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It’s almost spring! Spruce up that wardrobe

Tired of your deep freeze fashions? Style editor Judy Gordon shares the best bets for stepping out after the long, cold winter season.
/ Source: TODAY

There may still be a few weeks of winter ahead of us, but it’s spring at your local department store! Time to head out and check out the trends. What do you look for? What should you avoid? Whether you want to buy early for the best selections or you’re just looking for a little pick-me-up to take you into the new season, you'll find everything you need to know about spring 2006 right here in the latest edition of The Trend Report!

Pretty baby

Paris Ready to wear spring summer 2006 Andrew_GN_ October 2005Firstview

Romance is in the air, and for spring it takes shape in ethereal confections in white cotton and lace, accented with crocheted and embroidered details. Like a princess out of a fairy tale, you'll shine in a beautifully embellished Victorian-inspired blouse, which you'll pair with everything from jeans to work suits. Take it a step further and go for the beauty of a romantic white dress made modern in a sleek chemise or shirtdress style. But remember, a little goes a long way ... pick up one or two romantic white pieces and keep all other accessories to a minimum.

Trend Tip: The flip side of the "Pretty Baby" romantic trend is the "Wild Child" goth girl all dressed in black. This rock chic look is a fun mix of skull and crossbones motifs worn with jeans and black lace. Stay tuned!

Shift into neutral
Spring's sleek and polished neutral trend offers a nice counterbalance to all that romantic white (although — trendista

READY TO WEAR SPRING SUMMER 2006 Milano september 24th to october 1st 2005 BURBERRYFirstview

alert! — the two trends do work well together). Get the look by mixing the key pieces — a shirt, a slim sweater, a jacket, a pair of shorts and a pleated skirt — in varying neutral tones ranging from khaki to tan to brown to olive, spiced with pale yellow and leaf green. Then luxe it up with your choice of fabulous accessories in rich brown leather or trendy metallic gold.

Trend Tip: Must-have neutral pieces for the spring season include a wide, waist-cinching belt in tan or brown (wear it over dresses as well as with separates) and a pair of chic brown leather sandals with stacked wooden heels.

Dress code

NEW YORK Fashion week_september 2005 _Ready to wear Spring summer 2006_ CALVIN KLEINFirstview

If there's one consistent message this spring that impacts all the trends, it's that the dress reigns supreme. You'll find so many to choose from: romantic, ruffled dresses in cotton and lace, sleek wrap dresses in silk jersey geometric prints, mod '60s-inspired shifts in bright color clashes, ultra-professional shirtdresses in khaki cotton twill, charming baby doll dresses in layers of silk charmeuse, gorgeous printed floral dresses that were made for afternoon tea, and more. Indulge!

Trend Tip: Just about every spring dress style will look new and modern with a "heavier" shoe like a stacked-heel sandal or a wedge heel. No stilettos, please!

Anchors away
This year's "prep" story is a luxe one indeed — we love the look of yacht-worthy sportswear with a nautical twist! This trend

NEW YORK Fashion week_september 2005 _Ready to wear Spring summer 2006_ RALPH LAURENFirstview

goes from the office to the weekend with ease. Start with the navy captain's jacket, add a crisp white shirt, a striped tee in a red/white or blue/white combination or a polo shirt. Pair with a great skirt or shorts. Relax the look a bit with a pair of cropped khakis or jeans, a leather/rope belt and quintessential summer espadrilles. Stylish and smart!

Trend Tip: Take this trend from frumpy to fabulous in two ways. Accessorize with either a bold metallic gold leather in a wide belt or a woven handbag, or try shiny patent leather in red, blue, white or black. Wow!

NEW YORK Fashion week_september 2005 _Ready to wear Spring summer 2006_ MICHAEL KORSFirstview

Trend Tip: One great Western-inspired trend to grab right now is the "spring boot" in rich brown leather with a stacked heel and a slightly Western twang. They're brand new (don't expect to find them on sale) and they look great with skirts or dresses and tights. Wear them now and on into spring!

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.

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