Six Closet Essentials for Spring and Summer

Trends come and go, and while it’s fun to join in on the great colors and styles of the season, there are also a few items every closet should always have on hand. These closet essentials can be used for multiple looks and should be a staple you can always go to (especially on days that you don’t want to wear that crazy pattern that’s trending for spring.) When shopping for your closet basics, make sure it’s something you love, and definitely look for items that can be worn several different ways and be taken from day to night. Here’s a list of the six items your closet shouldn’t be without.
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1. Denim Jacket

They’re versatile, light enough for warm weather, and warm enough to fight off any chill that’s left in the air. InStyle advises looking for one with a little extra detail. Decorative features such as a band collar and zippers, rather than metal or buttons, give this basic a little more pop. It can be worn with an assortment of tops, making it a great piece to have on hand. For a great spring and summer look, try it with silky floral shorts, InStyle recommends.

2. White Top

It’s easy to wear, simple and fashionable. A great white tee can be used for multiple looks — whether you’re aiming for preppy, conservative, laid back, or dressy. Pair your white top with colored skirts, shorts, or pants, writes All Women Stalk. You can tuck it in or leave it loose, and you can even layer over a printed dress for a new look. Any fun jewelry paired with it will pop against the white canvas, giving you ample outfit options. If you’re aiming for a preppier look, try a version of a button down. Hoping for feminine? Add a pop of lace or frill to your white shirt.
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3. Maxi Dress

These dresses “have it all — casually stylish, feminine, comfy, and elegant! They are versatile to wear for lounging at the beach or park; for dressy occasions; for strolling around the mall and even for dates,” according to The Chic Fashionista. They even come in a wide variety of styles to suit any taste. Creating multiple outfits with this staple is also easy — layer with a blazer, cardigan, or T-shirt for an assortment of looks.

4. Tunic Shirts

They’re simple, which means they can be paired with many different skirts, pants, and shorts to create a ton of different looks. These shirts are also a great alternative to dress shirts and can easily be taken from the workplace to night. According to The Chic Fashionista, these tops can be worn as a tunic dress during the summer months, and can also be paired with skirts and capri shorts. For the chillier spring months, the tunic shirt looks great paired with jeans or layered with a cardigan.
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5. Flowy Pants

According to InStyle, finding a pair of pants with a fluid material, such as silk, creates a great silhouette. The slouchy drape it creates makes it a look you can take from relaxed to dressy. “Choose a top that’s equally relaxed, like this drop-shoulder T. If you’re craving a bit of structure, try crisp lace-ups in linen and leather,” InStyle advises. You can also find great patterns on the pants, as long as there is elastic at the ankles to prevent the pants from having too much volume. These pants can also be paired with a great jacket on top — keep it light and airy to match the feel of the pants.

6. Nude Heel

“They elongate the leg, pair perfectly with almost any look, and can be worn with jeans as often as formal wear. Nude heels are a flawless fashion choice all year round, but especially so in the summer months that call for lighter looks and the chance to show off a little leg,” says All Women Stalk. You can buy the patented version, which works great for work (or drinks after work) or you can buy this shoe in the wedged sandal version, which works great as well. No matter what type of nude heel you buy, it will look great with almost any outfit you pull together.

Mad Men Returns: What Fashion Trends Will Characters Embrace?

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Season seven of Mad Men premieres on Sunday, April 13. With the cast and crew as tight-lipped as ever, it is difficult to discern where the plot for the final season will lead. Pictures of the ever dapper Don Draper have been released, showing him smoking a cigarette on a New York City street.

Dressed, as usual, in a suit and sporting a hat, Draper gives little information as to what year it is in the Mad Men world. Season six ended in November 1968, but a jump forward in time would not be unprecedented. It is probably safe to say the season will pick up in 1969, or the very early 1970s. Important not only for guessing where the story line will lead, but for predicting the trends that will be displayed in on-screen fashions.
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During this era, the fashion world reacted to real-world developments Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion explains. In defining the period between 1968 and 1975, the book states that as the economic boom dissipated, and the protest movement in America grew, disillusionment sank in — furthered by the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a result, people turned away from the futuristic, mod clothing that typified a good part of the mid- to late-1960s and instead looked to the East. Hippies donned leather and suede. Accessories came from home-made crafts, and political symbols –like flowers and peace signs — dominated. The East held a strong influence over fashion, and oriental-inspired designs featured prominently in fashion shows.

