Watch for florals, cut-outs, and throwbacks to the ’70s and ’80s

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According to fashion website whowhatwear.com and others, these are trends to watch for (and wear) this spring and summer: flirty hemlines balanced by big shoulders, head-to-toe florals, peek-a-boo cutouts on blouse, dress and sweater sleeves and shoulders, and exaggerated lines – think statement stripes.

You’ll also see metallic effects, graphic prints on new-generation trenches and bright candy pink and sunshine yellow – one of the most saturated colour palates in years, say fashion experts. Do you want to be on trend with eclectic mix-and-match wear? (Some of us do it by accident, with nary a clue about what’s hot in magazines and on the New York runways).

For those in St. Albert who want to be in the know on the latest trends, fashion expert and owner of downtown’s Cerulean Boutique Kelsey Bulmer offers customers twice yearly, in-store shows to feature the latest looks.

“No matter what the designers say is ‘in’ – and many customers want to keep current with a few new pieces and accessories to stay away from a ‘dated’ look – the most important thing about fashion at any age is fit, function and form,” says Bulmer.

“Many of my St. Albert customers travel to Europe (package tours and river cruises) or south hot spot resorts, and want outfits that are stylish, light and comfortable in breathable, natural fibres like silk, cotton and linen. We dress people for their body type and comfort level – no super short skirts or low-cut necklines. There’s a movement toward body-contouring clothing and swimwear that skims the body but isn’t tight – perfect for any age.”

In true boutique style, and with one or two in each size of most designs, Cerulean Boutique currently has a lot of colour going on in several racks of tops, bottoms and dresses. It speaks to the trend toward bright colours – orange, green, pink, red, aqua – in florals and swirling colour patterns reminiscent of the ’70s and ’80s. Watch for jumpsuits, bell sleeves and tied sleeves, and sleeves that go past the fingers, says Bulmer, as well as flared, bell-bottom pants: “these give a beautiful shape to a woman’s body.”

While super-bright garments shout out from the racks, Bulmer says an equally-big trend in her boutique is baby blues, soft blush pinks and creams, and white, white, everywhere white, “in maxi dresses and cover ups, shirts, skirts and sweaters. And, of course, many styles are off-the shoulder or open-shoulder with cut-outs. Some people embrace it; some don’t.”

You’ll find florals here on every piece of clothing this season – shoes included. It imparts a romantic vibe, and fits in with the mix-and-match eclectic trend, says Bulmer, who goes on fashion-buying expeditions several times a year. Hot fashion buys here? Bulmer says it’s the scarf/wrap combo ‘scwrap’ – a poncho-look cover that customers love over tees with jeans, on the airplane, or over dress pants at the office.

“We’re all about lifting women up – if you feel great on the outside, that can help you feel good inside,” says the Perron-district retailer. “We’re here to be a fashion resource and experts on what looks good on your body, or putting an outfit together. It saves a lot of frustration and running around to many different stores. We want women to find stylish, value-added garments that are wearable and long-lasting, and can be mixed with other pieces to create different outfits.”

Women and shoes? It’s a thing. And one of the latest things in footwear should have female hearts racing: a foundation/sandal base that can become several different looks thanks to button-on, interchangeable straps. The Brazilian-designed shoe at Galibelle, (a new store on Whyte Ave.) is an idea imported by Sturgeon Country resident David Broesky, who says it is catching on with in-store and online customers.

“We’re the only place in the country with this concept: choose your heel and change your top; there are unlimited possibilities,” says Broesky, who with his wife, brought back the idea after seeing the product on a trip abroad. Whether a cork wedge, platform or block heel (there are even boots with interchangeable sleeves), buyers can simply unbutton the bright coloured, nude, brown, black, animal print, textured, leather or floral strap of one style, and button on another for a completely different look.

“It’s on trend with mix and match fashions. You can pack one base in a suitcase with a few straps for so many looks. It’s Brazilian designed and made – great quality and value,” Broesky says.

Long time Edmonton area shoe retailer Kunitz Shoes likewise features florals in a big way in spring/summer footwear. The romantic pastel-hued styles can be found on block heel pumps, flats and wedge sandals.

At Cerulean Boutique, Bulmer says it’s flatform, not platform, shoes in high demand with customers who plan warm-weather tours, or to walk the cobblestoned streets of Europe. But high heels (pointed toe pumps are hot now, rounder toes expected to be in the fall) are well-represented too, as is a thicker stacked heel that allows high heel beauty with a nod to comfort and stability.

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About Author

Lucy Haines

Lucy Haines has been a freelancer writer for the St. Albert Gazette since 2012. She writes features on travel, food, seniors, homes and gardens.