TORONTO - Whether you want to replace a well-worn wardrobe staple or are simply seeking an affordable accessory, the start of the new spring season means it's prime time to make a stylish swap.
Fashion Magazine editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra, Gap Inc. spokeswoman Heather Hopkins, and Winners spokeswoman Sarah Smithers weigh in on which 10 trendy styles to consider as the weather warms up.
Check them out below!
Love: Coloured jeans
Try: Neon denim
Seeking a substitute for your jewel-toned jeans? Now is the time to crank up the colour with neon hues like pink, orange, green and yellow.
"The brights have gotten even brighter, which again, speaks to that more assertive, more aggressive nature of spring 2013 — so go bold with those jeans," said Morra.
While orange was a hot hue last year, primary colours are still having a presence with jade green, cobalt blue and canary yellow emerging as go-to shades, she added.
Despite the growing presence of ultra-brights, perennial pale shades for spring are still in play.
"Not only has the neon returned — so you're seeing a lot of those vibrant prints — but the hues have also shifted to pastels," Hopkins said, highlighting mint green as a strong colour for the season.
Love: Pretty, subtle prints
Try: Big, bold patterns
Sorry, fashion wallflowers. It will be hard to go unnoticed with the array of oversized florals and other large-scale patterns going full bloom this season.
"It's like a pant with a personality. I love that this colour-print trend is still continuing this season," said Hopkins.
"I find that it's almost one of the easiest items to either pair (with) a white tee or a pair of sandals for the weekend, or to add a blazer... for more of a casual office look."
For those shy about wearing a bold graphic, Hopkins said sporting a scarf in a vibrant pattern is the simplest way to invest in the trend.
Love: Colour blocking
Try: Coloured stripes
Teaming different hues within one ensemble was a standout style trend last spring. But Morra said it's multi-coloured stripes that are making waves for the new season.
"You're seeing them in everything. You're seeing them in dresses and skirts and jackets," she said.
Morra said while black-and-white blocking was big in 2012, it's stripes and checkerboard patterns that are emerging in the classic colours.
"I feel like black and white is really everything this spring and summer," she said, pointing to the prevalence of vertical and horizontal stripes, checks and florals steeped in the tandem shades.
Love: Peter Pan collars
Try: Plaid shirts or message T-shirts.
The rounded-edge collars were showcased on the spring runways of Ralph Lauren and Alice & Olivia. But for those seeking a switch from the demure, ultra-feminine style favourite, Morra suggested making a 180: replacing the Peter Pan collar with a plaid shirt or a message T-shirt, like those flashing a memorable catchphrase or large-scale brand logo.
"It could be any kind of a message, but those message T-shirts have a bit of a kind of a rock 'n' roll kind of a feel to them, whereas the plaid shirt has a grungier kind of mood."
Morra said the looks are reminiscent of the '90s retro vibe that has been surfacing in fashion of late.
Love: The peplum
Try: The crop top
The peplum — a ruffle or short overskirt which attaches to the waistlines of garments — has been a consistent presence on the style scene.
Morra said the focus remains on the waist this spring, albeit with a bit of skin exposed at the mid-section. The crop-top style popularized by Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Shania Twain in the 1990s is making a fashion resurgence.
"I think that's something that's going to be really popular, especially when it comes to dressing for the beach and for clubbing ... your weekend dressing — I think we're going to be seeing a lot of bare middles."
It's not just for casual wear. German actress Diane Kruger was seen sporting crop tops paired with sleek skirts during New York Fashion Week and at a Hollywood red carpet event.
Love: Statement bags
Try: Soft clutches and structured totes
Accessory aficionados will be keen to get their hands on bags both big and small for spring. Hopkins said everything from small clutches to oversized totes are in the style mix.
Smithers said in the past several seasons, structured handbags are taking on a greater level of importance.
"I think what we're seeing is a lot of handheld bags being sold with the strap option because we've become so accustomed to cross-body and messenger-style bags."
Love: Cat-eye sunglasses
Try: Round or square-shaped shades
Morra said there are strange, quirky shapes and ornamentation of all kinds — including rhinestones — being showcased in eye-catching eyewear for the brighter months.
"It's a real statement eye," she said. "The freshest look is kind of an odd shape."
Love: Platform sandals
Try: Flatform footwear
Women who love a little lift in their step will be pleased to know the platform style continues to thrive and is evolving.
"Platforms were big last year. Now we're seeing that platform trend extending to sneakers — or wedge sneakers — and flatform sandals, where the platform is flat, not angled," said Morra.
Try: A pointed pair
Prepare to put your best foot forward with a pair of pointed heels — with a twist.
"The pump with the ankle strap is a big one. It seems like the ankle strap is definitely back," said Hopkins.
Love: Gladiator flats
Try: Gladiator boots
The strappy footwear favourite is back in the fashion arena — and in an all-new form.
"If you were comfortable with — or a big fan of — the gladiator flat sandal, one of the latest trends off of the spring runways was the gladiator boot ... whether it's a flat or a heel, depending on your preference," said Smithers.
"We're looking to see that as one of the biggest trends in terms of footwear for this spring."