Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shed drab of winter

Breathe life into spring/summer wardrobe with crisp white cotton

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One of the things I love best about the changing of the seasons is the changing of the wardrobe -- especially as winter melts into spring. Nothing beats that feeling when you get to flip your closet and stow away the drab garb, heavy sweaters, bulky parkas and winter boots.

It's utterly uplifting to unload and shed the dead weight of winter dressing, replacing it with bright, light garments and accessories. Call it a wardrobe renaissance -- a time to breathe life back into your closet with a dose fresh new looks, cool classics and favourite summer staples.

Every year, in addition to shaking out my personal summer staples, I try to incorporate a few new looks and trends -- a feat much easier accomplished in the spring/summer partly because my fashion kitty is finally replenished after the holiday season and partly because spring/summer clothing and accessories tend to be more affordable.

This year there are a few trends that caught my attention. Among them are pastels, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, and creamy ivory and crisp whites.

Nothing says fresh and new more succinctly than crisp white cotton and this season's hottest frocks take this simple textile to new limits. Think '50s-inspired girly sundresses with cinched waists and full structured pleated skirts in cotton lace or simple summer tunics with capped or three-quarter length sleeves in structured cotton.

For those looking for something a little less stark, a sleek, sophisticated shift dress with a crocheted overlay in creamy ivory is my dress du jour and go-to office look for the summer. I also love teaming it up with a blazer in the same tone for a more polished look -- not to mention that white on white or ivory on ivory is extra fantastic this season.

The great thing about the blazer -- or even a thin white cardi, for that matter -- is that it is so versatile and allows you to incorporate this white/ivory trend into any outfit mix. This way you can take that coral dress from last season and update it with the sweater or blazer and a pair of nude pumps.

While on the topic of accessories, this is another fabulous way to wear the white or ivory look. Simple additions such as nude shoes, white clutches, straw hats and handbags add a refreshing dose of neutral to colour blocking.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2013 E10

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