TREND OUTLOOK: FEMININE LOOKS AND PATRIOTIC THEMES

Byline: Kristin Larson

NEW YORK — The financial forecast for spring isn’t bright, but there are some trends that are excepted to shine for the moderate crowd.
“Overall, white will be a big message for spring,” said Anne Cashill, director of corporate design and merchandising at Liz Claiborne Inc. “Lace trims, ruffles and ruching will be important. The feminine thing shows no signs of backing off.”
Following the feminine trend, blouses and skirts look to be top performers for the new year, said Cashill, as are floral prints.
“Every division of our company is looking at white shirts as a classification,” she said. “It’s a fresh look for spring and especially in the current economic environment, customers are looking for things that are going to give her wardrobe a fresh take or fresh look.”
The dominant look for spring can be classified as “tasteful, ladylike and pulled-together dressing,” said Kathy Bradley-Riley, divisional merchandise manager of sportswear at The Doneger Group buying office.
“Some of the newest looks are a lot of feminine romance a la lace and gypsy peasant tops,” she said. “We’re loving lace seams, ruffles, flounces, anything that’s feminine in feeling. The whole Americana story will continue to be strong, sparked by the Olympics in February.”
Lynne Fish, president of Norton McNaughton, a division of Jones Apparel Group, said the line is banking on softened men’s wear looks, showing up in fabrics like glen plaids, checks and gingham. In addition, linens and prints, in stripes and geometrics, should be strong.
Fish said she also expects clean spectator looks interpreted for the mainstream to perform well, along with black, khaki and buff.
“The body styling is becoming more relaxed and sportier with tie-belt jackets and short zip jackets,” she said. “Just more relaxed, very clean in feeling and letting the details work for the particular style.”
While Americana looks are typically strong for the second quarter, relative to Independence Day, Fish expects this theme to play an even bigger role this year, from cotton sweaters to items with flag motifs.

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