Spring Fashion

What we're wearing now

Rachael Klopfenstein modeling a gold hawk criss cross back dress from Belyst at Covington Plaza, photography by Neal Bruns

The sporting life got a major upgrade during fashion month (New York, London, Paris, Milan) for spring 2014. No longer simply reserved for the gym, athletic mainstays are fashion forward by virtue of luxurious textures, colorful prints and cool details like perforations, cutouts and mesh panels. Ready-to-wear staples, like dresses and trousers, are updated with performance fabrics, contrast piping and stripes. As one of the biggest directions for the season, the “sport luxe” vibe pairs nicely with other of-the-moment trends such as pastels and relaxed silhouettes.

Active lifestyles and demanding schedules have made interchangeable separates essentials in women’s closets everywhere. American life is busy and hyper-scheduled; “on the go” means transitioning from work to play and back as seamlessly and stylishly as possible. Pieces generally reserved for more athletic pursuits can pull double duty and be incorporated into your daily wardrobe thanks to versatile styling. Go from Fort Wayne’s picturesque Rivergreenway to lunch al fresco at The Deck or The Dash In. Cheer for the TinCaps then head for post-game drinks without sacrificing style or comfort. Embrace the most wearable trend for spring with these must-have pieces, perfect for the active Fort Wayne lifestyle.

Warming trends

• Great news: Messy hair is all the rage! Models wore mussed updos at Tom Ford and textured hair was worn loose with a bit of a kink at Ferragamo. Rachel Zoe’s models were given shaggy braids while those on the Anna Sui runway sported flower-adorned tresses. Try local swimsuit brand OFabz’s Daisy Chain floral headband for a free-spirited and youthful ‘do like Sui’s. Dry shampoo is a key product for all these hair trends, adding texture as well as allowing more time between shampoos. Psssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo is tried-and-true and quite affordable. The overall vibe of all these styles is natural and romantic, that you didn’t try too hard to achieve the look – even though you just might have. You’ll find Psssssst! at beauty superstore Ulta.

• At first, orange lips may sound super strange, but you’d be surprised how eye-catching this shade can be. Whether you go for a gloss like Guava from Youngblood Cosmetics or a bold orangey-red opaque lipstick like the models wore at Creatures of the Wind, there is a shade of orange on the spectrum for every skin tone. Orange you excited to try something new? Essentials & Frosting carries the eco-friendly and gorgeously pigmented Youngblood Cosmetics range.

• The shadow color du jour is just a touch of Midas. Models at Jason Wu were gilded with glitter, but for everyday use, go for pale gold lids with a subtle creme shadow such as Jane Iredale’s Eye Gloss in Champagne Silk. Save the glitter for a wild night out. Shop Jane Iredale cosmetics at The Forum Salon & Day Spa.

The jacket

Perhaps the most essential piece within the sport luxe trend, the track jacket, is now incredibly adaptable thanks to chic fabrics and details. This oh-so-functional piece gets a modern touch with pretty colors or unique textures and easily dresses up or down. Marc by Marc Jacobs showed a color-blocked satin jacket paired with cheeky running shorts (convenient pun) that can be separated and mixed with pieces already in your closet. Rebecca Minkoff paired a black, perforated varsity-style jacket with a yellow lace skirt, graphic T-shirt and heels. Vera Wang’s take on the trend is even dinner-appropriate with mesh and satin panels, especially when paired with a body-conscious dress. Symmetry, one of the city’s most renowned boutiques, stocks stylish ready-to-wear jackets and sweaters.

The sweatshirt

The reinvented sweatshirt has been a rising trend (with no signs of stopping) over the last few seasons with unique details and sometimes surprising fabrics making them appear less sloppy and more sophisticated, yet still cozy. Prabal Gurung paired his silky printed version with pastel ankle trousers and slingback pumps. Tommy Hilfiger channeled West Coast surf culture with a cropped hemline and neoprene panels.  Milly’s perforated pullover can be worn over bodysuits or tanks – in vivid colors for the biggest impact.  Jason Wu embellished his with light-as-air appliqués for the most elegant adaptation. Pair these new staples with anything and everything. Find comfy couture toppers at local boutiques Belyst and Cakes.

The pants

Roomy and soft track pants are of-the-moment in flowing fabrics and adorned with snazzy tuxedo stripes. The pants skew more athletic when paired with sandals, like those from Suno’s Spring 2014 collection or the new color blocked Tevas, and more “downtown dressy” with pumps. J. Crew’s multicolored stripe pant can go both ways. On the opposite end of the spectrum, smoothing (thus flattering) neoprene leggings have become one of Cynthia Rowley’s signature pieces. The leggings are scuba chic in pretty prints but look less beachy, more glam. Both silhouettes can be similarly styled up or down. Marshall’s carries a generous selection of high-end designers like Rowley.

