What's In Style

By Nicole Reino

March 7, 2008 4 min read

SPRING-SUMMER FASHION AND PROM 2008

What's in style

By Nicole Reino

Copley News Service

HELLO YELLOW

This happy-go-lucky hue is coloring anything and everything fashion-related this spring. Banana yellow, egg yolk yellow, mustard yellow, sunny yellow, traffic light yellow, rubber ducky yellow - there will be yellow and lots of it.

Sound too bright? Yes, if you suit up, head to toe, in the vivid color. The key to pulling off yellow is offsetting it with a neutral color. Yellow watch, black dress. Yellow dress, brown shoes. Yellow top, beige pants.

Just be sure to avoid the never-attractive bumble bee look that comes from wearing black and yellow stripes. Jerry Seinfeld as a cartoon bee might look cute in black and yellow stripes, but be certain that you will not.

STYLISH BOOKS

Of the dozens of new fashion books I've entertained in the last few months, these three top my list of "must reads":

- "Just Try It On! A Month By Month Guide To Shopping and Style" by Susan Redstone (Citadel, $15.95).

This is where you'll find the inside scoop on how to score the season's hottest items. It also includes the annual merchandising schedule, which reveals that January is prime time for workout clothes and spring coats while September unveils handbags and party dresses. It'll also tell you how to find the most fabulous styles for less than $150.

- "The Black Dress" by Valerie Steele (Collins Designs, $19.95).

Christian Dior once said, "I could write a book about black." Valerie Steele did. She reveals that, surprisingly, Coco Chanel's "little black dress" plays only a small part in past life of fashionable black. This book delves much deeper into the fascinating history and symbolism of the color as it relates to the fashion world.

- "Paris Chic and Trendy" by Adrienne Ribes-Tiphaine (Little Bookroom, $14.95).

"Paris Chic and Trendy" is a guide - complete with stunning photography by Sandrine Alouf - to 54 of the city's best boutiques and vintage stores. If you don't already understand why Paris is the most fashionable city in the world, you will after thumbing through this book.

WELCOME THE WAISTLINE BACK

The waistline is returning to women's fashion.

Designers such as Alex Perry, Karl Lagerfeld, Donna Karan and Valentino have stocked their spring and summer lines with glamorous fashions that exploit the true waistline. Fitted shirts, belted tops and frocks, and wrap dresses are seeing the light of day (a welcomed change from the sack-like T-shirt dresses and empire tops that do nothing for the waist).

Brands such as bebe, BCBG, Isaac Mizrahi for Target and Banana Republic have followed the high-end designers' leads, and are offering up their own versions of the nipped at the waist trend.

If you have an hourglass or "Barbie doll" figure, or wish to portray that shape, snatch up as much of this waistline-loving apparel as possible while it's around.

ROLLED UP

There comes a time in every man's life when he has to make a decision: rolled or unrolled? This spring's trends would tell him to roll up his shorts, shirts, sweatshirts and even his swim trunks, but I'm not so sure he should listen.

Wearing too many rolled-up items at one time can tend to look a bit matchy-matchy. Beyond that, it's distracting. Look at the guy in the photo. It's difficult to focus on his face because of all the bulk at his knees and elbows. This outfit would have been more flattering had he left the shorts alone.

My tip: If you're into the rolled-up look, pick one article of clothing to roll and leave the rest to lay flat. It'll give you a much more polished look.

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Nicole Reino writes a weekly fashion column called "The Bias Cut" for the San Diego Union-Tribune's online magazine, UTStreet.com.

Visit Copley News Service at www.copleynews.com.

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