Unisex clothing cropped up as well. Men and women wore bell-bottom jeans, beads, headbands, fringed jackets, and embellished t-shirts. In 1969, Saint Laurent debuted a collection with pleated gypsy dresses, tiered skirts, and patchwork prints. The fashion-forward Sally may try her hand at a similar look. Megan, Michael, or Stan could easily burst onto the scene in bell-bottoms.
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Handkerchiefs were tied around the necks of models, and the loose, soft styles might feature thin belts, or pockets that hit at the low hip. Although harsh lines were considered unflattering, body-hugging designs did still appear, but of a more understated variety than what Joan has sported in previous seasons.

This image would have appealed to one set of consumers in the late 60s — who would have been loath to identify as consumers. By the early 70s, it was decidedly out of fashion to be concerned with what was fashionable. But not everyone clattered for a fashion-conscienceless world.

Another set, generally working and older women, wanted classics. It is easy to imagine Betty and Joan slipping into this class. These women would have benefited from French-style designs, which turned away from the youthful 60s, focusing on blazers, pea coats, tailored pants, and short skirts. Layering and accessorizing were equally important. For women, the ‘it’ shoe was the platform, while scarves and shawls were the popular additions to outfits.

The working woman needed a wardrobe she could wear day-in and day-out. But here, too, the influence of the counter-culture movement was felt. London’s Victoria and Albert Museum states that the structure of women’s suits was loosened throughout the 60s, resulting in shorter skirts and looser lines.
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On the men’s side, lapels, pant legs, and ties widened. The skinny tie was out by the end of the decade and color was in. Bright, bold colors and patterns became the new norm in menswear after over a century of tailor-made suits in somber colors. It is nearly impossible to imagine Don Draper or Roger Sterling choosing such brightly colored pieces, but some of the younger men at the agency — like Stan, or Michael — may try the style out for work.

As the rules surrounding dress relaxed, so did the dominance of the season. Vogue history of 20th Century Fashion states that Laura Biagiotti was one of the first designers to realize women’s clothing needed to be incredibly adaptable. Air conditioning and heating allowed for greater freedom, no matter what time of year, and she designed clothes that were not dictated by season or size. Peggy might find comfort in a dress or suit that isn’t dictated by season, but by the wearer.

In 1969 specifically, brown was popular in day and evening wear. Whether it was worn as a linen in the summer — worn with white shoes — or toned to a black-cherry hue in the autumn, the color featured extensively. Vogue called the array of hues ‘intellectual colours.’ The deep brown of Don’s suit in the leaked picture may be one clue that the series picks up in 1969.

How to Follow All the Action at Home

New York Fashion Week has officially kicked off, starting the rounds of cities and shows for the fall/winter 2014 lines. For anyone not lucky enough to be seated in one of the Lincoln Center tents or jetting off to Paris (aka most people), you can still access fashion week.

Once upon a time before the Internet, social media, and other technological advances, devotees of fashion had to wait for reports and pictures to trickle down from the attendees to the masses through newspapers, magazine editorial spreads, and televised reports.

Technology has greatly democratized this process. Photographs showing strutting models in a designer’s latest creations can hit Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook seconds after they appear on the runway, and websites feature every detail of an outfit in high resolution, sometimes mere hours after a show. But best of all, shows can be live-streamed to your computer, tablet, or phone.

First things first, to gain your all-access pass, you need to know the schedule. That way, if you crave the most fashion-forward details about Carolina Herrera’s fall 2014 ensembles, you’ll know to check out the House of Herrera Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook starting around 10 a.m. Eastern on February 10. Plus, if you want to catch your favorite designers’ shows, it helps to know when the models are supposed to start sauntering down the catwalks.

Like the schedule, this can be found directly at the source, on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week website. Additionally, sites like Fashion Week Online, stream the shows.

After glancing over the schedule, marking shows of interest, and making sure your social media profiles are set to follow key designers, the next step is to get backstage access. Design houses will post pictures, but modeling agencies are in on the game, too. Wilhemina Models took to Twitter on Thursday to announce it’d be covering shows backstage on Instagram. After years the business, fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone has some serious behind-the-scenes access, snippets of which are now available to everyone thanks to the Internet.

Instant fashion gratification and insight will come from the profiles of the industry’s major publications and high-profile bloggers. Women’s Wear Daily will have coverage on its website, as well as timely tweets about shows and breaking news. This is also a fabulous way to follow the shows generally. If you aren’t as devoted to a particular designer, the fashion media will be covering anything and everything related to the catwalk trends. Check out what Vogue and New York Magazine‘s The Cut, are dishing about on Twitter, but also remember that they’ll give first-to-last look access through photography for virtually every show. Another website that will have wall-to-wall fashion week coverage is Style.com.

