Columnist Mark Longacre offers style tips for all tastes.
Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year, which means it’s time to dump the pea coat and sweaters for an entire new, vibrant wardrobe. In my dreams.
On a college-student’s budget, new clothes aren’t always an option, but wearing old clothes in accordance with this season’s trends can be just as effective as a shopping spree without a bailout.
It’s important to note fashion isn’t set in stone, and you don’t have to fit in to one specific style. In fact, it’s best to keep style fluid and change it based on your mood. This keeps things interesting.
Style is subjective. Vogue’s Anna Wintour may consider something stylish that you hate, or vice versa. If you’re rocking your style, don’t let anyone trash it.
Now, let’s talk trends. Bohemian stores this season are incorporating different textures.
For example, Lucky Brand is showing denim jumpers paired with tan leather belts, giving a slender silhouette and an outfit in one simple piece. They’re also showing a resurgence of intricate paisley prints.
Paisley button-downs and bell-bottom jeans with wedges definitely bring peace to your wardrobe. Ponchos keep you dry during the April showers and solid shirts with patches of chiffon keep you cool with the May flowers. Most of the looks are inspired by the 1970s, so try buying second hand instead of new clothes from a high-end retailer.
For the preppy, Hampton’s vacationers, J.Crew, is showing simple pieces that appear sun-faded. Your old shirt or sweater that has been washed and worn for years is coming back. Try incorporating it with a simple pair of khaki shorts and flip-flops or flats. J.Crew is also showing this season’s hot color – orange.
But, before you go get that spray tan, remember that it’s a subdued, faded orange. One thing to note with the preppy style is that shorts are generally above the knee for men and about halfway down the thigh for women. Work in a little upscale, casual style when enjoying a picnic in Rittenhouse Square if you want to turn some heads.
This spring season is particularly flattering for the modern take on the 1960s with high-waisted shorts. My favorite look this season shows high-waisted shorts paired with a simple tank top. The emphasis is on the hips. As said in “Hairspray” – “It’s the look for the kitten that the cats prefer.”
Other vintage pieces include bandeau bathing suit tops that kill every girl’s natural enemy – tan lines. Bandeau tops with a regular bathing suit bottom minimize tan lines, but maximize the potential for a slip. Just be sure to check that everything is secure before jumping waves.
Finally, stores like Guess are pairing crop tops with tailored pants that fall just below the knee. I love this because it leaves the leg to the imagination but also shows some skin around the stomach. If you have a fluid style that changes frequently, try incorporating aspects of the vintage-inspired style on days when it’s chilly but still want to look sexy.
Hipsters can save their sweat by ditching the jeans, taking an old pair, cutting them off and rolling the frayed edge up for a crisp cuff. Cut-offs generally look best when rising above the knee and when paired with a pair of Sperrys, wedges or strappy sandals.
Girls can accessorize their outfits with a pocketbook or small clutch instead of touting a huge purse. Tans and basic colors are in, as always, and big vintage-inspired sunglasses pair with the outfit nicely.
Try checking Urban Outfitters or any vintage store for outfit ideas. You’re almost guaranteed to find something that goes along with spring trends there, and you can still afford to put gas into your Vespa.
Spring trends haven’t changed much for punk wardrobes, but the subtle changes in the style show it’s spring. Cut-off shorts with distressing for girls are making a comeback along with shirts with simple-printed patterns. Most of the punk style incorporates juxtaposition. For example, wearing a neon color with black will keep your wardrobe fresh.
Another important staple are partially bleached jeans, which give a one-of-a-kind design. If you dunk any old pair of jeans in a solution of half-bleach, half-water to get the bleach effect, you will still be able to afford those tickets for a show at the Theatre of Living Arts.
Regardless of your style, check the stores that show your favorite kind of clothing. Either buy it there or take note of the trends and buy elsewhere. Not all college students can afford to buy brand new clothes, so explore your options. Try pairing something old with something new. Just remember to rock your style this spring, and you’re guaranteed to turn some heads.
Mark Longacre can be reached at email@example.com.