What I’m Craving for Spring Jan 17, 2011

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There is still snow on the ground, but I am already looking forward to spring – tossing the parka and gloves for lighter weight, happier clothes.

And this spring, designers are thinking happy thoughts.  There are so many inspiring, cheerful, motivating trends this coming season it's hard to not smile when thinking of warmer months.  Here are some items that are on my must-have list for spring:

Lands End Boatneck Sailor Tee
I already have one of these shirts – have had it for a couple years and it still looks like new.  This top totally goes with the nautical theme this spring, but in a very classic, flattering way.  The knit is heavy, it has stretch but has an almost twill-like texture.  Mine has been in the washer and dryer dozens upon dozens of time and the only problem I have had is that the neckline sometimes folds over if it gets stuck in the dryer with heavy garments like denim (nothing an iron can't fix).

lands end sailor tee

I think the reason I love this top from Lands End so much is that is fits the current theme of nautical-inspired fashion, but it's a timeless classic color combination and silhouette that can still be worn years from now without looking passe.

I have it in large regular and it fits my 12/14 shape in a relaxed/comfortable manner.  It hits high hip on my 5'3″ self, bracelet-length sleeves that just scream spring.  The ivory/true navy is a great classic color combination – the navy is dark and deep, the ivory has a very neutral undertone that works with most skintones.  I love this top so much I am toying with getting another color combination in a smaller size so it's a more trim fit that would look great with skirts and under jackets.

Starting at $29.50, petite and regular sizes XS – 3X at Lands End.

Boden Sateen Pencil Skirt in Yellow Capri
I never wear yellow, it doesn't look good with my skintone.  However that doesn't stop me from loving it.  I always gravitate towards a garment that lets me wear it without it wearing me.

boden sateen pencil skirt

This skirt from Boden does just that, plus it really incorporates the spring trend of citrus colors accented against neutrals.  I can see it with a crisp white shirt and a belt in hot pink or mango, with a navy turtleneck sweater and tan heels, with a blood orange tee shirt and a casual sandals, with a black blazer and pumps for a work meeting.  Extremely versatile, and a piece that is on-trend for Spring 2011, but not passe a year from now.

$78.00, available in sizes 2 – 18, at Boden.

Enzo Angiolini ‘Sully' Platform Pump in Taupe Suede
There is nothing better in spring than a fabulous pair of skin-tone heels.  It elongates the leg and coordinates with everything in your wardrobe.  This pump, available exclusively from Nordstrom is on-trend with the nude color and platform heel, but classic with its suede exterior and peeptoe.  

enzo angiolini nude pump

I prefer a skin-colored shoe in a textured fabric like suede – it blends into the leg better, and I find that nude-colored leathers can often look cheap or gaudy if the leather is too soft or too shiny.  The reviews are pretty good, and there's a heck of a lot of style for a lovely under-$100 pricepoint.  Pair with skirts, dresses, or even trousers for an elegant spring look.

$88.95, available in sizes 4.5 – 10, exclusively at Nordstrom.

ISAAC MIZRAHI LIVE! 100% Cotton Ruffle Front Chambray Blouse
I lived through the chambray period – I had chambray and denim shirts in every shape and size, chambray jumpers and shirt dresses and pleated paperbag-wait trousers.  I usually believe that if you live through a trend once, you shouldn't wear it second time around.  When I started seeing chambray in the stores, I was a bit horrorified – I immediately thought of an acid-washed chambray shirtdress I wore in high school with Sam & Libby granny boots.

ruffled chambray blouse

However this season, chambray is done in a way that is fresh and modern.  This shirt from Isaac Mizrahi's line for QVC has so many adorable details – the ruffled placket, the 3/4 sleeves, and I like that it is thin and breezy.  I can see it with a tailored suit for a board meeting, with a crisp pencil skirt in a cheery color, or even tucked into some wide-leg denim trousers.  Once Memorial Day arrives, this shirt would look amazing with some straight-leg white jeans and sandals.

Currently on sale for $33.28, available in sizes XS – 3X, at QVC.

Ann Taylor LOFT Woven Shift Dress
Shift dresses are my go-to each spring and summer.  They are a classic, stylish way to stay cool and look professional at work, yet can easily dress up or down for weekend and evening activities.  I love this dress from LOFT because it is so versatile of a color and a silhouette.

