The colors (and collars) of spring

Tangerine orange, as well as a whole palette of pastels, are big this season

By Katherine Wartell

Here’s hoping the color orange puts a pep in your walk, because you’ll be seeing a lot of it in stores this spring.

From dresses to men’s shoes, tangerine orange is one of the most pervasive colors of the season, and it’s joined by mint green, lilac, ivory, bright yellow, blue-green, navy blue, rosy-red, grass green, pink and granite.

The runways, which influence the styles that will eventually filter their way down to local specialty stores, were also full of color blocking, bold prints, pastels, birds, metallic basics, drop waists and ladylike details like lace dresses with high necks and collars.

For women, futuristic, floral and abstract art prints were common themes, along with pieces like anoraks, a type of hip-length jacket, and peplum skirts, shirts and dresses. A peplum, for those unfamiliar with fashion jargon, is a flared ruffle of fabric attached to the waist of a piece of clothing.

For avid rep-carpet watchers, peplums have been a very popular feature of award show gowns this year.  You can decide if this is good news or not.

But those who like girlish flourishes are in luck, because local stores are stock-full of dresses with peter pan collars, whimsical prints and skinny jeans in the kinds of bright colors not often worn since the more carefree days of elementary school.

Kasey Johnson, manager at Bling, 321 Poyntz Ave., said that fringe, pastels and anything mint-green have been incredibly popular at the store, which has locations in Hays, Scott City and Garden City as well.  Johnson said women have also been going crazy for floral print dresses, which are perfect to pair with gladiator sandals or wedges, one of the season’s more popular shoe choices.

Johnson said that her favorite spring pieces involve anything bright, particularly in blues and greens and she recommends picking up a lot of dresses. “They’re easy to wear,” she said. “Stick a necklace on and you’re adorable.”

Though dresses are typically considered to be fancier than shorts or pants, fabrics like cotton can be easily dressed down, and the beauty of being able to throw a piece of clothing over your head and go should not be unappreciated.

Lindsey Warta, manager at Envy, 1223 Moro St., said that color blocking, lace, tangerine orange and sea-foam green have been huge for the store.

Warta said styles are running a bit more conservative and simple this spring, with lace, peter-pan collars and high necklines popular details in the store, which also has locations in Lawrence, Springfield, Mo. and Columbia, Mo.

She also said that sheer blouses and polka dots are still riding their winter popularity and that platform heels have been big sellers.

But not to forget the fashion needs of men, who will have the opportunity this spring to trade in last season’s safety orange winter jackets for on-trend tangerine orange unlined blazers.

According to popular men’s publications GQ and Esquire, sand-blasted denim, bright jeans, rust-colored shoes, oversized pants, unlined blazers and, yes, orange, are all big spring trends.

But if bright blue or red jeans aren’t really your thing, earth tones were also prominent in runway shows and are a popular color to wear in pants.

Other popular shoes this season are chukkas in bright colors like mustard yellow, red and blue, and boat shoes, a staple of many college students. 

Layering is also a popular look for men and can be accomplished by wearing a chunky knit sweater over a collared shirt with crisp denim jeans and your cheery yellow chukkas. You’ll sweat and be terribly uncomfortable but at least you’ll look good, and who says it should be only women who suffer for fashion.

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