Best for: “Women who aren’t afraid of second looks,” says Lloyd Boston, host of Fine Living’s Closet Cases. But, he says, anyone can pull off a fuchsia accent piece, like a bangle bracelet or a pair of shoes.
How to wear it: For a bold dress, break it up with a belt or a jacket so the color isn’t over-whelming. Keep in mind: Avoid this bright on top if you’re busty or on the bottom if you have full hips. Another word of caution: “Blonds in hot pink can look saccharine,” says Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew. “Wear the color away from the face.”
Worth the investment? Definitely. Spend on one great piece: “You won’t wear the item every day, but you’ll keep it for years,” says Stephanie Solomon, vice president and fashion director of women’s ready-to-wear and accessories for Bloomingdale’s.
To buy: Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent rayon dress, $248, ambiancesf.com for stores. Fossil elastic belt with brass and leather, fossil.com. Pono horn bracelet, 866-336-7666 for stores.
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Donna Ricco silk-organza top (available April 30), $188, nordstrom.com for stores. Payless faux–patent-leather wedges, $20, payless.com.
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The Trend: Boyfriend Blazer
Best for: “Women who don’t take fashion too seriously,” says Boston. But also factor in your body type. Since the point is to look as if you’re wearing a man’s jacket, avoid this trend if you have a large chest, because it will subtract from the desired roomy fit.
How to wear it: There are many options, as long as you have fun with it. Wear the jacket open, belt it, or roll and push up the sleeves. You can contrast the menswear cut with a feminine top and slim pants, a pencil skirt, or even baggy jeans, shorts, or a cocktail dress (as shown here).
Worth the investment? Yes, if you’re an eclectic dresser. Neutral jackets in quality fabrics have longevity, while blazers in seasonal colors are best bought on sale or at vintage shops.
To buy: Club Monaco stretch-cotton blazer, $199, clubmonaco. com for stores. Rebecca Taylor silk-and-chiffon dress, 212-966-0406. Charles by Charles David leather sandals, 310-277-4448. Raquel Moreno oxidized-silver cuff with enamel and python, Balliet’s, 405-848-7811.
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More Boyfriend Blazers
From left: Allen B. for JCPenney cotton-and-polyester blazer, $72, jcp.com for stores. Elie Tahari stretch-linen blazer, $448, 212-334-4441.
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The Trend: Grommets and Studs
Best for: “An edgy woman who wants to add instant zip to her wardrobe,” says Gretta Monahan, cohost of Bravo’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style. But, says Solomon, “the hardware skews young, so women of a certain age can look too tough in them.” If you are over 40 and aren’t sure the look is right for you, skip it.
How to wear them: These reflective details can magnify trouble areas, so stick to embellished hems and necklines. Small doses of grommets and studs, like those on bags, belts, and sandals, are your best bets.
Worth the investment? Feel free to spend, but don’t splurge. “They’ll become dated fast,” says Deborah Lloyd, creative director and co-president of Kate Spade.
To buy: Hayden-Harnett for Target faux-leather bag, $45, target.com. Frock! by Tracy Reese viscose-blend dress, Lord & Taylor, 212-391-3344. Flying Lizard metal ring, Ruby Lola, 915-833-5480.
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More Grommets and Studs
Linea Pelle suede belt, $216, Add Accessories, 212-945-3300. Star Ling leather flats, $80, nordstrom.com.
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The Trend: Jumpsuit
Best for: Women with tall, lean frames. Anyone who is bottom- or top-heavy should steer clear.
How to wear it: Choose one in a solid dark color (to elongate your body) and with a nipped-in waist or a belt (to give you some shape), says Constance White, style director of eBay. If it suits your frame, a jumpsuit can be more versatile than you think. With a jacket, it can be worn to work; with fancy heels, it’s a substitute for a cocktail dress.
Worth the investment? Jump to it if you have a thin, proportional figure. (Just select a style that you can dress up or down.) Otherwise don’t fork over big bucks for this flash-in-the-pan look. Hit inexpensive, trendy stores instead.
To buy: Wink crepe de chine jumpsuit, $396, winknyc.com. Loeffler Randall patent-leather sandals, Barneys New York, 888-822-7639. Mary Louise Designs cubic-zirconia studs in 22-karat-gold vermeil, fragments.com. Isharya wooden bangles with agate and turquoise, Ruby Lola, 915-833-5480.
Best for: Olive skin tones. However, other complexions can look good in them, too, if the right shade of nude is chosen.
How to wear them: The key to achieving a soft, flattering look, says White, is to “go deeper or lighter than your complexion, so there’s contrast.” (Otherwise you’ll look washed out.) More specifically, beigey or peachy nudes work with olive skin; blush- and rose-tinted nudes marry with fair and light skin tones; and more caramel or chocolate shades complement dark skin. Lloyd adds that nude accessories―shoes in par-ticular―are virtually foolproof: “Neutral stilettos go with any outfit and make legs look longer.”
Worth the investment? Yes. Nudes return every spring, so don’t purchase throwaway items. And when it comes to clothing, Lyons says, “the color demands that the fabric be of better quality.”
To buy: J.Crew cotton-and-chiffon top, $48; patent-leather belt; and glass-bead necklace: jcrew.com. Alberta Ferretti silk skirt, 310-652-9000. Kara Ross ring of marble wood, 18-karat gold, and diamonds, Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300.
Best for: Anyone who is constantly on the go and needs a hands-free bag that can double as a functional tote and a fashionable purse. This look is particularly useful for “a busy mom who needs to keep every-one’s life in her bag,” says Boston. However, forgo this style if you have a large bust, since the bag won’t lie comfortably, or if you are very petite. “If it hits your knee, it looks ridiculous,” says Robert Verdi, a stylist and a judge on TV Land’s She’s Got the Look.
How to wear it: Don’t strap it across a tailored suit or any-thing too formal; this bag looks best with relaxed silhouettes. Also consider the length: It should rest just below the hip.
Worth the investment? Yes, if you’re an active person. “Once this style outlives its fashion moment, it will remain a great weekend bag,” says Solomon. If you want it just for the trend, don’t bother spending a bundle.
To buy: Nordstrom leather bag, $88, nordstrom.com. Helmut Lang polyester dress, 323-951-0994. Banfi Zambrelli sandals in leather and patent leather, endless.com. Boden wooden necklace, bodenusa.com. Chan Luu wooden bracelet, chanluu.com for stores.
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More Messenger Handbags
From left: Nine West PVC bag, $79, 800-999-1877 for stores. Tahari leather bag, $428, Lord & Taylor, 800-223-7440 for stores.
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The Trend: Snakeskin Shoes
Best for: Those seeking an updated classic. “These work for stylish, confident women who want to make a statement without going overboard,” says Boston.
How to wear it: As a sharp counterpoint to basics and monochromatic outfits, suggests White. Wear neutral-colored snakeskin pumps to add extra polish and sophistication to a suit; wear a pair of strappy heels with a dress or a skirt for a refined but sexy evening look; or slip into snakeskin flats or sandals in pink, yellow, blue, or a metallic to dress up weekend clothes.
Worth the investment? Without a doubt. “This trend will not disappear,” says Monahan. And these days faux snakeskin looks just as good as the real thing, so you don’t have to shell out major dough. Still, if you’re keen on trendy colors and styles (like pink platforms), seek out real bargains.