Spring Shopping Research. Sorting Out the Trends

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We still have serious snow here in eastern Ontario; in fact it snowed last night. But there are some signs of spring. Like how warm the sun feels these days, and the sight of a patch or two of sparkling, open water on the river. Not to mention the family of otters we’ve been watching, who punched a hole through the ice the other day, and have been popping up to the surface to eat their supper each evening. All of this tells me it’s time to kick my spring shopping research up a notch. Time to get serious with my list-making.

I’ve been perusing those “must-have” articles which purport to outline the trends of the season. And I’ve been picking and choosing which ones will work for me, and which ones to ignore. I don’t slavishly follow trends. I mean, who does? But I like to know what’s happening in the fashion world. I like to keep up with the trends, even if it’s just to roll my eyes and chuckle.

Of course colour is big this season. Yellow was all over runways for spring 2019. I contemplated adding some yellow, or maybe orange or red, to my spring wardrobe in this post a week or so ago. And now, according to Chloe MacDonnell, the fashion editor of The Telegraph in London, purple is the big colour of the season: “From lilac and lavender to violet, amethyst and mauve, the shops are already awash with varying purple hues.” So really, the field is open to buy whatever colour suits my fancy and goes with what I already own. Nothing new there. I always buy with an eye to how the new pieces will fit with what I already have in my closet. That’s why I do my “inventory” this time of year.

Purple is lovely, but I already own a lilac cashmere cropped sweater from Vince which I bought in 2017, and of course my new lilac socks. Colour is still on my list. And I’m sticking with my original plan. Something in orange, maybe yellow, or red, depending on what I discover when I finally go shopping. Last year I looked high and low for a light-weight, red, hooded sweater to slip under my navy Veronica Beard suit, and wear with my red Earth brand loafers. Maybe this year I’ll be lucky. And, if I can find one, I may invest in a bright-coloured suit. What Vogue calls in this article “Fruity Suiting.” Ha.

So spring and summer 2019 looks to be a pretty good year in fashion for a pseudo-minimalist of a certain age, like me. If you ignore the usual plethora of wacky trends. Like the wet-suit-surfer-girl look, the big, big hats, the acid-washed redux à la 1983, and the glut of lace, fringe, feathers, bobbles, and even macramé on the runway. I love all the camel and neutrals I’ve seen. Especially when paired with a pop of spring colour, like this look from SportMax, which I featured in a previous post.

Love the camel and red in this SportMax outfit.

And while I’ve been pedalling my exercise bike these days, I’ve been ripping favourite looks from fashion magazines to create my spring-summer inspiration board. My aide-mémoir, so to speak: to inspire me, and remind me of looks I love. Burberry is showing camel with a pop of orange. I love this pant suit even if it looks more like a fall outfit than spring.

Three models in camel or rust three-piece suits, tan or rust shoes and  with orange trimmed scarves in their hair
Love these camel suits from Burberry, especially with the pop of orange in the scarves.

And this Louis Vuitton suit, below, is lovely. Crisp white with tan, or camel, is always fresh. This photo reminds me that I’d planned to look for a spring turtleneck. Preston Davis’ post over at Keep It Chic the other day gave me the idea: a short-sleeved turtleneck, with a spring coat, jeans, and sneakers. In fact, now that I think of it, I have a light-weight, white fall turtleneck from Vince that I may pull out and wear with my navy Moncler spring anorak.

model wearing Louis Vuitton taupe pant suit with white lapels, and a white turtleneck
This Louis Vuitton suit is calling to me.

Neutrals abound in all the magazines I’ve looked at, neutrals with colour or bright white. Tan or beige with red or orange or white, earth tones with basic black. I like the black structured jacket with the flowy, boho skirt in earth tones in this Dior ad, below. Gives me an idea of how I might wear my black Helmut Lang blazer and my striped Rag and Bone midi-skirt this year. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to try my light-weight, cropped summer leggings (here-to-fore worn strictly on vacation or on the deck at home) under my light summer midi-skirt. Maybe. I’ll let you know. Of course, if the combination looks totally ridiculous, and it might, you’ll never hear of it again. Ha.

two models in Dior gauzy earth-tone print skirts and lace-up black sandals, one wearing black blazer and bag
I love the conservative jacket with the filmy boho skirt and leggings. Just works somehow.

I also saw a lot of white everywhere I looked. White with orange accents like this shot from Harper’s Bazaar, below.

white top and pants from Ralph Lauren, Todd's orange scarf, white Fendi belt bag
Top and pants are Ralph Lauren Collection, scarf is Todds, belt bag is Fendi. In Harper’s Bazaar.

