5 Spring Fashion Trends for 2012

Sparkly, flapper-girl styles are in for spring 2012.
Sparkly, flapper-girl styles are in for spring 2012.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

New York City's Fashion Week happens every September, luring scores of fashionistas, models and designers to the Big Apple. Even though this event happens in the fall, everyone shows up to peep at what we'll be wearing next spring.

As the crocuses bloom and the robins visit the backyard, we're ready to shed our parkas for some lighter, breezier outfits. So, let's take a look at 2012's spring fashions!

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5

Color Blocking

A model wearing spring 2012's bright, vibrant colors walks the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
A model wearing spring 2012's bright, vibrant colors walks the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Color blocking is a cheerful, bright look accomplished by mixing and matching solid, complementary blocks of color. You can build your own color-blocked outfit with separate pieces, or you can buy color-blocked blouses or dresses to make it easy. Experts recommend limiting your color blocking to three different hues to avoid looking like a rainbow.

Some tips on color blocking: If you wear a color-blocked blouse, keep the skirt or pants a simple, solid tone, and let the blouse do all the talking. Same with your shoes. If you wear a color-blocked dress, keep your shoes a simple, solid color as well. Alternatively, if you decide to go with color-blocked shoes -- they're out there, and they're fabulous -- keep the rest of your outfit low-key.

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4

Peplums

Actress Michelle Williams rocks the peplum on the red carpet at the 2012 Academy Awards.
Actress Michelle Williams rocks the peplum on the red carpet at the 2012 Academy Awards.
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

One accent seen on almost all the runways for spring 2012 was the peplum. A peplum is a flirty flare of fabric around the waist of a skirt, shirt or dress. Peplums originated in the 1800s and have periodically reappeared in fashion over the decades. Right now, they're in.

Warning: If you have large hips, peplums are not for you. The peplum is intended to accentuate curves -- not detract from them.

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That said, there are two versions of peplums: fitted and flared. If you have an hourglass figure already, choose a fitted peplum. It won't flare out as much and make your hips look bigger than they are. If you want to add curves, choose a flared peplum.

3

Neon

Sarah Jessica Parker was ahead of her time when she sported this neon scarf in 2003.
Sarah Jessica Parker was ahead of her time when she sported this neon scarf in 2003.
Gregory Pace/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Neon was huge in the 1980s and it's making a comeback, albeit a much subtler one. Head-to-toe neon is a no-no in 2012. Go with pops and accents. Think handbags, shoes, jewelry, hair ties. Or, if you've fallen in love with neon blouse, layer that piece under a neutral color like beige or black.

If you really want to make a statement, look for color-blocked dresses of neon and black. Or, try painting your nails neon pink. Sunglasses with neon accents are big this spring, too. Tie a lightweight neon scarf around your neck for a real pop of color with a tan or black dress.

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2

Bold Florals

Sarah Jessica Parker in head-to-toe floral
Sarah Jessica Parker in head-to-toe floral
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Another popular look we've seen sashaying down the runways is florals. We're not talking tiny little poppy or daisy prints. We're talking big, bold, loud florals. Florals that just about shout, "Spring is here!" There are bold floral blouses, jackets, skirts, shoes and maxi dresses. We've even seen clashing floral prints in tops and bottoms -- although we don't really recommend that particular look unless you're positive you can pull it off.

A nice way to balance out big, bold florals is with pastels. If you're wearing a bold floral dress or top, look for a complementary pastel in shoes or bottoms. We've also seen the tried-and-true color blocking with bright colors top and bottom, finished off with bold floral shoes. Stunning!

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1

The 1920s

Look for feathers and sequins on racks in spring 2012.
Look for feathers and sequins on racks in spring 2012.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

No question about it: The looks of the '20s are in vogue. Flapper-style dresses and art deco prints ran wild on the runways for spring 2012 lines. Think Daisy in "The Great Gatsby," or the show "Boardwalk Empire," except you don't have to run to your local vintage store to get the look.

We're talking beaded dresses, long strands of pearls, feathers, silks, pleats and sequins -- everything that made 1920s fashion so ultra-feminine. At the stores, pick up a feathered headband, sequined tank top, pleated skirt (worn with a crisp button-up), a dress with beaded embellishments, a silk shirt or a flapper dress. To really set that 1920s vibe, wear dark eye shadow with your ensemble.

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Sources

  • Dykes, Daniel P. "Spring 2012 fashion trends." Fashionising.com. 2012. (March 20, 2012) http://www.fashionising.com/trends/b--spring-2012-fashion-trends-summer-2012-fashion-5585.html
  • "Fall 2010 Trend Alert: Peplum Skirts, Jackets and Dresses." Good Taste. Aug. 12, 2010. (March 20, 2012) http://whitebison.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/fall-2010-trend-alert-peplum-skirts-jackets-and-dresses/
  • Gustashaw, Megan and Susan Cernek. "Spring 2012's Most Wearable Fashion Trends." Glamour.com. 2012. (March 20, 2012) http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2011/09/spring-2012s-most-wearable-fashion-trends#slide=1
  • Schweitzer, Kate. "Top Spring Fashion Trends Straight From the Runway." Marie Claire. 2012. (March 20, 2012) http://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/trends/spring-2012-fashion-trends#slide-1