Jilian Rossow, 22, wearing a white silky top paired with black pants and black flats, said there was a lot to like about what she was seeing, including pastels and bright colours. She also had her eye out for a tribal print maxi dress. "I feel like it's just a statement," she said. "You don't need to worry about what jewelry you are going to wear with it."
Despite a chilly start to March, spring weather here is usually warm. The climate, combined with a culture of driving everywhere, allows Dallas women to make the most of their spring wardrobes, said Brian Bolke, who owns the boutique Forty Five Ten in the Knox-Henderson shopping area, along with smaller boutiques Five and Ten and Number One in Highland Park Village.
"We're very lucky: We can actually wear spring clothes most of the spring," he said.
Stevie Moore, creative director at Elements boutique along Lovers Lane, said the climate encourages shoppers to gravitate toward feminine, fun and flirty. "It's about showing a little bit of skin, and wearing something really light."
Colours AND PRINTS
Think pink, pink — and more pink.
"Women should look for pink in every shade," said Ken Downing, fashion director of luxury chain Neiman Marcus, which has its flagship store downtown. He added those varying shades of pink can be worn all in one outfit.
Nerissa von Helpenstill, store director for Tootsies in Dallas, located in The Plaza at Preston Center outdoor shopping area, agreed. "It's spring. The flowers are out. We want to be pink," she said.
Also on trend are outfits of "white with black," Downing said. Bolke's boutiques have also bought lots of black and white combinations, from prints to solids. "It just is sort of what looks fresh and very graphic," Bolke said.
Denim on denim has also making a splash, which Downing said can be pulled off by wearing a shirt, jeans and jacket all in denim and featuring multiple washes.
And von Helpenstill said they are also seeing sheer fabrics "in kind of unexpected ways," for instance small peek-a-boo pieces of sheer on a top, like a sheer shoulder or panel down the back. She said that neoprene fabrics in bright prints have also been popular.
SILHOUETTES AND STYLES
From boxy, cropped tops to separates for evening — a crisp, white shirt paired with pants — there's a new silhouette for spring.
"There's just something very new right now about volume in clothes but I think that that is what makes it a little tricky for the consumer because it has to be done right and you have to really understand the proportions for real life: what goes with what," Bolke said.
For instance, the cropped tops need just the right pairing, he said. "Women of all ages are really buying these new shorter, boxier tops, but we're pairing them for instance with a high-waisted, longer length pencil skirt, so it makes the proportions seem very lean. You still have a waist. The waist is still covered," he said.
Downing also noted "the return of the shirt."
"I love that idea of a crisp white shirt worn for evening. I love the idea of this return to evening separates," he said.
Downing's recommendation for a must-have item? The backpack, making a return from the 1990s. "The backpack is back and it is not going away," Downing said.
For von Helpenstill, the silk track pant in a print is her must-have: "You are looking fashion forward, but it feels like you are wearing pyjamas," she said, adding she'd pair it with heels and a simple top.
White leather pants are on Moore's must-have list, along with jewelry featuring moonstones, pearls or opals.
Lori Hockett, 52, said she's generally not much of a shopper, but as she wandered Highland Park Village, she was on trend with a black and white outfit and had just bought a pair of Tory Burch sandals in rose gold, a colour Downing mentioned as a "metallic injection" into the pink craze.
"I think they'll go with everything," Hockett said, adding, "I thought I needed some cute sandals to spruce it up."