Every season, the fashion world shoves an excessive amount of "it" looks in our faces. So many in fact, I sometimes feel it necessary to go through the numerous trends with a fine-toothed comb to narrow them down even further. This spring and summer are no different.
From menswear-inspired sportswear, bold prints, vivid neons and more, there are literally dozens of "trends" you can choose from to navigate your way through spring and summer.
To make things a little easier, here are my favorite (and probably the most wearable) looks from the runways. I'm heading to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week next month, so I'll be back soon with my suggestions for fall!
It's no secret we're seeing a return to femininity in fashion, and really, what's more feminine and elegant than a plush floral pattern? Everyone from Erdem to Jason Wu flaunted flirty florals in their spring/summer 2012 runway shows, but luckily you can also get the look for less. With lines like J.Crew and ASOS taking on this lively and colorful print, you can pick some pieces that will surely fit in your budget.
Everyone from Erdem to Jason Wu flaunted flirty florals in their spring/summer 2012 runway shows, but luckily you can also get the look for less.
For flower power at the office, try this J.Crew a-line skirt or this ASOS floral pantsuit. For date night, don a flirty dress like this Zimmerman wrap dress or this open-back Thayer frock. If you are into a brighter color-scheme, this Just Cavalli top or these electric blue Matthew Williamson shorts should fit the bill.
As far as accessories, petal-covered purses are where it's at. This ravishing red floral hobo by Yves Saint Laurent es muy caliente for spring. For a more subdued hue, check out Nina Ricci's floral-print envelope clutch. Too cute.
Dropped waists and flapper flair is back and flashier than ever. Derek Lam, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and Alberta Ferretti have all offered these sensual silhouettes with heavy beading, sequins and sheer cutouts for an added bang for your buck at your upcoming spring events.
As Ms. Ferretti mentioned in my interview with her, The Great Gatsby was a major influence and theme in her spring/summer collection, in tandem with the movie being re-released this year, and it seems as if many other designers were in a similar mindset.
For a timely and timeless look, invest in a sheath like this one by Marc Jacobs. If you're looking for a more casual and youthful look, grab this jumpsuit from Ferretti's contemporary line, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti.
If you feel like killing two birds (three actually) with one stone, get this pastel-hued floral Marc Jacobs dress with a dropped waist. Three hot trends in one dress? Yes, please.
Onto the color portion of this column, sherbet shades are on the short list for a pretty and painted season. As a palette, pastels tend to fall in a more youthful category, which has its pros and cons. The benefit of pastels is that they can add a bit of a playful punch to your grown-up wardrobe, but too much of will leave you looking like rainbow sherbert from Baskin Robbins (my favorite flavor, btw).
The benefit of pastels is that they can add a bit of a playful punch to your grown-up wardrobe, but too much of it will leave you looking like rainbow sherbert from Baskin Robbins.
The key is to find a balance by selecting a few subtle pieces to wear with white and other neutral hues. Just like with brights and neons, not everyone can handle the soft look of sorbet hues. If you're not really into color, there are ways to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe without it taking over an ensemble.
For those a little bashful of the brights, incorporate pastels with a pair of summery wedges or even in your makeup choices. Pick a coral lipstick, a mint nail shade or a subtle lilac eyeshadow to make those baby blues pop.
Phillip Lim and Preen both provided a number of pieces in creamy pinks, tangerines, yellows, mints and lilacs which I'm excited to see once they hit the store racks! I'm especially fond of this minty fresh Equipment blouse - it would look stellar tucked into pair of clean white shorts and espadrilles!
A personal favorite trend of mine is the look of a thigh-high slit on a maxi dress or skirt this spring. Whether you prefer a sporty color block or would rather go with some flower power, designers have come up with options for both with a sexy little addition.
It's a tasteful way to show some skin without giving away the whole farm, and I'm a much bigger advocate of showing some leg than some cleavage. If you like the look but are wondering how to wear it in a modest fashion, check out designer Yigal Azrouel's tips from my interview with him here.
I recently purchased this angelic Yigal Azrouel side-slit maxi in white and let me tell you... It is nothing short of awesome. It is definitely my new go-to piece when I need to feel inspired or just want to get all dolled up. Click here to see how I combined this sexy, modern skirt with some retro basics for a classic, old-school glamour look.
Beck is the editor of fashion and personal style blog, The Style Scribe.