À La Mode: Spring florals have sprung

Megan VanGorder (freshman, early childhood & special education) wears a dress by Poetry, shoes from T. J. Maxx and sunglasses from a hut at the beach. (Heather Tabacchi/ The Penn)

Winter seemed to stick around Indiana for a little longer than usual this year. The weather is unpredictable: beautiful one day and frigid the next.

To make up for lost spring days, designers are splashing spring all over the runways in longer hemlines and floral patterns.

Clothing structure from circa the “Friends” era seems to be back full swing with overalls, jumpsuits and rompers making appearances in stores like Forever 21, H&M and Charlotte Russe.

“The No. 1 trend coming into style this spring is actually something that has been around before, as usual fashion goes in cycles,” Rachel Laudermilch (senior, fashion merchandising) said.

It does seem like just yesterday Rachael and Monica were sporting a pair of overall shorts with white ankle socks.

As for patterns, floral print and lace have taken over fashion weeks around the globe.

“Designers are adding a touch of floral prints to everything, and mixing prints is a high-fashion trend too,” Megan Hart (junior, fashion merchandising and marketing) said. “You can find floral print inspiration in almost anything now, especially with body con dresses, skater dresses, jackets, crop tops and pants.”

Floral is everywhere – bags, shoes, dresses and earrings … name it, there is a floral version of it, fashion critic Bella Naija said.

Every year fashion forecasters come up with a new theme of colors, trends and new ideas for the next seasons, Laudermilch said.

The past few years were “Garden party” themed, which was a designer inspiration on the runway that trickled down into the societal retail level.

Although it seems like floral prints would be a staple come springtime every year, it’s the slight changes in the style that keep it fresh.

“I think the reason for this is its versatility,” Alaina Bollibon (junior, fashion merchandising) said. “From delicate or more feminine prints to much bolder ones, the versatility can really change the way a garment looks.”

While warm weather usually instigates a rash of miniskirts and skimpy dresses, this season hemlines are staying conservative.

“Designers are loving tea-length skirts this season,” Bollibon said. “Similar to the 1950s ‘poodle skirts,’ run-ways showed countless outfits with full skirts, including a high waist that comes to the knee, or slightly below the knee, and crop tops.”

To keep from overheating – and to keep the look modern – make sure to show some skin to make up for the length of the skirt.

Pair crop tops with the tea-length skirts to look taller and show a little arm and shoulder.

Magazines and blogs tend to offer styles accessible to the public’s prices that resemble styles that the top fashion elites are wearing every day.

“A few ways to find these trends for much less are right in front of you,” Hart said. “They’re in magazines like Vogue, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and Seventeen.”

Remember the key pieces that will bring your whole wardrobe into this season. For example: a tulle, tea-length skirt; a floral crop top; and a collarless structured jacket.

“I think knowing your budget is the start to trying out trends off the runway,” Bollibon said. “Find a look you love, such as the mesh styles of garments, and research online to find similar styles.”

One last thing to keep in mind is to try new things and express your styles in different ways, according to Hart.

“It’s always fun to stand out, and who knows, you could start a new trend,” she said.

For example, maybe one small floral print isn’t enough for your daring wardrobe. Try mixing florals then.

As with any pattern mixing, the rules remain the same. Ensure the patterns share a color palette and have one large print and one really small so the patterns don’t compete.

With the right outfit, the only thing you will have to worry about this spring is getting your tan on.

Aleda Johnson also contributed to writing this article.