shortshorts Written by: Madeline Perard, Style Intern for Closet of Style

As Catherine reported ten days ago, Spring '10 is all about the leg! Influenced by lingerie intimates, this season’s hottest classification is shorts! Whether you’re going for a more voluminous silhouette or a sleek casual look, you absolutely must sport a pair of short shorts. Shorts are a great essential item this year because of their versatility. They can be worn during the day while running errands, shopping, or strolling through the park, and then transform into high style for evening. Ranging from Bermuda shorts to Tap shorts, whatever your style personality, shorts are a great basic for any woman’s closet.

So, pull out your shorts this Spring and Summer because “it’s all about the leg!”
neutalspringcolorsIt's all about the leg!

There are quite a few themes this upcoming season, sporty being one of them. Anything but typical — think lace-up leather shorts with a polo shirt (sans one sleeve) paired with knee socks. How about the new preppy: a crisp button down shirt and straight cut capri pants both in vivid coral paired with a metallic silver belt or two. The utilitarian: from army green to khaki, military inspiration continues into Spring with epaulette detail on shirts, drawstring shirt dresses and jackets with cargo pockets. The hippy chick: while the fabrics and patterns may be conventional, the cuts are not. The ultra-feminine: ladylike shapes in gorgeously weighted fabrics and minimal, yet scrumptious, detail.

Spring '10 silhouettes are all about the straight and narrow. Pants will be cut close to the body. Clam diggers or petal pushers (pants cut an inch or two above the ankle) are back. If you thought FW09 was mini-sized with regard to dresses and skirts, wait until you see what's in store for SS10. Short shorts abound, making a revival. And the jump suit becomes the short jump suit. Not all body shapes will be able to pull off the season's trends. Nor do we want to embrace all trends, for example, the jegging (denim legging). However, there is room for interpretation when it comes to your personal style, such as wearing a mini-dress as a tunic over pants or jeans.

Balance is the key to achieving the right look. If you are donning major leg, balance with a blouson top. And as always, when going for a relaxed and slouchy look on the bottom with skirts, pants or shorts, balance it with narrow, fitted tops, and vise versa.

As for the Spring spotlight color .... welcome to the season of uncolor, i.e., neutrals. White, gray and khaki will dominate over anything bright this Spring. Think crisp and fresh! Whether you go monochromatic (gray + gray, or my favorite, white + white), or pairing one bright color with your neutrals, or introducing a metallic neutral into your neutral color scheme, you can't go wrong — it's anything but vanilla.

You will see a playfulness with fabrics and patterns this season like never before! Layer and mix different fabrics together, such as sequins + organza + lace, for a truly dramatic ensemble. Denim-on-denim is back (much to my dismay). Aside from that particular fabric pairing, there is much to be excited about. And talk about creativity — here's your opportunity to experiment with pattern. Mix a soft floral skirt with a striped top.

springshoesShoes get higher (platforms in heels and wedges), strappier (wrapping around the ankle and up the leg) and more cut away. Thanks to Prada, tie scarf pumps, and the like, will allow you to bring in glorious color and pattern (think florals). While the design says retro, the tie scarf says interesting, modern and sexy. With such ‘look at me’ shoes, your clothing options should entail simple, clean lines.

springcasualThe bootie stays for much of Spring. However, the scrunched up sock joins the ranks, paired with clean-cut, cut off jeans. This is my favorite casual 'almost-anyone-can-pull-this-off' look of the season by Erin Wasson. To me, the white-on-white color scheme is the epitome of Spring and is always in style. The cut off jeans add edgy flair. And the ankle boot with scrunched socks is completely fresh! Keeping the details simple, as in the belt and the long, layered necklaces, pulls it together for casual perfection.

Accessories continue to make a statement, but go light in material with jewelry. Look for cuff bracelets in enamel, lucite and acrylic. Belts continue to add punch to almost any outfit. There should be no rock left unturned when it comes to size and shape. You can even layer a couple of belts for an unexpected accent.

Spring is sure to bring a contemporary twist into your wardrobe. Even if you can't wear the straight, narrow and mini cuts and styles (goodness knows, I certainly can't), I can show you how to fake it! Sometimes, it takes just a few simple details to recreate a look from existing pieces in your wardrobe. The most important aspect of any season is expressing your own style with confidence!
It will come as no surprise that a dark color palette (almost entirely black) will enter back onto the scene. Think about its versatility — its ability to work into virtually everyone's wardrobe — it's no wonder it was the 'go to' color for designers for Fall. And within this color palette, you will find mostly solids. However, what makes it interesting are the details. Whether that be cutouts, angles, appliques, ruffles or layering, there is something for everyone to get excited about solids.

As for color, it's electric! Fall '08 was all about subtlety of color via jewel tones and earth tones. This season, it's hot and spicy. Bright, vivid and energetic colors mix with neutrals. Think Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs. Keeping ladylike and graceful silhouettes, chances are you'll find something to flatter your figure in this intense hue.

