All Sewn Up

By Sharon Mosley

March 7, 2008 3 min read


Spring dresses go to great lengths to please

By Sharon Mosley

Copley News Service

After years of wearing the pants and bringing home the bacon, women are finally flocking to the frocks in droves. Forget those cute little baby-doll smocks. The dress department is back for women who want sophisticated looks that go places from day to night.

This easy style is never more important than in warmer weather when one-step dressing is a breeze, whether you're vacationing on the ocean or rushing to your next client meeting.

But since there are so many different kinds of dresses out there now to choose from, here's a refresher course on the latest styles. And believe me, there's something for everyone no matter what your age.

- The soft dress. This is the breezy part. In soft silhouettes of silk, chiffon, georgette, tulle or organza, these dresses may be best to wear at parties, but they all go with the flow with their fluid layers. Ruffles are another way to incorporate some girly charm into these soft dresses. Top them off with harder pieces like blazers and coats for even more versatility.

- The printed dress. Garden party florals, artistic painterly prints, abstract graphic designs all get big and bold in this spring's dress collections. Sweeps of vibrant color are mixed and matched in everything from demure petals to exaggerated pop art. Take your pick, but just be sure you don't overdo it.

- The shift dress. Another classic that was de rigueur in the era of Audrey Hepburn and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," it's a style that never seems to go out of style. If you have the figure to wear this classic, then go for it. This spring, instead of black, go for a bright orange or hot pink. For dressier occasions, think layers of lace.

- The one-shoulder dress. You can't miss with this silhouette, especially as a party dress. The asymmetrical look was all over the fall 2008 runways, too. Tone down the accessories with this striking look; just add earrings and big bangles.

- The shirtdress. Another tried-and-true classic that often focuses on the waist. But with all the belt options out there now, you can easily make this dress work for you in several different ways with thin belts, wider looks or even a great-looking scarf.

- The swing dress. OK, who says you have to wear a belt? There are a few designers out there who love the breezy trapezy look of a dress that swings out a little from the shoulders and - wow! - is the ultimate in comfort and style.

- The maxi dress. Harking back to the groovy '70s, this long floor-length dress showing up in many collections this spring speaks of free and flowing days and nights. In flower power prints, it's the best.

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