Or white on white, like these Fabiana Fillippi looks.

white on white pant suit and skirt and top from Fabiana Fillippi for spring 2019
White on white at Fabiana Fillippi. See these outfits here.

And this look from Etro, below, combines neutrals and earth tones with the on-going craze for prints. Don’t you love the colours? And the little scarf tied around her wrist? So chic. Although one would have to have a patient Hubby to help with that accessory, patient and dexterous. My Hubby’s pretty handy with a chopping knife, or a canoe paddle… not sure about silk. Ha.

Etro seventies inspired earth tome prints
These Etro prints are very seventies, aren’t they?

So, I’ve spent some considerable time doing my research: reading, flipping, surfing, viewing videos. Then taking inventory in my closet. And assembling my “inspiration board.” And I’m ready to draw up a tentative list for my spring shopping… well, more a guideline these days than a list.

Let’s see. I’ll be looking for a jacket or a suit, something tan or camel, and a couple of pieces in bright colours. So maybe a bright suit. Maybe a tan or camel jacket and a bright orange or yellow or red top to wear underneath it. Maybe a new pair of jeans with a different silhouette than I normally wear. I definitely need a new pair of flat sandals. That will be a task… my foot is terribly hard to fit, especially with sandals.

As for what’s already in my closet, I’m going to try to spin my light fall turtlenecks into my spring wardrobe, instead of packing them away. Try to re-style my old navy Max Mara suit, and pair it with my cropped white Theory sweater from last year. And try something different with my Rag and Bone midi-skirt, and my black, structured Helmut Lang blazer.

That’s a pretty good start to the season, I think. Lots of ideas. Some flexibility built in to allow for what I actually find when I start shopping. Which I will be doing in a week or so. I love spring shopping. And I don’t want to rush. It’s all about savouring the experience, people.

a collage of my favourite spring looks from Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
My spring “inspiration board.”

And speaking of savouring the experience. In my research, I came upon this video of the Burberry Spring-Summer 2019 runway show. I watched it this morning. The dresses, the suits, the coats, the camels, the small pops of colour, the music, it all seemed wonderful. I began to imagine if I were sitting in one of those comfy front row seats, maybe next to Anna Wintour. How excited I’d be. Probably utterly unable to contain my ear-to-ear grin, and the little gasps of delight when a particularly lovely outfit came into view.

And then as I watched, I was distracted by the audience, who were either filming with their phones and paying no attention to the clothes, or looking so patently bored it was incredible. What a glum bunch. All of them. Jaded, I guess, by being so darned cool, or pretending hard to be. So weary of the whole scene, it seemed. Sad, I thought. What a waste.

Have a look if you’ve time. You don’t need to watch the whole thing… trust me. Some of the accessories get a little… ah… unusual later on. The scarves tucked in weird places, the odd flat shoes that look a teensy bit like duck feet, and the bicycle-cable-lock thingies on a couple of the male models. Definitely unusual. But still it would be thrilling to be there. And if I was trying to contain my gasp, or even an amused guffaw, I certainly wouldn’t be sitting there looking bored. No matter how cool I thought I was.

So. That’s me sorted for spring shopping. Now all that remains is the actual shopping. Hope you’re reading this Liz. You’ll know my list before I even get to Nordstrom. Ha.

What about you, my friends? What’s on your list for spring shopping?

Linking up this week with: Visible Monday#IwillwearwhatIlikeThursday Favourite Things#ShareAllLinkup

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28 thoughts on “Spring Shopping Research. Sorting Out the Trends”

  1. Hmmm. I would love to be thinking about adding to my wardrobe but my hubby tends to head for heart attack country if he sees me looking at clothes online. When out shopping for “real” things he walks past clothes shops so fast I have trouble keeping up!

    1. Can you leave him at home… maybe? I don’t go canoe shopping with my Hubby and he doesn’t come clothing shopping with me. It would take all the fun away to have him cooling his heels outside the dressing room.

        1. Sometimes we shop for ski underwear and toques together. Oh… and hiking boots. Much better for the marriage if he doesn’t come to Nordstrom with me. Ha.

  2. I see what you mean. But I suppose that if this is your job you are probably worrying about getting to the next show on time, whether or not you have time to eat or wee and have undoutbtedly seen literally hundreds of items in a day. Anna Wintour seems to have cornered the market on boredom at the best of times. Two of the best films I have seen on fashion is The September Issue which is vaguely chilling and one about Raf Simons taking over at Dior. Dior et moi, I think it was. Fascinating. Meanwhile, I continue to stride about in my son’s discarded black jeans, probably the best fitting pair I have ever worn. As Nancy Mitford commented in one of her novels, you either buy your clothes in Paris or it is a toss-up.

