• WisBusiness

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fashion Forward: Winter to spring -- you don't have to dress like the Easter Bunny, but add color

By Mitch Bram
Time once again to delve into tough wardrobe choices. Our query this month is as follows: "What colors are right for the change of seasons, currently, from winter to spring and what can I do to make sure I'm prepared?"

The first part to this question is often answered without even being asked. Buyers of larger retail chain stores and smaller boutiques are sure to pump up the vibrant colors as soon as the holiday season ends. Just take a walk through the mall, and you'll notice the shorts, open-toed shoes, sandals, and even bikinis start emerging while the snow is still falling.

Unfortunately the second part of the question is often left out in the cold (Pun intended!).

To face the question head on, more often than not lighter pastels and brighter colors start to emerge across the entire spectrum of the fashion world. Winter colors that tend to be bleak, cold, and boring are replaced by larger exciting patterns, stripes, checks, and some unusual textures. Suits, sport coats, blouses, pants, shoes, and just about every accessory offered by most clothing companies will surely get amped up in regards to color. Maybe even some slightly different styling options will emerge. The colors associated with the spring season are much like that of the fashion world as well -- yellows, greens, purples, and even pink tones resemble flowers, buds on trees, blades of grass, and the more constant sunshine.

Now I know what you're thinking, "Mitch wants me to dress like the Easter Bunny every day of the week!" Not true. It just means that you are allowed an added level of flexibility in your color palate.

If you're like me you have adopted some tighter spending habits these past few months. I understand that most folks don't feel like spending megabucks on new clothing right now. The good news is ... you don't have to!

Here is my best advice for the change of seasons: Take inventory of what you currently own, and then add just a few new items to the rotation this season. If you need help going though the closet, just give me a call. Not only will I help you match up great-looking outfits that you never thought were possible, I can also help you with any alterations (I charge what my tailor charges). And best of all, I don't charge a dime for my time and services!

Start off by identifying a solid base, such as a suit, coat, or pants that are in great condition. The best base colors in my opinion are medium-to-light grey, royal blue, and medium to lighter brown and tan earth-tones. These will go with a variety of spring and summer tones.

I look FORWARD (There's that intended pun again) to seeing you soon.

-- Bram is the director of sartorial splendor with Tom James Clothing in Madison. He'll be working toward building a more Fashion Forward Wisconsin by sharing his advice and expertise on the subject of proper dress. E-mail your fashion questions to info@wisbusiness.com or call Mitch directly at at 608-278-0391 or 608-712-6499.

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