This is not an exhaustive list– nor is it meant to be. I have weeded through the Spring 2016 trends to find what will work for me and my lifestyle. Why should I exclude some trends over others? Most employers would be less-than-thrilled if one were to come into work wearing a sheer dress over nothing but lingerie (sorry, Simone Rocha) and perhaps more importantly, not all trends work for all body types. One huge trend that I saw time and time again were off-the-shoulder pieces, but I’ve left them off my list because they simply aren’t bra-friendly. Trends should not be followed blindly. Pick and choose what works for you. After all, are you really going to wear that Tommy Hilfiger multi-colored crocheted gown?
Lingerie, slips, and pajama dressing are huge for spring/summer 2016. This trend, especially highlighted by For Restless Sleepers, is nothing new though, popping up every few years. It’s no wonder. Spring weather moves us toward light, flowing fabrics. Ironically, lingerie and slips are not typically bra-friendly, but pajama dressing may be made work- and life-friendly. A fitted white button-up makes this soft pant look more refined and this silk pajama top tucked into a white pencil skirt can easily go from bedroom to office.
Paper-bag waists are back. This is a trend that does not show itself terribly often and it can be more difficult to pull off. With a little common (style) sense, it can be a flattering look for work or for weekend. This is a look for which one would be wise to stick to the rules of fashion. I’m talking the basic silhouette rules. Volume on bottom, fitted on top–seen here at 3.1 Phillip Lim. There isn’t much wiggle room here on tops. If you can pull it off, a crop top with a full paper-bag waist skirt can make for an adventurous warm-weather weekend look. This waist style was prevalent in the 1980s/early 1990s and modernizing the look can be achieved through the choice of fabric. While the 1980s was filled with stiff denim, this season offers a softer interpretation. These pants from Lavish Alice look professional with a blazer or a slim button-down. This linen-blend midi skirt from Simply Be has Out of Africa written all over it. A subtle safari outfit can be a classy look for dealing with the oppressive heat of high summer. I would pair it with a gauzy off-white camp shirt with rolled-up sleeves and a strappy pebbled leather heeled sandal.
Stripes were everywhere on Spring 2016’s runways. Stripes have never been a stranger to this season but this time around, they were bold statement stripes. This could be seen especially at Max Mara, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren. I chose to feature stripes that were decidedly smaller, as my short stature does not usually benefit from bold rugby striping. Dolce & Gabbana had bright stripes running either horizontally or vertically on their tourist-chic looks, and both were equally fabulous. Stripes will never go out of style and they can be dressed up, like at J.Crew or dressed down, like at Kate Spade. Take time to choose the right kind of stripe for you, because they aren’t going anywhere.
Romance permeates the upcoming season. It shows itself in the form of ruffles, English blooms, narrow pleats, and Victorian silhouettes. Ruffles aren’t uncommon for Spring, but this time around they were large and bouncy rather than small and dainty. Alexander McQueen relied heavily on a mix of blooms, ruffles, and Victoriana, whereas Gucci approached the romantic trend with a geek-chic look throughout the show. Erdem mixed the Victoriana trend with sheer fabrics to create a modern, fresh look. High necklines, part of the Victoriana trend, were seen roaming the runways, but they can be harder to locate, as retailers often steer away from high necklines, long sleeves, and other attributes associated with high production costs. Trend-driven sites such as ASOS and Ruche are great for finding overtly feminine pieces, and Dressbarn offers a work-friendly piece with a lovely English bloom print.