Spring 2011 fashion preview // Style Counsel

Spring fashion trends before the snow melts

By Donna Wilson

On Wednesday February 9th, 2011

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photo by thanqUnfortunately, it is very cold in most parts of the country at the moment and winter is far from over. Fortunately, the winter clothing season is almost over, which means two things. First, winter clothing is on sale and it is a great time to stock up on basics for work. Second, the stores are filling up with spring collections, giving us something to look forward to. In that vein, I have decided to devote this installment of Style Counsel to forgetting about winter and looking forward to spring.

This year’s spring trends come with an overwhelmingly ’70s feel. Perhaps this makes sense, considering the usual suspects in spring fashion, like florals and nautical themes, tend to lean that way anyway. Here are some trends you can expect to see:

Look out for high wasted trousers, both in work wear and denim. The leading trend in skirts and dresses is length: choose full-length dresses and skirts if you can pull them off, and almost everyone can pull off a mid-length hemline that falls below the knee but still shows a little leg. The most flattering way to wear a long hemline is to make sure the dress or skirt is high-wasted, thus elongating your legs rather than your torso.

Bright colours are still in from last season, and the most unexpected star of the spring 2011 runways was burnt orange. This colour certainly does not suit everyone, so if you want to try it, bring a friend along with you. Neutrals are very big for spring 2011, and they are popping up everywhere, paired with block patterns of black and/or white. This is a nice new twist, especially if neutral colours tend to wash out your skin tone.

Denim is big this spring, and so is its lightweight cousin, chambray. Silk is always a playful, lightweight choice for spring, and this season we are seeing a number of full-length, almost pajama-looking silk pieces for the more daring.

Wearing the trends to work

shirtpantsBecause they are often more creative and fun, it’s more difficult to incorporate spring/summer trends into a work wardrobe than fall/winter trends. However, that does not mean we cannot try! One trendy item that can be worn to any work place, no matter how conservative, is high-wasted trousers — like these by 3.1 Phillip Lim ($388 [Ed. Note: No longer available], at shopnordstrom.com). High-waisted trousers are classic, and they are easier to tuck a shirt into than the low-wasted styles that have been in fashion for the past little while. You can also pair them with a pretty blouse like this one by Kate Spade ($195 [Ed. Note: No longer available] at katespade.com). Add a basic blazer or cardigan and you are good to go.

set 1The maxi dress will be a nice treat for anyone who works in an office with casual Fridays. Pick one up now if you are heading down south for a vacation and then wear it again on those Fridays in the summer where it is far too hot to wear pants and all of your other casual dresses look far too casual. For example, you could pair this high-wasted, full length silk Winter Kate dress ($450 [Ed. Note: No longer available] at shopbop.com) with this cropped jacket by Tibi ($189 [Ed. Note: No longer available] theoutnet.com) and these taupe kitten heels from Aldo ($60 [Ed. Note: No longer available] aldoshoes.com).

I don’t know about you, but I feel warmer already.


Donna Wilson is a Toronto-based commercial litigator at Affleck Greene McMurtry LLP. Her style and beauty column appears every second Wednesday.

Photo by thanq