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Firstview / Oscar De La Renta
By Style Editor
updated 3/16/2006 3:44:32 PM ET 2006-03-16T20:44:32

It's the “year of the dress”! We love dresses for their effortless, one-stop style ... what could be easier? This spring, there are dress options for everyone, whether your style is feminine, tailored or all-out glamorous. We've rounded up the latest trends and our favorite picks right here in this week's Trend Report.


Vintage wrap
Diane von Furstenberg's iconic silk jersey wrap dresses made her a star in the '70s. With a motto of “feel like a woman, wear a dress,” the introduction of this easy, sexy style freed working women from uncomfortable, man-tailored suits and allowed them to feel comfortable and confident in their new roles. The same holds true today. This spring, Diane von Furstenberg has reissued some of her original prints under the label Diane von Furstenberg Vintage, so you can snatch up a collector's item at a within-reach price ($298). We love these colorful, Palm Beach-inspired prints, which are right in step with all the spring and summer trends!

Trend tip: You'll wear your Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress forever. Sure, you'll find lots of reinterpretations, but rest assured — you can invest with confidence in the original.

Isn't it romantic?


Ruffles, eyelet and lace, oh my! The romantic trend is coming on strong. It seems like almost every dress is bedecked with romantic trimmings from shirtdresses and wraps to sundresses, slip dresses and more. Take our advice: a little goes a long way. We love the look of the kimono-inspired dress lightly trimmed with delicate crocheted lace (Gibson, $98) — it's just enough to touch upon the trend without turning you into a bodice-heaving heroine of a paperback romance novel. By the way, there's no need to stick to white for your romantic fix. You'll find lace- and ruffle-bedecked, Victorian-inspired dresses in pretty feminine colors like blue and lavender, bohemian-inspired styles in brights and earthy neutrals and goth-girl downtown looks in black lace.

Trend tip: This year, even the most feminine of romantic styles are being worn with chunky wooden-heeled sandals in leather or platform wedges.


New jersey
It's a shirt, it's a dress ... it's the new, affordably priced Norma Kamali collection for Spiegel! A pioneer of easy, pack-and-go style, Kamali's fluid rayon dresses and separates have been an (expensive) favorite of trendistas for decades. She's now bringing her unique fashion philosophy to the masses via Spiegel, and we love it. You'll find more than a dozen interchangeable pieces in rayon jersey that can be worn as tops, dresses, skirts and more, like this fabulous shirtdress ($89) that also looks great over a simple jersey top and wide-legged pants. Speaking of which, the shirtdress is a wonderful choice for working women, no matter what the fabric. It's your ticket to instant polished and tailored style.

Trend tip: The shirtdress looks fantastic when worn with one of spring's must-have wide leather belts cinched at the waist. Add a pair of sandals and you're a walking fashion statement.

The empire strikes back


Looking for something feminine and more than a little sexy? The empire dress, which is cut right below the bust, is a flattering choice for many women. It makes the most of your assets while minimizing potential problem areas like the waistline and hips. This spring you'll find lots of empire dresses with V-necked halter tops (another hot trend). You'll also find this style in some of the season's most enchanting prints from colorful, garden-party florals to mod geometrics to ethnic-inspired motifs. In solid black, it's your new Little Black Dress. And if you want to get even more “girly” opt for an empire halter dress with a full, sweeping skirt (think Marilyn Monroe). It's one of the most glamorous looks of the season.

Trend tip: The long (to the ankle or floor) dress is a big summer trend for even the most casual of occasions (Corey Lynn Calter, $228). Just add earrings and a pair of flat sandals and go!


Here comes the sun
Make the most of the dress trend this summer with the bare, ray-loving sundress. The classic, feminine “frock” is going to be one of your easiest ways to beat the heat while looking fresh, feminine and stylish — and you don't have to spend an arm and leg in the process. We love this cheerful print dress ($118) for all of its pretty touches from the wrapped bodice to the slimming inset waist and the breezy full skirt. This is the dress at its simplest but most powerful — the essence of femininity. Just add a few bangles, a pair of sandals and perhaps a fantastic straw hat and you're ready to shine. Pick up a few in a range of prints and enjoy the season.

Trend tip: Add a little color to your arms and legs safely with a self-tanning moisturizer. Then you glow, girl!  

Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and the “Today” show’s style editor. She has been covering the fashion and beauty beat for the past decade. To learn more about Gordon, you can visit her Web site, TheTrendReport.com, which highlights style trends in America and across the world.

firstVIEW is the primary supplier of photos to Fashion Friday. Go to www.firstVIEW.com for the latest pictures from top fashion shows around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Milan, Brazil, New Zealand, South Korea and more.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints


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