By Debra Simon


"Oh, this old thing? I just threw it on!"
This kick-backed attitude sums up a season of casual design. Whether on New York catwalks or Raleigh streets, spring trends are ultra-relaxed.


Unmatched ensembles, grunge prints, slouchy blouses, ragtag gowns, touches of whimsy and disheveled pairings are changing the dressing game. Edgy mash-ups – think both tough and sweet - have high impact. So, don't be concerned about clashing. In fact, feel free to ignore all the rules.


Unstudied ease extends to sparkly and silky materials, exposed shoulders, wide-legged pants and other voluminous elements, Spanish influences, vibrant patterns, bold stripes, slim suiting, romantic florals and nouveau denim.


    Other fresh moves include:
  • Military influence meets ladylike metallic;
  • Pajamas and lingerie slide into daywear;
  • Naughty and nice co-exist in the same outfit;
  • Sporty motifs crush into eveningwear;
  • Delicate lace graces crisp textures; and
  • Fringed, frayed and ruffled are all having their moment.


When it comes to hue, white and black are back again, sometimes appearing together. Pale neutrals also join the scene. A juicy orange and a rainbow of bright, ice cream colors as well as jewel tones, particularly blue and green, make a splash, too. Plus, there's an oh-so-sensual red.


Here are runway turns that editors at Carolina Woman are swooning over:




Denim Redux

It's not your college-dorm jeans. Denim is making the grade in designer duds for work or play.







More Is More

Rich, period looks, including Old Hollywood and Urban Thrift Shop, are trending. Retro silhouettes, including the shirtdress and vintage knits, are updated for a contemporary world.







Stripes, Ahoy!

The closet classic is showing some lucky stripes with thick swashes of bold hues. It's off to the races with carefree sportiness.








The Cat's Pajamas

Whether in cotton, satin or silk, two-piece PJ sets and lingerie have escaped from the bedroom and moved into the street. A pajama party - just where you least expect it.






Shining Bright

For gleam queens, there's nothing like the power boost of metallics. This season's bling emanates from spangles, reflective leather, crinkled silks, vintage patinas and sparkle in motion.