Warmer weather brings flowy pants, new prints and feminine details
Shoppers ready to embrace warmer weather will have plenty of new styles, colors and prints to pick from this spring as designers push new silhouettes for women’s pants, mix up patterns and emphasize a new palette of hues.
Although warmer temperatures usually mean less clothing, many of this year’s fashion trends aren’t as skimpy or form-fitting as they’ve been in seasons past. Women will see some pants get baggier, skirts get longer and sexy details become a little more subtle this spring. But for those who want to show some skin, distressed denim and lace shorts are popular, too.
Area boutiques ready themselves for spring styles by shopping at wholesale fashion markets in Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Florida, where they get an early eye on designer creations and make a guess at what styles shoppers on the upper Texas Coast will embrace.
Although there are different trends each season, spring and fall are most affected by change, said Joyce McLean, the owner of clothing and shoe boutique Head to Footsies, 2211 Strand in the island’s historic downtown.
Texas fashion typically is inspired by West Coast fashion and rarely by New York trends, McLean said.
“If you want to know what’s going to be in style this spring, look at last year’s summer fashion in Los Angeles,” she said. “You can pretty much bet that’s what will be coming here.”
Pants and jeans
Pants have taken a dramatic turn this spring toward loose fabric, sometimes with a drawstring or wrapped waistband. These pants come in various colors of linen, cotton or draping rayon blends.
“They are loose and flowy and they’ll be comfortable for us in our climate,” said Iris Speed, owner of boutique The Front Parlor, 2111 Strand in the island’s downtown.
Monica Barry, owner of ha.ba’s, 2213 Postoffice St., also in downtown Galveston, said at first she wasn’t sure women on the island would embrace the loose-fitting pants when her sister picked up some at the Los Angeles fashion market late last summer.
“I put a few in the store and was waiting to see what would happen with them,” Barry said. “We really sold them. Every time we brought more in, we sold them quickly.”
To wear the look correctly, the loose pants should be paired with a simple and slim-fitting tank top, Barry said.
“In Galveston, it’s definitely casual clothes that dominate,” Barry said. “Because it’s so hot, it also has to be breathable materials.”
Shawna Doskocil, owner of Modern Vintage, 2005 Postoffice St. in downtown Galveston, said she noticed a lot of extra-baggy and cropped denim this spring.
When it comes to jeans, skinny legs still are popular and have been embraced by mainstream shoppers after many years that saw a split between the older boot-cut and the skinny styles, Speed said. But the days of low-rise jeans are gone.
“Hip hugger jeans are absolutely gone,” Speed said. “They are not in fashion anymore.”
Instead, high-waist jeans or jeans that hit slightly lower, at a woman’s natural waist, are popular. This style is more flattering for most women, Speed said.
“Not everyone can wear the low-waist jeans and pull it off,” she said. And the newer styles don’t have the tendency to give women a “muffin top” when not-so-taut skin spills over the waistband.
If women want to keep some styles from last fall and winter, they can keep their tunics but swap out leggings and boots for cropped leggings and a flat sandal.
Not every top will work with leggings.
“When wearing tunics, they really need to go past the hip so that your butt is covered,” Speed said. “You don’t want all the jiggly parts up top to show. There is really nothing that looks worse than a legging with a shirt that isn’t long enough.”
Plaid will carry over from the fall. But to update the pattern for spring, the plaids have switched to small checked gingham prints in bright colors, both Doskocil and Barry said.
“There are gingham pants, shirts, dresses, everywhere,” Barry said. “They are coming out with them in really bright, fun colors.”
Also popular this spring are floral prints, both delicate and pop art, and prints with a Middle Eastern influence, with intricate swirls and designs.
“We’re taking a turn toward a softer, more feminine look.” Speed said.
When it comes to dresses, many women have embraced the spring and summer staple of maxi dresses and skirts, which often are cotton, floor-length dresses that can be extremely casual or slightly dressy. There are still plenty of maxi dresses to be found, but they aren’t as prominent as they were, McLean said. Instead, designers are making tea-length dresses, which fall at the mid-calf, for spring. Those styles pair easily with a pair of boots, which can work well in transitional months before it heats up, McLean said.
When picking out springtime shorts, ha.ba’s will feature a few styles that seem like complete opposites. Feminine, lacy shorts still will be popular this spring, along with ripped-up, distressed shorts, Barry said.
At Head to Footsies, McLean expects women who want more coverage to embrace a new shorts style for spring reminiscent of the 1950s: Longer, high-waist shorts that zip up the back.
Kendra Scott makes her mark
When it comes to jewelry, an arm full of stacked skinny bangle bracelets looks good with both casual outfits and dressy ones, Speed said.
The Front Parlor is the only island retailer for Texas-based jewelry designer Kendra Scott, whose signature statement earrings, along with new lines of necklaces and rings, come in an array of colors.
“For once, Texas got something in fashion before everyone else,” Speed said. “Kendra Scott has truly taken the nation by storm. It’s just everywhere and the designs go well with just about any outfit.”
Open-toe wedge espadrilles with a higher heel than the traditional 2-inch to 3-inch heels will be popular to pair with dresses.
Women can dust off their brightly colored pumps from five or six years ago, McLean said. The brightly colored heels were popular back then, but then a shift to nude heels took over and few designs came in anything but the basic colors. Designers this spring, including Jessica Simpson, will offer vibrant colors perfect to pair with the bright florals and ginghams.
“Two years ago, you couldn’t find a navy shoe to save your life,” McLean said. “Now we’re seeing turquoise, baby blue, navy and yellow as popular colors for the spring and I think the shoes will follow.”
Yellow brightens the season
Doskocil also noticed the emphasis on yellow this season.
“Yellow will be the big color for the season, from amber to saffron all the way to canary,” she said. “I love yellow.”
While bright colors still will be popular, Doskocil noted that in many outfits, the bright colors are an accent paired with softer colors and neutral-like pastels.
As is true most years, white pieces will be popular. But this year, white-on-white outfits are an elegant way to stay on trend using pieces most women may already have in their wardrobe. Turquoise also is a big color this spring.
“The styling trick will be mixing textures or layering multiple pieces with various shades of white,” Doskocil said.
Spring style shopping list
• Cropped leggings
• Gingham print pants or top
• Flowy pants
• Middle-eastern print top
• Colorful pumps
• Distressed denim shorts
• High or mid-rise skinny jeans
• Items in white, yellow or turquoise