Spring trends: red light, green light

It’s that spring trend time of year again and there are some really beautiful and tasteful new fashions on the horizon for 2013, along with some really hideous and wacky ones.

Which ones should you take on full speed ahead and which ones should you swerve to avoid? Let’s weave our way through these fashions and give the good ones the green light, the maybes the yellow light, and the uggos the red light.

Green light: ready, steady, go!

Cat’s eye glasses and sunglasses: I love that these are back in style. The ones to pick are larger, more rounded cat’s eye shaped frames rather than the thin, Great Aunt Mable-style ones. I especially love the glasses that come in tortoise shell, dark or medium brown and/or the black ones with studs or rhinestones in the corners. I found a bunch of frames for less than $20 at Sunglass Warehouse, “http://www.sunglasswarehouse.com/cat-eye-sunglass”>www.sunglasswarehouse.com/cat-eye-sunglasses.html.

Long slouchy shorts: These are the backlash against all the ultra-short shorts with the front pockets hanging below the hemline. Long slouchy shorts should be fingertip length or longer with a slightly baggy fit. (They’ve got you covered in a really good way.)

I like these looks: www.fabsugar.com/Oversize-Shorts-Trend-From-Spring-2013-Runway-25151224. You can make your own by cutting off and fraying a pair of baggy jeans (that’s my plan).

Vertical black and white stripes paired with bold colors: Stripes always seem to come in and out of style, especially black and white ones. I really like this trend because it brings in bright colors too, like this one, www.seven-14.com/products/green-and-black-stripe-stretch-pencil-dress, which is totally classy and affordable.

Indian silk: Bright silks and satins loaded with ethnic prints are on everything from dresses to shoes. The runway looks are a little over the top. Pick a single Indian print item to wear and tone down the rest of your outfit to let it shine. Can’t picture it? Check out the look here: www.luxemi.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/spring-2013-trends-indian-inspired-eastern-textiles-fabrics-prints-marchesa-vera-wang.jpg.

Sleeveless tennis dress: There is a lot of tennis inspired fashion on the runway at the moment, both the classic tennis whites and dresses that maintain the cut and fit, but are constructed with a variety of colored and patterned fabrics. I like this simple gray one: www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/tennis-bracelet-pro-dress.

Peplums: They are still going strong, people! Peplums are fabu because they accentuate already existing curves or create the illusion of an hourglass figure if you don’t have one. Make your own here: www.brit.co/diy-peplum/.

Chambray shirts: I know what you’re thinking, am I stuck in the 90s or impersonating Jay Leno on his day off? Nope, the chambray shirt is back, but with a more form-fitting silhouette. The temptation is to western it up, but if you want a more rockin’ look, rather than a countrified one, pair your chambray button up with dark skinny jeans, a skinny belt and ballet flats; over a striped tank, white shorts and leather sandals; or tucked into a black pencil skirt with a black and white graphic scarf, bag or shoes (but not all three). Check out these ideas: www.southmolton ststyle.com/2012/01/essential-denim-shirt.html.

Yellow light: proceed with caution.

Peek-a-boo midriffs: They’re everywhere. I applaud you if you can comfortably wear this look. (The last time I did was in 1992 at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I was a freshman in high school and was too afraid to lift my arms on the roller coasters, so that was the end of that trend for me.) I’m not against a bare midriff exactly, but I do think to make it work, you need to cover up everything else to avoid looking like “Pretty Woman.” So if you’re wearing a crop top, wear it with pants, a long skirt, or a blazer, not short shorts or a miniskirt. I like it worn this way: www.fnasf.wordpress .com/2010/10/19/trend-report-peek-a-boo-midriff/.

All white slice and dice: This look is executed by cutting apart a solid white dress and reattaching the pieces with fishing line.

The method gives the illusion that the pieces are floating on the skin. Another take is just random slashes through white fabric or laser cut holes exposing the skin. See it here: www.marieclaire.com/fashion/trends/spring-2013-fashion-trends-alexander-wang-cutout-slice#slide-27.

Sheer panels: This trend should come with wardrobe malfunction insurance. I think sheer panels can be beautiful or reveal too much.

I’ve seen too many ladies try to wear a totally sheer shirt with a black bra underneath and call it decent, like this: www.elle.com/fashion/street-chic/new-york-fashion-week-street-style-spring-2013?cid=obin site#slide-127. Instead of looking edgy, everyone is just staring at you wondering if you know you’re bra is showing. Unless you’re going out dancing or work in a strip club, this look just doesn’t work for everyday wear. Try this instead: www.thefashionsection.com/trend-report-sheer-panels/. A sheer skirt with a solid miniskirt underneath looks cool as does a sheer top with a camisole or even a cropped tank underneath, but sheer outfits with just your under things underneath aren’t provocative in a good way, they’re tasteless.

Red light: hit the brakes!

S and M leather with harnesses and lots of buckles: Just. Don’t. Go. There. (Unless you need to wear this combination in your line of work and-or your name is Madame Whips-a-lot.) See what I mean here: www.elle.com/fashion/ trend-reports/harnesses-spring-2013-fashion-week-runways#slide-16.

Leather and lace: I’m going to have to ask you to step away from the leather and lace, ma’am. This seems to go with the above trend and looks tacky. Are you “Desperately Seeking Susan,” or a motorcycle chick? I think this look should probably stay in the biker bar or bedroom: www.chloeloveschar lie.com/blog/trends/good-girl-gone-bad-or-bad-girl-gone-good-jason-wu-springsummer-2013/.

Two-tone lip: Unless you want to emulate “Baywatch” era Pamela Anderson or Carmen Electra, avoid this look: www.skindinavia.com/blog/how-to-apply-makeup/two-toned-lipstick-on-the-spring-runway. By the way, I can’t believe the 90s are coming back, it’s just too soon – are we all going to race out and get haircuts like Rachel from “Friends”?

Patchwork Animal Prints: My eyes – they burn from the ugliness of this trend! This hideous new look brings to mind those fake Coach patchwork bags hawked on every street corner in New York City. This trend looks like the dressing room of a strip club exploded and the designers on Project Runway had to use the costume scraps in one of their crazy challenges: www.vogue.com/fashion-week/spring-2013-rtw/merdem/details/#/collection/details/spring-2013-rtw/merdem/3/.

Oversized ruffles: This ill-conceived trend looks like it was inspired by someone’s living room drapes. The wearer appears as if she is being strangled by a parasitic bed skirt. If it doesn’t look good on a runway model, how the heck is it going to look good on a regular Jane? That’s right, it won’t. Skip the super-sized ruffles: www.harpers bazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/ruffles-trend-spring-0313#slide-1.

Do you agree with my picks and pans? Let’s discuss! Drop me a line anytime at life@sun gazette.com.

McKinney’s column is published on the second Friday of each month as part of the Lifestyle section’s “Fashion Friday” features.


About me

I’m just a thrifty girl with a keen eye for beauty and fashion. Just ask my friends (and their teenage daughters). They frequently ask to borrow my clothes, teach them how to apply makeup and to advise them on what to wear for special occasions.

More importantly, they ask me how to stay current and fashionable in this economy without breaking the bank. I’m all about finding personal style and accentuating natural assets. Don’t know what goes best with that little black dress? Want to give yourself a facial for mere pennies? Care to score some clothes for free? Your gorgeousness guru is here to help! Send me your style stumpers at diystyle@sungazette.com.