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Spring's "it" style statements

Since it's currently 70 degrees and sunshine-heaven here in the Triangle, I think it's safe to say that it's officially spring time in North Carolina.  But we can't dive into Spring without knowing the season's top looks. 

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Spring is all about effortless style - it's fun, flirty, feminine and romantic.  To be chic this season, look for strong shapes and compelling prints; pair pieces together that you never thought would mix; revamp classics like passed down vintage jewelry or old 70's-style apparel.  It's all about uncovering closet treasures and dazzling them with a more clever, sophisticated and most importantly, modern feel.  This should be fabulous news for fashionistas around the globe - chic spring style will come from discovering what you already have and using your imagination, not paying the big bucks for brand-new, designer attire.

To help categorize the top style statements for Spring 2010, I called upon the fashion renowned, Arlene Goldstein, BELK's very own vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction based in Charlotte, N.C..  When we met last, Arlene talked of her many visits to fashion capitals of the world, including New York, Paris, London and Milan, to experience the emerging trends and leading styles first-hand.  It's her job to bring these trends back and create a unique and special brand of style for Belk that mirrors top fashion of the time period.  So now, we together, are bringing YOU these styles.

To make it easy, Arlene has created four key styles.  Stick to one or the other and you'll be chic all spring long.

Nouveau Coco
Count on wear-forever classics. Flirty dressmaker touches like ruffles (think Demi Moore's Oscar dress), bows and draping send a flawlessy feminine message.  Decorate these lady-like silhouettes with lace, banding, dots and grid-inspired patterns.  Accessorize with interesting platforms, chain bags and new pearl options.  Mixing and matching will create the modern feel you want.
*But as I always say, don't over do it.  In this case, less is more.  Keep ONE bold statement piece and the rest super simple.

In the Garden
"Rustic or elegant, whimsical or sensible, naive or sophisticated, this style statement is clearly the season's most important message," says Arline.  But why?  If you haven't noticed, flowers and garden-inspired elements are everywhere.  Flaunt frocks that feature beautiful floral bouquets and hues of baby blues, all shades of coral and of course the season's most popular color, pink.  Explore a variety of textiles, including poplins, sheers, swiss dots, chambrays and bleached denim.  Don't forget accessories with floral touches - say yes to a handbag, shoe or necklace with a flower motif that's front and center.  Arline notes that this look is most Inspired by both flower markets and the gardener's daughter, which are always fresh, fun and flirty!

Walk the Line
This style is founded on "sculptural style" and "dramatic simplicity."  Using a mix of bold shoulders, strong, geometric shapes and exposed metalware, your look will most definitely pop with attitude.  Expect different textures, shine and off-the-wall pattern, with eclectic accessories like chains, statement necklaces, cuffs, unique shaped handbags, and architectural belts and shoes.  This look is hip and edgy - give it your own touch and run with it.

Exotica
Full of exotic textiles, safari details and tribal-inspired embellishments, this ethnic style is sure to grab attention.  Go for worldly prints like tie dye, fresh plaids and animal patterns.  The look is natural made up of neutrals and spice tones mixed in with bright earthy hues.  Layering and wrapping characterize this style perfectly.  Add shoes and accessories that feature natural elements like fringe, wood, snake and semi-precious stones and your look will become instantly captivating.

Check out these chic styles below to help spur your imagination. Remember, re-discover what you already have, look at each piece in a different light and be creative.  Mix and match, and most of all, have fun.  That's what this season is all about.

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