Spring is here, so it's time to pack away those bulky winter clothes and put on something a little lighter and brighter.
This season will see a resurgence in classic patterns, prints and colors. This means you won't have to look too far or spend too much money to stay on top of spring fashion trends.
Last year, some spring trends that were a huge hit included polka dots, color blocks, leggings, peplum accents and the color tangerine. Although these styles weren't gracing runways as much at this year's Fashion Week in New York, they don't seem to be going anywhere soon.
"Something that's continued from previous seasons is big prints and bright colors," says Rachel Schneider, merchandise execution leader at St. Joseph J.C. Penney.
According to Harper's Bazaar, popular styles on the runway this season are bold, graphic patterns and florals, bright colors like neons, stripes, pastels and delicate whites. Many of these trends are easy to achieve for the everyday woman looking to freshen up her wardrobe.
Pantone's color of the year for 2013 is emerald green. Unlike last year's tangerine, emerald is a color that is appropriate for all seasons. It reflects the buds and blooms of spring greenery but is versatile enough to wear in the colder months of fall and winter.
Ms. Schneider says clothing trends depend largely upon what is happening nationally, and designers choose which styles to feature in their lines. This determines what is displayed in store windows and on mannequins.
For instance, she says J.C. Penney has started to carry more of a brand called Duro Olowu because it was popularized by Michelle Obama when she wore it to the first inauguration. The store has experienced several changes to keep up with shifting trends.
"What we try to do here ... is to have different shops in all different price ranges," Ms. Schneider says. The shops are separated by brand or designer, and cater to all different age groups.
Other trends she thinks will stick around for awhile are skinny jeans and boots.
Karen White, a selling specialist at the St. Joseph Dillards, says she thinks many styles that were popular this winter will continue into the spring, like lace accents and bright solid colors.
"The orange, the real hot pinks, neon pinks, yellows, greens -- those are really trendy hot looks for spring and summer," she says.
She says Dillards focuses on providing women with ready-to-wear styles that fit their budgets. Since St. Joseph is a smaller city with smaller stores, it might not see some of the more extreme runway trends, as tastes often vary by region. Instead, Ms. White agrees with Ms. Schneider in that classic pieces are easier to work into a spring wardrobe.
Based on their prevalence in the store, Ms. White anticipates blue hues, leggings, light cotton jackets and lots of stripes to be popular trends this spring.
When stores want to clear out their winter stock and emphasize their new spring arrivals, one of the ways they do it is by holding special customer events.
"Milani, generally speaking, will have an event right before Easter where I will get in touch with a lot of our customers and invite them to come in and see some of our new designs," Ms. White says of Antonio Milani, one of the designers she specializes in at Dillards.
Thankfully, it doesn't take a lot of money or effort to refresh a spring wardrobe this year. Sometimes all you have to do is update it with a few colorful new pieces to mix and match with old standbys.
For example, pairing your trusty leggings with a long, flowing tunic with a bright floral pattern is a great way to mix old and new and transition from winter to spring. Add in a few accessories like a bold statement necklace or large tote (perhaps in emerald green?) and you're ready to hit the town in style.
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