Through bloggers and outlets like the New York Times’s fashion Instagram profile, you can get street style inspiration. Highsnobiety has already published part one of its menswear street style, and the ever-stylish Kelly Framel of The Glamourai has begun snapping photographs of runway styles and her own accessories. Pictures by Bill Cunningham are bound to start appearing, as well. Reality star turned fashion icon Olivia Palmero has written about how to dress for fashion week, and it is likely more style musing will be published as the week wears on.

10 Timeless Fashion Staples for Every Woman’s Wardrobe

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With fashion week setting the styles for Fall/Winter 2014 and this spring’s hottest trends about to be printed in their glossy March magazine glory, the time is ripe for a discussion about investment pieces. You could drop $525 on Rebecca Minkoff’s Tall Gladiator Sandals, the Rita High Heel, if that suits your style, but is it really worth it just to own a statement piece off the Spring 2014 runway? When debating a pricey purchase, my mother always asks me what dollar amount I would assign to each wear or use of the item. With that determined, she tells me to divide the total cost by my per use worth. If I would wear the coveted fashion object at least that many times, then the piece is at least “worth” the asking price to me. This often deters purchases of trendy, statement pieces that will fall out of style in a few seasons, and rationalizes purchasing an investment piece. Since certain looks never truly fall out of style, they gain worth the more you wear them. Ultimately, these pieces form the backbone of your wardrobe because they can be carried over from season to season. Like any other investment, fashion staples take time. Barring lottery winnings, a fortune isn’t amassed in a single night, and a stylish wardrobe isn’t purchased in one shopping trip. Lacking an expiration date, you can search for these pieces for years, waiting for a sale or until you found the exact item you are looking for. A plan helps with payment too, because you’ll want to put in a decent sized chunk of change for an item that oozes quality. Knowing that the pair of soft, hand-stitched Italian leather loafers you purchased can be repaired and protected makes them a lot less frivolous than gladiator sandals that appear to trap your legs in an impossible series of casings.

11. A Trenchcoat

(Left: J. Crew Collection Icon Trench) Burberry may be synonymous with “iconic trench,” but that doesn’t mean you need to bust the bank for the ultimate of classics. If that is within your budget, and what you truly desire, obviously purchasing a stand-in won’t do. Every woman needs a trench appropriate for the climate they live in, and waiting a few years to purchase the style or brand you really desire is logical because you’ll have it for years. For everyone else — who isn’t zoning in on Burberry — solace can be found among other quality brands. For a clean, crisp look — which is what any good trench invokes — stick to well-tailored lines and avoid unusual colors. A trenchcoat that clashes with half of your wardrobe does you little good in a downpour. Another reason is because khakis, tans, or camel colors easily assimilate into any wardrobe at any age. Hot pink seems fun in your 20s, but by your 30s, it might be a little too bubblegum and Barbie for your preferences. Where personality can shine through is in the style of the coat itself. Whimsical buttons, trim, length, and cut can combine to show off the individual wearer’s preferences. Trenches can be thick or thin, but either way, the coat can take on shapeless dimensions absent buttons or a belt. To avoid a shift-style jacket, go for a double-breasted coat that can be belted or tied at the waist. Send it out to be dry-cleaned, and find a place to store the extra buttons. Outwear can be subjected to a significant amount of abuse — especially a piece you wear when it is storming.

22. A Wear Anywhere Little Black Dress

(Right: Diane von Furstenberg Jaelyn Sleeveless Drop Waist Dress) Finding the little black dress for your wardrobe can be a multi-year process. You want to find one that ticks several boxes — and to really get the most bang for your buck, you’ll be able to wear it to multiple, different events. A dress that transitions from work to evening is one consideration. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be able to don the dress in the morning and then wear it to work. Instead, consider it this way — with the right wrap, jewelry, and shoes, could you pull off wearing it to a wedding one week, and the office two weeks after that? A sleeveless little black dress when paired with a cardigan or blazer around the office can be transformed into a chic, elegant look with a simple evening wrap and beaded clutch. Little black dresses have been a key component of a woman’s wardrobe since the days of Chanel in the late 1920s. That kind of longevity doesn’t happen often in fashion, so purchasing a dress you truly adore and can wear almost anywhere makes perfect sense. A quality little black dress is probably going to necessitate dry cleaning, or hand washing. If that is the case, don’t just throw it in the washer on permanent press with your gym clothes. When you can wash it, do so with other dark colors, and on cold to prevent fading. You did, after all, shell out a decent amount of dough for this particular piece, and you don’t want to send it down the drain.

