Throw away your tights, hang up your coats, and let your boots gather dust. Spring is basically here, so we need a refresher of the best pre-summer looks that emerged from the spring shows six months ago. Think of these ten ideas as a mood board meant to elevate you out of the winter doldrums.
Pleats, of the flowing, soft and sheer variety, were scattered throughout the shows, especially at Chloé, Lanvin, Akris and Dior. Delicate and feminine, a knee-length pleated skirt worn with a soft white t-shirt is an easy delicacy for the girls who prefer pretty over sexy, with just the right amount of je ne sais quoi thrown in.
While ab fab may have you thinking of Patsy Stone and Edina’s desperate attempts to stay young and hip, it’s really not that far off from this literal micro trend. Designers banded together in an homage to Britney Spears, showing off midriffs like never before. Luckily, the silhouettes were more Sophia Loren than ‘90s pop (retro-style bras worn as tops, often paired with a pencil or flared skirt), and with a bit of careful attention to the belly area, this is a trend that might actually work out by the time summer’s oppressive heat takes over.
The summer suit has been in contention for a while and shows no sign of slowing down. Often lumped into a do-I-or-don’t-I category when it comes to workplace appropriateness, shorts paired with matching dressed-up blazers are undoubtedly practical, but they should be worn with caution in the boardroom. Still, for summer cocktails, Sunday brunches, and oceanside bonfires, you have our full support.
The sorbet shades that were served up head-to-toe by designers are a welcome palette cleanser to last season’s blaring brights and eye-searing neons. Pretty pastels of apricot, lemon, lime, and lavender were mixed together to create light color-blocked looks. If you’re like us and fear looking too sickly sweet, wearing your pastels in silky sporty ensembles—a la Phillip Lim rather than the Broderie Anglaise overkill at Louis Vuitton—will help keep the fresh pastels from looking overtly girly.
A white cotton dress is a summer staple every girl should own. A warm summer night’s answer to the LBD, the all-white dress is the kind of throw-on piece that French girls have always known about. Worn with white heels, strappy sandals, or even cream sneakers, it defies age and seasonal trends as a perennial classic that should be at the top of your spring shopping list.
Speaking of white heels, if you’re looking for a bit of pep to any summer outfit, white heels will be your answer. Not just for brides, these feminine pumps and strappy stilettos are a redo of last season’s nude platform, and are an easy way to update the spring dresses and cropped pants already hanging in your closet.
In a classic case of opposites attracting, tuxedo trousers are being combined with track pants to create dressed-down, flowing, wide-leg style trousers with high-contrast stripes on the sides are what I’d liken to sporty palazzo pants. Phoebe Philo at Celine started it last spring, and Antonio Berardi, Roberto Cavalli, Antonio Marras, and Gucci continue it.
A sporty redux, or Athletic Chic, certainly emerged as one of spring’s biggest themes in New York, with parachute straps at Altuzarra, sleek track pants at Rag & Bone, and some high-tech mesh at Cynthia Rowley. Alexander Wang went full throttle with mesh bombers, floral hoodies, and sweaters showing stadium seating map motifs, all drawing on NASCAR, BMX and motocross influences. With a lot of tough-girl nonchalance to it, this is definitely one for the downtown cool kids.
Prints in some form or another are always in fashion. Whether it’s tribal, romantic florals or weird zany digital prints, you can be sure any print you chuck on to liven up your weekends will be okay with fashion’s elite. But for shopping purposes, take note that this spring saw tropical prints take centre stage in what can only be described as an ode to the ocean. Whether you go literal and opt for the mermaids of Versace and Dries Van Noten’s surf and turf prints or take a more metaphorical approach in the abundance on tonal blues, we leave this one to you.
And now, peplum. It’s a word you’re bound to have heard a million times already since Raf Simons’ hit collection for Jil Sander last spring. But for those of you who have no idea what the hell peplum is, and have felt too embarrassed to ask for fear of peer backlash, it’s essentially a ruffle flare that circles the waist of jackets, tops, skirts, jumpsuits, and dresses, so anything, really. It will bring everyone’s gaze to firmly rest on your waist, so there’s no better way to create a silhouette if you have none. A peplum detail on sharp tailoring gives an easy ladylike femininity to classic work wear, or you can go all romantic on us with peplums of layered lace and pretty frills.