Spring Trends for 2011

The runways rule what's coming to a store near you. See more futuristic fashion pictures.

Spring is here, fashion week is behind us, and there's an exciting lineup of gorgeous garb that's soon to hit the stores. Unless you're an unfailing fashionista, you probably don't give much thought to the fact that trendsetting fashion designers like Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schoeler and Marc Jacobs are huge influences on what we ultimately buy off the rack.

This spring is all about sophistication, so you can expect to see lots of sheer fabrics and longer hemlines. Lace has made a comeback, and, as always, there are variations on military and punk -- styles that have been around for decades. We'll see lots of options available in earthy, neutral palettes, though some of the collections also flirted with bold colors in unexpected combinations.


Though seasonal fashion is largely dictated by the looks on the runways, not everything translates to the real world. A shirt resembling a bikini top or see-through pants probably won't fly at the office. So, here are the most wearable trends you can expect to see for spring 2011.


Time Travel

Move over skinny jeans! The '70s are back, and the legs of your pants are gonna flare -- a detail that could not make this writer any happier. While wide-leg, high-waisted trousers have been in fashion for years, now you can now expect your jeans and pants to have wider legs, flares and even bell-bottoms.

Fortunately, peasant blouses are back, too, so the flares will have an appropriate fashion companion. And don't expect to see too many micro-minis this year, because boho-chic, floor-skimming skirts are coming back around.


Then we step back another decade to the early '60s, whose feminine dress silhouettes will soon be popping up at a department store near you. Perhaps inspired by the wardrobes on the hit show "Mad Men?" At any rate, these dresses honor the hourglass figure with a tighter bodice and a flared skirt that lands just below the knee.

Flirty Fabrics

Keep the lace minimal and modern and you can't go wrong.
Keep the lace minimal and modern and you can't go wrong.

Feminine fabrics are the name of the game in this year's spring fashion. Gauzy, sheer fabrics popped up in a number of collections and are finding their way into stores. The difference is that runway models can be a little more risqué in how they wear these fabrics, often only in a single layer. That would get you tossed off the bus in the real world. Layering these gorgeous fabrics is the best way for the average Joan to go. Or, wear a solid top over a sheer one so that you have a sexy layer peeking out.

In keeping with the sheer trend, lace skirts and dresses are also hot right now, but no more of the stretchy lace frocks that have been popular in the recent past. Expect more antique-y fabrics in classic weaves. On the runways, crochet and macramé both made their fair share of appearances -- perhaps to accompany the bellbottoms. We'll see if they actually make it onto the racks. If not, you could always alter your retro flower pot hanger into a halter.



Pearls are the perfect accessory for almost any outfit.
Pearls are the perfect accessory for almost any outfit.

All fashionistas know that no outfit is complete without of-the-moment accessories. Cat eye glasses, last seen on Lisa Loeb circa 1995, have made their way back, and are perfect complements to the hot 1960s style dresses. There are styles for all different kinds of face shapes, and you don't have to wear a period dress to rock them.

Belt purses are a fun twist on frumpy fanny packs, because we all know that hands-free is a great way to travel. Imagine a clutch attached to a belt and you've got the right idea.


Clogs are back again -- which you probably already guessed after reading about the bell bottoms. But look for more sophisticated versions of these old faithfuls. And you can go ahead and stow your stilettos because, in keeping with the '60s trend, heels are going low and kitten style. And don't forget your tresses -- long bobs and fringe bangs are both holdovers from 2010.

Related Articles


  • "100 Top Looks from New York Fashion Week: Spring 2011." Harpersbazzar.com, September 20, 2010. http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/best-new-york-fashion-week-spring-2011
  • Barberich, Christene and Gelardi, Piera. "10 Spring 2011 Trends We Love." Refinery29.com. (May 29, 2011). http://www.refinery29.com/10-spring-2011-trends-we-love---spring-fashion-week-trends
  • "Spring 2011 fashion trends: Spring/Summer 2011." Fashionising.com. (May 29, 2011). http://www.fashionising.com/trends/b--spring-2011-fashion-trends-spring-summer-2011-4073.html#spring2011looks
  • "Spring 2011's Most Wearable Fashion Trends." Glamour.com. (May 29, 2011). http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2010/09/spring-2011s-most-wearable-fashion-trends#slide=1
  • "Spring 2011 Trend Reports." Style.com. (May 29, 2011). http://www.style.com/trendsshopping/trendreport/011811_Trend_Reports/HyperColor/
  • "Top 10: The Spring 2011 Trend Report." Elle.com. (May 29, 2011). http://www.elle.com/Fashion/Trend-Reports/Top-10-The-Spring-2011-Trend-Report?cid=el:goo:fashion:springtrends:2011:&gclid=CIv9ke3Uj6kCFc1a7AodxmP0rw