33. A Neutral Handbag

(Kate Spade purses, from top to bottom: Claremont Drive Marcella,  Sedgewick Place Small Phoebe, & Kirk Park Medium Maise) Pantone releases a color every year, and this year’s is “radiant orchid,” a beautiful melody of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones. Last year’s was a deep, gorgeous emerald. In fact, for the past fifty years, Pantone has been announcing a new brilliant color of the year. This shade then pops up everywhere from home furnishings to handbags. But one year later, it will be replaced, and this is the same story as far as any trending hue is concerned: colors come and go, but neutrals never fade. Spending a couple hundred on a bag in this season’s hottest color appears to be a good idea at the time when the color is everywhere, and in everything, but as time passes, will you still love that year’s “tangerine tango” as much as this year’s “radiant orchid”? Plus, your statement color bags will not always match other bright wardrobe pieces. You may love the beautiful green handbag you purchased, but when winter rolls around, you’ll find yourself eschewing the bag for black because when paired with your red coat, you’ll feel inappropriately Christmas-esque. Now, before you start thinking that a bag lacking a flashy splash of color is boring, consider the number of ways the bag can be presented. A beautiful Italian leather can hardly be classified as drab, and the same goes for quilted leather and other designs. Classic patterns, including plaids and stripes, are equally strong options because introduce a new element without dating your accessories. If you really desire extra panache, take a page from the Hermès playbook and tie a colored silk scarf onto the strap of your bag. Not only can you quickly and frequently change this aspect, but silk scarves can be worn around your neck or in your hair if you tire of seeing it on your handbag.

44. Casual Shoes

(Top: Frye Melissa Button Boots, Bottom: Michael Kors Fulton Moccasin Flats) Flats, loafers, or boat shoes ought to be your go-to footwear to strike a balance between sneakers and heels. The importance when picking one of these is to consider your personal lifestyle. Boat shoes won’t pair as easily with most skirts and dresses as flats or loafers will, and are less every-day work appropriate. If your daily office wear consists of heels, and on the weekends you run errands in jeans or ankle pants, boat shoes can clearly be a style winner.  All three types of shoes can be worn with a variety of colors, and can be treated so they will last longer. When you’ve spent good money on a pair of shoes (or anything, really), it only makes sense to ensure that the payment continues to payoff. Purchase a waterproofing spray the same day you buy your shoes, and treat them to keep them in tip-top condition as long as possible. Well-loved quality shoes are also worth the cost to repair broken heels, soles, buckles, and a litany of other commonly encountered shoe quandaries.

5. Riding Boots

What is a flat-lover to do when the mercury nose-dives? Turn to riding boots, of course. Characterized by having a low heel or no heel at all, riding boots are the practical way to keep your feet warm and dry during winter snows.  Unlike some boots — particularly those of a furry or sparkly variety, which make the wearer appear as if they are dressing below their age — riding boots suit a greater range of ages and lifestyles. In areas with mild winters, they can be worn from fall to spring. Even people living through wicked winters do not necessarily need to give up their favorite boots thanks to fleece liners — although rubberized, thicker soled boots are probably more practical after a huge storm blows through.

56. Patent Leather Shoes

(Left: Cole Haan Margot Pump, Audrey Brooke Cici Flat, & Butter Dizzy Pump) Patent leather was once reserved for the summer months, and never seen gracing feet before Easter Sunday. The rules were that once Labor Day came and went, you must start slipping into suede and other non-patent options. Thankfully, this has been eased in recent years. As anyone who has owned suede shoes in winter can tell you, the weather can seriously ruin this gorgeous fabric, leaving your shoes stained the minute you step onto the salted path or get caught in a downpour. Like the casual shoe option, customize this one to your daily lifestyle. If you know you never plan on wearing heels, you can kill two birds with one stone through a pair of patent leather flats that can be worn anywhere. Versatile enough to be dressed up by formal wear, and casual enough to be thrown on with leggings, patent leather flats can be worn almost every day, making them investment-worthy. Sure, you could purchase several pairs of cheap flats that begin to show serious signs of wear a few months in, but after say five pairs of $20 flats, you could have purchased one quality pair that hold up against the elements. Patent leather heels fall into much of the same category. It is likely you’ll get a little less wear out of them, but if you want a pair of heels you can wear to work year-round, a closed-toe, patent leather pump is the perfect option for maximum wear potential.

67. Statement jewelry

This does not have to be limited to a necklace, although that is what many advise. However, not every woman can pull off a big chunky necklace. There is more than one way to make a statement than on the neckline, including bracelets, earrings, and rings. Wearing all at once would defeat the purpose of one standout piece of jewelry. Your grandmother’s vintage earrings are going to shine that much brighter when they aren’t competing with large sparkling bracelets and rings. To invoke Chanel again, the fashion powerhouse allegedly said that, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” In clothing, clean, simple lines often have the most glamorous effects, and the same goes for how you present yourself. Your pieces shouldn’t be in competition with each other for attention, because the result is a mess of lines. Vintage and estate style jewelry is one way to let your accessories speak for themselves, but so are bright colors. Vibrant hues, like corals and yellows are best kept for the spring and summer months, or warm climates. Markets, antique stores, and vintage shops can help you find a one-of-a-kind piece, but department stores and traditional shops will also carry these looks.

