Tracy Harrison of Keystone has had as much as she can take, and the gloves are off. And so are the mittens, the hats and wool cardigans.
“I’m tired of wearing sweaters all the time,” Harrison said about the seemingly long winter. “I am ready for spring.”
As J.C. Penney’s jewelry and accessories supervisor in Rapid City, she has an in when it comes to the latest fashion news.
And with this year’s new hot spring and summer fashions, it’s no wonder she is finished with the cold.
Some of the high points for dressier wear include a lot of bright, feminine floral patterns, sundresses and maxi-length dresses.
Casual wear includes lots of crops and capris, and tops with ruffles, embellishments such as zippers and beads, and retro patterns such as tie-dye and peace signs.
Look for lots of burnout shirts, too. Burnout refers to a vintage, almost sheer look a shirt acquires after going through a distressing process. Burnouts are perfect for layering.
There will be a lot of fun shoes and sandals this year, too, with plenty of straps in both high heels and flats. Trends include shoes in metallic colors, sandals covered in bling and clogs.
“We are very ready for spring and summer fashions,” said Terri Porubensky, women’s sales manager for J.C. Penney.
She said she already has noticed an increase in sales for sundresses.
“They’re doing a lot of sundresses with shrugs (little jackets), too. It was surprising this year for Easter that we sold as many sundresses as we did,” she said.
There will be a lot of white this summer, too. White is the new black when it comes to little dresses.
“Little white dresses are the sister of little black dresses,” Porubensky said.
Jessica Becker, sales manager for Herberger’s at Rushmore Mall, said in addition to tops, embellishment is all the rage on dresses, cardigans, crop pants, handbags and even shoes. And peasant tops and tunic tops are as popular as ever.
“Tunics are still a big trend this spring and have driven a number of other trends such as the stretch belt, leggings and skinny denim,” she said.
Another fashion must-have is the scarf, she said, noting that the scarf has remained a hot item for the last year at Herberger’s and looks to be a necessity for every woman’s wardrobe.
Skinny jeans are still around, as are “shorty shorts” and lots and lots of layers.
Layers can be created with tank tops or T-shirts, but the most creative combinations are achieved by mixing and matching burnout shirts, cardigans, cap-sleeve tees, hoodies, henleys and camis.
Vivian Behrens, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Maurices, said there also will be plenty of fun necklines and a variety of flattering shaped tops such as banded bottoms, cowl necklines and halters. She said spring classics have returned in fun floral patterns, from intricate designs to oversized blooms. Full-pleated floral dresses and skirts will dominate garden parties, graduations and other spring gatherings, she said.
“I love transitioning into spring wardrobes, because we can get rid of the warm layers and show off our flirty sides,” Behrens said.
She said it is not necessary to buy an entire new wardrobe. Simply adding a few key pieces to your existing spring or summer clothes can give your current wardrobe a makeover through layering and accessorizing.
The latest accessories, jewelry and matching handbag will complete any new spring and summer look. Harrison said beads, very bold jewelry and big, chunky chains will be popular for spring and summer, as will be big rings and bangle bracelets. Silver also has made a return to the spotlight.
“And with the handbags, the brighter the color, the better. The bright purses are usually the first thing we sell out of,” Harrison said. She said women love receiving compliments about their handbags.
And leave it to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to release their new, trendy junior line of clothing just in time for spring and summer. Their line, Olsenboye, is carried exclusively by J.C. Penney and is inspired by teen trends from cities around the world.
Sheena Faiman, manager of Maurices at Rushmore Mall, said feminine and flirty are definitely in this year, and women already are swooping up some of the hot items.
She said it is a good idea to start thinking about summer wear now for the best selections.
After a long winter, women already have been out looking at and buying spring and summer clothes, she said.
“A lot of our capris and shorts are already picked over,” she said. “We’re getting more in all the time, but people are learning to shop earlier to get their sizes.”
Faiman said some shoppers make the mistake of waiting until June or July when the weather is really nice to buy their summer clothes, and that’s when the new fall lines are arriving.