Runway: Designers fall in love with prints, from abstract florals to strong tribal prints.
Reality: While stronger prints may make fashion news, it's the pretty floral prints and understandable graphic prints that we keep coming back to. Prints range from vibrant hues (green, blue, pink) to earthy spice colors. Not sure you want to invest in prints you may get tired of? Try a print bag or shoe.
See floral dresses for spring.
Runway: Pink pops up in everything from blush to fuchsia.
Reality: Here's a trend that works for so many women, and it's as easy to buy into as adding a pink lipstick. If you are going to add a pink piece to your wardrobe, try something in a medium shade of pink (think Barbie pink) and wear it close to your face for a youthful glow. And simply adding a pink bag or accessories is an easy way to wake up neutrals.
Runway: From peasant blouses to floppy-brim hats, everything '70s is enjoying a fashion moment.
Reality: No need to go a head-to-toe hippie look to get a taste of the '70s. A little bit of retro-inspired look goes a long way. The easiest switch to make? Trade skinny jeans for a wider leg to turn the fashion clock back a few years.
Fit and Flare Dresses
Runway: Designers took a ladylike turn with full-skirted fit and flare silhouettes.
Reality: First Lady Michelle Obama has helped bring back the A-line skirt silhouette, and this spring you'll see it in every incarnation, from frilly party dresses to smart, work-ready looks. It's the perfect dress to give you the illusion of a small waist, so have fun wearing this pretty shape.
Runway: From stark dresses to somber colors, the minimal movement is gaining ground.
Reality: This nod to the '90s even appeared on recent red carpets. We like the modern minimalism because it allows for some femininity (soft hair, pretty makeup, a bit of jewelry) while still promoting a clean-lined silhouette.
Runway: Wide-leg jeans and soft pants were the bottoms of choice on the runway.
Reality: A moderate wider leg, like Gap's trouser jeans (Buy Direct) gives you a modern, wide-leg jean that's more refined than funky.
Runway: Mixed prints are nothing new, but in such a huge print season it was common to see some bizarre mixes.
Reality: The easiest way to mix prints well involves choosing prints with a similar theme (color, scale) or lots of contrast (polka dots with stripes). Never an easy look to pull off, but designers made it easier by providing pretty options like "mirror" prints (pictured above.)
Runway: Black belts add a sharp contrast for dressy looks on the runway and red carpet.
Reality: Black belts can vary from a bow look to an edgy studded leather belt. The black bow belt on a pretty print dress is a strong look to add a modern edge to girly prints.
Runway: From dramatic floor-sweeping lengths to demure midis,the longer hemlines was a significant runway trend.
Reality: It may take us a while to adjust our eyes to the new, longer skirt, but most of these can be fairly easy to pull off if you have the body (and the right shoes.) The midi, or mid-calf length, is already a strong look for warmer weather, and floor-sweeping maxis look to be back again this summer, too.
Remember that in longer lengths, everything is magnified -- fullness, prints -- so too-muchness can look unflattering.
Runway: Colorblocking in vibrant contrast colors adds interest to the runways.
Reality: Here's a trend that is easy to incorporate into your wardrobe. Simply take separates and mix and match them. Wear your royal blue shirt with a hot pink skirt. Try color combos that are easy (like black and white) or that push the boundaries of "good taste" like green and purple.