8. Non-statement jewelry

With that in mind, what do you choose when you want a simple, timeless piece to wear? A pendant necklace in sterling silver or gold is an easy day-in day-out option; to be a little dressier, consider a single or double strand of pearls. Simple stud earrings or hoops should in your jewelry box. If pearls are too reminiscent of tea gloves and cotillions, sterling silver or gold ball earrings are an equally classic option. The same goes for silver or gold hoop earrings. A little embellishment can go a long way on a classic, like a pair pearl Kate Spade earrings with rope detailing. It is just enough to catch a person’s eye, but is not so distracting that you would need to dress down the rest of your accessories.

99. White Button-Up Shirts

Want a shirt you can wear with virtually everything? Look no further than the white button-up. These days, white button-up shirts come in a range of materials and styles. The perennially preppy oxford looks fantastic under blazers, with shorts in the summer, or jeans in the fall. A non-iron white dress shirt takes the fuss out of getting ready in the morning when you are pressed for time because putting an outfit together requires minimal thought. When it is properly fitted, it will be flattering to virtually every body type. Look for a shirt cut so it comes in slightly at the waist, creating definition and shape. The shirt should button without buckling or gaping, and the seam at the shoulder will hit your actual shoulder. If you find a brand and style you love, buy several at one time. Even though this look isn’t going anywhere fast, manufacturers inevitably make slight alterations that affect their products, and may result in you loving their newest style a little less than the one you bought three years ago.

10. A Blazer

Yet another piece that owes cut and inspiration to menswear is the blazer. A blazer is undoubtably the turn-to piece in your wardrobe when you want to look casually or professionally polished. It works on Saturdays when you’re running errands, when you’re meeting your mom for a lunch date, or at the office on Wednesday with a pair of ankle pants. At the office, it forms one-half of the answer to what to wear instead of a suit. A blazer and dress pants or skirt has all the formality of a suit without any of the stuffiness. A blazer adds diversity to casual Friday too, since it will look fantastic with jeans, but don’t take my word for it, just check out Kate Middleton. It is unlikely that off-the-rack is going to fit everyone perfectly. A common problem is that the sleeves are too long, which is thankfully an easy alteration. Looking for deals with blazers is easy enough if you live near an outlet mall. Brands like J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Brooks Brothers all have blazers at their outlet stores, as well as in the regular shops. The material may differ between the versions, so check and compare labels.

New York Fashion Week’s 8 Must-Watch Trends

Though we’re nearing the end of February and spring is (supposedly) readily approaching, you wouldn’t know it — polar vortex, anyone? Still, one bonus of these chilly conditions is that it’s all the easier to imagine some of these top fall trends from New York Fashion Week. We’ve compiled a list of eight.
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1. Plaid

Plaid will be back in fall 2014, if New York Fashion Week has anything to say about it. Indeed, this tartan pattern was shown in a variety of iterations like eclectic pink, mustard, and sky blue at Delpozo; a chic red plaid with leather lapels was seen at Victoria Beckham. Try adding a plaid sweater or coat to the mix.

2. Oversize boots

Come autumn, oversize knits will be the perfect antidote to cool, crisp weather. Though they appeared in all shapes at NYFW, particular favorites were an elegant dark turtleneck with light stitching from Tory Burch and an ivory piece from Public School.

3. Wide-leg pants

Though skinny jeans might never go away, there’s a chance they’ll be taken over this fall by a friendlier, more accommodating pant: the wide leg. Billowing silhouettes appeared often this fashion week, most notably at Oscar de la Renta and and Derek Lam. For the daring, Karen Walker put her models in culottes.

4. Western hats

For those bemoaning the rise of the fedora, this next trend might not be of any more help. Despite being unpractical, Western hats appeared on several runways, including Dion Lee and Cushnie et Ochs. Yee haw?
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5. Patterned and colorful fur

Fall for many designers remains a fur-friendly season. Such was the case at Joseph Altuzarra and Diane von Furstenburg, two heavy-hitters who traded conventional furs for those with graphic patterns and lines in a bevy of colors. Though real fur might be less affordable — and in some circles, less appropriate — watch for this trend to make its way to faux fur, too.

6. Ankle-length skirts

If you’ve noticed the advent of the rolled pant this past season, then prepare for something of a similar iteration: a hemline that hits the ankle. Gone are the days of short skirts (OK, maybe not completely) as designers played with length to bring hemlines down, down, down. Thom Browne, Rosie Assoulin, and The Row all showed us similar looks.

