Northwest Fashionista

Fashion and fun don’t always go together in the Pacific wind and rain. In fact, getting motivated to wear anything besides athletic wear can be a style puzzler. So, what is the Northwest Fashionista up against? A closet full of clothes with nothing to wear; and how does she define the trends and translate “In Vogue” design elements?

Who is the Northwest Fashionista anyway?

“She is interested in being unique in her style,” says Patricia Zanger Bonnet, boutique owner.

“She’s independent, vintage inspired and versatile,” according to Sarah Bibb, a Portland fashion designer.

I say, “She’s an ambitious woman who dresses to dazzle at home, work and play.”

What do you think? Do you have an inner fashionista who needs a little fun? Let’s take on fashion and discover a few simple how-to strategies with five fun fashion trends for spring and summer.

Bold Color: Bright, bold colors are everywhere and on everything, even pants. Pants? Yes, pants with bold colors are intimidating. So start small – wear a bold colored chunky watch, shoes and a skinny belt. Give your inner fashionista permission to live a little with colors like tangy tangerine, lemon yellow and passion pink. Whee, feels like fun already.

Floral prints, painterly patterns and polka dots: This trend can be tricky. Floral prints and painterly patterns can overwhelm the figure and take over your personal style. Be sure to keep this trend in check – wear a floral or painterly print on a lovely dress or scarf and keep polka dots on shorts, bikini and/or a cute summer tunic top or blouse. Want to know what feels really good? Shop your closet for these trends first before spending any money. Yippee.

Retro and vintage inspired: ’20s, ’40s, ’60s and ’70s trends are revisited in all areas of fashion this year. Want to be a Lucy and Desi look-alike? No problem. Portland is chock-full of vintage boutiques with great fashion finds, and dare I say this again? Fun … hee hee.

Wedge ’70s shoe: Buy a pair. Why? Because this is a shoe you will wear with everything this year. Try on a traditional leather style or make a wide fashion turn and choose a wedge shoe with a floral print and/or bold color.

Preppy pretty: Blazers, polo tees and ballet flats. The Northwest Fashionista can afford to invest in this trend because a blazer is classic and never goes out of style. Replace that worn out fleece zip-up with a classic blazer and feel a new sense of fashion confidence. Polo tees and ballet flats are keepers of the fashion flame and worth every penny. Find one of these in your closet or purchase one in a bold color and your inner fashion diva will smile.

Catherine Garvin, fashion writer and playwright, writes about national fashion, Portland style and Portland music for www.examiner.com. Her fashion video series, “How I Found Myself in Vogue,” recreates million dollar style for the ambitious woman who dresses to dazzle at home, work and play right from the closet. Visit her on Facebook or www.examiner.com/style-in-portland/catherine-garvin, or follow her on twitter: @CatherineGarvin.

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