Take a Fashion Risk this Spring

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Don't want to wear stripes on your body? Stripe it rich on your feet. These platform strappy wedges by 80%20 are from Heirloom Shoe
Play up your shoes. Diamond-patterned wedges with rope-trimmed platform by 80%20 are from Heirloom Shoe
Afraid of color or prints? Take baby steps. Wear a red tuxedo jacket over a print blouse with a dark skirt. Clothes are from Gil's Clothing Co.
Play with texture. Tucked blouse by Parker with Elizabeth and James jeans from On A Whim
Mix unexpected colors. Elizabeth and James rose-colored ankle zip jeans with coral and topaz floral top from On A Whim
Accent with color. Alice and Olivia black-and-white striped dress from On A Whim with Diana Warner green earrings from The MakeUp Bar

By Linda Miller

Sometimes you need to take a risk — at least when it comes to fashion.

Knowing what looks good on you and what works for your body makes getting dressed easier each morning, but often it can land you in a rut. A fashion rut. Same colors, same styles. Part of the fun of fashion is trying something new, something totally different than what you’ve worn before and realizing that it looks good on you.

This isn’t a mandate to ditch those clothes that work so well, to grab with wild abandon anything different from the store racks. It is a suggestion to experiment, to be open to new styles, colors and trends. Spring is the perfect season to reevaluate your closet, your style and your makeup.

“If your wardrobe is beginning to resemble something closer to a uniform then you are in a style rut, and honestly, we’ve all been there,” said Eden Turrentine, manager for Liberte, a new store opening this spring at Classen Curve.

“You can still have a personal defining style, but push yourself to try different colors and pieces that show another dimension of that style.”

If you tend to wear a lot of solid colors, try adding some prints this season. Spring fashion has a strong feminine influence, so Turrentine suggests bringing in some florals. Slip a silk or flowing floral tank under a cardigan or fitted blazer. It’s a subtle way to ease into the trend since only a little bit of the print peeks out.

If florals start to grow on you, consider a bold floral blouse with a favorite dark skirt or pair of pants. Leave the jacket at home.

Graphic prints and stripes can add the same interest. Choose your favorite print, and then wear it with confidence.

One of the most noticeable trends for spring is color. Neons, pastels, yellows, greens, oranges, blues, reds and Tango Tangerine, Pantone’s color of 2012.

If ever there was a season to incorporate color into your wardrobe, it’s this spring. And, really, it’s one of the easiest ways to update and bring a fresh look to your wardrobe.

Color blocking continues to make a bold statement so go ahead and indulge. “Don’t mix more than three colors, but try it with a bright pant and equally bright top,” Turrentine said.

And don’t’ be afraid to mix colors that at first seem jarring.  Think pink bottoms with a top that has a swirl of coral hues. Or a lime green blouse paired with a berry skirt. Pull the colors together with an armful of bangles.

Too much too soon?

“Buy a new handbag in that bright positive color for an accessory that makes everything you own look fresh,” Turrentine said.

Or consider a pair of printed high-heeled sandals or wedges. Wear them with pants if you’re still timid about showing too much color or pattern.

Another idea: If you tend to wear dresses all the time — we know, there’s nothing easier — opt for a skirt and blouse. It’s a simple change and may allow for more options in your wardrobe. At the same time, if you always reach for separates, slip into a great dress. Solid color or print, take your pick.

Makeup and hair are other easy updates sometimes overlooked or put off. Too many women wear the same makeup colors and use the same application techniques for years. Try a new eye shadow or lipstick color. What’s the harm? It’s only makeup; it’ll wash off, said Alex Mendez-Kelley, owner of The Makeup Bar.

“A pop of pink or coral is a great way to add a little bit of color” on the lips or cheeks, she said. “Step outside your comfort zone a bit.”

She said every woman should have a bubble gum pink blush in their makeup case. “There’s nothing like a bright blush to brighten up your face.”

While gloss is still a favorite for many women, Mendez-Kelley likes the look of lipstick for a finished look. It’s also another way to add color to the face. There’s a perfect red, pink or coral for every woman.

Don’t forget eyes either. Black and brown eyeliner are fine, as well as soft taupe shadows, but there’s so much at the makeup counter. Try liner in cobalt blue, teal, purple or grass green. Go subtle until you get used to it.

If it has been years since you’ve changed hairstyles, it’s time. As with clothes, years of the same color and same style can become boring. Talk to your hairstylist about a little tweaking if you’re not ready for something totally different.

“How we dress every day has an influence on our state of mind and can be stimulating to our sense of self so why not try something new,” Turrentine said. “Confidence is the payoff when taking a fashion risk. Be open to a store’s staff to bring you some items to try on that they like and think might work for you in addition to what you have picked out for yourself. They can be a big help when it comes to steering you out of your comfort zone.”

She suggests women look through magazines or store mailers and tear out pages with outfits and pieces they like. Use them for reference when shopping to stay focused on finding new pieces instead buying the same items again and again. And pay attention to the way mannequins are dressed and displays.

“These outfits are usually a great place to start when looking for something different that is well put together,” she said.

Now you’re ready.

“Step out and take a risk and enjoy a compliment or two about your sense of style.”

 

Photos by Justin Avera. Model is Leasle Crawford, Flash Models International. Makeup by Alex Mendez-Kelley, The Makeup Bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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