Fashion-able: Spring Trend Watch

Each season, the fashion-forward watch the runways. Whether sitting in the front row or behind their computer screens, they observe the latest designs from talented designers, mentally noting which pieces they can personally rock. Ultimately, from The Row’s precise androgynous tailoring to Proenza Schouler’s pajama-inspired gear, we can choose only a few pieces to add to our ever-growing collections.

We’ve outlined the top three trends that we’re digging (and digging into our wallets for) for the spring 2011 season. Use this guide to help you make your own decisions – it won’t be easy to choose! 

1. Maxis

If hemlines rise during times of depression, then 2011 should be a very happy year. That’s right, it’s time to move your micro-minis aside to make room for longer styles.

Luxe Label: Reach great lengths with A.L.C.’s Pleated Long Skirt ($693). The accordion-style maxi comes complete with an unfinished edged hem and elastic waistband. Made of lightweight woven polyester, this pleated skirt with ruffle trim is a perfect style basic that’s anything but. 

Cheap & Chic: Nasty Gal’s Pleated Maxi Dress ($78) offers a retro feel on a modern silhouette. Partially lined, this flowy dress has a full rayon pleated skirt, and cinches at the waist with a sash belt. From day to night, in this frock you’ll be a real maxi knockout. 

2. Floppy Hat

The floppy hat is not only this year’s “it” accessory, but it also the best shot you’ve got at getting street-styled. So wear this ’70s comeback head topper and smile for the camera. Bianca Jagger would be proud.

Luxe Label: For a look that’s all casual chic, try Rag & Bone’s Estelle Hat ($150) on for size. This retro-inspired accessory comes in a gorgeous tawny beige wool, with a wide brim and deep crown. The cotton lining will keep you feeling cool and fresh, while the style screams boho-chic. 

Cheap & Chic: Beat the heat in style with ASOS’s Catarzi Felt Floppy Hat ($47). Made of 100 per cent wool with a contrast band, choose this accessory in this knockout shade of cherry red. Trust us. This is one hat you’ll wear even on good hair days. 

3. Tribal Print

In past seasons you’ve gone black, but now it’s time to go back with bold colours done up in equally daring Aztec-inspired prints.

Luxe Label: Return to your tribal roots in Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent’s Long Ruffle Slip Dress ($429). For a colourful take on the tribal trend, wear this silk maxi dress in Zulu print with adjustable spaghetti straps and a ruffled hem. Done up in shades of blue and red, the punch of colour will work on so many skin tones. Try it.

Cheap & Chic: Embrace the call of the wild in Pepe Jeans’ Tribal Printed Sheered Bandeau Maxi Dress ($73). This vibrantly patterned maxi dress with multicolour stripes and shapes has a belted waist with a tassle, and as cool a ruffled hem as the dress above (but for a fraction of the price). With a bandeau-style top, this look is all fashion Aztec warrior. 

Luckily, with spring comes some killer style that will break you out of your winter blues. Two more months to go!

Fashion-able: Winter Wear Splurges and Saves

Winter is all about loads of hot chocolate, snowballs, cozying up by the fire, and of course, amazing outerwear. A great jacket can be an investment piece that you’ll wear forever, but some people prefer to change it up every season.
Whether you’re looking to splurge on luxe labels or save with cheap and chic options, we have the right jacket to fit your budget. Here are our top picks for this season.
The Shearling Jacket
Luxe Label: Rag & Bone’s Finch shearling-lined bomber jacket ($1875) is simply sheer genius. Featuring a bias zip closure and contrast black leather trim, this jacket comes in a rich burgundy hue. Made from suede shearling, the bomber has side buckle straps and snap cuff closures.
Cheap & Chic: Topshop’s faux Sheepskin Biker Jacket ($126) is 100 per cent cool and at this price, you can still afford a cute knit toque and mitts.
The Fur Vest
Luxe Label: Elizabeth and James’ Woodland goat fur vest ($725) is simultaneously downtown cool and bohemian chic. Fully lined with 100 per cent silk, this sleeveless black fur vest is longer in the back than the front making it perfect for keeping your bum cozy. Fasten the front hooks or wear it open; either way, this vest is fabulous. 

Cheap & Chic: The Long Fur Waistcoat Vest ($95.90) from Zara has all the trendy factor without the price tag. We love the chic grey hue and would wear this to brunch or for a night out.
The Cool Cape
Luxe Label: Alice + Oliva’s Emory Cape with Embellished Shoulders ($495) puts a glamourous touch on a classic winter cover-up. With chain, crystal and bead embellishments, this cape has two front pouch pockets perfect for cold hands. 

Cheap & Chic: Available in navy and khaki, asosWarehouse Wool Mix Military Knitted Cape ($59) will keep you on trend and on budget. 
 These make us excited for long, cold days ahead. At least we’ll look cute while we stay warm.