7. Sequins

As Fashion Week has showed us, sequins aren’t just for ice skaters competing at Sochi anymore. Wes Gordon showed an all-black subdued ensemble, while Marc Jacobs showed swirling pink-and-silver tops. Get ready for some shine to brighten up that dreary fall weather.

8. New “it” color: oxblood

With fall colors in more muted tones consisting of browns and burnt sienna, the addition of oxblood – this season’s take on red — is a welcome addition. There was no shortage of the color or variety among the collections: Jason Wu showed slip dresses in deep maroon, and Nicole Miller showed a sporty red leather jacket.

6 Fashion Trends to Expect This Spring

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With spring hopefully right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about a mild weather wardrobe. Retailers are already hauling out spring clothing, so even though it still may be too soon to wear any of it, you can have your spring items on hand in case a warm-weather day strikes.

What can you expect for spring? Think bright colors, somewhat comfortable clothes, and unique twists on what would otherwise be fairly standard clothing items. One thing is for sure — there is nothing boring about spring’s fashion trends. Here are 6 trends you can expect to see in 2014.

1. Artful Color

“Maybe Lady Gaga was onto something by calling her album Artpop, because it’s now a major color scheme of the Spring 2014 season. Chanel’s collection offered splashes of bright color, while Marc Jacobs’ pieces were rich, dramatic, and arguably regal,” writes Huffington Post. Picture contemporary art mixed with something that an artist might paint — those are the types of bold color patterns you can expect to see, says Bal Harbour Shops.

2. Metallic

You will find a metallic sheen to many clothing items and accessories this spring, which will provide an extra pop to an everyday look. Check out Lanvin’s collection, which includes space-looking uniforms in silver tones, Huffington Post writes. Haider Ackermann’s line has embellished sheer skirts with metallic fabric, as well as bright metallic suits. “Just ask yourself this: ‘Would I wear it on Electric Circus?’ If so, then it’s a spring hit,” Huffington Post says.

3. Contrast-Collar Button-Downs

Inspired by menswear, this dress shirt is great when paired with a contrasting color. Also look for textured collars and cuffs to take your button-down to the next style level, Glamour writes. “This elevated wardrobe essential is perfect for sneakily kicking up your work outfit (just make sure to button up all the way.)”

4. Athletic Apparel

No, that doesn’t mean sweatpants and baggy T-shirts. However, a few designers did decide to take a more athletic approach to some of their clothing. Gucci focused on mesh overlays, and Tommy Hilfiger is bringing you “gymwear straight out of the Hamptons,” according to Huffington Post. Hoping for just a hint of athleticism in your pants? Look for trousers with an athletic stripe. If you want to take that athletic stripe to the next level, look for a pair that has stripes running along the inseam instead. Glamour recommends looking for a streamlined silhouette in white, paired with a casual non-button-down top.

5. Wide-Leg Trousers

As comfy as it is cute, this easy-to-wear, billowy pant is a huge hit for spring 2014, Glamour writes. If you’re on the shorter side, look for a pair that’s leaner on the flare. It also doesn’t hurt to look for a higher waisted trouser — it elongates your frame.

6. Animal Prints

It wouldn’t be spring without bright, fun patterns. Both Diane von Furstenburg and Betsey Johnson added animal prints to their spring 2014 collections. If you’re feeling adventurous, accessorize it with faux reptile bracelets or shoes, according to Washington Square News. Better yet, try a zebra print jumpsuit — it’s sure to get you noticed. The Fashion Spot writes that Miu Miu’s spring collection is also bringing plenty of animal prints with a childish twist. “They won’t be the easiest to pull off in a sophisticated manner, but they made for quirky statement pieces, particularly when it came to the coats.”

5 Wearable Trends for Spring 2014

“Fashion forward” certainly applies to fashion week. The catwalk calendar is off-kilter with meteorological time. In February, when thaw is (hopefully) about to set in, designers and trendsetters focus on runways showing what looks will be all the rage during the next Fall/Winter cycle. In the fashion world, spring sprang back in September. But all that extra time isn’t a bad thing: It gives fashionistas plenty of notice to do a little spring cleaning, preparing their closets for upcoming looks. Here are five runway trends from the spring 2014 shows that you can mix into your wardrobe this season.

1. Pastels
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Runways throughout the fall were filled with colors of macaron majesty. Prabal Gurung (above, right) made use of the hue to color many of his mid-century inspired creations. Few looks captured the mood of the 1950s and the casual elegance a wearer of pastels in spring can create quite like his 11th runway piece. With a plunging neckline Joan on Mad Men would envy, this head-to-toe lavender look is a subtly sexy outfit that makes pastels looks sophisticated. Elizabeth and James’s buttercup yellow dress is a breezy pastel option (bottom left), perfect for warm spring days or summer evenings. Oscar de la Renta put his own spin on blue pastels with pearl detailing that heightens the posh, ladylike feel the shades can inspire.

