Every season sees a fresh cycle of fashion trends that are often as fleeting (polka dots, anyone?) as they are exciting to take part in day to day (wide-legged pants are back!). This time around, however, there are fashion selections with major staying power such as bomber jackets, cropped denim and the new statement necklace. They're becoming part of the canon of fashion fixtures (à la the little black dress and the beige trench coat) and ubiquitous as wardrobe game-changers, bound to hang around long after spring bids us farewell. With the new season days away, it's time to plan to have a style affair with these seven sartorial selections.
Recently spotted: At Balmain, Givenchy, Lanvin and Versace's spring 2015 runways and since then on celebrities such as Rihanna and models Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid and from designers such as Fallon and Jacquie Aiche.
Staying power: "Chokers are a game-changer," says Red Godfrey, vice president of the fashion office for Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom, "because we're seeing a great evolution in jewelry away from delicate Y-necks and pendants." Proof that the choker style is continuing? Dries van Noten added purple feather chokers to his fall 2016 collection.
How to best wear them: "Since a choker draws the eye to the neck immediately, it's important that you feel good about your neck," says Penny Lovell, Los Angeles-based fashion stylist to Anne Hathaway, Taylor Schilling and Rose Byrne. "A wide choker needs a long, elegant neck. It will be easier for most people to wear a narrow simple choker."
Consider a choker with off-the-shoulder tops and 1970s-inspired spring dresses or layered with multiple short necklaces.
Recently spotted: Most notable on the Saint Laurent spring 2015 runway where models wore thin scarves tied around their necks in an effortless, rock 'n' roll manner. They're being worn as thicker bandannas and thin silky versions, often paired with chokers and reinforcing the neck and shoulder areas as the focal point of the body that's in fashion at the moment. Tory Burch and Chloé heavily included neck scarves in their fall 2016 runway collections.
Staying power: "This is a very easy way to add texture and personalized effect to an outfit," Lovell says. The neck scarf still has the '70s vibe that dominates in fashion now but can be subtle, depending on the style chosen, and practical, replacing a thicker scarf, particularly in L.A. weather.
How to best wear them: "It's more of an attitude than a trend," says Chutney Hunter, head buyer of designer ready-to-wear, shoes and handbags at Pacific Palisades-based Elyse Walker. "There are no rules: layer or tie them on with T-shirts, day dresses or with your favorite slip gown."
Recently spotted: Designer Phoebe Philo and her fellow fashion pack have a penchant for wearing crisp white Adidas Stan Smith sneakers. Along with Adidas, brands including Asics, Puma, Saint Laurent, Jil Sander, Vans and Nike have increased their white sneaker offerings.
Staying power: The fresh look of the Stan Smith has evolved into the footwear item for appearing like an in-the-know style-setter while remaining comfortable. It won't be surprising if this sneaker trend stays around longer than, say, the 5-inch platform stilettos, popular several years ago. "We are now at a point where literally any outfit can be modernized by a simple white sneaker," says Godfrey. "It is a classic, and after its fashion fandom moves on, you've still got a great pair of sneakers for weekend walks and workouts."
How to best wear them: "Mixing sportswear with more classic pieces is very now," Lovell says. That means sneakers are being paired with athleisure looks as well as jeans, skirts and long dresses.
Recently spotted: This top style returned last spring, and is still rolling along with the '70s feel of the season. Off-the-shoulder tops can refresh a casual or dressy look by exposing and celebrating the shoulder and popular neck areas. In fall 2016 collections, Balenciaga created off-the-shoulder necklines using puffer jackets and trench coats, and Dior did so with brocade tops and dresses.
Staying power: "We love this new shoulder zone. It's feminine and subtly sexy," Godfrey says. "Women of all ages have great shoulders, and it's been a while since this has been a focus." Hunter adds that visible necklines are being spotted on tops, tunics, beach cover-ups and dresses for every occasion.
How to best wear them: Wear these tops as an instant spring-summer update to jeans, midi skirts or shorts.
Recently spotted: Last spring, bodysuits were the look in a big way but arguably with the return of the high-rise waist.
Staying power: "There's a girl power aspect to this love-it-or-hate-it item," Godfrey says. As waists stay high and playing with proportions remains a popular styling trick, the sleek, second-skin bodysuit likely will stay an essential dressing tool.
How to best wear them: "It keeps you covered and gives you a great shape. It's sexy without giving it all away," says Hunter, adding that she considers the bodysuit a replacement for the once-popular crop top. "Dress it up with wide-legged slacks or down with a pair of high-waist jeans."
Adds Godfrey: "Bodysuits look newest layered under sheer or lacy night-out dresses as a practical base layer." Lovell says the one-piece can also be worn on the red carpet.
Recently spotted: For a couple of seasons, denim and pants, in general, have gotten shorter in length, making the once-awkward high-water look quite fashionable. Denim companies such as 7 for All Mankind, Mother, J Brand, Amo and Citizens of Humanity are betting heavy on the cropped style, with abbreviated lengths being their biggest offering of the season.
Staying power: For years, fashion insiders have been fans of high-waisted, cropped-leg vintage Levi's 505 jeans (find them on EBay or through online retailer Re/Done, which reworks vintage jeans into more modern fits), and the mass-market denim market has caught on to the style. This new proportion is slightly less intimidating than when the skinny silhouette bowed as the biggest it-thing in jeans. Says Godfrey: "Taking a crop approach to pants is an easier transition and offers a lot of options from adding longer or oversized tops or neat preppy knitwear and, of course, showcasing the new wave of footwear."
How to best wear it: "This trend seems much fresher in [the] mid-blue to pale color range," Lovell says. "Dark denim doesn't cut it in the same way." And go with a statement shoe with a cropped pant. "Whether it's a statement block heel, a nouveau men's classic or the essential mid-calf boot, they all look completely current with a cropped pant or jean," Godfrey says.
Recently spotted: On street-style figures and off-duty models swapping out their black leather moto jackets for bulky, borrowed-from-the-boys outerwear. Now, silky, more feminine versions like those from Gucci are being worn as the updated take on toughness.
Staying power: "The bomber jacket is the sneaker of the apparel world," Godfrey says. "Throw it on over anything and look instantly and effortlessly cool. It's comfy, youthful, practical, easy to dress down or dress up or borrow from the boyfriend."
How to best wear them: Use a bomber to add a pop of color, a bold print or a military look with a slight twist, Hunter says.
Recently spotted:An evolution on the mule, which was popular last year, the luxe slipper has been made more of an it item by fashion's current fixation on Gucci's playful new accessories such as the fur-lined slippers from last fall and now a grouping of bright colors and whimsical prints on slipper slides.
Staying power:These slippers keep getting prettier and more inventive. "From beautiful brocades and whimsy by Bionda Castana and tailored and sophisticated Pierre Hardy slip-ons, these are around to stay," says Hunter, adding that the Elyse Walker boutique has been selling out of the style.
How to best wear them:With cropped jeans and long dresses or a work suit because the lines of these slippers are as elegant as a towering stiletto.