Spring Style: Top Trends and How to Wear Them

So what's in for spring 2006? The question should really be what isn't in for spring? The new season brings with it a handful of major trends, but be warned: Each of them offers you a multitude of choices, and you're in danger of falling into the fashion-victim trap if you aren't careful. Rule of well-manicured thumb? Make sure each item you buy works with at least five styles you already have in your closet. Here's a rundown of which trends to look for and how to wear them.

 

Geisha Glam

To obi, or not to obi? That is the question. And the answer this season is a resounding yes. Asian-inspired pieces for day and night play an important role in spring fashion. Details such as obi sashes on jackets and gowns, your kimono-type tops and dresses, and vividly colored Japanese-style patterns have jumped from the big screen à la Memoirs of a Geisha to retail stores everywhere. Think of this exotic trend as memoirs of a fashionista. Here's how to incorporate it into your world:

  • All it takes is a sash. Add some Far East flair to a simple V-neck dress by wrapping a bright sash around your waist. Do the same with a pencil skirt and button-down V-neck top.
  • Accessorize with a bamboo clutch and platform sandals.
  • Wear an orchid (real or faux) in your hair or pinned to your ensemble.
  • Pair a kimono-style top with tight leggingsor a pencil skirt.

 

Sailor's Delight

The nautical look will bring out your inner preppy this season. Sienna Miller set the maritime mod trend to sail with her much-photographed navy and white striped sweater. Since then all things yacht-worthy have become sought-after items. Designers have been showcasing sailor pants, captain's jackets, stripes and rope detailing in their recent collections, all of which will take you from the office to the weekend with ease. The key to pulling this look off without looking like Popeye gone crazy is not to wear it head to toe. Here are some tips on how to accomplish that:

  • Just wear the colors navy and white and maybe a little red. Pair a solid or striped navy shirt with white pants and red shoes. Accessorize with gold to refine the look.
  • Wear a white skirt instead of pants with a short naval jacket to make it more feminine. Pair with espadrilles and aviator sunglasses.
  • Bermudas are the chic shorts of the season. Use them to "anchor" your nautical look by wearing them with a pique polo, rope sandals and a canvas tote.

 

Frock and Roll

Take a walk on the wild side this year with the red-hot rock and roll trend. Skinny trousers, brocade vests and cool tailcoat jackets are just a few of the funky items that you'll be able to choose from. Think Rolling Stones in the late '60s meets Prince, with a little bit of David Bowie thrown in. Think you aren't the rock and roll type? Think again. You don't have to be outrageous or look outrageous to swing this trend. Here's how:

  • Remember rock T-shirts? Either dig an old one out from the bottom of your closet or buy a new one (vintage or not so vintage). Wear it under a shrunken blazer with striped pants or white jeans.
  • Anything brocade will do. Wear a baroque-inspired vest or jacket over a high-collar blouse for a rock royalty look, or go hardcore and wear brocade skinny pants with a ruffled blouse and fitted jacket.
  • A wide-lapel trench or cropped military-style jacket over any of the above is perfect for a hard day's night.

 

Get Crafty

Details on clothing have taken a folksy turn for spring. Artsy additions to jackets, dresses and accessories include crocheted designs, hand beading, patchwork quilting and embroidery. But don't worry '- the results are more haute heiress than they are gypsy princess. Here's how to satisfy your down-home desire:

  • Complement a homespun-looking dress or skirt with edgy accessories like cool cuff bracelets or sleek stilettos.
  • Go for a rich-girl, poor-girl look and accessorize with gold necklaces.
  • Wear a simple T-shirt with an embroidered skirt (see above photo of Banana Republic skirt) or a tailored jacket over a patchwork dress to balance out the look.
  • Accessorize a black and white outfit with a with brightly crocheted handbag.
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