Sheer detailing and sky-high slits kept Burberry from excessive primness during a collection that was filled with candy-colored confections. An ad from the brand’s spring campaign shows off three colors that were runway darlings during the spring shows: lavender, pink, and powder blue. With shoes, clutches, and clothes all shaded in soft pastels, the ad is proof that you can use this trendy hue any way you want. Add pastels to your spring attire through accessories, individual pieces, or entire looks. Use styling tricks like sheer materials, lower necklines, or edgy details to keep your clothes from looking too straight-laced.

2. Keep going for gold … or silver
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The Olympics ended before your closet could experience a spring awakening, but you can glean inspiration from the games for your wardrobe — while staying fashionably attired — by taking advantage of the madness for metallics that was seen around the world. Proving that you can shine day or night was Diane von Furstenberg (far left). The simple shift dress got a serious makeover when DVF spun it into fashion gold. Eye-popping metallic detailing overlays a short, silvery dress by Balmain (second from left), and a gaggle of models backstage at Dolce & Gabbana shows only a sliver of how many karats crept into the collection. But it wasn’t all overt displays of medal-worthy looks. Giambattista Valli scored on four trend fronts with this look from spring 2014. Metallics (1) embellish a sheer outfit (2) in 3-D detailing (3) with a skirt that hits at just about tea length (4).

Be aware of cut and color when picking out metallic pieces — you don’t want to look like you’re covered in wrapping paper or tinsel. Accents can be done at anytime of the day, but for full-shining ensembles, cut matters. The DVF is casual enough for day when paired with beige accessories, but the pieces by Dolce & Gabbana are better left for evening wear.

3. Prints
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Gingham glory was found at Balmain (top left) and Stella Jean (top right). At Balmain, it was done in combination with pale pastels, but in Stella Jean’s collection, an explosion of color and print took place. Where gingham ended stripes began, before giving way to African-inspired patterns. The mishmash of styles was pulled off with bright colors, carried confidently down the runway.

Prints went to new dimensions, too. Flowers were in full bloom at Mary Katrantzou (bottom left); Elie Saab (bottom right) opted for more subtle floral texturing. The takeaway from Katrantzou’s spring show wasn’t only that florals and prints are again a spring staple but that there is a new twist on an old favorite. Texture and dimension were incorporated in prints on runways from New York to Milan. Being bold no longer only means pops of color or mixing your stripes and plaids: It’s also about taking your clothing to new heights.

Don’t be afraid to play with prints by mixing and matching, but be wary of looking like a patchwork quilt. Use your judgement when piecing together a multi-print outfit. These combinations require confidence, and if gingham on stripes is a fashion faux pas in your book, use dimensions and florals to stay in style this spring.

4. Going the distance
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Designers went to town with tea-length skirts. The grass was truly greener at Alice + Olivia when this “dusty sage” design (middle) struck the runway. The creamy leather crop top and high-waisted skirt are covetable for spring for their color, cut, and presentation. Equally elegant were the clothes seen at Oscar de la Renta’s show (far right). Sashaying along the catwalk was a full skirt in salmon pink. From the waist down, the model could have walked out of the 1950s with an outfit that recalls images of a poodle skirt, but the top kept the look from appearing too sock-hop.

The story for spring wasn’t all about A-line cuts. Marchesa’s tea-length skirt (far left) is sheer after mid-thigh. This is another update that keeps the clothing looking fresh and modern. A blue dress by Chloé (second from right) does this as well, using lace to be provocative and demure. At Dolce & Gabbana, there is almost a trumpet aspect to the tea-length polka dot skirt, which hugs the model’s figure, creating a modern and alluring outfit.

Nipped in at the waist, tea-length styles skirt the issue of truncating the body. Even at Marchesa, the waist is emphasized by a crop top overlaying the dress. Keep the waist in mind when shopping for skirts and dresses with extended hemlines. Too full of an A-line can swallow a smaller frame, and be sure to use tops and accessories to maintain a current look.

5. Outstanding outerwear
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If the spring is anything like this winter, you’ll be reaching for a jacket. Thankfully, an array of styles were on display in September that will keep you covered in style. The collarless jacket was having a heyday, including a patterned option by Rachel Zoe (top left). Darker neutrals abounded on runways, as well, offering a nice contrast to the notion of yellow bursts of sunbeams and light flowers conjured up by pastels. At Thakoon, a dark brocade collarless jacket hit just above the model’s knee (top middle).

