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Fashion trends: Stepping into spring

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Spring time weather in Bermuda is almost as predictable as lightning during a storm.

One day the sun's shining and you're pulling out pieces from your summer wardrobe. The next it's windy and cold and you're reaching back in the closet for a cable knit sweater and tights.

To make things a little easier, The Royal Gazette's Lifestyle section asked fashion experts at AS Cooper & Sons, Ltd to share their advice on how to dress for the season and to give us their predictions on the hottest items for spring.

Read on to find out what they said. (Especially, if you're struggling to figure out what to wear while the weather makes up its mind.)

Women's trends

Personal shopper and image consultant Jacqui Neath-Myrie believes that soft, pale colours will be all the rage in ladies fashion this season.

“Pastels are back in a big way,” she said. “Especially colours like blush, beige and pink, which suit a variety of skin tones. It was a popular colour on the catwalk this year, which always sets the tone for what's going to be in style.”

And for those not comfortable in wearing that shade in clothing, she said you can easily incorporate the shade into your accessories like a purse, shoe or jewellery.

By using accessories you're able to sample new trends without having to spend a whole lot of money, she said.

“And most people are looking to make their money go further these days.”

While black and white always tend to be in style, Ms Neath-Myrie said the colours were making an appearance in a lot of graphic dresses this season.

“Colour blocking is still a major trend because it's flattering, especially the dresses with dark panels on the sides,” she said. “It immediately gives you an hourglass shape and can accentuate the figure you already have or create the one you wish you had.”

You can also start to pull out your maxi dresses during this transitional season and pair it with a light jacket or sweater vest on chilly days.

One trend that a lot of women could probably get used to is the move towards comfy women's wear items like Palazzo pants.

The wide leg and flowing style is especially good for women looking for pieces that skim over the thigh area. But it might not be as flattering on petite women, said Ms Neath-Myrie. In any event, she recommends that women try on their clothes before buying anything to make sure it's the right fit for their body type.

Another trend that has made it's way into women's fashion is a “sporty-chic athletic style”.

Brands like DKNY are adding details like mesh to tops and incorporating jogging pants into their collections.

Ms Neath-Myrie said the patterned jogging pants made for a surprisingly versatile style for ladies. “You can put it on with flats during the day or wear it with heels and a jacket at night and it's a glorified sweatsuit.

“I think women will like the utility of it and seeing that it's also a great style for travelling makes it functional for a lot of people.”

She said people could be seeing more practical clothing making its way into designer's collections, now that there are a lot of women on those design teams.

“A lot more fashion is being made for real women in their real lives and not the fantasy lives on a catwalk, although that style has its place too.”

Ms Neath-Myrie believes that preppy pieces could also be popular in the hotter months, thanks to youthful new lines like Vineyard Vines, which carries a lot of classic pieces in bold colours and prints.

Men's trends

Senior sales staff member Van Swan isn't afraid to hide his adoration towards anything bold and preppy.

With that in mind, he predicts that men should be wearing bright colours like orange, pink, green and blue in everything from polo shirts to sweaters this season.

His favourite brand, Ralph Lauren, has taken traditional colours “but turned the volume way up” to give men an option for sprucing up an outfit.

“In a place like Bermuda where men are allowed to go to work in pink shorts, why not amp it up a little and give the collection a Bermuda flavour by getting the brightest things we can find?,” he asked.

Even men who opt for a more refined look, and who want stay away from the trends, can add a punch of colour to their style, Mr Swan said.

“The good thing about going with a classic and timeless style is that those pieces will never go out of style,” he said. “As long as you keep your physique, you can wear it year in and year out.

“You might choose to pair a navy blue blazer with khakis, but now you can add a bright coloured cotton and cashmere blend sweater for a little punch.”

If you're ever in doubt about how to pair contrasting colours together, just check out the insignia on the Ralph Lauren polo shirt, he said.

Basic linens were also coming out in a wide range of colours, while casual ‘weekend-style' Bermuda length shorts appear to be another popular men's wear item for spring and summer.

“The Bermuda-length shorts are made of cotton and aren't the kind of thing you would pair with long socks, like men do in the work week.

“Instead you might wear it with an unconstructed sports coat and a pair of loafers,” he said.

According to Mr Swan, polo shirts “never go out of style” and are great for guys who need to have a collar on their shirt, yet prefer to have a casual look.

He recommends that men look into wearing bright coloured socks this season as well.

“If you can't afford the latest trend in shoes in this economy why not jazz up your foot wear with a great, bright pair of socks?

“I have young men who come in the store with their BlackBerry phones and want to show me the picture of the sneakers they are going out in this weekend.

“But how many times are you going to wear a lime green pair of sneakers? To be honest, I think it's a terrific waste of money, so why not buy a neutral colour sneaker and affordable pair of socks?”

He said gentlemen's accessories were also on the rise in popularity. Especially in this day and age where men have lots of things to carry — from wallets and keys, to cell phones and other technology.

Instead of trying to stuff everything into your skinny jeans or blazer pocket, Mr Swan recommends a utility bag or weekend bag to complete the look.

Ribbon belts in a lightweight material are another trendy accessory that can add a pop of colour to white trousers, khakis or blue jeans, he added.

Spring Fashion. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Spring Fashion. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Spring Fashion. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Spring Fashion. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Spring Fashion. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Spring Fashion. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 20, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm)

Fashion trends: Stepping into spring

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