How to revise your spring wardrobe - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

How to revise your spring wardrobe

Updated: March 15, 2011 11:02 AM EDT
© Creatas / Thinkstock © Creatas / Thinkstock

By Valli Herman 

This spring is full of exciting new choices in tops, bottoms and accessories.

We all have our warm-weather fashion wish list . . .  and the limits of a real-life shopping budget. To find a happy meeting place between those two when revising your spring wardrobe, begin by reviewing the pieces you bought last year to decide which ones will still look fresh this year, and which items need to sit out a season or two.

We did a lot of prep work for you by polling some leading fashion experts. Here are their current assessments of five of last spring's hottest fashion trends.

1. Trench Coats

"A trench is always a classic piece, so keep it," say Katie Maco and Lindsey Steede, a Los Angeles styling team known as the Fashion Addicts LA.

The coat's usually roomy fit makes it a natural for layering, particularly with spring's abundant nautical-stripe and '70s-inspired-paisley printed tops.

If you don't already own a trench, the most fashion-forward styles -- including those from Phillip Lim, Chico's and J. Crew -- strip away extraneous details to create trench vests, sheer overcoats and knee-length toppers that look more like quasi-military dresses than rain gear.

2. Gladiator Sandals

The multi-strapped flats were maxed-out bundles of straps last year, but spring's minimalist streak has streamlined the gladiator into a sleek new version that is more graceful, and often, more colorful.

"Gladiators have been done a few seasons now," says Maco. "If you want to stick with them, you might consider trying the flatform."

Popular with New York designers such as Alexander Wang, Michael Kors and Derek Lam, the flatform still has a platform sole to give height, but it features a lower heel than the 5-inch ones women have been falling from these past few seasons.

3. Skinny Jeans

"They still have a little bit of life in them," New York fashion stylist Edda Gudmun says of super-slim denim. "But I would cuff them and wear with pointy kitten heels like Brigitte Bardot."

If you're going to buy new jeans this season, invest in retro ‘70s wide leg, high-waisted silhouettes, advise Maco and Steede. The Gap, Guess, Joe's and J Brand are among the denim brands cutting wider and higher.

4. Open-toe Ankle Boots

"We are both cringing," say the Fashion Addicts LA. "That was just a bad trend. It doesn't flatter anyone."

If you have them, stow them or give them away. If you didn't buy these last year, consider yourself lucky and don't do it now.

5. Military Jackets

With so many other luscious choices in spring jackets, the heavy artillery of the khaki military jacket can seem a bit heavy.

Keep it in your rotation, but add some other day and night options, like a tuxedo jacket, oversized boyfriend jacket and Chanel-inspired cropped boxy jacket.

Spring's New Wardrobe Essentials:

  • A colorful, oversized tote bag. Nothing perks up your look like a sassy tote in vivid blue, green or orange.
  • A key piece in denim, whether it's a tunic, a weathered shirt or an embroidered daytime dress.
  • White, white and white. The perennial color is dramatic when worn head to toe, a look that sails into the sultry days of summer.
  • A maxi skirt. Full and flowing around your ankles, the maxi is the perfect partner to the minimalist gladiator sandals and button-front shirts with rolled up sleeves.
  • One-shoulder tops and dresses. Fashion has cut every kind of asymmetric angle over the past decade, but this spring the one-shoulder tops and draped dresses have a goddess-y quality that gives them a lovely feminine grace.


Valli Herman has covered international fashion, beauty and travel for the Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and other print and online publications.

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