Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mixing it Up for Spring

Mother Nature definitely gave us the cold shoulder this winter. 


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. 

 
Ready for something a bit more daring?  O.K., let’s add a bigger dollop 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. 



 
Now this outfit doesn’t speak, it absolutely sings easy, breezy spring.  The Breton striped sweater ($89.50) with a wide band of papaya across the top over a pair of etched, floral pants ($89.50) in nectarine, is such a great way to mix patterns.  The metallic moccasins ($119) in pale gold are a great choice – just enough color and texture to add interest, but neutral enough NOT to fight for attention. 




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. 

 
Here I must admit to having a bit of a fashion quirk about white pants with white shoes – boring!!  We can do better.  But then, maybe that’s just me.  What do you think??  Do you like white pants with white shoes? 

 

16 comments:

  1. Lovely and refreshing combinations to herald in the warmers months. They all look fabulous. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure. Hope your weather in the south of France is as beautiful as it was during my séjour in Paris a few weeks ago.

      Have a wonderful spring and summer.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  2. I don't 'love' some of the combinations but can see alternatives. Perhaps I am a bit too formal in my clothing choices. As for white shoes with white pants, I don't mind it, depending on what one is wearing on top. I find in Australia, we generally show naturally tanned legs, and I think we can get away with it. Having said that, I am a lover of red shoes, in both summer and winter. A red shoe with white pants and some contrasting red up top - including a red lip, looks great I think. Thanks M-T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mind at all that you didn't 'love' some of the combinations. They are meant to inspire and tweak you a bit. Nothing wrong w/being formal in your clothing choices, although spring is the time to be a bit adventurous and to try new things. Ohhh, what I wouldn't give to have a pair of beautifully tanned legs. How lucky you Aussies are.

      I do share your love of red shoes, as you probably know from some of my previous posts, and the combination you suggest (red shoes, white pants, contrasting top and red lips) is just fabulous! Thanks for sharing that w/us.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  3. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Love the plaid skirt and the yellow rain coat the most!
    Yes, I do have white pants and also white shoes... but we still need some more summery feeling for actually wearing them well.
    Sending you hugs, I'm still not caught up since friend Mariëlle left. She only had one week with us; too short but still a lovely time for visiting from The Netherlands.
    We lost both our Moms in January...
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you had a wonderful visit w/your friend. I'm sure you'll miss her.

      Yes, I, too, have white shoes and white pants, but I just don't wear them together. I guess I'm just a bit quirky that way.

      Big bisous to you, ma chère Mariette,

      M-T

      Delete
  4. Love the cat picture. I too am feeling like wearing colour although weather is very erratic here sunny but windy and cold. Simply adore the navy coat with spots, great look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't he just too precious? I thought immediately of you when I selected that navy duster. You would look fabulous in it.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  5. Oh dear.... I am QUITE through shopping for about the next year or two, but a polka-dot cardigan? May be impossible to resist!
    big hug,
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are we ever REALLY through shopping, my Dear? Especially when something REALLY strikes our fancy? A polka-dot cardigan, perhaps? Go for it.

      I can only imagine what fabulous outfits you would have created w/the pieces in this post.

      Big hug, my friend,

      M-T

      Delete
  6. M-T, Love the spring outfit you highlighted today! So fun & colorful (mostly in my favorite color - blue)! I think I need to head down to Talbots to do a little polka dot shopping :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Cheri, I'm, also, a big fan of polka dots. They just make me feel good all over when I wear them. So young and fun!

      Blue is definitely a great shade for you. In fact, there's a perfect shade of blue for everyone.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  7. Love the colorful spring outfit ideas M-T! I think I need to go to Talbots today and find me something in polka dot ;)

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, it's not your Mother's Talbots any more. I think they're channeling a younger vibe these days. Glad you liked my suggestions for spring.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  8. Talbots has sure changed since I last looked! I always thought of it a stodgy stuff. What a nice surprise! Great pairing and suggestions. Being a Polka Dot 'holic, I think I need to get myself one.
    Let's talk next week and brew up some fun/trouble.
    Xoxo Kennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it has! I remember when the "Ladies of the Press" made fun of Laura Bush by saying that she looked like she shopped at Talbots.

      Polka dots are just the greatest, aren't they?

      Yes, my Dear, a talk next week should definitely brew up some fun/trouble. Can't wait!!

      xoxo, M-T

      Delete

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