With spring well and truly sprung for this year, the runways of New York, Milan, Paris, London and Tokyo are gearing up for next year’s spring fashions. One of the trends that seems to be around is a 1940’s to 50’s retro look. Now the late 1940’s-1950’s may get you think about blousy post-war, austere, dull and poorly-made clothes with little choice of colours or styles. Well that was then, and 60 years on the styles of yesteryear have been revisited, revamped and revitalised by the fashion houses. Think the women in the films of Éric Rohmer and François Truffaut. Try a Hermès scarf as a do-rag or alternatively tie it to you purse or handbag. Wear a skirt with buttons down the side with one or two at the bottom, near the hem, left undone. Match with a blazer, a bright boxy blouse and flat show that you can stride about the mall or the high street, shopping or visiting friends.
Of course what you are going to wear in spring depends very much where you are. While East Coast United States may mean bright warm sunny days, the same might not be true of North America or Northern Europe, where there could still be snow in March or even April. If you are living in the colder climates, do you match peep-toe spring sling-backs with an oversized woollen coat? Tricky. The usual solution- and a sensible one in my book- is to prepare for the in-between seasons temperatures by going for layers of clothing. One of the most versatile is a lightweight blazer. Blazers offer excellent coverings over fabrics like cotton and crepe that breathe and won’t be too warm but provide insulation against any chill weather. If it really is cold, then a blazer can be worn underneath an overcoat. Later, as the season warms up, you can use the blazer with a sundress or shorts. But what sort of blazer should you acquire for your wardrobe?
A floral blazer can appear tricky. But a bright large print floral blazer will look great in spring, provided it is not complicated with other fussy clothes. Match with blacks, whites and neutral colours. To avoid floral jackets from looking dowdy, steer clear of relaxed pants and stacked heels; better to have a body-conscious skirt or some fitted slacks, with plain white pumps. Topshop have some nice floral blazers for around $100.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, then go for a pinstriped black or navy jacket, but to avoid you looking too “man-copying” match it with smart jeans and a tee, or if you need to look smarter for the Office, a crisp white or black shirt or blouse.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a blazer made of leather can be versatile, eye-catching and unusual without looking odd. Smart leather accents on lightweight fabrics like silk and crepe are a good way to keep your look edgy and sexy without going for the full vamp. Pair with fitted bottoms and some flashy gold or silver jewellery.
The key to a minimalist blazer is finding one with simple lines and even (preferably) lacking a collar. Solid colours are a must here and the blazer should be free from accoutrements including buttons, beads, and any other bells or whistles. Pair with contrasting and like colours and a pair of hyper-reflective sunglasses for maximum (or should we say, minimal) effect.
Finally, you could go for a minimalist blazer with simple lines and no collar. A good solid colour and no buttons on the cuffs will look good with over-sized shades and a skirt with a hem just below the knee- the Audrey Hepburn look!