Spring trends are taking off with travel wear

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

Escape the cold in the hottest fashion.

This year's resort report includes everything from stripes to pastels to lace. And you don't have to fly south for months to wear your gear. A long weekend getaway counts, too.

“Resort used to be just for the elites and socialites who would fly away from the cold for months, and who wanted a new wardrobe,” says Lindsay Huggins, senior fashion market editor for Self magazine. “But designers have gotten on the bandwagon and realized not everyone is going to St. Barts, but they might be going to Boca (Raton) and they want some new clothing, too. With all of the vacation deals on Expedia and other websites, you can afford a long weekend. Resort has become its own fashion season.”

It's also clothing that, even if you aren't leaving winter's grasp, you can use to transition from winter into spring, Huggins says. Resort clothing, accessories and footwear are often precursors to spring, she says. Women can easily take a pair of shorts and wear them with tights or pair a sleeveless top with a blazer right now.

“Resort is fun to shop for, because it is always really playful, with bright colors and lots of prints,” Huggins says. “Digital prints are really new and fun. They almost look like a photo was processed onto the fabric. Color-blocking and pastel colors are also really strong for resort.”

Look for blouses with details such as keyholes, peek-a-boos or halter styles. A mixed-print sundress is a fun resort piece, says Jessica Bacigalupi, director of women's design for Nautica.

“Looking at and buying resort clothing and accessories makes a woman feel happy, because it brings the promise of sun and fun and the return of pretty, bright colors,” Bacigalupi says.

This is the perfect time to get away, because the current “heat wave” is not going to last. Jack Boston, expert senior meteorologist at accuweather.com, says this weekend's warm temperatures won't be around much longer. Normal temperatures for January are 36 degrees for the high and 21 for the low.

“We have a big pattern change coming,” he says. “And when it gets to Western Pennsylvania late next week, there will be below-normal temperatures. The long-range projections for the end of January into February are also looking below normal.”

“Just seeing nautical prints and floral designs makes us want to be on a beach somewhere watching the sun set,” says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People Style Watch. “They make us think of warm weather and, in the middle of winter, that is exactly where we want to be.”

Even if you can't get away from it all, it can be fun to purchase a piece of clothing from a resort collection, Rubin says, because something like a blouse can be worn now under a jacket. A dress can be paired with tights and a sweater for now, and worn with bare legs and arms later.

“Our spring/resort collection is full of color and comes in such sheer fabrications and designs,” says Teresa Cavoti, retail sales director for Doncaster. “The collection also has a lot of stripes, which are strong for resort and beyond.”

Look for an African influence in resort collections, which was all over the runways, Cavoti says. The peplum silhouette is on trend for resort wear, as well as black-and-white combinations, pastels and lace.

Because resort collections come out so far ahead of spring, they seem like they are their own season, Rubin says.

“From what I have heard, it sells stronger because it is on the (selling) floor so long,” Rubin says. “It also gives people a little bit of insight for spring, and hope.”

Lucite is a must-have in accessories. Pastels such as mint green and blush pink are big, as are bolder hues like cobalt blue, Rubin says. Nautical and florals are always popular in resort wear, Rubin says, but try them in a new way, such as mixing stripes or choosing more subdued floral patterns.

What once was a blip on the fashion landscape is becoming a full season in its own right, says Suzanne Mauro, a stylist accredited by the Association of Image Consultants International and producer of “Style Everyday with Suz” on PCTV. Resort wear brings forth a crop of bold trends, she says.

She likes the stripes trend — horizontal, vertical, twisted, printed, sequin, leather, silk, cut-out, skinny, wide or layered on clothing and accessories.

“Stripes form a backbone of resort,” Mauro says. “Layering stripes on stripes is key. Keep everything else simple, and let the stripes make the statement. ... A great color-blocking dress would be a great investment that will carry over into spring. Don't be afraid of an electric-hue pump. ... I love glossy, bright-colored pumps. They bring cheer to wet days and gleam in winter sunshine.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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