(U-WIRE) CHICAGO – It’s where sexy meets sweet, where trendy chic meets the good old-fashioned ’50s, where very hot-pink polka dots meet some very old school Converses and where a very masculine shade of pink meets a very, um, masculine kind of guy.
Everything’s girly this season, even the “man blouse,” and the colors and styles of spring scream bright, bold, feminine and, well, manly.
“In the past, [pink] was always translated as feminine, but the way it’s done this season is in a very masculine way,” said Jennifer Uglialoro, public relations manager for H&M in New York. “So even a very masculine, masculine man will not be uncomfortable wearing a pink shirt.”
This year, fashion takes on an entirely new focus, taking us through a neo-retro back-to-the-future kind of ride. Matching is certainly not an option this season, and scarring childhood memories of ruffles and bows are resurrected once again. But, one look at the material they’re paired with-satin and very lacy, grown-up styles such as the very feminine baby doll dress, worn alone or paired with jeans or capris-is anything but childish.
Ranging from sorbet colors such as fuchsia, strawberry and various shades of yellow and pink, the colors are acid and luminous. Across the board, brighter stripes and brighter shades are key this spring, with greens that come in every variation from soft mint to kelly green.
“Right now, our inspiration is the ’50s and ’60s-lots of ruffles, lots of feminine details,” Uglialoro said. “Everything is updated from last year, but I have to say that most of the clothing has transferred over from last season. It’s just a little more updated, a little more sexy.”
The skirt is back and hotter than ever. Pencil skirts, micro-minis with pleats, tennis skirts and knee-length styles-whatever the length, the look is definitely vintage vogue. The materials are soft and subtly printed through the bodice, and paired with cardigans and with a lacy tank or a shrunken jacket, the look says romantic, but casual.
For both men and women, sporty styles such as the track jackets, trainers with sweatshirt-style tops and Adidas-inspired outfits are low-key and bright, yet also versatile. Wristbands made of different materials, as well as other sports-inspired accessories, are hot.
According to Christina Fraga, store merchandiser for Urban Outfitters in Evanston, Ill., the look is Grease-style-such as track jackets paired with casual pumps and a pencil skirt. The happy-go-lucky theme of the season is evident in the different fabrics, shapes and colors that are seen around stores.
The ’80s nautical look is back in the mix as well, from minis to halter tops, to tank tops, to bathing suits.
The double-breasted mini trench coat is back, resurrected from the days of Al Capone, only now the new look in trench is fabrics such as suede, giving a fresh perspective on a very old classic. Retro-feminine, flirty dresses inspired by ’30s and ’50s paired with prints in tiny polka dots as well as in-your-face dots are well, huge, along with the colors and stripes of the season.
And even though it snowed just the other week, the temperature will be in the ’80s by tomorrow. It’s time to bring out the pinks, the polkas and the “man blouse.” Here are some of our suggestions to make this spring as gender-neutral as can be:
Essentials for women:
-Cardigans and twin sets paired with lacy tanks
-Short shorts and capris that come in different lengths
-The nautical look
-A print vintage clutch bag, anything with big rose prints and tropical flowers
-A shrunken jacket in suede or jean worn with skirts
-Anything in stripes or polka dots
Essentials for men:
-Tailored clothing, anything with mesh detailing incorporating green, pink, yellow, pale blue
-Colored polos in fluorescents and pastels
-Military inspired wear in camouflaged cargos
-The “man blouse”: striped button-down tops in light shades, paired with vintage jeans.