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By Jenna Pelletier

Journal Staff Writer

Six long months have passed since designers sent their Spring 2011 collections down the runways of New York, Paris and Milan. Now that the fresh looks are finally filling store shelves, here’s a primer on the season’s hottest and most wearable trends.


Vibrant colors –– turquoise, fuchsia, chartreuse, tangerine –– were all over the spring 2011 runway. “The citrus colors are definitely in,” said personal stylist Jill Marinelli. “Orange, especially, is huge.”

If a poppy red sundress or top is too bold for your taste, brighten up more conservatively with accessories. “Some people are going crazy with it head to toe, but I advise many of my clients to try accessories such as a bright orange scarf, lime green shoes or a hot pink bag,” Marinelli said. Colorful accessories pair fabulously with white apparel, which happens to be another big trend this year (see below).


Seventies style is back in a big way. “The ’70s bohemian look is one of my favorite trends of the season,” Marinelli said. “It’s not an exact replica. It’s a little bit more modern, it’s crisper and cleaner.”

In keeping with the trend, skinny jeans and trousers are being traded in for higher-waisted, wide leg or flared versions. “It’s a nice departure,” she said. “I’m thinking of all my mom clients right now.”

Glam evening options include jumpsuits and floor-length disco dresses in satiny fabrics. “Jumpsuits are great because they’re elongating,” Marinelli said. “They make everyone look slimmer and taller,” Marinelli said.

For a more casual look, try a peasant blouse with jeans, recommends Lisa Hurd, co-owner of Stalise boutique in Portsmouth. “We just got in this great new line from Spain called Desigual,” she said. “It’s very hippie and reminds me of what I wore back then, lots of color and pattern.”

Designers are also reflecting the era in pieces such as safari jackets, halter tops and floppy hats. Seventies styles are all the rage in shoes, too. “We ordered a ton of wooden bottom wedges and heels,” said Amanda Torrisi, buyer for Berk’s shoe store in Providence.


White is always popular when the weather heats up, but it seems to be especially hot this year. Many designers, including Michael Kors and Calvin Klein, sent several all-white looks down the runway.

One of the keys to putting together an all-white ensemble is varying the textures. “Definitely mix up the fabrics,” Marinelli said. “You could try white jeans with a cottony peasant top and a scarf with silver metallic threads in it.”

It’s also a good time to trade in your little black dress for a little white version — or at least add one into the rotation.

“I’m seeing tons of white sundresses in the stores,” Marinelli said. “It’s a really pretty trend.”

And you don’t have to wait until Memorial Day to sport the look. “The fashion police are not as stringent as they used to be,” Hurd said.


Remember those floral prints from the ’90s? That’s right, they’re back, too.

The patterns are showing up everywhere from tops and shorts to skirts and dresses. They come in all sizes, but the biggest trend is smaller flowers. It can be fun to mix prints — say floral and stripes — but proceed with caution.

“It can be tricky, but stick with the same colors and you’re usually safe,” Marinelli said.


Lace was everywhere last season, and the feminine fabric is sticking around for the warmer weather.

“It’s not that doily lace,” Marinelli said. “It’s more modern now and it’s more constructed.”

Lace looks can range from sexy to sweet, depending on how they’re styled. Designers are incorporating the fabric into dresses and skirts, layering it over accessories from pumps to purses and using it to create sheer tops that can be worn over a camisole or under a blazer.


Horizontal stripes are also popular right now. Get that classical nautical look — great for Newport — by pairing a blue and white striped top with white jeans and some gold jewelry.

The maxi dresses that came back into vogue last summer are still hot, especially in colorful floral prints.

Calf-length skirts are another runway trend, although the cut is not one of Marinelli’s favorites. “My personal feeling is that length doesn’t flatter most women,” she said.

For jewelry, bangles and metal cuffs are all the rage. Also look for brightly hued statement pieces and ’70s-style fringe and feather necklaces and earrings.

Jill Marinelli, personal stylist, (401) 954-5139; Stalise, 105 Clock Tower Square, Portsmouth, (401) 293-5445; Berk’s, 272 Thayer St., Providence, (401) 831-0174

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