My Best Foot Forward, located in Chicago
Colin T. McDonald, celebrity/fashion stylist and commentator
Wemi Opakunle, designer, stylist and wardrobe consultant