This week, Ruth chooses the top spring styles we want to see again and the ones we definitely don‘t.
As I sit down to write this article, it is a beautiful spring morning. The sky is a watercolour painting of pale blue, and the sun is warming everything gold. I look out of my window and flowers have suddenly blossomed, primroses and daffodils, pretty splashes of colour against the red-bricked houses.
I realise that there is a reason why spring is so many people’s favourite season of the year. It is a time of rebirth, of change. You can literally see the world come back to life. It’s reminiscent of healing, of a powerful energy that is just so lovely to see. This is embodied every year in the fashion industry, with designers creating styles that emulate a bright new beginning.
The looks presented at London Fashion Week 2021 are now making their way to the high street, and with that thought, it’s time to explore the five spring styles we’ve loved in the past and the five we never want to see again.
There isn’t really much we have to say about this one. The popular style was born in the 1960s by Oscar de la Renta, who took the formality of the long dress and turned it into something versatile. These days, the maxi dress tends to lean towards a bohemian vibe, but it has been styled in various different ways by normal people and celebrities alike. It is a staple for music festivals and days at the beach but can also be dressed up for an evening of cocktails paired with high heels and a light jacket. Most importantly, maxi dresses are incredibly comfortable. They’re flattering for all types of figure and are floaty and elegant. There are no downsides to this trend.
There’s no style more likely to make you feel like you’re in a romcom. Picture this: you’ve just woken up next to the person of your dreams. You slip on their shirt from last night and tiptoe into the kitchen to make coffee, sighing dreamily at the camera. Romanticism personified! It’s also, not to mention, incredibly comfortable and stylish again. The shirt dress is a design that can be worn to any event with its smart-casual vibe. Versatile, flattering, and effortlessly cool, it is the perfect style for a spring day and one to keep forever.
The slip dress is undoubtedly an iconic piece of fashion. They’re simple and sexy; they can be worn casually or dressed up to the nines. Originally worn in the Middle Ages beneath a woman’s dress as underwear, they were considered to be incredibly comfortable, especially in contrast to the corsets of the following Renaissance era. Then, in the 1700s, Queen Marie Antoinette chose to wear her slip on the outside when socialising with female friends, sparking the ‘underwear as outerwear’ trend. This filtered in and out of fashion for the next few hundred years, with the 1920s and 1960s reviving the slip dress and adding embellishments such as jewels and lace. It returned in the 1990s and, since then, has been here to stay. It’s a fun and flirty style and is perfect to dress up for those warmer spring months.
Denim is one of those fabrics that is just timeless. It was first produced in the city of Nîmes, France and has since become a key item in most people’s’ wardrobes. There are seemingly thousands of different pairs of jeans, from the basic skinny to flared. Then, there is the iconic denim jacket. All are famous for their effortless, chic look. Like most fabrics, denim is produced in a range of colours, but blue has to be the most classic style. It is the perfect vibe for spring and one we can’t help but love every year.
This style is a personal favourite, mostly for its boho look. It’s pretty, stylish, and classic for a spring and summer wardrobe. It was first seen in the Regency era and soon became the height of fashion. However, its namesake comes from the French activist and former actress, Brigitte Bardot after she revived the fashion trend in the 1960s. We’re quite happy for this one to stay!
As the iconic star of The Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestly once said, “Florals? For spring? Ground-breaking.” This was, of course, said in sarcasm, and we have to agree. Despite the fact that flowers are lovely to see when spring comes calling every year, it’s not necessarily something we need to see replicated in the fashion world at every turn. Floral designs can look incredibly pretty, and there’s no denying that it makes sense for spring fashion. But, it has been done so many times that there is nothing unique about the style, and the concept of spring bringing renewal is contradicted. We’ll just have to see if any designers have put their own twist on the trend this year.
Butterflies and Creatures
This is a look reminiscent of primary school. I’m sure every one of us wore butterfly hair clips or bright t-shirts with various printed animals at some point. In the early 2010s, there was even an obsession in high street fashion with owls. Whilst this is a very cute look for those under the age of 12, it’s not a trend that needs to intertwine with adulthood. Even with the rise of Gen Z fashion and the return of low-rise jeans, crop tops, and double denim, we’re not sure we need to bring back this particular stylistic choice.
This is going to make me sound a lot older than I am, but I don’t understand the trend of cut-out clothing. It is one of the more daring looks from the past few spring seasons. It’s revealing and sensual…, but I can’t help thinking that the designer closed their eyes and cut wherever they liked. It’s very popular with the younger generation, so maybe they can keep it for themselves.
This is a slightly controversial one, seeing that Fashion Week only recently presented several looks involving bright neon colours. There’s no denying that neon has been iconic in fashion history, with celebrities taking the trend by storm on the red carpet. Even idols like Beyoncé have been seen sporting fluorescent pink. However, it has the tendency to look lurid in the light of day and can look tacky. It’s a style that is incredibly hit or miss, and. this time, we’re going to have to choose miss.
This is another controversial one, seeing that polka dots are one of the most beloved patterns. The trend became incredibly popular in the 19th century, and was revived in the 1960s with the release of the hit song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”. It’s a cute look that is still enjoyed in modern pop culture. Even Disney’s Minnie Mouse has a polka dot dress. But, for 2022 spring fashion, we’re thinking that it’s a little too retro. Polka dots are too bold, too cartoonish. There’s a reason why clowns are often seen wearing them. So, it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the trend for now.
Fashion is the passing of time in a bubble. It is a world where styles come and go into popularity extremely quickly. We have no doubt that, this time next year, our spring fashion opinions will have changed. But, for now, we remain loyal to the styles we love. As for the others… they’re destined for the back of the wardrobe.
To read more of Ruth’s work, you can follow her on Instagram @thewriterruth.