Fashion blooms

Tired of wearing that same chunky sweater, the one that looked so up-to-the-minute in November, but now is covered in fuzz balls?

What about those clunky knee-high boots? They felt great those first cold weeks of winter, but wouldn’t a cool new wedge sandal be a welcome relief?

While it’s freezing outside, it’s warming up inside the stores, as spring fashion blossoms and miniskirts, capped sleeve blouses and summer swing dresses push aside chunky sweaters, dark wool pants and turtlenecks.

But warm weather is still too far away to wear most of those sweet new looks.

“I understand the frustration — it’s cold outside, but the stores have spring and summer collections,� said Lois Joy Johnson, beauty and fashion director for MORE magazine. “The fashion industry is on a different schedule than the way women live. There used to be a very clear season called transitional clothing. It’s vanished. We speed straight from wool into light cottons.�

So here are some suggestions for what you can do right now to fight your winter wardrobe fatigue:

Stacey Pecor, owner of New York boutique chain Olive & Bette’s, suggests picking up a spring blouse and wearing it under a dark suit. A capped sleeve blouse — a good look this spring — in white, cream, navy, or red with some embroidered flowers or ruffles can be just the piece to lighten up a heavy winter outfit.

She also recommends pairing spring’s tank jersey dresses (you can wear them over a turtleneck or with a cardigan) with patterned tights and knee-high boots. Or buy new pants to wear with your sweaters, said Pecor. “There’s some great wide leg pants that are in stores right now,� she said. And don’t forget to look for jeans with the new higher rises.

When weather permits, exchange your knee-high boots for spring’s platform pumps or something in a metallic, Lois Joy Johnson, beauty and fashion director, MORE magazine suggests. A matte silver or gold wedge, platform or ballet flat is big this spring. No more stilettos, she says.

“If you want to wear pants and have a leggier look, you can have some height with platforms,� she said. “If you want to be more grounded and you are into the 60s dresses — that kind of looser, A-line dress — the flats look amazing.�

Or buy a white shirt and wear it under a leather jacket. Light cotton white blouses with puffed sleeves and V-neck lines are popular. She also suggests adding a metallic belt and handbag to freshen an all-black look.

“Between accessories and one or two pieces in proportion, you can keep wearing the same clothes,� she said. “Rather than saying ‘I can’t wait to wear spring clothes,’ you can sort of edge into it this way.�

Trade in the sterling silver for some gold, said Jayne Chase, cohost of the radio show “A Fashionable Life� on AM 1490 WGCH in Greenwich, Conn.
“Gold is the new silver in jewelry,� she said. “Gold bangles and gold cuffs, bright colored gems set in gold.�

Never underestimate the power of new makeup, they advise. “Makeup is an easy way to make a difference in your look and gives you a new attitude as well,� Jennifer Goodkind, Chase’s cohost, said. “Experiment with red (lipstick). Find a shade that works with your skin tone and pair it with a natural face.�

Add some color. There are more seasonless colors, said New York fashion designer Joanna Mastroianni, who even included black as part of her spring collection.

“We don’t put colors into categories anymore,� she said. “You can always wear red, orange.�

And spend some time putting together combinations you’ve never tried before, she said. “What’s fun is to take the look and add other elements,� she said. “Play with things. Try on your jacket. Try on different earrings with it. It’s amazing when you mix and match different outfits what you get.�

But what if you really want a new sweater, coat or a pair of wool pants?

Most stores have cleared out their winter inventory, so your best bet is to shop online, said Patricia Handschiegel, editor of
“You will go crazy digging through the racks,� she said. “You can browse at your leisure online and get good winter stuff. The best part is it’s 75 percent off. And if you really need it in a pinch, most places offer quick delivery.� Her recommendation:

Previous Story

Grab a cup of coffee with culture

Next Story

Tower dances to Rogue beat