Ahh, spring. There’s so much to love about the season. Longer days, warmer nights, the landscape that seems to change color almost overnight. Everything just seems to come alive, and fashion is no exception. Clothes are lighter, brighter, and there’s a new attitude about how to dress. Peeling away all those layers of clothes feels good. Like a breath of fresh air.

It’s true; some of last year’s looks are still lingering … tribal prints … lace … black and white, but they’re now being interpreted in different ways. Tribal has moved into accessories; lace is sheer, ethereal; bold black and white minimalism is still in the mix, but what we’re loving right now are ’70s-inspired black and white print dresses in soft, sheer fabrics.

And the shape of fashion has changed this season, which is always big news. The fitted peplum, usually paired with a narrow skirt or pant, has been replaced (finally) with a top that’s cropped, boxy, and begs for a longer, fuller skirt, or perhaps a cropped pant. (Yes, pants have gotten shorter and skirts have gotten longer.)

And there’s a real push-pull this season, with soft, delicate pastels fighting with the boldest colors, in active wear fabrics, for closet space. And speaking of active wear, the sports-inspired look takes workout wear out of the yoga studio and into the street. Then there’s the well-tailored menswear look and art-inspired prints. A touch of sheer here, a lot of shine there.

But where to begin? Begin by taking stock of what you own, literally. Say goodbye to whatever didn’t work last year, or is past its expiration date style-wise, and update what did work with a few trends that are right for you, your lifestyle, and your body type.

And if you do decide to step outside your comfort zone, with, say, a cropped top or a bit of fringe, do it in a way that suits your personal style. After all, how you wear your clothes is just as important as the clothes you wear. Wouldn’t you agree?

Here are some of the trends we’ll be wanting to wear this spring:

The Crop Top … It’s the New Short Story: This is not your midriff-baring, risky business, get-yourself-to-the-gym kind of crop top. The ones we love are boxier, graze the waistband, and play just as nicely with a slim trouser as they do with a voluminous skirt. Layer it over a longer, flowy top, or with a high-waisted pant. Either way, it’s this season’s game changer.

Pastels … Perfect! Oh, how we love pastels. Light, petal-pretty, and baby’s breath soft. We love them all. Lilac, mint green, pale pink, baby blue, and blush. Wear one shade head to toe, mix a pastel with white for a more polished look. Nothing says spring like pastels. Nothing. Are we smiling? You bet.

Painterly Prints … Wear Your Art on Your Sleeve: Don’t consider yourself a print person? Would rather play it safe with solids? If you were ever going to take the print plunge, this is the time to do it! These prints are great splashes of color, graphic designs, bold visual effects …masterpieces! Art-inspired prints. A stroke of genius.

Take a Shine to It: This season it’s more about shimmer and shine than bling. And if you think shine is for evening only, think again. A glimmering, gold halter top, worn with white cigarette pants, link bracelets (stacked, of course), and your favorite aviator sunglasses is so modern, yet so Jackie-O!

Fringe Benefits: Go on. Live on the fringe. Go with the flow. Don’t fight it because it’s everywhere. On hems, handbags, sleeves. We prefer our fringe as an accent (sorry, Stevie Nicks), peeking out from the hem of a skirt, edging a jacket or sweater, or as trim on a clutch. But if you dare to go there, you’ll find fringe gives everything momentum, feels almost flirty, and makes you want to twirl. Ok. Maybe just a little Stevie Nicks.

Be a Good Sport: Here’s where brights come into play. Gym-worthy, sporty styles in Crayola colors are making a huge splash this season. Think neon green, orange, or red, color-blocked with a contrasting color, say turquoise, and you get the picture. A color-saturated dress in neoprene, with a sheer back or side panels, looks almost sculptured. This trend is fresh and fun, and came out of left field. It quite frankly, has us cheering. Isn’t that what fashion is supposed to do? Go team go!

We understand if all this trend talk is a bit overwhelming. We feel the same way. But here’s how we feel about trends. Not all trends are equal, less is more, and they’re only worth following if they work with your personal style. And if you’re unsure about what does, or like a trend, but you’re not quite sure how to wear it, that’s where Flutter comes in.

We can help you transform last year’s wardrobe with a few key pieces. And some of the trends of the season, the ones you’ll see in the magazines, will never find their way into your closet, or even into our store. Hawaiian prints? I don’t think so. Midriff baring tops? Never. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find bold prints and crop tops at Flutter. So whether you want to set trends, follow them, or just want beautiful clothes, find whatever you’re looking for at Flutter!

Flutter Boutique, 20 South Main Street, Pennington. 609-737-2236.

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