By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Paula Rath
The trends for spring 2006 are feminine, fresh and fanciful. The hottest color of the season is white, but it's not your vanilla variety — it's hot and haute. The dress, from sleek and sexy halters to frilly eyelet empires, is arguably the one new piece to add to your wardrobe.
Those with less-than-perfect figures can heave a sigh of relief, as wraps and ties are everywhere. Those with tiny waists can cinch them in with a slim satin ribbon or an obi belt.
Accessories are big and bold. Neutrals and natural looks, especially brown and white, look the freshest. If you can afford only one, the oversized handbag may be your "it" accessory for the season — unless you cannot pass up platform shoes.
Necklaces and pendants will look anemic if you wear just one; stack 'em up and wear multiple strands of beads or pearls.
If you need a new white shirt, this is the year to buy it. They are everywhere, in every imaginable style and fabric, from feminine flirty eyelets to tailored crisp cottons.
It's a great season to express your individual style, as designers are offering more choices than ever, especially in pant and skirt lengths and silhouettes.
We asked The Advertiser's fashion forum members to choose their favorite spring trend. Here's what they said.
Favorite spring trend? Platform shoes.
Why? Platforms are a staple for me.
Who inspired the look? Betty Grable. Platform heels and pin-up girls often go hand in hand.
Where did you find the one key pair? They are by Coach and I bought them at Nordstrom in San Francisco ($120 on sale).
What do you wear them with? Everything from pleated skirts and blouses for work to party frocks and day dresses. They also look great with skinny cropped pants.
What would be a no-no with platforms? They don't work well with most long pants — better with ankle-length or shorter. Show as much leg as you dare with platforms. Thick soles can look a little clunky, so the greater the distance between shoe and hemline, the better!
Favorite spring trend? Nautical and navy.
Why? Always looks fresh and timeless.
Who inspired the look? I love old photos of stars on the Côte d'Azur: Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Jackie O all wore striped tees.
Where did you find the one key piece? My top is from Charlotte Russe and it's probably 5 years old. I think it was $25.
How will you wear it? With skirts in poplin or denim, with capris or khaki cargoes.
What do you recommend with this trend? Crisp colors, especially red. Black and navy are great together. For accessories, I like tailored pieces that are classic. Metallics like gold glow. Wedge heels or espadrilles are cool. Large mod sunglasses and an Hermés scarf!
A no-no? When mixing stripes with other pieces, be careful not to put together too many varied fabrics or textures.
Favorite spring trend? White eyelet.
Why did you choose it? I like the overall clean, classic feeling of wearing white. White is springy and fresh, so you can get away with wearing it all year in Hawai'i. It works on everyone and gives the wearer a tranquil sensation.
Where did you find these pieces? Barney's New York in the Waikele Outlets. The MJ top was $99, a major markdown. Jeans were $39, also on sale at Barney's.
How else would you wear it? White can be paired with any color or pattern without looking overpowering. I also wear white jeans often, because they elongate the legs and are easy to pair with. Solid white dresses are also simple and superb.
What would be a no-no with this trend? Avoid an overly flowy look, because it'll give you a "Harlequin-romance-novel- heroine-gone-bad" look. Mix fitted and flowy to ensure a look that's fail-proof.
Favorite spring trend? Lace.
Why? I think it is feminine, soft and beautiful. Wearing feminine things softens my New York persona.
Where did you find the one key piece? On eBay for $35.
Is this your dream item or did you have to compromise? This is a handmade vintage piece from the 1920s — a dream item.
What did you pair it with? Vintage YSL shoes from Pzazz ($35) and a belt by Valentino from The Ultimate You ($75). My favorite black pants are French Connection, and I got them a million years ago. The tank top is from Shasa Emporium in Kahala Mall, and I wear it about once a week.
What would be a no-no with this trend? It's easy to look like you are in a nightie when you wear lace, so try to avoid that. If you are wearing a lace undergarment out of the house, wear a jacket over it; the idea with lace is to look tasteful.
Favorite spring trend? A classic white shirt.
Why? A basic white shirt is timeless. It is easily paired with blue jeans, dressy slacks or a sassy skirt. I also love this Cole Haan black leather oversized handbag with lots of cool hardware.
Where did you find these pieces? The white shirt is from Hollister ($67). The jeans were a splurge at $98, but I just had to have those Lucky brand Li'l Maggies.
Is this your dream item or did you have to compromise? My dream items would be the Burberry white shirt ($275) and brown skirt ($375), but they're too high-end for me.
What would be a no-no with this trend? You need to be very careful when pairing this shirt with a pastel pant, because it could appear too "Miami Vice." White shoes are a definite no-no.
Favorite spring trend? So many choices — why just choose one? White shirt. Platform boots. Charm necklace. Spring makeup: simple, fresh-faced look with glossy pink lips and long, lush lashes.
Why? I wanted to create a head-to-toe look that reflects my personal style by combining several trends with existing pieces and accessories.
Where did you find them? The shirt is Solo Paris from Pink C. The platform boots are Matta Voglia from Nordstrom Rack; the charm necklace by Margo Manhattan.
What would be a no-no with this trend? I like to encourage people to develop their own personal style and to figure out which styles ... flatter their body type. Resist the temptation to purchase the latest "must-have" items of the season unless they work for you.
Favorite spring trend? Shorts!
Why? Shorts are cool and comfortable and great to wear in Honolulu's springtime warm weather.
Where did you find the one key piece? Forever 21 ($20).
What features do you love about it? I like the cut and the fit. They have a cute buttoned cuff and a little bit of stretch.
How else would you wear it? With a white (tank) or a black T-shirt. I like the look with pearls, and it would also go well with a cool pair of motorcycle boots. Another cute look to try is shorts with a button-down shirt and a snug cropped vest with a few strands of pearls.
What designer is doing best with the look this season? I love what Zac Posen did, as well as Bottega Veneta and Carolina Herrera. I like the boyswear take on the trend, and preppy looks the best.
What would be a no-no with this trend? Wear shorts that are comfortable, not too short and not too tight. Balance the look with shoes that are a little chunkier in proportion, not thin stilettos or pumps. The fabrics of the moment have a menswear feel, like plaids, tweeds or linens.
Reach Paula Rath at email@example.com.