Spring arrives slowly here in Minnesota. We’ve been getting a taste of spring the past few days, and it is delicious. It never lasts in March, but we enjoy every moment when it’s here. And it puts me in the mood to think about warm weather wear.
Spring is all about newness; it makes you want to throw off the woolens and down coat and look fresh and bright, just like what’s beginning outside. It’s a time to look with clear eyes at your warm weather wardrobe and ask, “Does it make me feel great? Does it reflect what I want my personal style to be?”
Pairing items from your existing wardrobe in new ways and adding just one or two new key items or accessories can make outfits feel brand new and exciting to wear. Two trends for spring this year to try are denim all over and floral prints. Neither of these are new things, but how they’re presented this season feels contemporary and fresh. And they are classic, which appeals to me and to many of my clients – I want to feel current, but not buy a bunch of clothes that will be out of style in a year. And these may be items you already have in your wardrobe.
First the denims. For a long time, it was passé to wear denim with denim – you were considered a cowboy wannabe. Now it’s all about the denim on denim! To avoid the cowboy look, pair two different washes together, like a dark wash jacket with a lighter jean, or a chambray shirt with a dark wash jean. Or pair any blue wash with another color denim jean – white is a particularly lovely contrast.
Add a bright accessory – a silk or faux-silk square scarf in a classic wrap-and-knot tie around the neck peeking out from a collared shirt or a lightweight gauzy long scarf with a denim jacket. They add color and a little warmth while the temps are still brisk. Ankle booties in lighter colors are a great transition shoe as well, and as the weather gets warmer, switch to a bold print flat or fun sneakers.
Florals, particularly vintage-style bold patterns, are making a comeback. I’m starting to get past the slight shudder I have whenever I remember the many upholstery-like floral dresses I owned in the 80s and early 90s. Seeing floral fabrics in contemporary cuts is helping. A bold floral pencil skirt feels very sophisticated rather than like being swallowed in draperies, as does a pretty floral classic-cut A-line or shift dress that falls right above the knee.
Sheer peasant, or “boho” (short for bohemian), blouses are feminine and fun. These prints tend to be a little less bold and are great paired with jeans for a casual, polished look. Floral tunic-style blouses in heavier weight fabrics (not sheer) paired with narrow-leg ankle trousers or pants and flats or low heels make a great spring outfit for work. With both of these styles, it’s important to pair the loose, flowy top with a more tailored, close-fitting pant to add structure to the outfit.
When wearing floral prints, choose only one statement piece. Too many florals together gets too busy – one on its own stands out and shines. Or try pairing a large, bold floral with a smaller stripe – look for a common color, like navy, in the two prints that pulls them together. And add a floral bag, scarf, or flats to a denim on denim ensemble!
Consignment stores are a great place to find one or two new to you pieces to freshen your spring wardrobe. In the Twin Cities, Nu Look in Minneapolis and Elite Repeat in St. Paul are great places for finding designer denim pieces at a fraction of the retail cost. They both have great selections of scarves as well, as does Turnstyle (various locations) where you can also find many beautiful handbags. For high-end fun, try Fashion Avenue in Edina.