Spring 2011 Fashion Trends

With the insane 70 degree weather we’ve been getting here in Norman, I know that springtime is on everyone’s mind despite it still being February. The sunny skies, birds chirping, and warm breeze make anything besides sitting on the patio of the Library (and I’m not talking about Bizzell) seem like a daunting task.

With changing weather comes a change in trends, which can sometimes be tricky to navigate. Thoughts such as “should I throw away my skinny jeans?” “is floral print still cool?” and “dear God, when will overalls make their triumphant comeback?” may or may not have crosses your mind. This is where I step in: here’s a breakdown of predicted trends for the spring, my thoughts on them, and a few tips and tricks for pulling them off.

The overall theme for this season is a 70’s revival. Floppy hats, crocheted vests, bell bottoms, and platform sandals will all be huge, along with fringy bangs, feathered hair, and natural-looking makeup. For some real-life inspiration, check out photos of Susan Dey, Farrah Fawcett, Cher, and the girls on Three’s Company for some faboosh looks.

Fashion for the spring and summer is also influenced by 90’s grunge. Flannel shirts never go out of style, but don’t be afraid to pair you favorite one with cargo pants, combat boots, or ripped jeans. Although this comeback was started a few years ago, expect it to hit middle America with full force this year.

Maxi Dresses and Skirts

Maxi dresses are hot again this season and the fashion industry is taking another stab and making maxi skirts mainstream. I love these because they’re so relaxed and comfortable, but they still look like you put some effort into what you’re wearing. Pair a printed dress or skirt with a denim jacket for a Nicole Richie-esque look, with sunnies and a huge hat for a bohemian vibe, and always a mane of messy hair.


Sweaters, ponchos, vests, bikinis, shawl, you name it–crocheted fabrics will be everywhere. They add a nice bohemian flair to any outfit. The easiest way to work this trend with a loosely crocheted sweater. They’re warmth is perfect for fickle springtime days. Pull one over a colorful tank top, leather belt, your favorite skinny jeans, and a pair of riding boots.


Fringe, denim, crocheted, and suede vests are all sure to flood hallways and streets alike this season. Consistent with both 90’s and 70’s trends, you can take a vest and style it to channel either a hippie-chic or grungy vibe. Wear it with a patterned dress if you’re daring, or a white t-shirts and pair of jeans for a more tame look.

Wide Leg Pants and Bell Bottoms

A staple of any girl living in the 70’s was a chic pair of bell bottoms. These jeans flare more at the calf and foot than boot cut jeans do, and make your butt look tiny. Wide leg jeans are hot this season too, and are so refreshing after seeing all and only skinny jeans for the last 3 years. These pants look great with any kind of shoes, from platforms to stilettos and sandals to flats.

Tail Hems

Dresses that are longer in the back than the front have been hot on the red carpet for awhile, but this season they’re hitting the streets in casual dresses. Last week while designing my friend’s gown to an elegant event we have here on campus called Foga, I pinned and tacked her dress to perfection with the chicest tail hem you can imagine. She insisted I hack it off, but the style makes your legs look tiny and adds an unexpected edge to an everyday outfit.

Belt Purse

So, a “belt purse” really is just a synonym for “fanny pack,” but nonetheless I couldn’t be more excited that these are going to be considered cool again! I hate going out with big purses–my hands need to be free! This way you can keep your essentials (wallet, phone, keys, camera, Chapstick) nearby but with minimal baggage. Don’t bother digging up the ugly North Face fanny pack from 8th grade–high end designers (and Forever 21) offer a chic variety to choose from.

Cat Eye Sunglasses

Thank god those god-awful buggie eyed sunglasses have been banished from runways. Cat eye sunglasses come in every color and at every price point, and give even the most basic pair of jeans and a t-shirt a retro vibe. They come in subtle and extreme spaceman versions, so pick up a few cheap pairs from a kiosk at the mall to suit your mood for the day.


The perfect companion to a pair of bell bottoms is a pair of high heeled clogs. Don’t bother with your clunky Birkenstock pair from middle school (oddly, these shoes, flared jeans, and my North Face fanny pack was my uniform back when I was 14–crazy how these things are all cool again). Find a pair with a thick heel, but not a wedge. They look rad with short and long skirts as well!

Jumpsuits and Rompers

Throwing back to the 70’s, a jumpsuit can be insanely sexy–if you’re 5’8 and skinny. A romper is the jumpsuit’s first cousin, and is much easier to pull those of us not built for the runway. Wear a romper with heels if you’re short, and belted if you have some curves. They’re fun, and sexy in a laid-back sort of way.

Cropped Tops

This trend piggy backs on 90’s style, but keep it modern by pairing it with high waisted pants or a pencil skirt. It you have the abs and the confidence to show some skin, flaunt the sexy sliver right under your ribcage. Showing you’re belly button looks really juvenile and trashy. Try layering a tank top underneath for extra coverage.

Now I want to know what you think…are you going to try out any of these trends? Which ones do you think are flattering, and which ones do you think are ridiculous? Let me know by leaving a comment!


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One Response to Spring 2011 Fashion Trends

  1. raven says:

    please tell me who made the cat eye classes Nicole Richie is wearing in this article. thanks.

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