A new year means starting fresh, and your wardrobe is no exception. Here are 12 items that no fashionista should be without in 2012.
NEON COLORS "This new year and transitioning into the warmer seasons, I will definitely be incorporating loud, hot neon colors into my wardrobe," says style expert Brittney Hope Levine of fashion and beauty agency Wunderlich Inc. "If you’re wearing one neon piece, citric yellow pants or an acid pink blouse, it’s best to pair with a neutral color on top or bottom as to not inundate your outfit’s palette." Elana Brynes, founder and creative director of the Manhattan-based loungewear line Kings of Cole, says she too will be wearing her brights in 2012. "This year, it's all about the unexpected pop of color. During the spring and summer, pinks and oranges will magically co-exist on the same color-blocked blouse. In the fall, it will be all about a bright-colored statement shoe to break up the blacks and greys. In the winter, layering brights with muted colors will be the method to keep warm." Aqua Ponte dress with zip shoulders, $78 at Bloomingdale's and bloomingdales.com.
LADY-LIKE SILHOUETES Pelpum dresses are meant to enhance curves, so slip one on for an instant bombshell effect. Spotted on the Paris runways for spring/summer 2012 in collections by Chanel, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent, the look is also a favorite of designer Victoria Beckham. The above Aqua dress is on sale for $178.16 at asos.com.
BRIGHT BAGS "I am going crazy for brightly colored bags -- neons are huge," says Meaghan Mahoney Dusil, founder and editor of PurseBlog, an online community for the handbag obsessed. A bright bag can amp up even the plainest of outfits for work or play. Pantone, the design world's authority on color, named Tangerine Tango, a red-orange hue, the color of 2012. "A bright colored handbag is a must-have, like this coral satchel from Kate Spade New York," agrees Brooke Jaffe, Bloomingdale's fashion accessories director. $428 at Bloomingdale's Roosevelt Field, Bloomingdale's Walt Whitman Mall and bloomingdales.com.
WIDE-LEG PANTS If you haven't hopped on this emerging 1970s-inspired trend, it's time. Wide-leg pants are making a big statement in 2012 resort collections in styles ranging from hippie-chic, like this pair from from Free People, to crisp, polished versions from Eileen Fisher, Theory and DKNY. Free People patch pocket wide-leg pants, $128 at Bloomingdale's Roosevelt Field, Bloomingdale's Walt Whitman Mall and bloomingdales.com.
RETRO EYEWEAR Glamorous, feminine and funky, cat eye sunglasses made a comeback on the spring/summer 2012 runways. More futuristic versions came from some designers such as Proenza Schouler and Prabal Gurung, but Gucci keeps it classic with these retro shades, $275 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Huntington Station and saksfifthavenue.com.
1920s HAIR 1920s glamour found its place on the spring/summer 2012 runways, and with "The Great Gatsby" coming to the big screen this year, the trend is sure to be a hot one. Actress Emmy Rossum traded her longer tresses for flapper-worthy waves at Showtime's "Shameless" season 2 premiere Jan. 5 in Los Angeles.
STAND-OUT NAIL POLISH Think sparkly nails are just for kids? Think again. "Every brand lately is coming out with glitter polishes," says Jennifer Stark, founder of nail beauty blog starknails.blogspot.com. Rapper Nicki Minaj released a collection for OPI to start off the new year, including two glitter polishes. Singer Katy Perry and Disney's "The Muppets" also have glitter-packed collections for OPI, and the Kardashians got their sparkle on in Kardashian Kolor, their holiday collection for Nicole by OPI. Pictured is Essie Luxeffects in "A Cut Above" layered over Zoya polish in "Megan."
PLATFORM SHOES Shoes in 2012 should be "casual, cool and comfortable with contemporary twists," says Roslyn-based designer and footwear industry executive Jay Litvack, adding that platforms and wedges in linen, wood and wovens will be big this spring and summer. "Platforms work for just about any outfit that you throw on, and one shouldn't be shy to rock a high heel, no matter your height," agrees style expert Brittney H. Levine of fashion and beauty agency Wunderlich Inc. "Platforms are all about showcasing your confidence." The J. Litvack "Broome" platform sandal, $185, will be available at Bloomingdale's Roosevelt Field and bloomingdales.com in March.
BOLD GOLD Jewelry designer and former celebrity wardrobe stylist Jennifer Fisher says "crisp, clean, bold gold" will define her accessories this year. Sport a simple yet show-stopping cuff bracelet or collar necklace, or express yourself with diamond-encrusted charms like these from the mini pave collection by Bridgehampton-based designer Helen Ficalora. 14-karat gold mini pave butterfly charm, $495; anchor, $425; turtle, $675. Chains start at $95. Call 877-754-2676 or visit Helen Ficalora stores in Bridgehampton or Manhattan's SoHo.
SIMPLE EMBELLISHMENTS From bowtie necklines and 1960s Peter Pan collars to beading and feathered accents, 2012 is all about the details. Looking to make a bolder statement? Spring and summer 2012 will embellish with prints from wild tribal to demure polkadots. This semi-sheer chiffon blouse is $34.99 at shopruche.com.
TEXTURES Jane Lipman Post, designer of Jane Post coats, says she's looking forward to fabric and texture combinations in coats in 2012. "With a great combo in a comfortable weight, a coat can take you through several moderate weather seasons." Expect to see fabric cominations, with suede and leather being favorites for the colder weather. "Adding leather as accents transforms clothing from basic to statement pieces," says Ramy Sharp, designer of Ramy Brook. Jane Post Mixed Media Trench, $375 at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores.
SPORTY PIECES Designers are loving the athletic look for spring/summer 2012, but this year's track pants are sleek and polished. Paired with a structured jacket, crisp top and sky-high platforms, they'll be spending more time on the nightlife circuit than in the gym. Above, singer and designer Gwen Stefani shows a sporty number from her spring/summer 2012 collection at New York Fashion Week.