Howard County Shopping Bag: Spring 2011 trends

Mother Nature must have given us winter so that we would do flips at the sight of the first daffodil of spring. Even the most serious winter trekker welcomes this life-breathing season. Fall/winter is Seventh Avenue's "bread and butter" but spring is its masterpiece of color, life and fun. You will find that spring 2011 is an entire garden of bright and fanciful daffodils, just waiting to awaken your wardrobe. Here are four top trends.

Color Popping. Think bright and you cannot go wrong. To be specific, some of the season's hottest colors are: turquoise, orchid, lemon, geranium, navy, sea blue and mango. Apparel in colors rendered in large blocks is called color blocking. The look resembles (and is just as hot as) a Rubiks Cube, circa 1980.


Don't worry, translated into a silk dress you will look anything but square (and oh, so smart!) Janina Huff, fashion director for Simply Divine in Fulton adds, "Color blocking can be achieved by layering bright separates or adding a pop of bright color with a fabulous handbag."

Retro 1950. Dolce & Gabbana leads this trend with bright and bold florals in fitted sheaths and Audrey Hepburn-inspired cropped and fitted trousers. Try a full 1950s "housewife" skirt with a pair of feminine ballet flats. The just-below-the-knee hemline adds a conservative approach to an otherwise playful trend. Add Urban Outfitter's "Damsel" cat eye sunglasses in red to complete a total glam look.

Lace. No, no, not just lacey collars and trim…we are talking lace from neckline to hem. To accommodate the busy-ness that lace in that amount of yardage has, designers are choosing classic and slenderizing silhouettes like the ever-popular sheath. Sensual and sophisticated — no frilly little girl look! Watch out for cheap nylon lingerie lace and seek out a more robust bobbin lace which has a much higher quality.

One really hot look is white lace lined in black for a daring dramatic contrast. Huff says, "Vintage inspired lace by Ryu, provides the 'it' look of the season." Not ready for lace from neck to knee? Dolce & Gabbana carries a black leather and lace satchel called "Miss Rose."

Animal prints. You are right … this look will not end! Every season brings a new twist to this ever-popular trend. H&M's red and black leopard top is hip and versatile as it doubles as a lightweight jacket. RED Valentino's leopard tank dress, available at Nordstrom, is understated in front with an oversized bow in the back for an adorable youthful look. Too much prrrrrrint? Lauren Appleby, co-owner of Serendipity in Highland says, "What I am finding is that many women love the animal prints in smaller doses. Using an animal print accessory with solid colored tops or dresses is more palatable. We offer a great selection of animal print beaded belts to spruce up any outfit. We also love to pair fun animal print clutches with solid color dresses. Throwing on an animal print scarf can create an instant upgrade to any boring outfit."

Spring is all about rebirth and rejuvenation. Take a look in your closet and see if one or two great trend pieces could bring life to your existing wardrobe. Happy spring!

Jeannette Kendall is president of Success In Style, which provides free business attire to disadvantaged women seeking employment. or 410-750-6475.