Lynne Riding, who is the fashion coordinator at The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, and Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, who has the same role at The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, offer some pointers.
Q: What are the top five trends for spring 2014?
A: 'Look for clean, simple lines,' says Riding. 'You'll also see pleats, sheers and lace, and prints - both floral and graphic.' Hammonds agrees that pleats, especially knife pleats, will be big this spring. 'Graphic prints are a major trend, using written words embroidered or printed across ready-to-wear garments,' he adds. 'We'll also see accessories with metallic touches in gold and bronze this year.'
Q: What are this spring's top colors?
A: Both experts agree that lilac and other pastels are the most important color story for spring. Greens, especially mint green, are also big. 'Muted and sophisticated tones predominate, although brights are also seen, particularly when paired with metallic touches,' Hammonds says.
Q: What one piece should everyone consider adding to her wardrobe to be on trend for spring?
A: 'A poplin dress shirt in white, lilac or mint green is a great spring/summer addition,' says Riding. 'It could either be a long wrap shirt without buttons or a long shirt worn on the hips with a belt.' Hammonds recommends adding a modern accessory, such as a metallic bag or clutch, statement eye frames, or even a metallic shoe that can go from day to night.
Some other ideas to give your wardrobe the fashion edge this spring? Consider a longer skirt (mid-calf or upper ankle length), wearing a classic shirt untucked with the bottom several buttons undone, or an accessory with fringe. And be sure to hang on to fashions with color blocking. Riding says this trend is continuing to be popular.
Whatever you do, Hammonds advises, dare to be edgy and always be true to yourself and your personal style. Riding adds, 'A trend only works if it works for you. Does it fit your style, your lifestyle, what's flattering? For instance, if lilac is not your color, don't add a lilac dress to your wardrobe. Instead, choose a flower print that includes lilac or wear a print skirt with lilac tones along with a crisp white shirt.'