The best thing about spring is that women of all ages get to wear hats and pastel colors. Spring is summer in its infancy and suddenly one gets the urge to wear childish, pretty, rather innocent clothes. Baby pink is allowed, ankle socks are allowed, bracelets made of candy and flowers in your hair are all cool.
To celebrate the spirit of spring I always rush out and douse myself in an ultra floral perfume: Cacharel’s Anaiis Anaiis or Spring Flowers by Creed will do fine. And I look for a sexy, just-been-kissed pink lipstick. This is the season to make flirty little changes to your wardrobe and inch towards bare legs and freckles. Here are 10 blooming new ideas to inspire you:
Try Italian straw worn large and floppy on the brim and a pencil skirt. A tiny pill box smothered in silk roses, small birds and veiling with a pale blue jersey dress. A cotton beret in an unlikely shade like caramel or khaki with a blue and white striped T-shirt and a polka dot skirt (red shoes optional.)
Consider gorgeous dangling Indian hoops smothered in beads. Vintage cameos framed with gold or large paste diamond drops that look like ‘30s Cartier bring the nape into fashion focus and dramatize the eyes. Put your hair up and team this flattering accessory with a very plain cheesecloth dress and a chunky belt or a black jersey T and slim pants. A little bit of Gypsy goes a long, long way. Wear earrings or a peasant blouse or strappy sandals that curl up the calf but not all at once.
3. Wild hair
Giselle has had her way. Everyone wants big, fat, wind-swept hair that looks like it was messed with all night by a gigolo in a Brazilian disco. Simpler yet, pin curl your locks before bed with a spritz of lavender water and unfurl them at daybreak. Big waves twist around two fingers, corkscrew curls use one. Ask your Grandma how.
Victorian lace camisoles (again!), Prairie Girl skirts, starched white blouses and long, loose parachute pants in cream are the THING this spring. Ralph Lauren teams his white lace skirt with a chunky tooled leather safari-style belt. I like the silk-knotted macramé belts at Jill Stuart and a good old fashioned cowboy buckle applied to an army- issue canvas belt looks great with white. Use monochromes as a backdrop for great accessories. Love it with a turquoise Native American necklace. Love it with vintage Bakelite.
5. Textured leather
Bags that are tooled and studded look great with white and even better with black and khaki (for evening). Dig through Mom’s supply of handmade leather belts and shoulder bags. Cut some pieces yourself – look for materials in craft stores — and make a bandage bracelet in tones of gold and chocolate brown.
6. Bright pastel makeup
Crazy chameleon color is back. Pistachio and aqua blue for the eyes. Candy pink for the lips. The way to wear it is sheer. Just a dust on the lids with lashes of brightly colored mascara (electric blue is more subtle than you think!). A nice pale pink blusher and go bold with the lips. If you can’t flirt in spring when can you?
7. Monumental handbags
Handbags are chunky this spring. Heavy with dangly macramé knots or sculptural with fabulous hunks of semi-precious stone. Since no one can afford an Yves Saint Laurent solid turquoise clutch, head directly to vintage internet sites such as www.La Pochette.com’ and good old eBay. Sixties bags adorned with shells and wooden beads abound.
8. Clever T-shirts
Tailored T-shirts look modern when you add to them. Take a sky blue scooped neck T-shirt with narrow sleeves to the elbow (think leotard tight but not shiny) and wear it with a bright red silk man’s tie, a pastel pink polka dot bow tie, a white Victorian lace collar or a strip of pale green lace knotted like a scarf.
In white with a bit of a heel, the espadrille looks cool with a denim A-line skirt and pretty with a lace-trimmed evening dress. Fake tan heightens the illusion of Capri and St. Tropez circa 1976.
10. Holly Hobby prints
A touch of Liberty print along the hem of a skirt, in a blouse or in a sweet little wrap dress offset with cowboy boots or a high heeled Mary Jane pump (ala Marc Jacobs) is naughty but nice.