Good news! This season, fashion has loosened up its collars and ditched its prim and proper luncheon suits and matchy-matchy tweeds. The season offers a cheerful, colorful palette; lively tropical and Africa-influenced prints; sexy metallics; soft silhouettes; and splashy, spirited themes like nautical and safari. And for the first time in many seasons, accessories are as important as the clothes – think lush velvet bags, turquoise and coral baubles and flats worth investing in. We have a lot to look forward to, as designers put forth something fun, refined and luxurious to suit everyone.
1. Embrace a free-spirited bohemian sensibility in the new season. Style is all about combining colors, layering, mixing moods and adding a funky accessory or two. Eclecticism is in. Get the look in one piece with a rainbow-striped dress, or pile it on with a floral skirt, a white shirt, a sweater rest and a fitted jacket. A denim jacket or vest will ground your look, just as offbeat pieces like chunky wood or coral necklaces, embellished wedges and a lush textured bag will play it up.
2. Pick pieces with a gypsy vibe, but make it luxe. Let a little hippie into your look, only keep it smart and coordinated. Sport a wide belt or an armful of artsy bangles while the rest of your outfit stays simple and sophisticated. Right balance: A playful beaded necklace is a perfect accoutrement when teamed with muted tone. Go ahead and don bright tiered skirt with an ethnic feel, but keep the top elegant. And, since the clothes have so much flair, now is the time to break out your flea market finds.
3. Dive into nautical, yet keep it clean and classic. Allowing naval influences into your style can be fresh and chic when not taken too literally – the key to mastering this trend is not going overboard. Pair sailor stripes with solids and think minimal when incorporating nautical accessories (e.g., wear a rope belt or a rope flat, but not both). Here’s something to keep in mind when making investment purchases: A classic navy blazer or trouser never goes out of fashion.
4. Wear rich gold toned down with neutrals. Every woman’s wardrobe is stocked with khaki, and this season, there’s no better way to accent it than with gold. A sparkly tank makes for the perfect match with slouchy linen. A bold metallic trench looks great over basic trousers and a top. If you choose to go for solid gold, turn to Valentino, who paired sumptuous fabrics of similar metallic shades in ladylike cuts. No matter what your aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with metallic accessories – a gold shoe, bag or belt is a timeless accent.
5. Add safari-inspired pieces to your repertoire. It’s the look of the well-traveled woman. Exotic details go a long way (you don’t want to seem as if you actually are on safari). Work in an animal-print blouse, and tribal prints. A lace-front or suede top pairs best with a simple piece. The same goes for accessories – keep your clothing tame when accenting with something wild.
6. Opt for a touch of opulence to enrich your style. Embellished pieces add elegance and luxury to your everyday style. Remember, though, that one piece will do the trick. A gorgeous beaded or bejeweled coat can hold its own, so put it over a sleek shift. A pearl-encrusted jacket can turn any outfit, whether with slacks, a skirt or jeans, into something special. Pretty pieces like a simple shoe or traditional stud earrings are the ideal extras. Warning: Don’t wear major gemstones on your clothes and on your body.