You will find alluring textures and patterns, as well. Animal prints, in medium to large-scale, make a playful entrance in tights, mini skirts and velvet dresses as best portrayed by Diane von Furstenberg. And speaking of textures, mixing velvet with silk, or lace with fur, will keep even the darkest of colors exhilarating.

Styles and cuts will be varied, yet mostly streamlined. Pants will be cut straight. Dresses and skirts both flouncy + flirty and straight or pencil, following the body lines, with lengths from mini to the knee. Balance is something to play with. Take straight leg pants and pair them with a billowy top. Or, wear an A-line full mini skirt and pair it with a fitted top.

otk-bootAccessories are still the statement makers for Fall, and will continue to be into Spring '10. Belts will come in all shapes, sizes and colors and be worn in just about every way possible, even over one shoulder. Jewelry will be, yet again, oversized and bewitching, especially up against a dark color palette. The relaxed handbag continues into Fall, however, a little structure makes its way back in. As for shoes, over-the-knee boots are the rage. Makes me happy that I bought some last year and can now flip the fold up to showcase the look of the season. In addition, cutouts, booties and platforms will be updated and seen on the streets everywhere.

With over-the-knee boots comes over-the-knee apparel. Another season of celebrating a woman's curves in beautifully simple, but decadent, dresses and skirts. One-shoulder dresses and tops, as well as draping, continue into Fall. A few new themes to admire (or not): bondage (pieces torn, cut and then pulled together in entertaining ways) and galactic shoulders (tops, jackets, dresses).

Take cues from high-end designers. Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren built their collections upon sophistication and elegance. Replicate the look with color, texture and cut. I know I will!

By: Millissa Mathai

Spring is almost here ladies. Time to whip out that self-tanner, put away the tweed and break out those flirty summer sandals you scored at Nordstrom. What I love most about Spring fashion and beauty are the fabulous new colors and textures. By far the “it” color of the season is pink and I couldn’t be happier. Whether it’s a coy blush shade or an electric magenta, pink is huge this season. Other prominent colors of the season include orange and lime green. My advice for pulling off these bright hues is simply pairing them with understated, yet sleek, charcoal, taupe or nude tones for a bit of sophistication.

As far as Spring evening wear is concerned, the one shoulder was big on the catwalk. Versace did the best by making casual jersey dresses extra flirty with a one shoulder. Another huge trend in the evening is the ethnic look. Naeem Khan had gorgeous Indian printed dresses while Hermès and Costume National did their take on the sari. I suggest you look for dresses made from gorgeous fabrics in a simple silhouette, so that the dress won’t wear you.

India was also the inspiration for Spring’s most fabulous accessories. Jewelry designers took a cue from the east and dreamed up gorgeous Indian-inspired creations that I am going mad for. My favorite way to incorporate this trend is by filling my whole arm with rhinestone encrusted bangles with chunky tribal cuffs. This is the season to be dramatic ladies, so take advantage of it.

Speaking of drama, the new Spring beauty trends are definitely dramatic and then some. Hot pink lips are a biggie for Spring. Remember this trick, simply dab on the color with your index finger for a light ‘I just had a Popsicle‘ look. However, if you’re like me and want to go the extra mile, forget the fingers and use a lip brush and flaunt fuchsia lips with confidence this Spring and after. Sometimes trends are meant to be adopted for a lifetime.

It’s time to make these trends your own. Happy shopping.

One of the most exhilarating aspects of my profession as a personal stylist is attending Fashion Week. The runway provides insight into designers’ inspirations and how they interpret the season ahead. For those of you who did not catch the sneak peak on my forecast page months ago, here is the lowdown on what to expect for Spring.

jumpsuitJumpsuits will make a grand entrance this Spring. And while this trend will not be embraced by all, some designers got it right. Take this jumpsuit by Ralph Lauren. It's sexy, classy and sophisticated. Other jumpsuits that I viewed on the runway left something to be desired, as well as jodhpur pants. Conjuring up visions of the 80s (read: MC Hammer), jodphur pants will not make my essential items list for your wardrobe.

Yellow and orange will dominate the season, as well as beautiful bright colors in greens and blues. Neutrals, yet again, will be everywhere making day-to-day dressing a cinch! You will see neutrals in beautiful metallics, as well as scrumptious fabrics — sheer to satin. Colorblocking techniques may come back into the mix. Cocktail dresses with patterns and embroidery will be seen on the streets, at parties, luncheons, and just about everywhere.

Belts, while not disappearing, will take a back seat for Spring. If it's not built into the garment, you may not be wearing them at all. It's about clean lines, maybe even a little on the relaxed side. You will also find a lot of draping, from tops and pants to skirts and dresses.

Look for big, bold jewelry. Spring will not be the time to play it safe. Go for more. Some designers are building accessories into their garments - bonus!

Tide Wash & Wear will continue to make an impact on the fashion world. And thank goodness for that. We need more items in our closet that can be thrown into the washing machine versus visiting the dry cleaner.

As we eagerly await the coming of Spring, Fashion Week hits again in just a few weeks ... and, of course, my head will be wrapping itself around the next Fall/Winter season! However, for now, let's look forward to Spring.