But Thakoon was not content to display only one trend in outerwear, and the brand flirted with shorter styles, too. Jackets stopping at the waist were a hit at Thakoon, Tracy Reese, and J. Mendel (bottom right). A truncated jacket doesn’t mean it is short on detailing — the brocade J. Mendel Jacket fits beautifully detailed stitching into a cropped cut.

You could also button up in a bomber jacket like models did at Milly, Tracy Reese, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. The bomber jacket played a role in the sophisticated sportswear on the runways. From athletic pants with tuxedo side paneling to the use of mesh, it was all about athletics on spring runways. Unlike tuxedo-inspired pants or oversize, see-through shirts, a bomber jacket is an easier piece to add into your wardrobe because it is more wearable than the other options. At 3.1 Phillip Lim, the bomber got a shot of elegance with chiffon and metallic embroidery (bottom middle).

Who looked the best :The Oscars 2014 red carpet fashion

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Stars stunned on the red carpet of the Oscars Sunday night — with sequins, varying shades of blue and everything in between.

With a supporting actress Oscar now in her possession, a tearful Lupita Nyong’o, concluded a red-carpet season Sunday night as a fashion darling for sexy silhouettes and colors that wow.

She didn’t disappoint at the 86th Academy Awards, wearing a pale blue Prada goddess gown and a sparkly gold-and-diamond headband from Fred Leighton. She helped design the dress, too.
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Nor did Jennifer Lawrence in a $2 million, 100-carat diamond necklace from Neil Lane to accent her girl-on-fire orange-red strapless dress from Dior. On Cate Blanchett’s ears were 33 carats of opal in a huge drop design that did justice to her beaded Armani gown in a light tan color.

Blanchett’s heavily embellished gown sparkled under the lights at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles when she collected her Oscar for best actress in “Blue Jasmine.”
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While she’s not under contract by Giorgio Armani, Blanchett does favor the house. “Armani has made donations to the theater that she and her husband run in Sydney, so she’s very loyal to him,” said Hal Rubenstein, editor at large of InStyle magazine.

Muted colors, like those worn by Blanchett and Nyong’o's ice blue, were one of the night’s big trends, said Estee Stanley, a stylist who worked with Portia de Rossi, in a regal Naeem Khan halter with beads and lace, and Jessica Biel, dressed in a metallic sparkler from Chanel dripped with diamond jewelry from Tiffany.

Fitted, body-conscious gowns prevailed on the red carpet, said fashion bloggers Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez.
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“The colors of the night were pinks and blues. Statement necklaces were back,” Fitzgerald said.

But Marquez mused: “A general sameness hung over the whole thing. There was not enough experimentation.”

While some of the necklines plunged, said Rubenstein, “there was nothing overtly sexy. They were all fairly reserved.”

Fashion Trends to Look for at the Oscars 2014

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We’ve seen a lot of gorgeous dresses come down the red carpet this awards season, but the Oscars is always the night that tops them all.

Elle magazine’s creative director, Joe Zee, (who also suggested these runway gowns for the stars to wear tonight) reviewed for ABC News what we’ve seen already, and what the stars might pick to wear tonight.

Red

“The cardinal rule of no red on a red carpet seems to not be in play this season, where various shades have made their stride, and all being very notable stunners. (i.e. Lupita Nyong’o, etc).”
‘American Hustle’-Inspired Glamour

“Besides being a big nominated film this year, the styles of the sexy 70′s can also be seen on the carpet with metallics and glitter making a comeback. The pre-requisite plunging neckline, as seen on its lead star Amy Adams at the Globes and newcomers like Margot Robbie, has also been a big look this season.”

Black

“While stars tend to opt for color, in the past few awards seasons there’s been a dramatic return to classic black, in every silhouette from mermaid to old Hollywood to princess gown.”

The “Mullet Gown”

“This daring new silhouette got a big vote of validation this awards season where some stars, who maybe couldn’t decide between long or short for the event, just opted to do both! The mullet gown, short in front and long in back, strutted the red carpet on everyone from Michelle Dockery to Elizabeth Moss to Sandra Bullock.”

Pregnant in Style

“It seems that ‘with child’ was the chicest accessory on the carpet with stars like Kerry Washington (who flaunted her belly in a Prada midriff) to Olivia Wilde in her Gucci to Drew Barrymore all looking radiant and chic!”

2014 Spring Fashion: Sunglasses and Lipsticks

Sunglasses for discreet chic, and lipstick that can be berry, berry nice. Plus, more spring fashion: Patterns for everyone—flowers, golfers, and more; trench coats to weather the fickle season in style; pastel colors are on-trend; and go retro with flattering pleats and throwback polos.
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