FASHION Spring/summer 2014 style trends



Zara's spring/summer 2014 collection includes this knife-pleat skirt in on-trend pastel 'nude pink'
?Zara's spring/summer 2014 collection includes this knife-pleat skirt in on-trend pastel 'nude pink' (€49.95).

Fashion warms up to spring

Maggie Gibbons

There’s something about the arrival of spring that puts, well, a spring in your step. It may have been late coming this year, but the latest looks are in the shops, and they would put the longing on you to splurge! Before you go mad, though, let’s explore the top trends of the season.

The colours this spring according to Pantone are the softest pastels and vivid brights. Hues of blue, lilac, mint green and pink dominated the catwalks, combined with vivid shades to create the perfect contrast. The most popular neutral colours were sand and stone. To spice up the palette there was cayenne, a hot red, which is wonderful with neutrals. Orange dazzled and paired well with white. However, it was orchid that won hands down in the voting stakes as colour of the year. The spring palette is gentle and ladylike and overall delicate.  
That said, monochrome (black and white) is also massive. I love this particular combination, and let’s face it ladies, don’t most of us have both in our wardrobes? Stripes, black dress and white jacket, zebra print – the choice is yours.
Collarless coats are all the rage. Think edge to edge, sans lapels and you’ve nailed it. A great addition to your wardrobe, they look best in a solid colour though I have seen them with a print pattern. They look well with dresses or trousers.

The box jacket is right on trend. Wear it with jeans or a dress and you’re good to go. The box jacket is not great for every shape, unfortunately: If you have a ‘tummy’ it’s best to avoid this look.

Wide-leg trousers are on all the rails. Naturally, if you have good height, these billowy flares look wonderful, but if you are on the short side, make sure you narrow it a bit. It’s all about balance.
Culottes are also back, along with bermudas and city shorts. All look great teamed with white shirts.

The length this season will fall somewhere between the lower calf and maxi. Pleated skirts are all the rage, with knife pleats replacing gathers. I have already seen some really nice ones in boutiques.

Nothing says spring more than a blouse. This year’s blouses are straight and boxy in all kinds of prints and florals.

When it comes to detail, forget the lace dress or skirt – this season less is more! Lace is added as an embellishment. Feminine and ladylike.
Look out for fringing too. Jackets, coats and dresses – everything had a fringe at the shows. Personally, it’s a little too Hiawatha for my tastes.
A little word of advice. When it comes to catwalk trends, go ahead and adopt them top to toe if you’re in your teens or early 20s. If you’re a little older, it’s best not to go the whole nine yards. Think about looks you admire and and borrow aspects of it. Remember, style is both personal and subjective, and each of us make or break the ‘rules’ to suit ourselves, and rightly so.
You can wear all the latest fashion looks whatever your age, just a little bit less with each passing decade. By the time we hit 60 it might be a nod to fashion, say a metallic belt or bag rather than a full metallic coat.
But just look at Helen Mirren, who is in her 60s and gorgeous. Remember that bikini picture? Apparently not a hint of airbrushing! It’s marvelous to see someone who is happy in their skin. Confidence tends to come with age. Dress to suit yourself: If your clothes don’t express ‘you’ they will never feel right. I have friends of all ages and size, some dress purely for comfort while others love their bit of glam. Get to know what suits your body shape and colouring, and it will save a lot of money and panic buying in the long run.