The shorts

These gym class heroes might not seem street appropriate at first, but many designers would beg to differ this season. Kenneth Cole Collection added bronzed studs to the hemline of roomy grass green running shorts. Tess Giberson’s interpretation was made of matte grey leather with subtle perforation. This latest adaptation of running shorts can be paired with booties and a blazer or sweater for a look that oozes calm and cool. Alexander Wang’s rendition fused multiple spring trends into one piece: pastel pink, men’s shirting cotton and with a loose silhouette, which happened to look more appropriate for snoozing, not jogging. While decidedly more athletic, Stella McCartney’s popular line for adidas showed running shorts in sophisticated cuts and textures, some worn over corresponding yoga leggings.  (Side note: When it comes to actual exercise gear, nothing is as chic as the adidas by Stella McCartney collection. Every release features ultra-stylish pieces with the most up-to-date performance fabrics. McCartney’s long-running collaboration with the sportswear giant can inspire the laziest couch potato to become a workout queen. Find her high style gear at Dick’s Sporting Goods.)

Peel back the layers

Get feet sandal ready with a softening soak and pumice stone. A regularly scheduled foot bath of Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil is your best course (coarse – ha!) of action. Shop for eco-friendly bath & body products at Three Rivers Co-op.</p><div><p>Get your limbs in tip-top shape by incorporating dry brushing into your daily beauty regime. A long-time beauty ritual of European ladies, dry brushing is an effective and inexpensive way to regularly slough dead skin cells as well as stimulate circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage. The process is simple: Using a natural bristle body brush, make long sweeps over dry skin starting at the feet and always moving toward the heart. At the tummy, move the brush counterclockwise. The strokes should feel invigorating, not harsh, so use a light touch until you get the technique down and know how much pressure to apply. Do this daily before your shower and you’ll be glowing in no time! TJ Maxx carries quality bath & body tools that won’t break the bank.


The gym totes at the adidas by Stella McCartney presentation captured this athletic aesthetic perfectly. Lightweight fabrics in a sophisticated palette with functional pockets and panels are chic enough to be used as casual day bags. Cases in point: the Yoga Bag, the Small Gym Bag and the Swim Bag.

Chanel showed an artsy backpack with lots of … flair. While it’s a tad hideous (and hideously expensive at $3,400), it can serve as inspiration for a fun DIY project. Adorn a plain backpack in a pastel hue with pins, pretty zipper pulls and perhaps some doodles with fabric markers. Bedazzled with a few sequins or chunky stones, it’d be a custom and funky knapsack for errands and the gym. Hedgehog Press is a fab local resource for custom prints on canvas bags. Enlist their expertise for high quality, bespoke results using old-world techniques and machines.

For a literal take on the athletic trend, slip on a visor as seen on the models at  DKNY and Kate Spade. Marni upped their adaptation with chunky jewels. Get crafty and bejewel your own. Find blank visors at Lids in the Glenbrook Square mall.

As they become more ubiquitous, activity trackers have also received a stylish update. The Nike FuelBand now comes in a limited edition, rose-gold option while the Misfit Shine actually looks like a piece of jewelry and can be worn as a necklace, watch or brooch. Keep eyes peeled for more and more options as the popularity of these trackers rise. Check them out at Best Buy and Target.

Trainers, sneakers, tennis shoes, whatever you call them, now appear in a wider variety of saturated colors and designs, vintage styles becoming more and more popular. More lifestyle than performance-based, these sneakers can be worn with loose pants, tailored and cropped trousers and even skirts and dresses. Metallic Vans, the re-released Stan Smith by adidas (in men’s sizes so go about 2 sizes down) and color blocked New Balance. Von Maur’s selection of athletic and lifestyle sneakers is extensive with tons of colorful options.

Slide on tube socks or leg warmers with collegiate stripes as seen on the Prada runway. Check out Standing Ovation Dance Wear and Soccer Plus (conveniently located across a parking lot from each other) for authentic accouterments like colorful wrist bands, leg warmers, sport bags and hats.

This season’s sunnies are sporty in vivid colors, see-through acetate and in ’80s throwback shield styles. Aviators, never not in style, look fresh with colorful mirrored lenses. Local eyewear boutique, Cunningham Optical, carries a wide selection of major designer brands.

The dress

Athletic-inspired dresses are back in a big way but with seriously stylish details. Tommy Hilfiger’s trademark preppy style featured polo dresses cut from neoprene-bonded leather, color blocked and with contrast zippers. Lisa Perry’s all-white, tennis-inspired collection featured crisp and sexy dresses that would look right at home either on or off the courts – lithe tennis body not included. Victoria Beckham’s dresses also gave a nod to tennis by allowing the classic white pleats to peek out underneath smooth silhouettes with a slight kick. Shop for preppy classics with a twist by Hilfiger at Macy’s.

First appeared in the March 2014 issue of Fort Wayne Monthly.


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