The Swatch Report


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Basic black may be a fashionista staple, but this season the opposite is just as attractive. Lots of girls are thinking about all-white looks, inspired by the achromatic explosion at New York Fashion Week for Spring 2015 and the style benefits this option can offer. An all-white look is equally flattering to all body types and it manages to come off as minimal and daring at the same time, plus no worries about matching. Want to give it a go? Keep a few things in mind:

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START WITH WHAT YOU KNOW
A white tee or classic button-up makes a good entry point.


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REMEMBER WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Any piece or silhouette that flatters you in a color should fly in white, too, like a fit-and-flare dress or slinky pencil skirt.


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MAKE A GRADUAL MOVE
Work your way up to full achromatic with separates that place a fine, single-color print over white or jeans in an ultra-light wash.


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KEEP IT INTERESTING
The freshest looks arise from layering white or adding elements of texture, so cozy up to crochet embellishment, destruction marks and the sheerness of chiffon. And a jolt of vivid color – a contrasting belt, a red clutch that matches your lip, shoes in another bold primary – instantly makes your outfit a little more memorable.


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THINK AHEAD
Going casual? Tie a long sleeve tee or button-up in another color around your waist. It helps define your curves and prepare you for the biggest hazards facing this look: sudden spills and dirty chairs.


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Love The Look


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Forget what you’ve heard – florals for spring can be groundbreaking. Just take a print synonymous with brightness and sunshine out into the night with dark and muted tones, hot accessories and a taste of what you got. Dressier shorts are great for going out: leggy, easy to move in, immune to sudden winds and usually equipped with pockets. And these high-waist short shorts nail the formula for after-dark florals, with the added edge of structure provided by scuba knit. On top, a simple cropped tank bares a perfectly enticing amount of midriff. (Feeling extra bold, and maybe a little chilly? Try the matching moto jacket.) Punctuate the mood and hint of color in the print with a smoky eye and a rosy lip. Touches like laser cut floral earrings and a quilted straw bag play off this floral’s organic-chic vibe, and lace-up gladiator sandals are a powerful way to wrap things up. Strappy looks like this will be everywhere in the coming months, in all heel sizes and heights from ankle to knee.


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Follow @ExpressRunway on Instagram for more spring style inspiration

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Love The Look: Pattern On Pattern

MASTER THE MIX
Ready to try one of the biggest, boldest trends of the season? While pattern mixing can seem daunting if you’ve never done it, it’s just a matter of training your eye to see what combinations fit together and what works best for you. Putting florals and stripes together is a popular move – just look at Instagram or Pinterest for proof – but the beauty of this trend is that it opens up so many options for a truly individual look. If you want something more distinctive, follow these tips to find a flattering combination of your very own.

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Polka Dot Portofino Polka Dot Portofino High Waist Striped Short High Waist Striped Short High Waist Paisley Pencil Skirt High Waist Paisley Pencil Skirt Paisley Rolled Sleeve Blouse Paisley Rolled Sleeve Blouse Barcelona Cami Windowpane High Waist Pencil Skirt Windowpane High Waist Pencil Skirt
Trying monochrome first helps get you familiar with rules that apply to more colorful print mixing without the added challenge of matching hues. The simplest patterns to mix are also versatile fashion perennials: stripes and polka dots. From there, you can move up to combining the same print in different scales or pieces with similarly ordered patterns and opposite base colors.


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Striped Portofino Shirt Striped Portofino Shirt Textured Dot Print Cropped Editor Pant Textured Dot Print Cropped Editor Pant Pink Polka Dot Portofino Shirt Pink Polka Dot Portofino Shirt Striped Full Midi Skirt Striped Full Midi Skirt
Pair up similar palettes or choose patterns that share at least one color or the same background tone. A sense of balance in the proportion and density of your print pairings is also a must, like large stripes or dots with a finer print for contrast. When in doubt, try a classic menswear pattern like glen plaid with a vibrant, more feminine print like a big floral or ornate paisley – the result can look very boss-babe.


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If you’re loving the look but sweating the process, you can always let a designer do the work. Just pick up one piece that incorporates multiple prints.


