Tag Archives: spring fashion

Surprising brands to covet this summer

I used to only get L.L. Bean and Fossil catalogs around holiday time, but I’ve been impressed with their spring and summer mailings that have arrived the last few months. And while Fossil overhauled its mostly classic accessories image a few years ago by integrating fun new colors in leather goods and new American sportswear staples, L.L. Bean Signature’s very recent collections have truly surprised me.

Summer’s a natural season to look to crisp, classic looks that battle heat and humidity, and dresses, shorts, sandals, and blouses from these two outfitters are reasonably priced for their quality and reputation (particularly L.L. Bean). So get over your hipster or trendsetting ego and stock up on some of these season-spanning looks:

Fossil Willow Skirt

Fossil Rachel Dress

L.L. Bean Signature Desert Bootie

L.L. Bean Signature Ruffle Tie-Neck top

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Weeding out spring’s florals

Project Iris burnout tee

“Florals…for spring?” You’d think every designer, stylist and fashion editor would hear an echo of Miranda Priestly’s snide put-down every time they added flowers to the spring and summer mix. And yet, each year, florals are touted as an It trend for…spring. Here are some of the best this year — in terms of originality, appeal, and versatility.

Project Iris: Original artwork is printed on these light-weight tees, and a portion of each sale is  donated to the World Food Program to provide nutritious meals to mothers and their young children in the developing world.

Diane von Furstenberg: Diane’s bright prints are appealing for their saturated colors and flattering, all-over pattern. It’s only when you look closely that you realize leaves, buds and poppies are her inspiration.

Jewelry: Flowers made out of more substantial materials — wood, metal — anchor the trend’s delicate nature.

Urban Outfitters shorts: I had a pair of these when I was in 5th grade, I think. That alone gives me enough push-pull to want them again (or not) but the 90s washed-out color palette on top of a tailored printed short really is perfect for pool parties and brunch.

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Midis, minis, or maxis?

Photo Source: ForwardForward.com

For the past three or four years, maxi dresses have populated the pages in spring and summer fashion magazines and websites, and along with midis, they’ve virtually beaten out anything short for this season’s warmer months. But I’m still not sold, at least not completely.

For one, I’m relatively petite. A maxi dress has to fit perfectly: close to the body without being too tight in all the wrong places, and not so long as to drag on the ground and look sloppy. And since I’m so particular about fit, that means shopping online for maxis is out of the question, at least until I’ve found a brand I really like and trust.

Secondly, I’m a mini fan. The shorter the better, at least within reason, when it comes to shorts, skirts and dresses. Minis make me look taller and leaner, and it’s my go-to silhouette.

But I just found the perfect compromise: Helmut Lang’s asymmetrical skirt — a sexy but dress-up or dress-down piece that’s sold in black, taupe or white, depending on the retailer. I’m a little late to the game — most smalls are sold out or on back-order, but the long length is liberated with the dramatic slit up the side. Worn with wedges or booties and a cotton tee or tank, the dramatic skirt is casually reinvented.

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Coach giveaway at Bags Bonanza

You’ve still got a day to enter the Bonanza Handbag Sweepstakes, over at Bags Bonanza’s Bag Blog (is that enough Bs for you?)

They’re giving away a sateen Coach handbag here by commenting on the post, answering the question “Who is the most stylish celebrity and why?” More rules here. I recommend entering: even if you’re still in the middle of coat weather, the preppy mint green color will get you ready for spring!

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Samantha Pleet for Bona Drag: the jumpsuits

Photo Source: BonaDrag.com

Back in September, I fell in love with bitsy-sized, big creative talent New York designer Samantha Pleet. Pleet’s designed for Urban Outfitters before, but through Bona Drag, you can buy her independent line, and I suggest you spring for it. Her jumpsuits looked perfect on the models at her presentation at the Soho Grand Hotel — and Pleet used her real-life best friends and assistants.

The Herbaceous Romper at left is my favorite ($240), but I’d love to try out this hot pants look for a version of the skort that could actually work.

Click here for pictures of the show and how each piece looks on the “real” girls.

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Would you wear denim on denim?

Balmain Spring 2009; Photo Source: Style.com

In the 90s and early 2000s, it was the ultimate sin, but as soft, light-wash denim button-ups become spring obsessions, has the aesthetic changed?

Sienna contrasted a traditional jean vest with darker skinny jean, Reese favored a light-wash button-up with dark jeans tucked into boots, equestrian style, and blogger Katie Wood pointed out an Elle how-to guide for layering your denim.

Is the risk worth it, or do you feel more farm girl than Sartorialist in your denim on denim?

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Have you embraced the jumpsuit?

Halston Heritage jumpsuit: BergdorfGoodman.com

Last spring, when jumpsuits and rompers appeared, I was ecstatic. Most versions were cute and seasonal, and could be dressed up or down with a change of shoes only. It was like the dress, but better, because you wouldn’t have to cross your legs all the time.

A year later, I still haven’t gotten one. I’ve only tried on two, and have been too hesitant to buy one online, because unlike jeans, tank tops and even dresses, I don’t know my body’s jumpsuit fit. Does my crotch hit at a “normal” point, or should I buy a size up unless I want to walk around with a wedgie? Like designer jeans, should I count on cuffing my longer jumpsuits, or stay clear of rompers for fear of the shorts being too long?

I’m re-committed to jumpsuit shopping this year, but I’m still so green, I don’t know where to start. Have you embraced the jumpsuit, and do you have any tips for finding the right fit?

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