How to get your wardrobe ready for warmer weather (39692)

After a long and tough winter, the shining sun and blooming flowers are making the world look beautiful all over again. And for fashion fans, the coming warm season offers the chance to brighten up the world a bit, too. Turning your wardrobe from warm and snuggly to fresh and breezy is guaranteed to make you excited about styling yourself throughout the summer.

One of the surest signs of seasonal change – aside from the sunny days and rising temperatures – is the debut of new styles in storefront windows. Fashion merchandising experts get a jump on things to put us in the right frame of mind – boots are gone, but this season’s chunky platform sandals and espadrilles are showing up everywhere.

What’s in stores can be an inspiration for revamping existing wardrobes, as well as a resource for adding new pieces. As you make the seasonal transition in your closet, focus on these trends that are getting attention in fashion schools and on the runway:

* Color is king: Ditch the all-black outfits and get excited about color. But the key to current color trends is blocking: go for wide swaths of no-holds-barred color. Pair an emerald green shirt with a cobalt skirt or a purple silk tank with cropped coral trousers. Another hot take on color is combining the loudest neon colors with neutrals; shocking pink or glowing citron get sophisticated when paired with beige or cream.

* Go long: Mini skirts will never want for fans, but the fashion-forward crowd is putting the spotlight on long-form dresses and skirts. Maxi tank dresses in relaxed jersey are a girl’s secret summer weapon: they look polished and modern but they’re incredibly comfortable and cool enough to wear even on the hottest days. If you want a more buildable look, find a long skirt and try pairing it with everything from button-down shirts to casual tees.

* Pleats and thank you: If you want to add a little visual interest to your outfit without prints or baubles, pleats are the way to go this season. Calf-grazing skirts with knife pleats are one of the hottest trends of the moment, and an easy summer staple that you’ll reach for again and again. Pleats are also showing up in trouser styles, giving them added dimension without bulk.

* Show your stripes: Stripes, from the wide to the narrow to the micro, are showing up on just about anything you can wear this season. You’ll find plenty of ways to make the classic look your own, whether you go for the simplicity of a traditional navy-striped boatneck top or a bold mini dress that melds the stripes craze with the color-blocking trend.

Summer dressing is all about fun – keep that in mind as you peruse the items you own and start picking out pairings to wear to your next pool party, barbecue or concert festival. Once you’ve gone through your closet, hit the shops to stock up on the items you need to create perfect warm-weather looks.

Information in this article was provided by Collins College in Arizona. Contact Collins College today if you’re interested in pursuing your interest in fashion. (Collins College cannot guarantee employment or salary.)