Pair the dress with nude pumps for day, or up the glam a notch for evening with some metallic sandals.  With strappy heels and sparkly jewelry, this dress could look great for an evening wedding, with flat sandals and minimal accessories, the dress would also be great for weekend brunch with the girls.

ann taylor loft sheath

To get the bright color combos that are so hot for spring, put a hot orange patent belt at the waist. After this trend has ended, this dress will still look fantastic on its own, or with a belt in a different color or fabric.

The slight cowl at the neck and subtle pleating at the waist makes this shift far more flattering and forgiving to curvy figures, and I adore that is comes in tall sizes so my leggy friends won't be showing too much skin at the workplace!

$79.50, available in regular and tall sizes 0 – 18, at Ann Taylor LOFT.

Amiee Lynn Skinny Patent Belt in Fuschia
You must be living under a rock if you haven't yet heard that Honeysuckle is the Pantone color of the year.   This is a bright, vibrant pink, and I think a color that makes a great base hue for garments, but also for a pop of color to wardrobe basics.

hot pink skinny patent belt

This belt from Amiee Lynn for QVC comes in a bright fuchsia that fits the Pantone concept for 2011, but is a great price that won't make you have buyer's regret for jumping on a trend bandwagon.  Wear this belt over simple sheaths, have it nip in sweaters when paired with wide-leg trousers or pencil skirts, replace the self-belt in your shirt dresses with this cheery number.  Once it's in your wardrobe you will be amazed at how versatile it is, and how it can make your classic look fresh and new.

$17.50, available in sizes XS/S through 2X/3X at QVC.

Gap Wide Leg Trouser Jeans
After a winter of stovepipes and jeggings, it is so refreshing to see that the wide-leg jean has made a comeback.  This version from Gap has simple lines so you won't end up looking like a fashion victim if you wear them past spring.  In a dark wash, it elongates the leg and works with more colors and silhouettes already residing in your closet.

gap wide leg trouser jeans

With a nautical-striped tee, it would be a great weekend look.  Pair with a navy ribbed turtleneck and a hot pink or orange patent skinny belt for a great Casual Friday look.  They would also be a fresh companion to a lacy blouse (another hot look for spring).  A chunky platform shoe will balance out the wide leg.

Slash pockets can be a bit dicey on curvy women; I have found Gap to make the most flattering pants with this sort of pocket.  However if they gap for you, there are plenty of other brands with similar trousers – in a pinch I have been known to seal up such pockets with a bit of Stitch Witcheryir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B0001DSIHI.

$69.50, available in petite, tall and regular sizes from 00 to 20 at Gap.

What is on your must-have list for this spring?  What trends do you plan on adding to your current wardrobe?

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  1. Check out the Boden wrap dresses! I think you would love them. You and I have similar body types and the Boden wrap dresses fit me fabulously. They are pricey. Very pricey. But amazing quality, fit, and colors/designs. I bought mine on mega sale. The style changes a bit season to season, but Boden almost always has a wrap dress. I highly recommend!

  2. Ooh, glad to see you mention Boden! I wondered if you ever wore Boden. You mentioned a few blog posts before how after a baby and entering 30s, certain brands did not work for you any longer and that brands had changed over the years in their sizing and cut. I’ve found that too! I am still trying to lose some baby weight, but even with losing it, my body shape is just different and will always be. American Eagle – even some Gap – is simply not going to work for me. Same for say Anthropologie.

    But I love Boden. Love it! Beautiful clothes. They seem to hold up well. Yes, they are expensive, but if you buy it on sale, it’s not that bad.

    Lands’ End is more hit and miss for me, but you style that brand so well I find myself taking a second look.

    Would love to see how you style Boden! 🙂

  3. I’m excited about dresses and cardigans, but I am already a bit worried about spring as well. I’m trying to think of ways to remain work appropriate, without bare arms, and still look cool and fresh.

  4. You are too funny! Well, if these items end up being staples like they are for me, your husband will be okay with it because your spending will eventually taper off to just a couple choice items each season. My husband recently asked me what happened with the boxes. Boxes? What boxes? “The boxes that used to arrive on our front step each day.” 🙂 Well, I have found my style stride again after having a baby, re-built staples and don’t need to shop as often! 🙂

    I am glad you are feeling great – you DESERVE it! Thank you so much for your comment & for being a reader. And good luck with the Duo boots!

