Sleek, mod black-and-white dresses. And retro, quirky novelty Tees. A sweet, figure-skimming peplum top. And rugged, ripped denim. This spring, women's wardrobes will be a study in contrasts.
THE SHORTS SUIT
These shorts are more designed to grab your attention than show something office-appropriate, but there are plenty of longer Bermuda shorts out there that, when paired with the right jacket, can sub in for a pencil skirt at work, says Bloomingdale's Stephanie Solomon. Here, a cream four-pocket tweed jacket, $300, tweed shorts, $180, frill-sleeve top, $210, patchwork platform, $320, all from the polished British label Reiss; at Bloomingdale's (including Roosevelt Field and Manhattan stores) and bloomingdales.com.
Ann Taylor channels the sun in this radiant topper, $198; at Ann Taylor stores and anntaylor.com
Milly's moto-tough knit jacket in rayon/Lycra with asymmetric zip, $450, with a stretch nylon metallic shell, $245, and silver reflective pencil skirt, $295; all at select Bloomingdale's stores and bloomingdales.com.
BLACK AND WHITE
It reigns, says Bloomingdale's Stephanie Solomon. A must have, declares Ann Taylor's Lisa Axelson. The look is stronger than typical springtime florals and pastel shades and thus a natural for both the office and nights out. Here, Ann Taylor's shift dress, $128; at Ann Taylor stores and anntaylor.com.
With grunge, emphasis is on the girlie, notes Shopbop.com's senior buyer Jane Albiter, who is excited about updated plaids, ripped denim, patchwork detail from brands such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, and chambray overalls from Rebecca Taylor that look super fresh. We say: Save money on the denim -- these Dittos jeans, $99 at Urban Outfitters and urbanoutfitters.com -- so you can indulge in something like Rag & Bones' oversized dutch vest, $695 at shopbop.com.
PEPLUMS, COLOR-BLOCKING, LACE
All three trends are still holding strong from last year and popping up on skirts, dresses, jackets and tops, says Macy's fashion director Nicole Fischelis. Here, a fashion trifecta of sorts -- Bar III's lace dress, $79; at select Macy's stores and macys.com.
"Color, color, color!" shouts Lisa Axelson, creative director of Ann Taylor. "Even in the cooler months of early spring, it's refreshing to see women embracing bold shades, which shows confidence and personal style." Tops on her list -- sunshine yellow, this flounce dress, $118; at Ann Taylor stores and anntaylor.com.
THE GRAPHIC TEE
"We spotted them on the street," says Stephanie Solomon. "That surprised me," she admits. But no wonder -- they're artistic, charming, fresh and fun, says Nicole Fischelis, who has others at Macy's. Here, Mickey and Minnie smooch on a Desigual cotton tee, $84, at Desigual stores and desigual.com.
PEPLUMS and DISTRESSED DENIM
A mix of sweet and sassy: the PJK Patterson J. Kincaid bone pleated leather peplum top, $358; Destructed Jimmy Jimmy Jean in Riley wash, from Paige Jeans, $229; at Bloomingdales (including Roosevelt Field and Manhattan stores) and Bloomingdales.com.
THE STATEMENT PANT
Women love expressing their style and this is a chic way to do it, says Ann Taylor creative director Lisa Axelson. Here, the ornate paisley cropped pant, $78; at Ann Taylor stores and anntaylor.com
The down-market look made popular by 1990s Seattle grunge bands gets a soft and chic (and decidedly more upscale) take in this knit top from Yigal Azrouel, $790; at shopbop.com in early- to mid-March.
Socks worn with heels or dressy shoes were spotted outside the Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center last month. It's a way to mix this whole attitude of sport and action with a feminine touch, says Macy's fashion director Nicole Fischelis. Go for Jessica Simpson's frilly florals or her cuff anklets in sleek black, $8; at Macy's stores and macys.com.
THE GRAPHIC TEE
From Bodens Johnny B. girls line, a thirst-quenching T-shirt, $24, in all cotton with cap sleeves; at bodenusa.com.
YES TO YELLOW
For those unsure about committing to yellow from head to toe, just grab a ray of the sunshine-y trend, with a shoe or accessory like this Kooba leather pouch, $128; at kooba.com.
With grunge, emphasis is on the girlie, notes Shopbop.com's senior buyer Jane Albiter, who's excited about updated plaids, ripped denim, patchwork detail from brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, and chambray overalls from Rebecca Taylor that look super fresh. We say: Save money on the denim so you can indulge in something like Rag & Bones' oversized dutch vest, $695 at shopbop.com.
THE STATEMENT PANT
Desiguals polyester printed gypsy pants, $154; at Desigual stores and desigual.com.