Spring Awakening – Modern Twists On Classic Trends

April 5, 2010

UPDATE: Guess what? The Swedish Hasbeens sandals are a hit! Actress and noted style icon, Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP), will be wearing a pair in the upcoming Sex and the City 2 (SATC2) movie plus she has been seen around town off the movie set with these beauties too. Might be a good idea to get a pair while they are still in stock! Remember the Manolo Blahnik shoe frenzy after being featured on the television series?! Yikes! SATC2 movie release date is May 27th, 2010.

Dare we start peeling away the layers of excess clothing that were without a doubt necessary these past winter months? Y-E-S, we can! Spring is finally in the air! Ah, the sunlight (well, for most of us)…the fresh green leaves growing on trees…the new colorful blooms…smiling people out on the streets. There is a newfound energy all around us! We can’t help but be inspired and motivated by this post hibernation energy. Let’s make sure our style reflects the freshness of Spring! Right now, current spring fashions are reintroducing and executing modern twists on some classic trends. It is a novel take on some familiar looks. Here are three of my favorites:



Banana RepublicIndigo Trenchcoat

So, what is this chambray you’ve been hearing about? In short, chambray is a lightweight cotton fabric with a denim look. It is a combination of colored yarn and undyed yarn woven together in a simple weave. The term blue-collar worker came from chambray fabric as the preferred choice for the worker’s traditional blue shirt. Fast forward to today, the chambray shirt is a sportswear staple for both men and women.

The traditions of a chambray shirt can now be found with modern washes, cuts and details. There are a variety of chambray shirts to choose from in stores right now – the button down being the most prevalent. If you plan to keep the shirt untucked then be mindful of its length. When the shirttail is too long, it can appear sloppy (and not in a disheveled chic way) and when it is too short, it can look ill-fitted and juvenile. Also, it is important to pay close attention to the size of the customary chest pockets. Particularly busty gals should stay away from too small and even the too large pockets – both options make the bust region appear fuller.

There are actually a variety of ways to style a chambray button down shirt. One of my preferences is when it is worn as a stand alone piece – yes, all by itself – creating a casual modern sexy vibe. It can be worn over a plain or striped tee too. And, yes, we can wear chambray shirts with our blue jeans. It looks best when a faded chambray shirt is worn with dark wash jeans. Of course, it depends on the formality of your work environment but, the chambray shirt can even be worn under a blazer to project a more relaxed professional look.

I love the look of the chambray shirts but, guess what? Everyone is going to be wearing them. So, I wanted to point out that chambray fabric is being used in other ways this spring season too. This classically designed dark wash trench coat created by the folks at Banana Republic is an example. This way you can participate in the trend and yet stand out from the crowd. Plus, a classic trench may be a better option for some professionals versus the popular chambray shirt, so we are not limited to the chambray trend strictly on the weekends.



BloomingdalesArmor Lux Striped Tee

Ah, the striped tee. Love it! The timeless blue and white Breton shirt actually dates all the way back to 1858 when it became the required uniform for French seamen. It was said that this stripe allowed a man overboard to be located more easily . Well, even if you don’t plan on wearing it out to sea as life-saving gear, modern versions of this classic design are now rampant in stores and will undoubtedly keep you on trend. This season, designers have executed this classic shirt in a variety of beautiful colors, varying stripe widths and patterns in an assortment of fabrics. The Armor Lux brand is best known for the classic French striped tee. They offer a variety of mixed colors in addition to the standard blue and white striped.

It is a myth to think that wearing stripes will always widen your frame; it is actually possible for all of us to find flattering striped styles for ourselves. Don’t let limiting advice hold you back from participating in this enjoyable and enduring trend. Some tricks to selecting the best striped tee are as follows:

  • All-over symmetrical mid-width stripes work exceptionally well for most body types
  • The addition of a chest pocket to a striped tee will make the shirt appear more casual and is definitely not a good idea for those women with full bosoms/large breasts
  • Long sleeved versions allow for more variety in use
  • Bateau (aka. boatneck) styles, although flattering to the neckline, will often widen the appearance of the upper chest and shoulder region; make sure the top half of the body is still proportional to the bottom half
  • To avoid overexposure be mindful of striped tees made with sheer materials
  • Those striped tees made with cotton-blend materials and form to the natural shape of the body are flattering
  • Be leery of striped tees with obvious brand logos displayed on the outside of the shirt because they often visually distract from the overall look of the outfit
  • Pair a long sleeved striped tee with a blazer jacket and let the shirt sleeve ends peek out below the jacket’s sleeves. Then keep the jacket’s sleeves pushed up, rolled up or worn straight down. A striped tee can also look fantastic underneath a favored boyfriend cardigan sweater. And, of course, wear this newly invigorated striped tee solo with a pair of shorts, jeans or khakis. So, whether stripes remind you of nautical adventures, classic Parisian fashions or beatnik inferences, the striped tee is back and in full force.



    Swedish HasbeensPeep Toe Super High

    Another one of my much loved trend revivals this spring season is the modern clog. Similar to the chambray shirt and the striped tee, clogs were first introduced as protective gear for workers. In this case, to those who worked in factories, mines and farms. The clog shoe (and not the clog sandal) is considered the official accredited safety shoes in Denmark. These wooden sole shoes were revitalized for the masses in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the über popular Dr. Scholl and Candies brand sandal adaptations.

    Today’s designers have come up with a plethora of new and exciting designs to choose from this season. Platform styles are all the rage. Swedish Hasbeens have created some of my favorite designs which include an assortment of styles in vibrant colors. The modern clog and its wooden sole will be fashionable in the upcoming Fall 2010 season also in boot versions. In the meantime, I would highly recommend getting started now on this fun, revamped trend. Some of us will only be able to incorporate this shoe into our weekend wear so, the sooner we get started, the more wear opportunities we’ll have!

    I would love to hear some striped tee stories from my readers, plus any of your thoughts about the new Spring trends as always!

    vss-logosmall If you need help finding the best versions of these trends for you …it’s easy… simply sign up for my new Virtual Styling Services by clicking on the link and I will do the rest! Be sure to complete the VSS Questionnaire for best fit. signaturesmall3

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  • Kristina, What a great post. I LOVE all three trends you have highlighted. I must admit to a obsession with striped tees. It may because I am a diehard Francophile but the look has always been appealing to me. When I was last in Paris (May 08) there was a Maritime Fashion exhibit at the Maritime Museum (near the Eiffel Tower). My husband was more than happy to go because he loves ships…so while he cruised the regular exhibit, I indulged in maritime fashion. Stripes everywhere!!

  • I bought a pair of the Braided High Ankle Strap Sandal Blue , 40 EU last week. They were on sale for $106.28. These aren’t the higher heel style in the post but I thought I would try them out for size – literally! I am usually a size 40 in European shoes but a lot of times the charts on the sites say that 40 is a U.S. size 10. No different with Swedish Hasbeen’s site. A size 39 would definitely be too small for me. A size 39.5 might work as there is about 3/8 inch above my toe. However, I ‘m not returning these cuz I love them and they don’t look too big. They are very comfy. I am going to buy a pair of the new season that Kristina shows in the picture. Now I just have to decide on color…….