Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Trends – Can We Talk?

Last week began with snow and ended with rain, but today is a beautiful, sunshiny spring day.   Time to sit down with my blogger BFFs and dish about what we can look forward to (or not) this spring. 


Aren’t they just oh-so-feminine? 

Kiernan Shipka – photo courtesy of iVilllage

This is how to do a full skirt, especially if you’re petite (I hate the word “short.”).  In fact, I love everything about the whole outfit, which is flirty, feminine and fun. Kiernan Shipka has done everything so right here:    
1)  The tiered skirt accentuates her tiny waist and flares out in a way that reminds me of the skating skirts I used to wear on Saturday afternoons at the roller rink.   It hits just above the knee, showing off her shapely legs.  I would probably lengthen the skirt just an inch or two, a more universally flattering length.    
2)   A cropped top is the perfect pairing with a full skirt (save your longer tops for straight/pencil skirts), and the flared sides beautifully balance the flare of the skirt. 
3)  This whole outfit is a master class in how to mix patterns, down to the high-heeled, animal print shoes (fabulous!!).   The trick to mixing patterns is to pair large patterns (skirt) with small patterns (top and shoes) while keeping everything in the same color palette. 

O.K., so maybe the outfit is a tad young…….or maybe not…….  Ladies, you don’t have to be a 20something to wear a full skirt, but you do have to have a waist and you need to choose your skirt shape carefully.  Here’s what I mean. 

Roses Floral Skirt

Isn’t this rose-covered full skirt lovely?   As pretty as it is, it’s the wrong choice for most of us “over a certain age,” and here’s why: 
1)   The gathered material right under the waist band, creating that dreaded dirndl effect, adds bulk right where we don’t need it – at the tummy. 
2)   It falls at mid-calf, which can cut you off, particularly if you are petite.   I find a mid-calf length on a full skirt can be a bit matronly on anyone over 40, unless you are very tall and thin.  Still, if you want to wear a mid-calf, full skirt, pair it with a shoe or sandal with a high heel.  The mid-calf look with ballet flats only works on you taller gals.  We petites look as if we’re standing in a hole – not a good look. 
Kaleidoscope Pleated Skirt ($99) – Talbots

This full skirt, flat under the waistband with pleats flaring away from the body, creates a more flattering silhouette, although……..the sweater would not have been my choice.  Clearly, it was chosen for its complementary color, but it sits awkwardly on the skirt, because it’s too long, and the ribbing at the bottom doesn’t help.  In my opinion, this sweater would be more flattering with a straight skirt. 

Cate Blanchett – photo courtesy of iVillage
This dress definitely makes a bold statement, and Cate Blanchett pulls it off beautifully.  Of course, a dress this distinctive must be worn sparingly (“There she is, again, in that dress with the big, blue flower.”).   I find the length a bit awkward, but I think it could work with different shoes.  Although the neutral shoe is a good choice, a simple pump or sling back, which shows more of the foot, would have worked better than this fussy shoe that fights the dress for attention and cuts her off at the ankle. 


Mirrored-Floral Dress ($189) – Talbots

Instead of a dress in a bold graphic, how about one in a bold floral?  Even if you live in a tiny NYC or Paris apartment, you can still show off your green thumb by wearing your spring garden.  A beautiful floral dress can perfume the air with a breath of spring with every step. 


They’re back!!!   Yeah!!   This is a spring trend we can ALL wear. 

Symphony Textured ¾ coat ($189) - Talbots
Popularly referred to as a Topper or Duster, the spring coat is a breath of nostalgia for me.   Every Easter I had a new spring coat with dress, hat and shoes to match.   One year I was a symphony in powder blue.  I can still remember those powder blue, patent leather high heels – they were to die for!! 
This fully-lined, cotton blend Topper in bright Azalea will add just the perfect touch of spring to your outfit.  The beauty of the ¾ Topper is that it absolutely goes with anything, and you don’t have to worry about the length of your skirt or dress. 
Sadly for me, this coat only comes in Azalea, which is not a color I can wear (sigh!).  Oh well…..
Here are a few items on my wish list for spring.   You’re never too old to dream. 



  1. I am not so good with skirts but I might try one of the new fuller ones this season.

    1. You definitely should, Josephine. I've seen pictures of you in a dress and you've got the legs for it. Go for it!

  2. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    It is always very tricky to wear a full gathered skirt; short or longer... At present I don't have one. Being gathered from the hips down works always more flattering.
    Personally I always have loved cropped tops but they are oh so hard to find. They are far less bulky and provided you have a waist, they make you look a lot more presentable.
    Sending you hugs,

    1. I agree, Mariette, and you have the figure for a lovely skirt, whether full or straight.

      Big hugs, M-T

  3. The Balmain denim jacket on your 'wish list' is now also on mine. Love!

    Loved your spring-y articles as well. So refreshing! And I always learn something new. :) Merci!



    1. Isn't that jacket just toooo gorgeous? Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I know how busy you are at this time of year.

      Cheers, M-T

  4. Even though a full skirt is gorgeous, petite women without a waist will find it challenging.
    Sadly for me, I may have give this one a miss

    1. Indeed, Irene, you are in very good company. Most of the women I dress do not have a well-defined waist, but there are ways to deal with that and look great. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you would like to discuss some options.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T


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