Suiting up for spring and summer

By Alexis Tomrell

Midwest fashion is so neurotic. My closet is a ragbag of seasonal clothes I never store away, racked with the severity or surprise of Michigan’s sporadic weather patterns. Despite all that cramped closet space, it’s taught me to be ready at a moment’s notice (and never take for granted) to toss on that fun spring dress at a few signs of … 60 degree weather.

Looking at upcoming reports though, it seems spring will be hanging around. This is fabulous news for wardrobes because 2010’s spring looks invoke early indications of the relaxed, carefree nature of days off — days spent in gardens, parks, beaches and flower beds. Time to get lost in the liberty print.

The premise is effortless: girlish, blithe skirts and dresses in lively prints and patterns complemented with edgy, but light-colored blouses and jackets, like the Nom de Plume Yaya moto jacket from Urban Outfitters or Gap’s pale denim choices. Even for straightforward solid color ensembles, there lies a great selection of chunky and layered statement jewelry that’s sure to liven up more muted looks, like J. Crew’s crystal rock necklace or Betsey Johnson’s multi-illusion necklace in pinks and greens (pictured left).

I’m not the most dainty of dressers — my weekly fashion forecast always incorporates black — but this year’s fresh take on femininity has inspired me to store away some of those glum winter shades and try my hand at pastels.

I think I’ll pair this new lightness of being with bold color splashes of teal and orange with accessories and shoes, like Karen Walker’s hippie-chic sunglasses (pictured left) and Florio stand-out loafers.

The resulting getup should solicit whimsy and comfortable motion. Like the leisure of days ahead, spring and summer 2010 fashion is a call to step away from stress and replace it with mellow interpretations on femininity.

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