The Simple Life

By Alyssa Cox, Christopher & Banks

The Simple Life: Spring FashionWelcome to early spring 2010. This time of year, we’re transitioning. We’ve left the harried holiday schedule behind and we are embracing the calm. We’re looking for things that are pure and simple, a return to familiarity and serenity. The colors of the simple life are slightly muted; think of your favorite summer brights with a white-wash over them, adding a certain chalkiness and calmness that makes them the perfect bridge from winter into spring.

This spring, the focus returns to blue, from the deepest indigo to the palest robin’s egg blue. It’s familiar, calming, easy and understandable, which makes it a natural for this time of year. New this season: layering shades of blue, so mix your darks and lights, and mix the denim blues with aquas. A key color combination is shades of blues with neutrals, which means that jeans and khakis look perfect with a printed top in a range of blues.

A key trend for spring is pattern mixing. On the fashion runways, it was about an eclectic mix of florals, stripes and checks, which makes a bold statement but definitely needs to be reinvented to wear in real life. A version of this trend that’s infinitely wearable and great-looking is the patchwork jacket. Different patterns are mixed and matched in the same fabric, and then it’s cut into a single garment. A patchwork jacket is the centerpiece of the outfit, so keep it simple underneath: layer it with a solid tee or tank and wear it over jeans.

There has been much interest in texture and dimension that reveals the influence of a hand-crafted or one-of-a-kind piece. A great interpretation of that is in the use of self-fabric trims. It could be fabric strips folded and pleated, then applied to the base fabric of a jacket. Or it could be soutache, a narrow braid, applied to a tee or sweater, in self fabric for a solid look, or in a printed fabric for just a touch of pattern. For spring, the more texture and dimension, the better!

Stripes, dots and checks return as we explore the simple life basics in patterning. Gingham checks are back, but look updated when the fabric has added texture, like seersucker or pleating. A pleated gingham shirt worn with a great jean jacket and khakis is a trend-right statement that everyone can wear. Of course dots and stripes are a natural, and we’ll continue to see many versions of them throughout the spring and summer seasons. They look great as simple and graphic two-color combinations.

Early spring 2010 is set to be a great one. The trends are easily wearable and still look fresh and new. By getting your softened color (especially blues and neutrals), patchwork, dots, checks, stripes and lots of texture, you can freshen up your wardrobe and begin to get ready for later spring and summer, when it will be time to add those great florals and fun graphics.

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