  5. This blog is going to be the end of my marriage! I went to purchase the LE tee, and ended up speding a fortune on the website. I tried to buy the pumps, but they’re out of stock on the website and now I can’t stop thinking about them. I’ve been stalking the Duo website, hoping you’re boots in my size come back in stock – they’re now at $75, but completely out of stock. I want them so bad!!! If my husband finds out about my new-found spending habits he’s going to KILL me! Love your blog by the way. You’ve helped me reinvent myself. I feel great (after 2 babies in under 2 years) and other people are starting to take notice!!

  6. Nikki, I know with my height and shape I shouldn’t wear wide leg jeans, sleeveless shirts, shift dresses, horizontal stripes, turtlenecks, and much more. But I like all these things.

    I don’t do wide stripes, I don’t do stripes in bright colors, and I try to incorporate a color from the striped shirt into the rest of my outfit so it is cohesive and doesn’t break up the shape of the body quite as much. And then I stand with my head up high, wear a big gorgeous smile and love myself and my striped shirt! 🙂

  7. i love the nautical stripes but still the horizontal rule haunts me… 5’4″, size 8-10, short waisted, blessed in the chest area, not sure how that wouldn’t make me look even stumpier. tips to pull that off? how do you do it?

  8. The yellow skirt is so cute, and the next pair of shoes I get will be nude peep toe pumps, I swear! I can’t wait for spring! These are all great picks.

  9. I LOVE that belt! The color is gorgeous and while I’m pretty sure my skin tone can’t pull off a shirt in that color you darn well better believe I can rock a belt! Love it!

    I am also trying to figure out how I can justify the purple ATL dress. I have a Banana Republic dress in the exact same color and basic silhouette, but it has a more flared/a-line skirt. Don’t think I can justify it…darn. Wish it came in navy or a fun green!

  10. I too thought honeysuckle was a soft pale yellow. If pink, I figured it would be a very soft, pale pink with yellow/warm undertones. Was really surprised to hear it was described as a bright pink. No pink honeysuckle in my part of the USA… 🙂

    The wide-leg jeans do take some getting used to, I like that the silhouette is new and different from previous times that wide legs were en vogue.

    I can’t understand spending hard-earned money on items that will be passe by Labor Day. It’s easy to be on-trend and still buy classic pieces that are wearable a year or years from now! 🙂

  11. I’m not sure I can go the wide-leg jeans route. I mean, I wore that style when I was 12. Still debating.

    I do like this post though; it really helps steer me toward good spring classics.

    And the honeysuckle? I always thought honeysuckle was yellow (I know the flowers are white with yellow inside) so the pink threw me off. However, I have tons of that color in my closet because for some reason, that was my go to color last spring/summer.

  12. I too am loving the nautical tops coming back for Spring. I bet the patent belt could go nicely with a boat-neck striped tee with the denim trouser. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I am a huge fan of Lands End but Old Navy is carrying similar tops (probably much thinner fabric) that are on clearance…

    solids as low as $3.97:

    striped tank:

    striped boatneck for $5.97:

    plus size boatneck $5.97:

    Definitely worth checking out!

    *I have no affiliation with Old Navy or Lands End…just a bargain hunter with an addiction to shopping : )

  13. I totally think a petite woman can wear wide-leg trousers. These from the Gap aren’t wide all the way down, they nip in at the thigh which will help elongate your body. Just be sure to have them hemmed to the perfect length for you!

  14. You’re so right about those flesh-colored shiny shoes. They always bring to mind the skin of a roasted pig or some oiled down grandpa wearing a banana hammock on a beach, or something equally unappealing. Suede cancels out all those thoughts like magic. Thank you!

  15. Allie-love the jeans at the Gap and I think I will be adding one of those to my wardrobe for sure. Also can’t wait to add more color in the Spring, a new pair of retro sunglasses, and probably lots of other fun things!

  16. OMG! I have to have those shoes! Seriously where do you find all these awesome clothes? I have a question though. I’m only (barely) 5ft tall and wonder if I can really pull off a wide leg jean? Without looking like I’m swimming in fabric. 😉 I was in gap earlier this week and settled for the modern bootcut pant, as it seemed wide enough. Thanks Allie!

  17. Love that Land’s End top – it’s like a more affordable version of the St. James tee! I have a very similar one from American Apparel and wear it all the time. xx Grace

  18. Thanks for posting this. I love hearing what pieces you are looking at for spring, especially since you always pick pieces which are timeless! It’s still below freezing here too, and I am really eager for spring!

    I need to update my look. I haven’t worn patterns in a long time!

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