By  on April 18, 2007

A cool start to spring is helping sell sweaters, which take on a seasonal freshness in colorful patterns. Quirky patterns are also finding their way onto dresses, and because of heavy rains — in the spirit of April showers — novelty trenches are in demand. Retailers report their biggest sellers this season.

Store: Tommy Bahama

Spring hit: "The biggest thing right now is printed sweaters in all sorts of pretty colors," said Lynne Koplin, president of women's wear. "It could have to do with climate, because it is colder everywhere than expected." She added that shorts were also strong sellers, making the waving palms pullover and sail-on canvas Bermuda shorts (shown) a powerful combination.

Price: $118 for a sweater, $78 for shorts.

Store: J. Crew

Spring hit: "Our customers continue to love our quality, incredible fabrics, quirky prints and patterns," said Jennifer Foyle, senior vice president of women's merchandising. "Whether it's the new Italian cashmere T-shirt, our assortment of new ballet flats or our perennial bestseller, the cotton beach dress (shown), shoppers this season are purchasing multiples in each style and shopping early before we sell out."

Price: $165 for the Lulu dress.

Store: Lord & Taylor

Spring hit: The Calvin Klein white label black patent trench "sold out in a matter of days," said LaVelle Olexa, senior vice president of advertising, sales promotion and public relations. "The demand has been such that we have reordered a thousand more. Trenches have been very, very strong."

Price: $150

Store: Gap

Spring hit: In addition to its heavily publicized Boyfriend trouser, Gap is having success with its big-dot-printed Empire dress.

Price: $69.50

Store: Talbots

Spring hit: Prints on blazers, skirts and dresses are popular with customers, who made this black-and-white dress a bestseller.

Price: $128

Store: Kenneth Cole

Spring hit: Kenneth Cole New York always does well with accessories, and this season the Day and Night single-breasted satin trench is taking its place as a piece that can be added to any outfit — and boost sales.Price: $248

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