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In your accessorizing, a printed shoe or scarf can create a mixed look that’s easy and on the subtle side. For monochrome mixing, let the pop of a bright, solid bag or shoe take the look next-level. If your clothes have a mix of prints and colors, however, it’s best to keep the extras to neutrals, black or white. Accessories should complement your look, not compete with it.


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Feeling ready to make a bold style move? Share it, girl. Get on Instagram and show us your haute mix of patterns with the tag @ExpressRunway.

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Love The Look: Casual Suiting


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If you’re the kind of guy who thinks a suit is something you leave on the hanger until the next wedding invitation comes in, the time to rethink is right now. The dressy-casual trend means there are loads of opportunities to make suiting a regular part of your style rotation (and to get a lot more wear out of an investment-level buy while you’re at it). Read on for tips on how to get on board and keep it informal.


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Time to splurge on a suit update? The lighter-weight fabrics around this time of year, like cotton sateen, are great for more casual styling. Plus, neutral shades and blues are simultaneously trending and trend- proof, so it’s really hard to go wrong once you find the right fit.


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The simplest way to bring a suit down a notch is a classic tee. With such high-class company, go for one that’s nicely fabricated, maybe with a longer length or a classic stripe. A more upscale option: A polo like our man Stephen Curry’s sporting. Even if you tuck it in and go fully buttoned, it just feels laid back.


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Next to a suit, a blazer’s a lower-impact way to get into this trend, and new fabrications like denim and cotton blends straddle the dressy-casual divide with ease. For a basic upgrade, layer a blazer over a tee, polo or less formal button-down (something in a small conversational print will work), then ground it with complementary chinos or denim (remember, darker wash = dressier look).


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GOT THE BASICS? NOW TRY THESE MOVES:
  • BREAK UP YOUR SUIT. Repurpose the jacket with a linen-cotton shirt and chinos. Take the pants out for a night with a printed short sleeve button-up and slip-ons.
  • GET COLORFUL. Apply these ideas to one of the bolder suit shades popping up this season, like teal or burgundy.
  • LET YOUR SHOES SEAL THE LOOK. Pairing cap toe sneakers with lightweight suiting and sock-free ankles is a classic cool-guy move. With jeans, suede shoes will elevate your lower half.
  • GET SPORTY WITH THE ACCESSORIES. A rugged watch, a weathered belt, some court-ready shades – all subtle but important ways to keep your look authentic.
  • MIX IN OTHER CASUAL FAVORITES. Go farther fashion-forward with a blazer over a henley tee, joggers and high tops.

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Dressing For The Occasion

HALTER YOUR PLANS
Is there anything better after a brutal winter than saying hello to spring in a light, adorable dress? When it’s time to try a new one for a graduation, spring holiday get-together, wedding or other dressy event, our flattering Fit and Flare Halter Dress makes a perfect fit, so we’ve created some occasion-oriented inspo around it. Once you’ve styled your own look, show us your ideas for spring with a selfie on Instagram, and don’t forget to tag @ExpressRunway.


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Graduating girls, whatever dress you choose will be covered up by a gown for part of the day. This is a moment that great accessories are made for. Think an architectural cuff and the classic cool of mirrored aviators. If the ceremony’s on a field, go for eye-catching flats (those stilettos just aren’t as hot when your heels are sinking into the grass). Going out later? A refined moto jacket is a smart investment – fun enough for parties yet fancy enough for entering the workforce.
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For this occasion, we love classic fashion elements with a fresh twist, like the floral print on this fit-and-flare or a pair of heels with a neon pop. After the holiday, you can incorporate the dress and sandals into your weekend rotation, add the cover-up to your work wardrobe and drop the dangly, nature-inspired earrings into almost any look you like.
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Bright blooms against a dark background, a billowy dress with a tailored top layer – this is just the kind of contrast that can make your wedding-guest look a win. Rosy accessories and strappy wedges put you right in line with big trends, plus you can turn around and wear them the following weekend with a tee and flared jeans.
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Follow @EXPRESSRUNWAY on Instagram for more spring fashion style tips

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