10 ways you can create a fresh and stylish wardrobe for spring-summer 2016

Slip dresses, shoulder-skimming tops and tailored denim are among the prized and versatile pieces to seek out

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 March, 2016, 12:01pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 March, 2016, 12:00pm

As spring blooms, the weather finally warms up and shops start to fill with new fashion wonders, the time comes to make some style updates. With trends ranging from 1990s grunge to ruffles, deconstructed tailoring to structured denim and minimal accessories to cosy knits, spring and summer 2016 has plenty to offer, with versatile pieces you can switch in to your wardrobe giving easy updates on your well-worn favourites. Here are the 10 must-haves for your spring look this year.

Switch your LBD for a slip dress

With both the ’90s and lingerie appearing as major trends this season, the slip dress has made its way to the top of many a shopping list. Whether you take your cue from where full-length metallic versions gave a grungy vibe that will work well for parties, or from the slightly more glamorous, lace-adorned offerings seen at Givenchy and Céline, make sure your straps are spaghetti-like and your accessories minimal. Wear with ankle boots and be a biker by day or keep it clean and minimal with skinny, strappy sandals for evening.

Slink into a shoulder-baring top

Fashion has a new erogenous zone. Cover up your backs and legs and disguise your decolletage, for now is the time of the shoulder, as decreed by everyone from The Row to Proenza Schouler. In the making for a while, this trend offers a great way to show a little sexiness while still keeping it chic and sophisticated. You’ll find it works best for day pairing with the likes of J.Crew and Tibi’s range of shoulder-skimming tops with jeans or elegant trousers for a minimal take on the look. Come evening; switch it up with something a little more intricate. Self Portrait’s broderie-anglaise dress, as seen recently on actress Jessica Biel, is demure yet seductive.

Bring on the bucket and the backpack

Handbags have come over a little more utilitarian this season, making for versatile options that work well for busy women on the move. Burberry’s personalised backpacks proved an instant hit, giving a chic update on the sporty look. For those after something a little more refined, cult brand Mansur Gavriel’s buttery soft bucket bags are subtle, roomy and extremely desirable.

Take a turn in some tailored denim

The one-size-fits-all, skinny approach to denim has held firm for years, but this season, fashion is finally offering up some extremely appealing alternatives. Tailored denim by the likes of Frame, MiH Jeans and J.Crew is giving a more grown-up take on your everyday staple – and a flattering one at that. Go for a higher waistband and a wider leg, working cropped styles or culottes for a truly of-the-moment look.

Banish your blazer for a statement cardigan

Again, as an ode to all things ’90s, the chunky, thigh-length cardigan is enjoying a revival. At Saint Laurent, they were seen paired with slip dresses and tiaras in a truly Courtney Love-inspired look, while designers such as Michael Kors showed them with easy summer dresses and tan accessories, giving them a chic twist. Whether you take yours embellished and sparkly or chunky and ribbed, wear it belted and with everything from those tailored jeans to your floaty dresses.

Break out a comfy shoe

Those power flats you’ve been working are all well and good, but fashion is now offering up an even more comfortable take on daytime footwear – the flat mule, or slipper. As seen at Victoria Beckham, Acne, Balenciaga and Alexander Wang, this slip-on super flat has made its way into the wish lists of many a fashion maven, proving a handy partner for well-cut trousers not to mention a welcome

source of respite for your feet. And, for those not quite ready for the fully flat look? Take your cue from Gucci and wear yours with a low block heel.

Spruce up your simple white shirt

Long a well-worn staple, the humble white shirt gets an update this season with exciting shapes and peekaboo styles that add a bit of excitement to the proceedings. Whether you go for those off-the-shoulder styles, bell sleeves, intricate ties or asymmetric necklines, push the boat out a bit on shape and cut and you’ll find yourself in possession of a whole new hot ticket fashion item.

Revel in some ruffles

From Spanish-style dresses as seen at DVF, Alexander McQueen and Gucci to prairie-inspired, Victorian frilly collars from the likes of Self Portrait, the feminine touch this spring comes courtesy of some ruffles. The full look is easiest worked in flamenco-inspired dresses, but for the easy, daytime friendly approach, wear your broderie frilly collared shirts with dressed-down denim for an easy approach.

Hang on to your Half Moon Bag

The simple clutch has been given a more architectural look this season thanks to the half-moon shape that is doing the rounds. Sleek and sophisticated designers such as Michael Kors and Victoria Beckham explored this shape, offering a new take on handbags that’s easy to wear and oozes minimal chic. APC have a good take on the look.

Big up your Bomber

Where Gucci goes, the fashion world follows at the moment, not least when it comes to the visual feast that was their spring collection. One of the easiest pieces to take away from it all is their silk-embroidered bomber jacket. Alessandro Michele may have paired his with a pussy bow blouse and prom skirt, but we recommend you wear yours with easy trousers or jeans and a simple white tee or thrown over the shoulders of your cocktail frock for a dressed-down but rather fabulous take on the look.