Fashion is an ever- changing landscape of trends. Some looks linger for years, but there are times when designers take us in an entirely different direction with new shapes and lengths. Now is that time.
Lean pieces such as skinny pants and fitted, above-the knee pencil skirts have given way to what has been called "sporty chic."
The new silhouette is fuller and more relaxed. It's sporty in the sense that elements usually found in fitness gear — soft jerseys, forgiving knits, elastic closings, cords and straps — are incorporated into fashion meant for outside the gym.
Take, for instance, an Alice + Olivia drop waist dress from AJ's Casuals in a soft pointelle knit with a fresh navy-and-white stripe.
"It's an easy look to wear," said Kristin Baehler, co-owner of the Lexington boutique. "You can dress it up or down. It's more of a relaxed feeling for spring or summer."
Moto jackets, a carryover from seasons past, come in lighter fabrics to cap off spring looks. Jenny Lowe, a merchandise team manager at Macy's at Fayette Mall, suggests pairing a lightweight moto jacket "with a chic summer dress or a blouse and soft pants for a fun and sporty look."
The season's new pant is indeed softer, often in a loose, draped jersey with elastic at the ankles. Anthropologie calls them "joggers"; the company's Harper style features zippered pockets at the hip.
Anthropologie's Maleo high-low tee with a beautiful bird print is a great example of an easy-fit top that will go from work to an evening out.
One of the strongest pieces in this season of sporty looks is the comfort shoe. From couture houses such as Gucci to mid-priced brands like Marni, models walked the runways in Birkenstock-like sandals. At Zara, the Spanish fashion retailer with a cult following, you'll find them bejeweled; Derek Lam offers them in a leopard print calf hair.
John's New Classic Shoes in Lexington offers flat sandals by Mephisto in an eye-catching metallic blue. A strappy style from Tsubo is available in a red and tan design with white soles.
Soft knit fabrics, easy draped lines, flowing tops and shoes that feel good enough to wear from morning to night are just a few reasons to rejoice that spring finally has arrived.
Lowe, the Macy's manager, summed it up: "This season's silhouettes are all about light and airy pieces and comfort."
Harriett Hendren: (859) 231-3175. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @harrietthendren.