    1. I guess one would become jaded after so very many shows. I just think it’s a shame to not have an audience who will savour the experience. I enjoyed the September Issue as well. That’s a great Nancy Mitford quote. I think that Deborah Mitford said she bought most of her clothes at country fairs. Love those Mitfords:)

  3. Wendy from York

    So envious that you have otter neighbours . We wait patiently for ages with binoculars in sometimes windy ,chilly Scottish conditions to catch sight of one & are thrilled when they appear .
    No turtle necks for me – I have my own built in one these days . I do like to see others in a luxurious camel colour but it seems to make me feel dull . I’ve been searching for some loose , lightweight chinos in a tan colour for summer to add to navy or white or dull red but no luck yet . I watched the video . These catwalk shows put me in mind of a weird sci-fi film with tall thin automatons stomping around being admired by their mad creators ?

    1. Our binoculars live on the window ledge in the living room these days. Otters, geese, an early great blue heron the other day, and occasionally an eagle. Pretty busy on the river this time of year. I’m thinking of tan or camel pants as well. They look great with red, white, black, pretty much everything. I felt the same way at times, watching that fashion show. The music was a bit otherworldly… and lots of stomping. Ha.

  4. Hi Sue
    I can’t believe the snow you still have! Haha….sorry. I would love to watch the otters as I do enjoy watching “our” chipmunks and their babies in the springtime. Simple pleasures!
    Spring shopping…I love camel on other folks but not with my colouring. Washes me out. Now some red may add some interest this year!
    Robin

    1. Red and camel is everywhere. I’d love a camel jacket with a red top, or maybe camel pants. But often what I plan to buy is not to be had anywhere. And since I don’t really NEED anything… I’ll enjoy the hunt.

    2. I didn’t watch the video until now. I’m up early (in Hawaii) and it’s the perfect time to enjoy my Kona coffee. I must say the video was wonderful. I loved most of the outfits. The colours!! You are right. Camel and the red.
      Striking.
      Keep sharing the videos!! ?
      Aloha

  5. As another retiree, I am interested in your quest for a suit. Would this be to wear at a restaurant? Ceremony? I myself am drawn to dresses but I don’t really wear them as much as I desire them. If I lived in a warmer place, I would wear them more. When I travel, I don’t have suitcase room for more than a couple. I do love your style and your posts are right up my ally.

    1. I just love the ease of a suit with sneakers. I’d like to find one that doesn’t need a blouse under it, or that works with a sleeveless tee. I’d probably wear it for shopping, or out to dinner with friends, and I’d separate the pieces and wear the jacket with jeans.

  6. You always inspire me but the problem is… I don’t get out much as I used to. I’ve started writing a memoir so I’m tethered to the keyboard. I love your suggestion of a black blazer with a tan or light colored midi-skirt. I know I would like your Rag & Bone mid-skirt. With my auburn hair, you’d think I’d be a natural for camel and all those yummy shades but I like them better on others. I bought purple last spring, so I can work with that! xoxox, Brenda

    1. I just love the colour with the camel so much. I’d always paired camel with black it seems. Good luck with the memoir, Brenda. Writing is a slog, I know.

  7. I once watched in silent admiration as a young Swiss florist held my huge birthday bouquet in one hand … and tied the bow with the other hand. It can be done … but not by me!

  8. Given that I’ll be living out of a carry-on suitcase for two months this spring, I’m trying NOT to look in shop windows right now. I’m feeling quite well supplied by the wardrobe I added to Last spring, although I’m thinking I’d like a pair of coloured loafers, possibly red. . . As always, I’m terribly impressed by the discipline you bring to your shopping.

    1. I’m letting loose a little this spring, I think. Sometimes I keep myself on too tight of a rein. Besides, fall shopping will be a bust because we’ll be away for most of the fall.

  9. Funny you bring up camel — I bought some camel, black, and white leather espadrilles and I’m struggling with finding some casual camel pieces. I may have to settle for a camel belt.

  10. Lovely photos-I would wear everything,just my cup of tea
    Camel and red are so nice together….I have only a winter dress in red (and we are in spring mood and spring season)
    You have such a well curated closet and your plans sound great
    I’m completely satisfied with what I have (if only weather and my thyroid /size would cooperate….)- I’m in the navy monochrome (with baby blue coat) phase-my usual reaction to the trends in colour (and vice versa),but have enough old(-er) pieces to “bloom and shine”(even last year floral satin silk dress !)
    I don’t need,but fancy, navy sandals and navy -white polka dot dress
    I might need a navy blazer…..we’ll see
    Dottoressa

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