12 Fashion Trends for 2012
You may be all wrapped up in faux fur jackets and knee-high boots right now, but chances are you can't wait until you can shed the puffy parka and slip into something a little more on the "lighter" side of fashion. Say, like a colorful new drop-waist dress a la Daisy Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby."
On your next shopping trip, when you're browsing the winter sales, keep an eye out for one of these 12 trendy items to brighten and lighten up your wardrobe.
1) Graphic Prints. Whether it's a new floral blouse, a striped skirt or a batik dress, the prints this spring are big, bright and bold. This is not a fashion trend for the wallflowers out there. Look for pieces that stand out, and don't be afraid to mix and match them from head to toe.
2) Saturated Colors. Delicate pastels were all over the runways, but there were also plenty of deeper shades designers used for inspiration. And white seems to be one of the most popular neutrals, showing up in soft suits. Or take the best of it all and do a bold, color-blocked look. Pops of neon also shake up spring clothes. So take your pick, but the one to watch?
Pantone, the color authority, names "Tangerine Tango" asthecolor for spring.
Mint green and lemon yellow are other hues to check out.
3) Ladylike Luxe. Think pin-up style -- the hourglass shapes of Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page. The focus is on the waist. The peplum silhouette makes a huge comeback in jackets and dresses. Look for the matching skirt suit to make a return, too.
4) Drop Waist Dresses. Get the Gatsby vibe of the 1920s this spring with the new drop waist dresses that shimmied down the runway. Note the details of these new drop-dead chemises: pleated hemlines, sequined fringe, feathered accents and metallic insets.
5) Dots and Spots. You'll be seeing dots a lot this spring -- polka dots in all shapes and sizes. Try mixing small and large polka dots together for a modern twist on this spring classic.
6) Stripe It. Another pattern that is a warm-weather favorite. This spring, the stripes are also bolder in nautical designs as well as graphic interpretations that make them contemporary in a digitalized fashion world.
7) Sporty Chic. The athletic look has gone high fashion. Remember the tracksuit? Hmmm. Yes, designer track pants with drawstrings are back, but mixed with razor-sharp jackets and crisp white shirts. A new look for the office, perhaps?
8) Tribal Motifs. Fashion designers come out of Africa this spring with more inspiration than ever before. Animal prints are still a favorite: leopards, zebras and pythons, oh my! From basket-weave handbags to raffia sandals to crafty necklaces and earrings, this trend is best in bold accessories.
9) Cropped Tops. This spring, it's time to keep it on the short side. Cropped tops and jackets, especially the ones in bold colors, can make any of your fashion basics look new. Pair with a longer T-shirt or silky blouse if you want to cover up any lumps and bumps still hanging around from the holidays.
10) Go Long. The maxi dress and skirt is flowing into fashionistas' wardrobes everywhere. In light fabrics -- knits and chiffons -- these long looks are great for the beach and spring and summer cocktail parties.
11) Get Transparent. Spring and summer is the perfect time to get naked...well, not totally. But it is a good time to experiment with some of the new sheer tops and skirts. There are lots of ways to mix opaque layers under or over the sheer, tissue-thin fabrics, so you're not walking out in an X-rated outfit.
12) Embellish It. When times are tough, we girls like a little sparkle, right? So why not add some bling to your daytime wardrobe this spring. Shine with a pair of metallic platform sandals or a swingy pair of jeweled chandelier earrings. You'll be surprised at how much your mood will brighten!
Featured in the photo: Rachel Roy's cocktail dress from Renttherunway.com in "Tangerine Tango" Pantone's color of 2012.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.
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