But, suddenly, you can feel the warmth of her smile as spring bursts forth all around us. Of course, she still has that wicked sense of humor. Instead of my car being buried under a foot of snow, it’s now covered with an inch of pollen – nice one, Mother Nature. Achoo to you, too!! Please pass the Zyrtec!
Allergies aside, I do love the fragrant bouquet of colors and patterns that is spring. It’s time to pack away your dark, winter neutrals and experiment with mixing colors and patterns in new and exciting ways.
If that sounds a bit intimidating and out of your comfort zone, let’s start off with three outfits that will ease you from “That’s interesting” to “Wow!!” Are you ready? (All pieces are available on line at Talbots.)
Here we have my favorite spring pattern, the polka dot (it’s a perennial, and it’s back!!), in a ¾ jacquard coat ($199), mixed with a colorful, striped, crewneck sweater ($79.59) over a dark wash ankle jean ($79.50). This is an absolutely fool proof way to mix patterns while still playing it safe (the polka dots are small and discreet).
Basically, you’ve taken two neutral pieces and added one bright piece and one bright accessory, the candy apple suede flats ($119).
The ¾ coat, also called a duster, is the perfect alternative to the spring coats we used to wear as kids, and the length makes it far more versatile. It works beautifully, not just over trousers, but over skirts of any length.
Here we stay strictly neutral with classic black and white, but by mixing texture and pattern, we’ve kicked it up a notch. A black cardigan with large, white polka dots ($89.50) over a white shirt with small, black polka dots ($69.50) and a black-and-white, plaid pencil skirt ($99) adds an interesting twist to the classic black and white theme.
Staying with classic black and white, this deep V-neck black pullover ($89.50) over a scoop neck white tee ($24.50) paired with white crepe, wide leg trousers with great, slimming dark stripes ($119) is a very flattering silhouette for every body type. (M-T Note: Wider stripes set farther apart are actualy more slimming than small pinstripes or railroad stripes.) Think you can’t wear white trousers? Think again.
The fabrics drape beautifully and the jasmine blue scarf ($59.50) adds just the right pop of color.
Remember that classic yellow raincoat you wore as a kid? Well, it looks great on big kids, too, especially when you pair it ($149) with a navy blue and ivory sweater ($79.50) with a brightly patterned shirt ($69.50) peeking out of the bateau neckline.
And you’ve gotta love these adorable moccasins in papaya ($109). The whole look is young, carefree and casual chic.
No doubt about it; the star of this ensemble is the lace, A-line skirt in bright nectarine ($149). What a beautiful color for spring!! The denim shirt ($69.50) is a great touch, adding a casual twist to a dressy skirt, and the striped cardigan ($79.50) in indigo and white tops everything off beautifully.
The mosaic bead necklace picks up all the colors in this outfit and pulls them all together beautifully. The mix of textures really takes this outfit to the next level.
M-T Note: Don’t be afraid of horizontal stripes. It’s all in the width of the stripe and how it’s worn.
Not into planting, hoeing and weeding this spring? Why not wear your spring garden? A bit risky, I admit. This whimsical garden sweater ($89.50) may look like something your Granny might wear, but she probably wouldn’t have thought to pair it with a polka dot shirt ($69.50) that peaks out at the neckline, cuffs and hemline and slimming ankle jean ($79.50) in white. Although……..she’d probably love the gladiola moccasins ($109).
M-T Note: If you go for a big and bold print, make sure it fits close to your body. Avoid bulky materials and keep the rest of the outfit simple.