Savvy Style: Girls in White Dresses (and Other Signs of Spring) — Casting Off the Winter Wardrobe Blahs and Springing Forward With a Fresh New Look

It’s finally happened! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the mercury is making its steady ascent above freezing. The long, hard days of winter are finally in the rearview mirror and most of us are looking forward to the promise of sunny days and warmer weather. As nature begins its reawakening, so are fashionistas everywhere!

As you pack away the bulky sweater and boots that got you through winter’s brutal months, its time to start thinking about your wardrobe for spring. From Fashion Week to department stores, new trends are everywhere, and it can be hard to tell what looks you should and shouldn’t be donning this season. And image consultant Marla Tomazin said not to jump on the trendy bandwagon just yet.

“Each new season brings a new line of trendy fashions,” Marla explained, who has been an image consultant for 20 years after earlier experience in the fashion industry. “And while it’s fun to look at them and decide what looks good for the season, I always advise my clients to be true to themselves. If a trend or color for this season is not right for you, then don’t buy it or wear it. Instead, choose the colors and styles that empower you personally.”

Stay pure. There’s nothing more refreshing than wearing white from head to toe. It may not be the most practical fashion choice if you live somewhere like New York City (imagine the dry cleaning bill!), but Marla said that it is still worth owning a fabulous white jacket, or top and pair of pants that you can mix and match with other colors in your wardrobe.

If you decide to make the “pure white” statement, she suggests you keep it interesting with one or two colors you love in the form of a scarf. And when it’s time to accessorize, crystal jewelry with an all-white ensemble keeps you looking cool and clean.

Pick the perfect pair (of flats, that is!). The ballet flat has revolutionized shoes for the modern woman. It provides a fun, stylish option that is easy to walk in and even easier to wear all day (they won’t kill your back or feet!). This spring, Marla said that you should invest in flats that complement your wardrobe as a whole. If you already own a more casual pair, then invest in a dressier pair that can work for the office or nights out. And if you opt for a patterned pair, choose colors that will complement the colors of your wardrobe to maximize your wear! For those warmer days, choose a great pair of flat sandals to complement dresses and skirts.

Make an appointment with your manicurist. Winter can wreak havoc on hands and feet, and with warmer weather on the horizon it means that cracked heels and dry cuticles have to come out of their winter hiding places. Marla said that kicking off the spring season by treating yourself to a manicure and pedicure is a must. Whether you are a French manicure kind of girl or if you prefer to pick daring shades of red and hot pinks, having a manicure and pedicure will make you look and feel fresh and put together.

Keep it in neutral. There is something so chic about wearing neutral colors. This season, neutrals from sand to beige to khaki are turning up in everything from suited looks and evening wear to weekend casual ensembles. Marla suggested mixing your neutrals with white, black, or one of many pretty accent colors inspired by the sea, like aqua or sea blue. A splash of color keeps this look from being too bland!

Here comes the sun. It’s finally time to put the grey days of winter behind us and embrace the bright, sunny days of spring. And Marla said that your clothes are no exception! If yellow makes you happy, this could be your season to add a fun item in yellow, gold or amber. Many of this year’s collections showed this as a happy accent color — from dresses and tops in vibrant shades to intricate accessories in matte gold that are beautiful accents to classic pieces.

Suit up. Suits aren’t just for the office anymore! Today’s suit styles are a little more relaxed, and pantsuits continue to be a strong statement. They come in all lengths and sizes, boasting a variety of cuts and fabrics, and even some feminine and flirty details like ruffles. Marla said that the key to wearing a suit well is choosing the right shoe according to the length or fullness of the pant or skirt. A heeled shoe is great, but if that’s not an option for you, a great pair of flats can make your traditional black suit more playful for spring.

Invest in a dress. With the sun shining and the temperature rising, many women embrace the chance to give their legs a little fresh air with fun and flirty dresses. Dresses are great because they come in a variety of styles. From the classic sheath to the wrap-dress or an empire waist, there is a cut that flatters all body types. Marla said that the collections for spring this year boast flirty safari animal prints and tailored nautical designs. A dress is a great piece to take you from running errands on the weekend to dinner and drinks out at night — simply switch up the shoes and accessories, and you have two distinct looks from one great piece!

Trade in your snow boots for a great pair of shades. Now that the snow has melted, get rid of the bulky winter accessories like wool scarves and thick hats. Instead, trade them in for lighter pieces that won’t weigh you down. Marla said that spring is a great time to invest in feminine bracelets (now that your arms are finally out in the open!), fun dangly earrings, chiffon scarves or a great pair of sunglasses. Just be careful not to over-accessorize. You want to make sure you keep your look light and clean.

Put your fresh face forward. When you are putting yourself together, you must think of your image as a whole. Your look doesn’t stop at your shoes or accessories — consider how your makeup choices impact the overall tone of your image as well. For spring, Marla said that you should approach your makeup just like your other wardrobe choices: keep it light and fresh. Keep your look natural, with nudes and pale pink shades for eyes and cheeks that will give your skin a bright, sun-kissed glow. Combat winter’s damage with a moisturizing lip balm that revitalizes dry lips and leaves a light gloss for a perfect pout.

“The most important part of any season’s wardrobe is how it makes you feel,” Marla concluded. “Choose pieces that fit you well, and that also fit your personality. Have fun with a few flirty pieces and invest in classic looks that will last you for seasons to come. If you feel great, it will improve your outlook and your overall demeanor — and you’ll have a renewed spring in your step in no time!”

Marla Tomazin established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression.

From a successful 20-year career in the fashion industry, Marla gained expertise in retail buying, merchandising, sales and marketing. The progression to Certified Image Consultant was a natural transition. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Her clients include women, men and corporations seeking external revitalization that mirrors their internal development.

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