[Standfirst] Put a spring in your step in time for Valentine’s Day with this season’s fresh, floral and feminine new looks.
With the rainiest January on record behind us and hopefully a hot date beckoning on February 14, your wardrobe deserves an injection of spring cheer.
Luckily, this season delivers, with mouthwatering pastels, bold prints and fierce florals offering an instant closet pick-me-up.
Dark and dainty pieces are few and far between, so be courageous; no shrinking violets allowed. The catwalk message is clear for spring/summer ‘14: go bold or go home.
The good news for recessionistas is that just a few high-fashion statement pieces are enough to revive your old spring staples.
Prepare to fall head over heels...
Refreshing sorbet shades of mint, lavender, peach and powdery pinks and blues are an instant palette cleanser for spring, and the height of romance.
The freshest way to wear them is top-to-toe in one hue. Balance out the girliness with an androgynous silhouette - a tailored suit will look pale and interesting paired with a white shirt.
Texture is all-important. Look to fabrics like lace and leather to add an edge to pretty pastels. You’ll even find traditional black biker jackets in pastel leather colourways for a spring staple.
Wear your pastels now by teaming a skirt or trousers with a grey crew-neck sweater to tone down the colour.
Checks were big for winter, but they’ve gone wholesome for spring with girly gingham.
Any colourway goes in these country-inspired checks and men love the Doris Day meets Daisy Duke look. Pastels will make your gingham look uber-pretty, red or blue brights make a statement, while traditional black and white are more accessible.
Floaty dresses and smocks are the feminine way to work this trend, but for a more contemporary look, opt for structured shapes, like scuba-style T-shirts or pencil skirts.
Gingham may be a playful print but it can work for the office too, in the form of sharp, tailored trousers. Dress down with flat loafers or pointed pumps, and just add heels for business-like glamour.
If you know you won’t be getting roses on Friday, create a bouquet all of your own. A big, bold, colourful one... Hothouse and tropical blooms, often as one statement bud, will be causing a print riot. Yes, florals have been supersized for spring.
Wear as one bright piece or double up your petal power with matching two-piece sets. There are plenty of floral dresses out there, but you’ll also discover standout separates and accessories.
To bridge the gap between winter and spring, pick out bouquet prints with navy or black backdrops.
Every season introduces a new ‘It’ shade and 2014 has got the blues; specifically cobalt.
Wear the cool hue as an accent or as a top-to-toe statement. For a true blue takeover, mix things up using contrasting textures, like a leather skirt and silk shirt, or cotton dress and fluffy overcoat.
Team with grey or black now and freshen up with stark white once the weather turns brighter.
Cobalt blue can be worn right now without looking like you’re being too spring premature - this is a hue that works equally as well with opaque tights as bare legs.
The minimalist movement has gone on vacation for spring/summer 14. Maximise with abstract, arty patterns that resemble a Jackson Pollock painting.
From paint splatter to bold brushstroke designs, this is not a look for shrinking violets.
Paint the town red - and blue and yellow and green - and opt for bright, primary colours to really make a statement. Block panels of black will ensure your arty pieces are a little more restrained.
For a more muted masterpiece, look for one accent paint colour against grey or white and turn your wardrobe into a virtual gallery.