Part I

By Debra Simon



Self-assured. Powerful. Authoritative. In fall, designers caught the mood of American women with power dressing – career-inspired collections with commanding attitudes.


But that's so 2017! Take-charge garments have now given way to cheerful togs in a kaleidoscope of color. Spring and summer are made for fun, the arbiters of style seem to be saying. Even if things around us (think national news) aren't joyful, our clothes can be.


Here's a glance at some of the spirited and spicy looks that are trending in the Triangle.



Crayola Box

Lemon. Pink. Lavender. Blue. Lilac. The prettiest pastels, in monochromatic or colorblock configurations, are perfect for the Triangle's warm weather. Bright primary colors, such as tomato red, cobalt blue, emerald green and canary yellow, also make the scene, often in layers. Even sugared almond hues are having a moment.



Checks (also a fall holdover) and stripes are big news. Hard to imagine wearing plaid in the Triangle's heat and humidity? These easy-breezy patterns in sunny brights are summer-ready. Stripes, mostly in separates, run in all directions, including vertical, horizontal and diagonal, and designs, including pinstriped and dashed.


In Bloom

Floral frocks rocking a '60s vibe make for attention-getting garments to wear to an al fresco cocktail party or a date-night outdoor concert. These blossoms tend to be large and loud – not necessarily the pretty petals we're used to seeing in Triangle stores.


Denim Redux

Tossing on a pair of jeans to head to Crabtree Valley mall? You are so in vogue! Designers are using fancy denim pants, often high waisted and bejeweled, for everything from daytime outfits to evening attire. Jean jackets, shirts, skirts and jumpsuits are also de rigueur.


Birds of a Feather

Ruffles, feathers and fringe were strong in fall and have held on for spring. From necklines to hemlines, fringing is a major statement.


Feathers take flight in limited trimming or full-on adornment. Ruffles add a touch of femme for nights out in downtown Raleigh or Durham.




Photos courtesy Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week