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Spring 2014 trends: It's all about sophistication, and jet-setter style

By Dennise Smith
Sarah Francke
Megan Osborne wears a long wrap dress in the color of the season, coral. The dress and necklace are from Charlie. Shoes are by Yarid's.
Sarah Francke
Katie Rugeley wears a nautical-inspired navy and white-striped dress from Geraniums. Her coral peep toe pumps are from Yarid's.
Sarah Francke
Allison McComas models a printed knit tunic and earrings from Ivor's Trunk. Her strappy wedge heels are from Yarid's.
Sarah Francke
Sarah Buriss (right) wears this lovely strapless dress in mint, black and ivory pinstripe from Geraniums. At left, Megan McCullough shows off the abstract floral trend with this printed chiffon blouse and black legging from Ivor's Trunk. Accessories and shoes are by Yarid's.
Sarah Francke
The boho-luxe style is shown here by Catherine Herlihy, (left) in white jeans and a navy embroidered peasant top, and Tyonie Cooper, wearing an embroidered mini skirt and ivory chiffon blouse. The clothing is by Charlie and the accessories and shoes are by Yarid's.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Every year, at just about this time - when our dear valley lays slumbering and waiting to be reborn in April - many of us West Virginians tend to get grumpy.  This year it is particularly so. We are weary of the cold, weary of snow, sleet and rain, and especially weary of those ominous gray horizons hovering over us like the wings of some malevolent creature.  Frustrated faces turn upwards to the sky, searching for a sunbeam, and tight shoulders brace the icy wind. Fashion seems like an old flame you never expect to see again, nor care to for that matter.  Fleece leggings, parkas, sweaters and faux-fur lined boots - these are your new loves.But then, as Harriet Ann Jacobs wrote:"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumesHer loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also."For me, spring fashion has always been the sartorial antidote to seasonal affective disorder. The usual bright pops of color, breezy fabrics, and kaleidoscopic prints remind us of the proverb that no matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  This year, although some styles continue to linger from past seasons, such as the black and white graphic trend and '60s mod-styling, some fresh new contenders are emerging from the myriad of options we have. Spring 2014 is all about sophistication but carefree femininity and the global jet-setter style. Both are utterly chic in an effortless way. Here the Style Team explores a few of the more popular interpretations of these themes, all of which are available at locally-owned and operated stores in the Charleston area. Boho LuxeThe bohemian style, or some variation thereof, seems to never go away in the fashion scene.  In my opinion, the boho girl abides because it is the embodiment of the American spirit of individuality. It is the essence of freedom and youth, almost synonymous with spring and summer. This year's twist on the boho look is what has been dubbed the "Gypsy Jet Setter" or "Gypset" style. It is a more luxurious and worldly version of the hippie chick. This style was initially made popular by '60s style icon and uber-wealthy socialite Talitha Getty, who was photographed around the world wearing exotic clothing such as kaftans, silk harem pants and a beaded gypsy headdress. The gypsy jet-set style is characterized by exquisite fabrics, such as silk, linen and pima cottons, in rich, muted colors and global-inspired patterns. Opulent details, such as embroidery and beading, are the cornerstone of this look.Nautical
This classic style is hugely popular this spring, particularly the nautical stripe and, actually, stripes in general. The hottest variation of the nautical trend is rather Francophile: the navy and white striped dress with a fitted bodice and flared skirt, such as the one worn by Katie Rugeley for this article. Very Brigitte Bardot! The nautical style is taken somewhat literally in the accessories category with necklaces and earrings mimicking the shade and shape of sea coral. This trend looks great with a pop of coral or mint color, or even Kelly green for a preppier feel.
ColorNeutrals for spring 2014 are the usual navy, white and putty.  However, this season's colors are delightfully confectionary:  orange creamsicle, mint green and raspberry parfait.  If you must choose one color of spring 2014, however, it should be an orange. The phrase "Orange is the new black" is not just a Netflix series in the fashion world. Coral and deep tangerine are the most coveted shades.Must-Have SilhouetteThe skater dress or "fit and flare," as discussed above, is a sporty silhouette that is gracing the pages of virtually every fashion magazine, blog and catalog. It also happens to be a very flattering style to most body types given its gracious A-line skirt. For those of us who are curvier, opt for a skater dress made of a lighter-weight fabric that skims your lower half.  Although this style of dress tends to be sleeveless, you can find some versions with a lovely flutter sleeve if you are self-conscious about your arms.The Must-Have Pant
The ankle pant, preferably in white.  Paired with a brightly patterned tunic or blouse, this becomes the go-to look for spring. For those who are not exactly thrilled about wearing a slim-cut white pant (which, frankly, includes me!), fear not.Many of the key fashion editors are also touting the full-leg white pant in a loose silky fabric as one of the new wardrobe essentials for this season.The Must-Have PrintsFloral prints continue in popularity this year, but they are more tropical than last spring and summer. Think lush hot-house botanicals from Rio de Janiero versus peonies from the English countryside.  Another trending floral style with a distinctly cosmopolitan feel is the abstract floral, an arty and almost impressionist version of the trend. If florals are not your thing, then try one of the new Byzantine style prints as worn by Allison McComas in this shoot. This print first became popular on runways last fall albeit in darker and more gothic colors that were blended with regal metallics. Spring 2014's Byzantine prints are colorful mosaics of Mediterranean hues, such as sea foam green, azure blue and coral. These prints invoke images of lounging on the beaches of Capri in big Jackie-O sunglasses, drinking a Campari and soda. Que bella!Note: The WV Style Team would like to thank Lola's Pizza in Charleston for allowing us to use their lovely establishment to shoot photographs.
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