A cheat sheet for spring fashion success

Don’t know your eyelet adornment from your hatchling neckline? Not to worry: we have you covered

Top row from left: House of Fraser dress, €89; Zara jumper, €29.95; Warehouse jacket, €240; River Island top, €40. Bottom row from left: Furla bag, €245 at Arnotts; Milly bag, €200 from Arnotts; Topshop shoes, €68; and belt bag, €125  from Whistles

Top row from left: House of Fraser dress, €89; Zara jumper, €29.95; Warehouse jacket, €240; River Island top, €40. Bottom row from left: Furla bag, €245 at Arnotts; Milly bag, €200 from Arnotts; Topshop shoes, €68; and belt bag, €125 from Whistles

 

Do you know your hatchling from your polo? Your eyelet from your grommet? Confused? We don’t blame you. There is much talk of speed in the fashion world, from fast fashion to the velocity with which trends are adopted and discarded.

No one knows the whirlwind trend cycle better then we do, and trying to keep up can be daunting and exhausting. With every season there’s a new fashion phrase to add to your lexicon, a new hemline to pay heed to and a fresh set of designer diktats.

But, because trying to keep up with every single trend that walks the runway would cause a major fashion headache, we have analysed the catwalks to create the ultimate sartorial spring rulebook, from the IT print to the new neckline.

So boost your wardrobe, and your fashion prowess, with these key looks.

1 The size: mini

The biggest handbag trend is also the smallest: designers such as Marc Jacobs, Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton, Clare Waight Keller for Chloé and Stella McCartney are shrinking signature styles down to tiny sizes. The only problem is figuring out how to pack light.

2 The adornment: eyelet

Far more chic than a stud and more subtle than a sequin, eyelets are the perfect minimal adornment for your new season pieces. Whether adding a heavy-metal hardware shine at Michael Kors or lending Thomas Tait’s slouchy styles an industrial edge, sometimes it’s the small details that make the biggest impact.

3 The handbag shape: hip belt

You know them as a bum bag or a fanny pack, but if you really want to sound like a fashion insider, neither of those term should be uttered aloud. The alternative? The belt bag. Take your style cue from Kate Bosworth and wear it over a top, dress or trousers of the same colour.

4 The new erogenous zone: the shoulders

Cancel the cleavage and cover up the midriff. This season’s area to let roam free is the shoulder. From pretty broderie anglaise off-the-shoulder tops to halter-necked tops with slashed sleeves, just make sure your shoulders are on show.

5 The neckline: the hatchling

Forgot your cowl or your polo, there’s a new neckline in town. The hatchling was coined by Vogue, so add it to your fashion lexicon. It is a hybrid between a turtleneck and a boatneck, extending up the neck, and is never folded over. It popped up at Marni in Lego brights and at Isabel Marant in pared-back white.

6 The print: tie-dye

Before you get all nostalgic about that home-made tie-dye T-shirt, take note that the psychedelic splotches of colour are more grown-up than grunge. Opt for an elegant dress in the statement print.

7 The accessory: earrings 

From Phoebe Philo’s shoulder-grazing Celine styles and Prada’s disco-ball ornaments to Peter Copping’s clusters of crystals at Oscar de la Renta, earrings got the dramatic treatment. It is time to invest in some serious ear candy.

8 The new colour combo: blue and orange

Black and white, grey and black – are your go-to colour combinations feeling at little dull? Up the colour ante by pairing two fresh and unexpected shades together. Orange and blue, as seen on the catwalk of Victoria Beckham, are you new hues, and these zesty shades get a gorgeous grounding with a flash of cobalt.

9 The sleeve: kimono

Never has there been so much on attention on sleeves, from the XL styles seen on the streets to slashed sleeves. The most stylish and wearable sleeves of the season are billowing, oversized, kimono-style sleeves, which look good in every fabric, from structured to silk.

10 The suit shade: pastel

Invest in an unapologetically feminine and widely empowering sorbet-coloured or pastel printed suit. From pale lemon at Joseph to pale pink at Stella McCartney, do as the catwalk does and team with tonal accessories.

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