Take a blend of many decades of style, add a dash of old Hollywood glamour, and you have the magic of the trends for spring 2008.

Romantic, flirty and colourful trends for 2008

This season the designers added modern twists to our favorite classic and timeless pieces. Fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, and Princess Diana wore many of these sophisticated and classic trends: romantic, flirty, and colourful in design and mood. Here are my top twelve trends for spring. You may not love all of them, but I encourage you to select a few to add to your existing wardrobe to look more modern and fashionable.

12 Trend tips for this season

1) Crayola Colours

This season the designers have added a lot of vibrant hues in saturated colours like bright yellow, grass green, royal blue, red, safety orange and fuchsia. These bright colors may be hard for everyone to wear. If you want to experiment with bold colors, start with a bright blouse or jacket and pair it with a pair of white pants or a skirt, which will tone it down a bit. When you wear bright colours like these, keep your accessories simple, so that the colour becomes the focal point.

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2) Pattern Punch, Creative Strokes & Floral

Dresses, jackets, tops and skirts will come in all sizes of patterns this season. The popular prints will have graphic, geometric and abstract motifs. You will see some beautiful new prints that look like creative brushstroke patterns off an artistâ??s canvas in a light whimsical scrawl or a blurred watercolor abstract. Romantic florals will dominate the season in medium to large prints. When selecting a print to wear in the professional business arena, remember to keep it in the small to medium range, and in a subtle colour.

3) The Waist-Defined Dress

Springtime is all about dresses this year. The two most popular styles, which I adore, are the shirtdress and the sheath dress; both of which accentuate the waist area. I love these styles because they work well in a business casual work environment, and can go from day to night with a change to dressier accessories. The shirtdress is a tailored, stylish, and classic silhouette, with a collar that can be worn turned up a bit, and a button-down front, which when unbuttoned, can create a great V-neckline.

A shirtdress with a sash or belt can compliment a waistline, or help to create one that is not prominent enough. This style of dress is flattering to many different body types. Many sheath dress styles can be worn without a belt but are shapely to your body and define a bit of waist. This dress looks professional worn with a modern or tailored jacket during the day, and worn with a great purse and clutch handbag for an after-hours event. For work this style of dress worn with a jacket conveys professionalism, expertise and feminity for women in business.

4) The Timeless Trench

The classic trench returns in time for the springtime weather and it is a great wardrobe essential that every woman needs in her closet. This season you will see a more modern version of the classic trench coat. The latest twists are brighter colors, lighter fabrics and shorter jacket styles, which look great with dress trousers. The timeless trench takes on a springtime, fresh look with softer fabrics and fun colors. This is also a great item to pair with jeans and sandals during those cool spring evenings to look stylish and chic.

5) The Feminine Blouse

The mood of the season is romantic and flirty when it comes to blouses. Beautiful soft blouses in pastels and prints with lots of feminine details like ruffles, pin tucks and tiny pleats. With the fine detailing on these blouses, keep jewelry to a minimum. This is a great must-have for every workingwoman, as this sophisticated and romantic item can modernize a classic suit and add a womanly flair to a basic tailored suit.

6) Out of Africa

Safari wear is a great timeless trend again this season. From the 1970â??s era, you will see African safari jackets, khaki shirt dresses, and belted safari pant suits. In with this trend youâ??ll find great animal prints, like leopard and giraffe, in dresses and tops. To give this style a great head to toe look try pairing a safari outfit with some natural wood accessories and trendy wide strapped sandals with wooden soles and heels.

7) Full, Flirty Skirts

Skirt silhouettes will be full and stylish this season like the dirndl, the A-line, pleated styles and soft flirty skirts with a fuller silhouette. These styles will be in solid bold colours, colour blocked prints, floral and artistic prints. A soft A-line skirt that gently drapes over your hip is a flattering style for many women, as it camouflages large hip areas. Any of these styles worn with a modern jacket, a twin set or a soft feminine blouse makes for a winning combination to keep in mind for a business casual workday.

8) High-Waisted Trousers

This is a hard trend for many women to accept since we have, for years, had to become accustomed to the low-rise pant. This trend started last Autumn and we are definitely starting to see more dramatic waistbands rise to new levels.

The styles that illustrate this trend are the sailor pant or wide-legged pant. While this trend may not work for everyone, if you have a defined waistline, this can really show off your small waist area. You will look curvy, but womanly. When you wear a higher-waist pant be sure to balance it with a form fitting top on your upper torso, making your legs appear slimmer and longer. If your body type doesnâ??t look great in this trend â?? skip it, as there are a lot of pants options this season.

9) Global Chic

This season the designers travelled the world and went outside the box to get inspired for new patterns, shapes and accessories to give that â??melting potâ? allure to dressing. You will see a large ethnic influence like apparel with embroidery or intricate Bali-influenced prints. In jewelry you will see tribal beads, stones, chunky wooden carved necklaces and natural wood pieces. When you wear a piece of this global look, incorporate it with some other pieces in your wardrobe. Perhaps add a dramatic necklace or bracelet from a faraway place to finish a look on a safari ensemble, or casual jean outfit.

10) Shoes â?? Architectural Heels and Bold Colours

Shoes this season will be very structured with lots of architectural details on the heels and artfully designed platforms. The structured high wooden heels and soles on sandals will look natural and earthy when worn with dresses and skirts. At the other end of the spectrum is colour. You will see pops of colour in a modern mix of colour blocking on shoes like bright pinks and yellows mixed with black. If you decide to wear some colourful shoes in vivid colours, let them be the focus and keep the ensemble simple and elegant.

11) Shades of Gold: Metallic Jewelry

Necklaces, bracelets and earrings this season will be in new shades of metallic gold. Rose gold is the new modern gold to wear. If you are warm in colouring, adding rose gold accessories will make your current wardrobe more contemporary. This shade of gold looks beautiful with many of the beautiful neutral coloors coming out this spring and summer.

12) Stacked Bangles and Cuffs

In the bracelet category you will see cuffs in various metallics, and bold colour in Lucite. Stack up your arm with some fun bangles in different shapes and sizes. This is a fun item to wear to add some style to a dress or if you are wearing a short sleeve or sleeveless blouse. Do be careful if you are in the workplace that you donâ??t overdo it. Perhaps go for one cuff bracelet so you arenâ??t jingling all over the office.

I hope that you find at least two to three trends that you are willing to try to incorporate into your existing wardrobe. If you add a few of these into your classic-trend ensembles, you will look stylish and chic for every occasion.

About The Author

Illustra Image Consulting works with individual men and women who wish to update their fashion and professional presence. The company also provides corporate image services to organizations that wish to enhance their corporate brand within the marketplace.

Illustra Image Consulting â?? Perception is Reality!

Copyright 2008, Sarah Hathorn, AICI, Certified Image Consultant

678-528-1239, [email protected]