Chic & The City, Vol. 2

Don’t let the over-the-top presentations at the recently completed New York Fashion Week fool you. Sure, the dramatic runway backdrops featured everything from hedonistic and Goth themes to busted-up RVs and sewer pipes as props, but the actual designer offerings for Spring 2014 proved comparatively anticlimactic in their minimalism.

Nearly all the collections—Calvin Klein (above), Reed Karkoff, Proenza Schouler, Oscar de la Renta and street favorites like Sachin + Bibi among them—incorporated white, and plenty of it. Though the overall hue was toned down, pastels and brights like yellow, electric blue and burnt earthy oranges did have their moments (like the Ralph Lauren, below). Color blocking is still in business, as well.

Prints also are a big deal in the seasons to come—florals, geometric abstracts (like the Ralph Lauren, below) and over-the-top huge motifs for the brave hearted.

After processing the best (and worst) from Fashion Week, here are my seven sartorial must-haves, guaranteed to help you connect the dots from runway to reality—regardless of your tax bracket.

1. Sheer drama: Blouses, dresses, skirts can be sheer all the way, or a solid piece can have juxtaposed sheer panels. Either way, the gossamer effect can tell a romantic story by adding oodles of feminine grace. (Above: Carolina Herrera)

2. Cream of the crop: Crop tops are staying; look no further than this Trina Turk offering (above). The good news: There is plenty of time before spring to start working on those crunches.

3. A bright trench: Classicists can rest assured the staple beige favorite isn’t going out of style any time soon. But since black and white is back, why not team a monochrome tee with a bright red or yellow trench, like this one from Ralph Lauren, to reach a whole new level of drama? 

4. Metallic mavens: Bring on the shine with silk or satin separates; or, if you want to go metallic from head to toe for the holidays, go for it. Just make sure it has a muted sheen so you don’t look like you’re competing with tinsel. (Above: Marissa)

5. Yin and yang: Black and white can never be boring, which is why so many designers worked with these staples for spring 2014. Mix this trend up with prints, colors or patterns—any way you wear it, the monochrome chemistry can safely be set in stone for spring.

6. Saved by the bell: Remember bell sleeves? I saw a few designers use these in a modern context creating a look of urban tribalism. The result: nothing short of fabulous. Dig in to your closet; see if you can resurrect some pieces and have a seamstress put a different spin on them; you’ll be amazed. (Above: Anna Sui)

7. The mini: Fitted, flared skirts or dresses can be easy to wear for the day or evening. As the mercury may precariously drop, the flared mini still retains the charm quotient with stockings and dress boots. 

About Jo
Jyoti “Jo” Peswani loves how fashion spices up life. A former Floridian, she’s a seasoned fashion and lifestyle journalist who recently relocated to the New York metro area. When she’s not writing about trends, designers and the vibrant NYC scene, she helps businesses with marketing, strategy and writing through her company The Idea Is {In}. Ideas are her business; fashion is her passion. Look for "Chic & the City" every third Monday at bocamag.com.