Columnist Mark Longacre argues that while bright colors comprise nearly every spring fashion trend, be wary of too much of it.
Even though we barely had a winter, it’s finally spring, and arguably the most exciting season because we shed our heavy, drab winter clothes for the light, bright colors of spring wardrobes.
The season of rebirth is always generally brighter and more colorful than winter, but this season, color has invaded every aspect of spring fashion. This spring is different than others in that almost every store has incorporated bold colors, regardless of the style it appeals to.
Bright colors aren’t anything new – J. Crew has had them forever – but this season, stores’ color palates are all virtually identical. This season is all about modern takes on traditional looks. Stores have taken vintage styles like colored denim and chinos and designed them with slim fits. The key is to take the trend and put a new spin on it.
“Trends are about little details,” Zoe Selig, College Fashionista contributor, American Apparel employee, style guru and advertising sophomore, said. “Don’t wear all the trends at once – it’s all about incorporating pieces in classic ways.”
My rule of thumb is to take one colorful piece and use it as the outfit’s focal point, and one’s eye should be drawn directly to that piece when first looking at the outfit as a whole. Whether it’s an adorable pair of bright orange chinos from H&M that are super-hot this season, or the refreshing pair of mint shorts from J. Crew, choose an anchor piece and let that be the focus of the outfit. After picking that one staple piece, accent it with other parts of your outfit.
I love the baby blue color that J. Crew calls “coastal aqua,” H&M labels “light turquoise” and Gap names “union blue.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s hot this season. I wear my coastal aqua shorts with a simple black sweater or black short sleeve deep V-neck and a pair of black shoes. The outfit is clean and simple, but the shorts are fitted along with the sweater so they each keep with the modern take on a classic look.
My style is definitely a modern take on the classics, but some designers have worked splashes of neon into their lines. Neon reds and yellows scream spring, but if not worn properly, they can be incredibly overwhelming.
“I think neon can be obnoxious if it’s too much do neon in accessories with little pops here and there,” Selig said, wearing orange eye shadow, which was just enough to bring out the muted green in her jacket.
When planning to incorporate neon, place it somewhere you want attention drawn to. Neon clothing will act as a highlighter for your body, so use your accessories to give a pop of color without being overpowering.
Although bright colors are an important part of this season’s hottest clothes, clothing designers and stylists have shown many other subtle ways to update wardrobes. Many clothing designers are shying away from second skin apparel in exchange for fitted pieces.
Skin tight is sexy and fun, but it has been around forever: Not long enough to be a classic piece, but just long enough to be a little stale. In order to spice it up this season, sizes leave a little to the imagination while still hugging someone’s frame. I love that new garments look like they were tailored to fit like a glove because it’s a classic take on a modern trend.
The beauty of the classic style is that it can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
I could easily pair my orange chinos with a dark aqua polo, a pair of Sperry’s and a light sweater for a relaxing spring afternoon on a boat. Swap the sweater and polo for a navy blazer and pressed Oxford shirt, and I could go out to a formal dinner. Because all of the pieces are basic prints, it’s easy to experiment with what works and what doesn’t.
I like to experiment with color in moderation.
It’s fun to throw new pieces in the mix every now and then, but I generally keep my style minimalistic. Some people can wear clashing neon colors with various textures while still looking like a million bucks. Try on different outfit combinations to see what works for you.
“I don’t think you can have too much color,” Selig said. “Some people feel apprehensive about wearing too much color, but because color blocking is a trend, I think you can go wild and crazy with it.”
Mark Longacre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.