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The Pulse Guide to Spring Style
By Sasha Fastovskiy
Your stylist has warned you about it. You’ve even tried to outsmart it by attempting summer’s “breezy” in winter’s “below freezing” (and ended up with pneumonia and snow in April; how about that?). But there you are, feeling panicked about patterns, woozy from too much wool and sick to of skinny jeans. You’re almost DOA from a dark-color-overload. You even know the diagnoses; it’s a case of spring fever ~ gone fashion. Typically characterized by excessive dependence on Uggs and layers, this embarrassing ailment can send your entire closet into convulsions. Fortunately, it’s curable. That’s not to say it’s an easy transition from winter warrior to spring goddess, it’s not, but lucky for you, this season’s hottest looks don’t require a partial lobotomy. Spring and summer 2007 are effortless, glamorous, hippy-chic, mod-tastic, and everything in between. So, unclench, breathe deep, and mix yourself up something delish and brightly colored (and of course topped with a festive umbrella) and let Pulse help you ditch the parka and embrace the paisley.
Now that Spring has sprung, it’s time to show some skin, so onward and out like a lion! What better way to display your ferocious figure than in the biggest trend of the season ~ dresses? Back in the days of yore (or Y2K, whatever you remember best), to wear a dress implied being dressed up. Well, that way of thinking is about as dated as clip-on earrings. T-shirt dresses, jumpers, overalls, high and empire-waists are all over the place in all sorts of bright colors and funky patterns. If you’re still apprehensive about flashing flesh, pair your dress with some cotton (spandex said, “Sayonara!” when the temp hit 50 degrees) leggings. To tone down brights and produce a more office-appropriate look, try pencil skirts, cropped jackets, and men’s vests. Wide, slouchy pants are wearable in both formal and casual settings. Even whip out a denim jacket (but NEVER pair denim with denim; there’s no doctor that would cure that shame). To be truly outrageous, get onboard with the upcoming trend of…say it with me…colored jeans.
Vintage clothes and designs are truly at the forefront this year. Who knew that Wham! would actually inspire fashion some twenty years later? Not only are there vintage stores displaying every fashion statement of the past, oh, five decades, but even the trendiest stores are deconstructing, wrinkling, and mismatching all sorts of clothes. The best vintage may be original, (Moms and older sisters beware, your daughters and siblings are going to be foraging through your closets like pigs after truffles) but the basic look is completely re-creatable. High-waisted jeans, old band shirts, chunky accessories, and peasant tops are undoubtedly groovy. Before you go-go, tie a scarf ~ a significant step up from sweatbands, thanks be to the fashion gods on high ~ in your hair or around your head as a headband or bandana.
Melt away the stark, monotonous blanket of snow by donning patterns. This season features more and more varied designs and doo-dads than many of the past. Color combos and contrasts go from Pucci-inspired to simple black and white. Bold, graphic prints, woven designs, textured hemlines and neckline embroidery are competing for your love with more subtle antique-y looking prints. These ain’t your grandma’s tablecloths though. Instead, lightly patterned, billowy blouses and dresses are the perfect transition pieces from lacy ruffles to racy brights. The key to this look is class and sweetness; look the part in tailored, frilly, and lace-accents. So pretty, so, so pretty. Sheer overlays, pleats, and full skirts are girly-girl and sophisticated. Dress like Mama always dressed you; eyelet and bows are great for all ages this time around.
Spring gently opens our eyes to the nature’s wonders. This year, spring fashion has decided to burst in doing a little tap dancin’ number. Bold, bright neons and patents are it. They’re enthusiastic and bring a massive ka-pow to any outfit. Pastels are positively past tense. Drench yourself in neon greens, yellows, reds, pinks, and oranges. Whether or not you go for the extreme and pair multiple colors (spring knows no color clash) or just the slightest touch, you’re sure to be eye-catching. Speaking of, sunglasses this year are eclectic too; choose from round Audrey Hepburn frames with white frames, RayBan looking black Wayfarers, and rimless aviator-inspired types and all eyes will be on you.
The Jetsons have taken over our department stores. Metallics and futuristic apparel dictates clean lines and shiny, shimmery fabrics. Think golds, bronzes, silvers, whites and clears. Perhaps it’s best to take these in metered doses; the world isn’t ready for Robot Wear. You want to look as tart as a candy ~ not as shiny as a candy wrapper. Instead, spice up a boring outfit with a metallic handbag, belt, headband, or pair of shoes.
That’s right, I mentioned shoes. I went there (and bought a few pairs!). No matter the diagnoses, shoes are always the cure. Say farewell to flip-flops; who wants boring toe-thongs when the selection this year is bigger than ever? Firstly, get off on the right foot (Oh I am witty!) and realize that this season, there is a pair of flats for every outfit. They are patent, they are lacy, they are roped, they are leathered, laced up, peep-toed and strapped in. When in Rome…well, bring back a pair of gladiator sandals. Give your tootsies the attention they deserve and dress them up. Boots are still in ~ just without the wool lining. Cowboy boots, pixie boots (especially with jeans), and chunky heeled are just fab. Get sandals with wide, strappy straps and wooden platforms, or opt for some sky-high espadrilles. Two-toned, patent, and printed shoes are just the beginning; next up are plush, quilted and textured shoes.
As you walk along the cobblestone path to the wonderful world of Warm Weather, gather up all the blooming baubles you want. Accessories are diverse and delicious. Get hairclips, headbands, bangles, and charm bracelets. Big bags are always in, but feel free to switch it up by grabbing a nice day clutch. It’s all in the details, details, details, and there just happen to be a lot of them. Big buttons, puffy sleeves, bows, and trim pull together all outfits.
Men ~ who never really succumb to fashion fever to the extent that we, the fairer (and infinitely more accessorizable) sex do ~ have it significantly easier (but that also makes them significantly boring-er, stylistically speaking). Men’s lines are cleaner, sleeker, and preppier than ever. Grooming is the key, along with bright sneakers, gingham shirts, flat front shorts and pants are meant to be put together in that “I spent just enough time in the mirror this morning to make you think I rolled out of bed looking like this” way. Top off that attitude with a jacket and he’s as good as a mannequin (well, a mannequin who can kill bugs and hold your purse when you’re shopping for shoes). Whether it’s a track jacket or a deconstructed sports coat, jackets are jammin’. Men shouldn’t skimp on color either ~ the brighter the better (though we don’t recommend color coordinating…that’s a little too Garanimals for our taste).
Spring is nature’s renewal, rebirth, and re-wardrobization (Not a word, you say? Well, it should be.) The spring style this year will be extremely refreshing. Just imagine putting on your wide leg, high-waisted pants, a floral tunic, and your espadrille sandals and you’re on the speedy road to recovery. All memory of winter dullness will vanish, we promise.