April 17, 2012

Spring/Summer 2012 Trends: Runway vs. Real Way

Ahhhhhhhh! Can you say "Spring and Summer"? These are hands down my two favorite words at the moment!! So what better way to look forward to the seasons than to anticipate what you're going to wear! Here are my fave spring/summer '12 trends that you must, must, must try:

Color Trends:
Tangerine Tango
If you haven't heard of this color by now, I suspect you've been living under a rock! Seriously though, this is the "IT" color of the year! And the best part? It flatters all skin tones. Winning!

Not So Mellow Yellow
The Pantone shade of this vibrant hue is called Solar Power and it is such a cheerful, fun color. From the sweetest pastel to electric neon to the brightest ray of sunshine, one will surely call out to you!

Royal Blue
This vibrant hue is known by a few different names: electric blue and cobalt blue and sometimes even Klein blue. It looks especially great on darker skin but I've seen quite a few fair-skinned fashionistas working this color!

Minty Fresh
Pastels are huge this season and the number one color in the spotlight? Mint. It is such an unusual color and instantly makes you stand out. There is a pretty shade for every skin tone and comfort level. This is one color you absolutely have to try out!!

Color Me Coral
This gorgeous marriage of pink and orange works well with all skin tones. The color screams sun, summer and all over girly-ness!

Style Trends:
Shades of Sorbet
As a little girl, every time you walked in to the ice-cream shop you would be mesmerized with the range of choices you had. Now, years later, you reminisce about those days, especially since all your ice-cream cravings have been upgraded to clothes and accessories - can you say delicious?! Cotton candy, pistachio green, fresh mint and lemon fizz - the options are endless, so grab 'em all while this trend lasts!
The Runway: While the colors are definitely eye candy, I found most of the runway looks to be a little OTT- but that is of course, expected.
The Real Way: You can wear pastels in many different ways. The most popular way is to pair them with other pastel shades. Sort of like a pretty pastel colorblock. You can also wear one sorbet shade from head to toe, like pairing mint skinny jeans with a mint sweater.

Tropical Prints
Colorful prints always make an appearance during spring and summer, but while florals are a permanent staple, I love the prominence of tropical prints this season. There are prints galore, from busy bright patterns, to island elements and rain forest themes. This is such a fun trend and this island girl can't wait to try it out!
The Runway: I loved the print showing up on skirts and jeans instead of being predictable with just the dresses. 
The Real Way: Take a cue from the runway and wear the print in a pair of skinny jeans (printed jeans are HUGE this season). I like the fitted silhouettes we saw on the runway (above, far right) but I would avoid the boxy proportions since loud prints like this can look rather messy and have a tendency to highlight your flaws if you're not careful.

Animal Prints
No, we're not talking leopard. The new way to work the "animal print" has nothing to do with the safari/big cat prints we're used to. Think of a dress printed with tiny cats, a chiffon blouse printed with parrots. You can find everything from mice to dragons and it's a fun, quirky take on the animal print.
The Runway: You see this trend on everything from maxis and minis to trousers and t-shirts.
The Realway: Follow the runway on how to wear the trend. The prints can be in-your-face or quite subtle. Accessorize with solid separates. If you're really daring, try mixing prints.

Sheer Genius
It's all about the bedroom with this trend. It's hugely popular, and can look very pretty and feminine if you style it right. The idea is demure with a hint of sex appeal, not trashy with a huge dose of cheap.
The Runway: As always, things are little risqué on the runway. Who can forget Karlie Kloss (more accurately Karlie Kloss's derrière) closing the Dior show? 
The Real Way: A wonderful way to wear this trend is with maxi dresses/skirts. Blouses with sheer long-sleeves work great with a pencil skirt.

I love this trend and I'm so glad it has been going strong since last year! I love color and I adore the way colorblock makes everything look absolutely stunning and high fashion :)
The Runway: Look to the runway for inspiration on what colors to pair with each other. You'd be surprised to find out what really works!
The Real Way: Keep your accessories neutral if you're going for colorblocked separates. Or style one colorblock piece like a fuchsia dress with a lime green clutch and nude heels.

Neon Lights
From hot pink to lime green and highlighter yellow to bright orange, neon is stirring up a storm for spring/summer this year. 
The Runway: I noticed lots of neon on neon, which in my opinion is hard to pull of on a day-to-day basis.
The Real Way: Pair neon with neutrals. It makes for a great effect and the neon stands out while still looking polished. Tucking a lime green t-shirt into a beige pencil skirt is attention-grabbing while still remaining sophisticated.

If you up with fashion, then you've definitely seen the new asymmetrical trend happening right now. The mullet look is very in and can be amazing when done right.
The Runway: Of course, on the runway these looks were very glamorous and high end. Which isn't realistic unless you are in a position to be sitting front row at Fashion Week and going to big events.
The Real Way: Take a look at the pictures above. The easiest way is to buy a high/low dress so all you have to worry about is accessories. But if you wanna be a little daring, get a skirt. Pair it with a corset top and booties for some edgy sex appeal; a t-shirt or a crop top for a hippy/I-couldn't-care-less vibe or pair it with a beautiful pastel sleeveless shirt and some arm candy for a sweet and romantic effect.

Ocean Girl
Can you imagine the island girl in me when I realized I could be spending my beautiful summer days in clothes inspired by the sea and everything in it? Oh, you should have seen me! Anyways, I digress.
The Runway: Make like a mermaid and adorn yourself with everything from shiny, scale-like sequins to prints of seashells, starfish and stingrays! Designers took our childhood fantasies and gave it a sexy yet subtle upgrade. 
The Real Way: Don't just stick to shades of blue. Try shimmering greens, nudes - anything that showcases the ocean in a grown-up, sophisticated way. Think tiny sequined mini-dresses, seahorse prints, or accessorize with coral necklaces, turquoise rings or pearls for a subtle take on the trend. 

In Your Face Florals
Florals are a spring/summer staple and this year, they've got a face-lift. The print is brighter and bolder than ever and I love it!!
The Runway: Bigger prints and pops of neon - this year's floral fashions are taking center stage. Head-to-toe floral was a huge look on the runways.
The Real Way: I personally stay away from loud head-to-toe florals since I'm petite and curvy so it isn't a great combo for me. If you can pull it off though, go for it! Choose wisely and stick to the color palettes that suit your skin tone since loud prints are very attention grabbing and will put you in the spotlight as soon as you enter a room.

Other Trends To Try:
  • Peplum (see how to wear it here and here)
  • Crop Tops
  • 60's Mod (click here for more info)
  • Metallics
  • 70's Style - always a spring/summer favorite
  • Roaring 20's - a lot of art deco and fringe is around this season

Always remember to dress your body proportionately, with styles that suit you. But most importantly - have fun with your outfits!


[Click on images to be directed to sources]


  1. So many great runway looks! I'm not sure my favorite yet. Love the risque look, and the mint of course...and well so many more!!


  2. Replies
    1. I know! I am having so much fun getting dressed this season!

  3. Hi,

    congrats on making the Links a la Mode!

    Best, Jenny


  4. I love the high/low... I was eyeing a skirt in Forver21 when I was in London last week.. Now I have to get it.. too bad they dont have a story in Coventry where I live =(

    1. I know what you mean! My nearest f21 store is one hour away :(

  5. great post! I love looking at all these trends & I love your advice on how to take it from runway to real way!

    Corinne xo

    1. Thank you Corinne, I'm glad to hear it - you made me smile :)