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This spring, it’s all about the Bs: blues, big, bare, bright and bold.

Looks are straight off the red carpet and even mimic ’80s styles. You’ll see the return of acid wash denim along with one-piece jumpsuits. Silhouettes have an over-sized, flowing and airier style in cardigans and dresses. One-shoulder dresses in tunix and maxi styles are the newest staple.

Bright, bold and blush

Enjoy a wide spectrum of colors from the softer scale of nudes, blushes and light grays to bolder shades of blues and fuscias.

“From lemon yellow to juicy oranges to the most important hue of all: blue,” says Jennifer Wilkins, Macy’s trend expert. “You’ll see a variety of shades available from sky blue to turquoise to roal.”

“All shades will be key,” says Liz Rodbell, executive vice president of merchandising, apparel, accessories and cosmetics for Lord & Taylor.

No matter where you’re wearing the color—in a handbag, jewelery or a dress—Kirstie Lytwenic, vice president of Neiman Marcus in Northbrook, says pairing q bright pink with a coral makes a fresh combination.”

“Nude is everywhere,” says Amy Salinger, a fashion stylist in New York City and Chicago. “Nudes, blush tones and natural colors.”

Show off the shoulder

The most popular and hottest style in dresses will be strapless or bare shoulder fresh off the catwalk.

“Bare shoulders were all the rage on every designer’s runway,” Lytwynec says. “A one-shoulder dress is the new staple in your wardrobe. Wear it in long or short for formal or day looks and even try a one-shoulder blouse paired with denim.”

“As we move into summer, white denim, the rolled short and maxi dresses will be important,” says Rodbell.

She says to watch for the new drapping and goddess-style dresses. Although they may have a fluid look, Salinger says it’s a silhouette-conscious style.

Fabrics such as chiffon, some lace, and jersey will be popular in dresses, and some floral and geometric patterns will make an appearance. The most popular prints will be graphic and abstract, Wilkins says.

Wilkins says jumpsuits also compete with dresses this season for easy one-piece styling.

Topping it off

Ruffles on blouses, tops and even handbags add a romantic touch to any outfit, Lytwynec says.

This season’s popular bare-shoulder tops can be perfectly paired with skinny jeans. Tops will also vary in lengths form three-fourts sleeves to short to sleevless, Wilkins says.

Add a new twist to your wardrobe by adding batik or Ikat fabrication, Wilkins says.

Drawing fro an ’80s influence, “boyfriend styling,” or oversized wear is also hot for summer and spring. Lytwynec calls cardigans “the new jacket this spring.” Wear them in bright colors or bold patterns. Belts—both wide and skinny—help add structure and shape to oversized cardigans, says Wilkins.

Adding a cardigan over a dress is a great way to update and modernize a look, Lytwynec says.

“Don’t be afraid to layer,” she says.

The bottom half

Denim will be seen in a diverseity of colors: dark-rinse, acid wash, lighter denims and white denim toward summer in the skinny-jean style.

“Anything goes,” says Wilkins.”That’s what so great about this season.”

Pair simple tops with rolled up shorts in summer.

The gladiator and Grecian style sandals will retrun. Salinger says these shoes are busy this time around. The height of all shoes, sandals, heels and platforms have been exaggerated, Wilkins says. Anything that wraps up and around the ankle or is a huge platorm is going to be your best bet.

“Whether it’s a wooden platform, a studden stiletto, or a gladiatior-inspired wedge, it’s sure to be an accessory you cannot live without, “Lytwynec says.

Kepp yoru bottom half plain when wearing a busy shoe, Salinger suggests. Pair them with skinny jeans and a simple tank.

Announcing accessories

Statement. Statement. Statement. That’s what accessories will make. Lytwynec recommends bright-colored jewelry worn in layers.

Wilkins says to look for necklaces and unique materials such as wood, cork, crystal and glass.

Stacks fo bagles —big bracelets – and cuffs made in hammered metals, woods, and plastics — will be stacked on a single arm.

Salinger says if you won’t be wearing much clothing, stick to making a statement with the jewelry, especially the statement earings.

The men

Salinger says the look for men is messy but put together.

“Men shouldn’t be putting too much layering into it,” she says. “It should be all about the ease and the comfort.”

She recommends loose, comfortable shorts rolled up a bit to add an edge and class to the style.

Making it’s debut is an updated cargo short that can easily be paired with a four-pocket jacket, patterned cardigans or polo’s and button-downs with contrasting colors, Wilkins says.

“Blue is also the color for men, which is very exciting because we typically do not see a color trend for men and women at the same time,” says Wilkins.

Also popular are straight-leggef denim pants in varying colors, dark, distressed or white denim, Lytwynec says.

Pair the lighter denim, such as white or camel colors, with a leather sandal or a loafer, Salinger suggests.

Finish off the outfit with a casual Fedora, beach-style hat and vintage aviator or tortoiseshell frame ’50s-style sunglasses.

—Pioneer Press, March 2009

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