With bone-chilling temperatures across the country, it’s hard to imagine that Spring will be here in just a few weeks (cross fingers!) And, if you take a trip to the mall, you’d think that it was already here. The stores are stocked with lighter and brighter clothes and accessories. So if you are lucky enough to be heading south or want to plan ahead for warmer weather, here’s the Style File scoop on the trends for us moms.
I’m calling this the season of the 4 P’s – 1. patterns and prints, 2. primary colours, 3. preppy and 4. paper bags. Yes, paper bags. Let me explain.
1. Patterns and prints are everywhere, from retro graphics to animal inspiration to all sorts of florals. And, I say hooray! What a great way to update and add interest to wardrobe basics, such as jeans, black pants and basic tops. (Patterns can also act as camoflague for the spills and spots that seem to be part of a mom’s life.) There are just a couple of things to consider when choosing a strong print or pattern – wear one patterned piece only, and select a print scaled to your own proportions or body type. So, petites wear smaller prints. Larger on top? Consider a printed skirt and plain T to blance out your body, and vice versa for those with larger hips and smaller busts. Still not sure about this season’s passion for prints? Simply salute this style with a printed purse or shoe.
This floal jacket is from Guess and would look equally good with jeans, white or khaki pants or skirts. The graphic tunic is from Suzy Shier – great for the office or an evening out. Top off this graphic print skirt from Jacob with plain black or white sweater, shirt or T (and add a hit of colour with a bright shoe or bag.) Signal your wild side with an animal print – this zebra-inspired top is from Old Navy.
The pretty printed purse from Aldo and snakeskin style flats from Feet First will add personality to just about any casual look. This graphic tote from Banana Republic can go from office to beach. And,these feminine floral tops from Guess show that there are printed and patterned options for everyone.
2. Primary colours – from real reds, to blatant blue and glorious green – imagine your clothes will coordinate with your children’s Fisher Price playset! Seriously, a stylish shot of colour is great way to beat the winter blahs. As with patterns, add your colourful clothes to your wardrobe basics and keep to one strong piece only if you don’t want to look like a presenter from kids’ TV! Here’s a look at some perky pieces in primary:
Always useful and good looking, the trench takes a trendy turn in red from Jacob. Add a colour shot with a bright belt or bag, these are from Jacob and Aldo. The gem of a green jacket is from The Gap.
3. Preppy style makes a statement this Spring and is easy to wear for almost everyone. Just make sure you look fabulous and not frumpy, by ensuring your preppy pieces have a fantastic fit and add interest with design details and awesome accessories. This sweater from Banana Republic has preppy pizzazz with a ballet neckline and addition of a silk scarf. The argyle sweater and safari-inspired shirt from Suzy Shier are shapely and not stuffy, and this perfect preppy look from Jo Fresh features skinny pants to emphasize lovely legs.
4. Paper bags – OK here’s my rant – what are the designers thinking? Following last year’s empire waists, some lines have become even less shapely. No matter your size, height, weight or shape, I would argue that that these baggy blousons won’t do a thing for anyone. Take a look at this Gap top and jumper (jumper? what? we’re the moms not the two year olds!) This aptly named bubble top from Old Navy will do just that – make you look like a bubble, especially with the horizonatal zig-zag stripe to add extra width!
We’re definitely looking at a Spring and Summer of looser looks, but please select something with at least a little shape (we are women after all!) Here’s a few examples from Guess (peach tunic and shirred floral print) and the Gap – cute capris and a slighly more shapely plain top.
P.S. – Good news on jeans – just about every shape and design from skinny to flared are up-to-date. So simply select the style(s) that suit you and your lifesyle to feel and look your best in this upcoming season of patterns, prints and preppy pieces. And keep those paper bags for packed lunches!
Katie is host of the urbanmoms.ca Style File. As a public relations professional and a student of style and design, she has helped many retail and fashion clients promote their brands. She is mom to two boys (the best anti-shopping devices on the market) and now indulges her love of fashion by conducting wardrobe consultations, personal shopping expeditions and by participating in media interviews, providing advice on everything from wardrobe must-haves to accessories and footwear. Katie firmly believes that high style does not have come with a high price tag and her shopping philosophy is based on saving both time and money.
For more style musings, visit Katie at Real Canadian Style www.realcanadianstyle.blogspot.com