Think bright & bold this spring

Colored denim and lots of bangles are all the rage this spring

By Ellen Futterman, Editor


No, not the fruit, the color. After spending the better part of a week interviewing local boutique owners and style experts about the hot trends in spring fashion, I am now on the hunt to find a “statement piece” in the color of tangerine.

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Don’t you love the way fashionistas speak? Statement piece. What the???

In any case, a statement piece of tangerine isn’t the only must-have for spring. In no special order, here’s the skinny on what I learned:

• Color is big. Expect to see lots of bold, even neon, colors this spring, especially in denim. Feel free to mix these colors together, pairing, say, electric blue denim jeans or capris with a bright yellow one-shoulder knit top and a purple belt. “Don’t worry if you think the colors don’t go,” says Leslie Kotiza at Pink Magnolia (a.k.a. the Lily Pulitzer store) in Ladue. “The more abstract the better.” You’ll see blocks of bold colors on dresses, too. The only caution is keep the mix of colors to three or four or else you’ll chance looking like a clown.

• Perk up neutrals with bold-colored accessories and shoes. According to several of the experts, black, white and ivory are also popular this spring; apparently those colors never go out of style. But you can update a ho-hum black-and-white look with red suede or neon-blue patent platforms as well as hot pink earrings and a coral-colored fake crocodile purse.

• Pair pastels with bold colors. ‘Nuff said.

• Flowing or draping dresses with low, as in mid-calf, cowboy boots. Jane Lavey, owner of Giddyup Jane in Ladue, assures us that Taylor Swift isn’t the only one who pulloff this look.  “Light, flowy dresses of all lengths are big this spring, which is nice because people of a certain age don’t necessarily want to show their knees,” says Lavey. Giddyup to that!

• “Sporty chic is very popular. Cuts that have an athletic influence,” explains Julie Didion at Esther Boutique in Frontenac. These looks might have racer backs, dangling straps or abstract stripes that even fuse the neon color trend. To that end, color-blocked kicks (fashionista talk for sneakers) are the “it” shoe for comfort without sacrificing style.

• Graphic florals. Think flower patterns with an edge.

• Polka dots and peplums. 

• Bangles, bangles and more bangles. “Lots and lots. You just can’t have enough,” says Kristen Zivic, co-owner of Lusso Home boutique in Clayton.

Lisa McKinney, owner of Athena Boutiques in Frontenac, says for the hot summer, which she predicts St. Louis’ will be given the warm winter, “good quality jerseys that won’t trap the heat are the way to go.

“You want to wear something that will allow you to stay fresh looking all day,” says McKinney, who echoes that tangerine is perhaps the biggest color of the spring season. She suggests investing in one great piece, perhaps a pair of tangerine-colored shorts or an easy-to-throw-on top.

“You don’t have to spend a fortune on a spring-summer wardrobe,” she adds. “After all, it’s summer.  That means less fabric.”

Words to shop by.