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Fashion experts on must-have trends for spring

There’s always an air of relief when the first daffodil pushes through chilly soil and bulky sweaters can finally go back into storage. But this year, the virescent tint on the trees as buds slowly form is true cause for celebration. It (hopefully) means that the two words that came to define the winter of our discontent — polar vortex — will no longer be a part of dinner conversation.

When spring arrived last month, it seemed almost cruel to think about shorts, culottes, or any toe-exposing footwear. There was still talk of blizzards. But after a few recent days of moderate temperatures and occasional sunshine, we finally felt confident to call upon the experts and query them about their must-haves and most coveted items for this spring. Here are a few.

More: Fashion bloggers’s must-haves for spring.

Joyann King

  • Digital director, Harper’s Bazaar and ShopBazaar.com

  • A white shirt dress: “Shirting was a major trend on the spring runways and easily one of the most accessible. I am loving the simplicity of a white shirt dress for spring and long into summer. You can wear it to work with a jacket and roll up the sleeves for the weekend.”

  • The slide: “The must-have shoe for spring is the slide. Designers showed this effortless flat with everything from louche suits to flirty dresses. Comfort was a key inspiration this season and for that our feet should be grateful.”

  • A sleeveless trench: “The trench coat has been a spring essential for as long as time, but investing in a modern take — like this sleeveless, structured version — updates your look instantly. You can layer it over another coat in early spring, and it also doubles as a chic dress once temps warm up.”

  • Culottes: “The most debatable of spring’s key pieces is the culotte. The wide-leg pant-cum-skirt look isn’t for everyone, but styled correctly, the silhouette can be utterly modern. I’d pair the full pant with a tailored crop jacket, and heels are a requirement.”

  • Cat-eye sunglasses: “Investing in a new pair of sunglasses for the season is an easy way to add impact to your current wardrobe. I recommend a classic cat-eye version to lend retro sophistication to your look.”


Ken Downing

  • Fashion director, Neiman Marcus

  • Something pink: “A dress, a shoe, a handbag, or lipstick. Pink is the color of the season and puts immediate credit into your spring wardrobe.”

  • The summer bootie: “The perfect balance of edge and elegance. The bootie transcends seasons with sexy straps, and peep toes on a stiletto or flat. The bootie gives everything in your spring wardrobe a boost.”

  • An artistic print: “Prints inspired by Picasso, Monet, and artists of the 20th century create a curated and cultivated closet.”

  • Backpacks: “The backpack is back and a major fashion message.”

  • Bold bangles, bracelets and cuffs: “The look is layered. The more, the magnificent.”

Nicole Fischelis

  • Fashion director, Macy’s

  • Something pink: “Try a fit and flare dress, a midi skirt, possibly in lace, to a clutch, to a pointed toe pump. All shades of pale are fantastic, from super pale to shocking.”

  • Secret garden: “All forms of floral, from botanical to abstract.”

  • Something active: “Preferably pure white or with black contrast. Look for sheer, mesh, or color block details. This look is great when mixed with urban dressing, such as track pants, a neoprene hoodie, or a mesh sweat[shirt].”

  • Urban voyage: “Try safari chic for the city. Re-colored animal prints and tribal prints on a shift, stilettos, pants, or a sexy, strappy, open-toe bootie.”

  • Denim: “Denim is key in contemporary variations of the button-down, overalls, shorts, suits and trucker jackets. Work wear stripes are mixed up with feminine details. Overalls gets girl-ified with peplums and appliques.”

Jen Rade

  • Celebrity stylist for Zosia Mamet, Tatiana Maslany, Chris Pine, and Abbie Cornish

  • Scented oils: “Any Faint Roll-On Oil from Sage Lifestyle.”

  • Accessories: “A beaded necklace or ring from Iwona Ludyga Designs. I’m obsessed. I wear two almost every day.”

  • Spring warmth: “A cashmere sweater from Everlane. It’s a forever must-have.”

  • Denim: “A cute pair of boyfriend jeans from whatever brand you like. I like Vince, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Hudson, BLK DNM, J Brand, Current/Elliott. . .”

  • Footwear: “Any of the ankle boots from Alberto Fermani. I have a motorcycle boot that I live in.”

  • Personal bling: “A personalized name ring from Thea. I have a yellow gold one that says ‘JEN.’ ”

Will Welch

  • Style editor, GQ

  • Stripes: “A T-shirt with broad horizontal stripes, like sailors used to wear. The Gap often has good ones.”

  • Suits: “A slim, lightweight suit. Cotton, seersucker, or linen.”

  • Twist on a classic: “Look for a pair of black boat shoes. Black makes them not so preppy and easier to wear
    in-town.”

  • Breathability: “A couple pairs of slim-fit cotton chinos are a summer necessity. Jeans get all swampy when it’s really hot out.”

  • Protection for rain or shine: “Try a khaki bucket hat from Brooks Brothers. You can crush it up and stick it in your briefcase, backpack, or golf bag. It will come in very handy when the inevitable rain showers show up.”

Jackie Nasser

  • Fashion director, Rue La La

  • Crop tops: “The new crop top is both modern and sophisticated. Opt for a boxy silhouette that shows just a sliver of skin.”

  • Slip dresses: “The slinky 1990s staple is reinvented this spring with neon versions, chiffon overlays, sexy slits, digital prints, and even iridescent paneling. For extra coverage, pair one with a boxy cropped jacket or belted cardigan.”

  • Candy colors: “Burberry, Giorgio Armani, and Rochas were just a few of the runway shows that featured pretty candy colors. Choose a favorite — lilac, mint, peach, lemon, or baby blue — or wear several at once. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to look like a macaron?”

  • Renaissance hair: “Pretty waves, intricate-looking braids, and gold accessories all make romantic hair perfect for the season. For day, try a slightly messy braided updo and for night, add some sparkling clips or headbands.”

  • Sheer: “It’s sexy without being overstated. Go for subtle paneling, peek-a-boo lace, or a sportier see-through mesh option. Remember to keep it simple and airy.”

Mark Bollman

  • Owner, Ball and Buck

  • Great fitting shorts: “For East Coast gentlemen, shorts should fall just above the knee and should be unfussy with a plain front.”

  • Layers: “Spring is an
    unruly season. In order to be prepared for the changing weather, I recommend layering up.”

  • Lightweight hat: “Opt for a crushable cotton unconstructed baseball cap. Something you can stuff in your pocket, glovebox, or briefcase and provides both protection from the sun, rain, and whatever the weather gods should throw at you.”

  • The Collective Quarterly magazine: “From the moment our good friend Max Wastler told me about the Collective Quarterly project that he was working on I was hooked. It’s creative people coming together and exploring places and the culture of places that you’d never think to visit on your own.”

  • Suede boat shoes: “Everybody has Sperry Top-Siders. They’re comfortable and casual, but can be dressed up and has a non-marking sole. We worked with a third-generation handmade shoe factory in Maine to blend the iconic and practical elements of a boat shoe to come up with a suede version.”

Christopher Muther can be reached at christopher. muther@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.
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