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Retailers may be worried about the economy and Wall Street’s woes, but the arrival of spring fashions should offer some hope. So far this season, shoppers are going for printed dresses, classic styles and bright trenches. A dozen monobrand retailers reported early spring favorites.

This story first appeared in the March 19, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Store: Elie Tahari
Bestseller: Veronica wrap dress
Price: $348
Why: “Big, bold floral prints are popular this season; this dress demonstrates this trend in a very wearable way,” said designer Elie Tahari.

Store: Lacoste
Bestseller: Short sleeve pique polo
Price: $75
Why: “We brought the classic polo back by demand,” said Daniela Bocresion, senior vice president of merchandising and marketing. “The new twist is the shirt features a slightly larger crocodile and has a longer body with a sporty shirttail hem. It comes in 20 colors.”

Store: Ann Taylor
Bestsellers: Red belted coat and poppy floral print dress
Price: $198 (coat) and $148 (dress)
Why: “A colored trench, a beautiful floral dress and colored patent accessories are the must haves for the season, and red is the perfect update to take our client into spring,” said Adrienne Lazarus, president of AnnTaylor Stores Corp. “They are all fashion right, feminine and impulsive.”

Store: Tommy Hilfiger
Bestseller: Key West trench
Price: $198
Why: “Trenches are hot,” said a spokeswoman. “This one has classic trench styling with patent leather contrast trim, oversize buttons and clean styling.”

Store: Banana Republic
Bestseller: Monogram trench
Price: $295
Why: “There is a strong directional pull toward a dressed up elegance for Banana Republic’s women’s monogram collection,” a spokeswoman said. “This collection is about beautiful style and alluring classics that push silhouette and capture a new sensuality.”

Store: Kenneth Cole
Bestseller: Contrast layered jersey dress
Price: $178
Why: “The colorblocking is very fresh on an otherwise simple silhouette,” said a spokeswoman. “It is flattering on all body types.”


Store: Tory Burch
Bestseller: Melanie dress
Price: $325
Why: “Bold prints and bright colors are both great for spring and are something we have become known for,” said Tory Burch. “The Melanie dress is a perfect example. It is a classic Sixties silhouette that is timeless and will never go out of style.”

Store: Club Monaco
Bestseller: Yellow cotton peacoat
Price: $249
Why: “Our customer loves the classic styling and detailing on this piece and the playfulness that the color adds to her wardrobe,” said a spokeswoman. “It works as a great wear-to-work coat as the weather transitions and looks equally chic with a T and jeans for the weekend.”

Store: Eileen Fisher
Bestseller: Featherweight cashmere cardigan
Price: $258
Why: “Knits are always bestsellers for us, but one piece that stands out is our new featherweight cashmere cardigan,” said a spokeswoman. “Customers like the feminine styling and the gauge of the cashmere is truly seasonless. She’s wearing it now, and it is a piece that will transition easily into spring.”

Store: Tommy Bahama
Bestseller: Seventies floral dress
Price: $198
Why: The dress “is 100 percent silk jersey, so it’s very comfortable and the V-neck and Empire waist make it flattering for a variety of body types,” said Lynne Koplin, president of women’s, Tommy Bahama Group.

Store: Madewell
Bestseller: Rail-straight garment dye denim jeans
Price: $110
Why: “We’re one of the few brands that offer such a range of color in a fit that is wearable and affordable,” said a spokeswoman.

Store: New York & Co.
Bestseller: White eyelet shift dress
Price: $54.95
Why: “Shift dresses are our best-selling category,” said Leslie Goldmann-Franco, executive vice president of merchandising.