Erica Chats: Spring into Summer Fashion

Trendy and timeless pieces to add to your wardrobe

Left: Photographed by Revolution Studios. Right: Life is short. Have fun with your wardrobe!

Fashion trends are forever changing. As much as we’d love to go on a shopping spree every season, that’s not realistic, so look for trendy items with a timeless appeal. Pick versatile pieces that will carry over from spring to summer and become closet staples for years to come.

Wide-leg trousers: They’re flattering and keep you cool during warmer days. Neutral colors like beige, white, and light grey will be popular this season. I have satin trousers that I’ve had for years, and they never go out of style.

Eco-friendly fabrics: With a growing focus on sustainability, clothing made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton and linen is exploding in popularity. These fabrics are great for the planet and super comfortable. You feel like you’re cuddled in clouds! I picked up a lightweight sweatsuit that’s great for a chilly day or a cool summer night. A must have for flying or road trips.

Bold prints: Floral, geometric, abstract — bold prints are making a big comeback! OK … they never went out of style in my world. My husband chuckles at some of my choices because they are loud, but I say fashion should be fun. Life is hard sometimes, so embrace silliness and individuality with your wardrobe.

Neon blazers and comfy sneakers pull double duty. Dress them up or down for a variety of looks.

Pastel and earth tones: Soft pastels and warm earth tones are easy to mix and match, making them versatile for any wardrobe and easy to reuse season after season. I will be bouncing back and forth from bold patterns to soft pastels all year.

Bucket hats: Both practical and stylish, bucket hats have been hot for a few years, and they’re not going anywhere. I prefer a wider brim for added sun protection. Boutiques around the Triangle are brimming with affordable options.

Lightweight blazers: A perfect transitional piece, lightweight blazers can be dressed up or down and pair with just about anything, giving you many ways to be stylish day or night. Try one with jean shorts, a tucked top, and heels! Look for vibrant colors or pastel shades to make a statement. I’m loving neon!

Sustainable sneakers: Sneakers are also here to stay, no matter the occasion. Dress them up or dress down. I’m always on the hunt for a white sneaker to pair with dresses and a blazer. Eco-friendly options made from recycled materials are on the rise this season!

Strappy sandals: A summer staple, strappy sandals in bold colors or with unique details will be particularly on trend this season. They’re perfect for dressing up any summer outfit. I like to buy one or two great pairs and basically wear them until the straps fall off. Also, if I love them and they’re affordable, I’ll sometimes grab a duplicate pair for when they wear out.

Cutouts and asymmetry: Asymmetrical designs and creative cutouts will be popular for their uniqueness and flair. You’ll see eye-catching examples everywhere — dresses, tops, and even swimwear. I picked up an inexpensive swimsuit with cutouts this year that covers all the right spots but still looks cute.

Neon blazers and comfy sneakers pull double duty. Dress them up or down for a variety of looks.

Bermuda shorts: Longer than your typical shorts but still casual and cool for the summer, pair them with a blazer or a loose tee for a relaxed look. Microscopic shorts might be “hot” this season too, but they don’t work in an office setting (or ever for me anymore).

Statement accessories: Oversized sunglasses, bold earrings, and chunky necklaces will be huge, especially paired with more neutral outfits. I try to do a big earring with a bangle or a chunky necklace with smaller earrings.

Sheer fabrics: Items featuring sheer fabrics will be popular and great for layering. I’m not a fan of showing my arms, so I love to layer a lightweight sleeve under a sleeveless dress.

And just a few more staples to keep on hand: A white summer dress and a black dress that you can transition from day to evening. A gold shoe with a chunky heel that can go both casual and dressy. A classic clutch to throw with any outfit. And something jean, which never goes out of style.

Thoughtfully chosen pieces don’t go stale. As I write this, I’m wearing a 12-year-old top — and proud of it. Buy pieces you truly love, and reinvent them as styles change from season to season and year to year. Share your favorite outfits! @EricaDeLong

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