If there's one key item you need to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring, it's a great dress...Or multiple dresses for that matter. Spring '12 is all about playful dresses in a rainbow of colors and shapes.
The maxi dress is one of the signature looks for the season as pictured above from Valentino. This look is easy to wear and can also be dressed up for a special occasion when paired with a jacket, belt and heels.
From runway to real way: Wear the maxi dress trend by finding a style that won't overwhelm your frame. Asos.com offers the maxi trend dress in a variety of styles including wrap dresses, sweetheart necklines, ruffles and knife pleats. If the maxi dress is too much commitment, try a fitted top and a maxi skirt instead.
The Color Block trend is a carry over from Fall '11 and it's here to stay for another season as pictured above by Max Mara. This trend is a fun way to wear spring's playful color palette while pulling in additional colors that compliment the total look.
Wear the color block trend in real life by picking a spring dress with colors to match your mood and occasion. A flirty baby doll style is great for a date night while a navy blue number with sleeves would be best for a cocktail hour with friends.
Going transparent and totally sheer is another trend that was seen all over the runway for Spring, as pictured above from Lanvin. Leave your modesty at home because this trend- especially when worn in the form of a skirt- is not for the faint of heart.
Wear the sheer trend in real life by picking a style that's as bold as you want to be. If you're totally committed to the trend try a short dress with sheer sleeves, but if you'd rather play it safe, try a long, sheer, flowy skirt instead.
Draping is a technique that is universally flattering which makes this trend one of my faves for the season. An easy dress with beautiful draping is perfect for a spring wedding or even an elegant night on the town. Lanvin played up two trends for the season with the dress above: yellow (a major color for spring and draping- a style making a major comeback for the dress category).
Try the draped dress for spring by finding a style that drapes where you need extra coverage. A perfect drape can instantly help you shed unwanted pounds from your arms, stomach, or hip area. Just be sure to find a style that's not overly draped or ill-fitting to avoid adding extra weight instead of camouflaging it.
The wrap dress is another major silhouette that's in for Spring '12, pictured above from L'Wren Scott. This style is flattering on most shapes and sizes and there are so many ways to dress this style up or down depending on the occasion.
Wear this trend the real way by choosing fun colors and textures to compliment your wardrobe. A bright yellow or turquoise wrap dress is a great way to add color to your closet.
The stripe print is another spring favorite as shown above from the Juicy Couture collection. The key to wearing stripes is to keep the stripe size skinny and pick a dress style that is flattering on your body type.
Wearing stripes in real life doesn't need to be nautical. The shape, pattern and color of the stripe can create a variety of different looks, and of course, your accessories play a major role in dictating the overall look. To give your stripes a spring-time vibe pair with hot pink shoes, floral jewelry and a colorful clutch.
Sweet shades of sorbet made their way into spring as seen above at Chanel. This dress also plays up the ruffle trend which is another major key look for the season.
The dresses above from Asos.com play up the sorbet color palette and also the peplum trend (a short skirt added to a fitted jacket, blouse, or dress). This look can be worn a variety of different ways from fun and flirty (with cut-outs) to prim and proper for afternoon tea.
You know spring is in full bloom when the floral prints arrive. This mini floral by Balmain has a stylish 3/4 sleeve and looks edgy with a gold chain belt.
Wear the floral trend the real way by picking a floral print that works for you. Bold, all-over-prints make a major statement while minimalist prints downplayed by solid color pleats tone it down. The floral trend isn't just limited to nights, weekends and weddings, wear this trend for a day at the office by adding a blazer and a structured handbag.
Wear the Art Deco trend the real way by finding art deco details on dress collars, hemlines and trims like buttons and clasps. I prefer classic art deco details like beading in shades of black and gold. This seasons art deco styles make the perfect party dress for spring's special occasions.
The return of lace has given girly girls everywhere a reason to celebrate this season! Valentino showed this look on the runway in a beige/pink colorway with a belt. You can wear this trend by keeping it simple and finding a lace dress that doesn't feel too frilly for everyday life. The styles below from Asos.com show the trend from a basic lace dress to a long sleeve style that feels very Kate Middleton.
Last but not least, the graphic print dress (shown below) is another do-not-miss trend for spring. Worn long, short, bright or muted, this trend is a refreshing break from the sea of solid colors we saw for Fall '11. Pair your printed dress with wedge sandals for day or mile high platforms for a dramatic night on the town. The styles below from Asos.com show the graphic print dress look from mild to wild.