Still cold? Me too. All that layering starting to make you feel like a mummy? Uh-huh. Tired of the winter wardrobe? I'm right there with you.
The weather forecast still calls for snow, and there's no guarantee that the temperature won't dip to Smartwool-inside-Uggs lows. But you can officially start to heat up your fashion senses with spring trends. Many local boutiques report that shoppers should start to see spring styles trickling in by the end of the month.
To properly prepare for the new season, I asked a few local boutique mavens, who spent time at trade shows last fall, to offer insight into the prominent looks we should see showing up in their stores.
What's in for spring? The answer is easy: Everything.
"There are several (trends), which makes it nice," said Her Tern boutique's Brett Ricker. "Something for everyone, it seems!"
Bright colors and bold patterns are typical this time of year, but each spring offers its own take. For '08 the patterns are artsy and abstract, prints are ethnic and the colors are all over the rainbow.
"Poppy red, lemon yellow and cobalt blue were a few of the strong colors we noticed repeated throughout several lines," Ricker said. "In shoes, colored patent was pretty big."
For Lorena Roberts, owner of Lulu E. Bebe boutique, one of the most popular patterns she'll be bringing into the store is ombre. It's a dip-dye effect on fabric that graduates color from light to dark -- a bit reminiscent of tie-dye but more sophisticated. The look is a bit bohemian, so it lends itself to billowy fabrics.
Then there are accents: "Rhinestones and beading continue to be really hot," Roberts said. "And embroidery. It's kind of a mix-match, really."
Spring usually calls for loose-fitting clothes, Roberts was careful to point out that the styles you'll see this spring will take a more feminine shape, but you'll see it happen with free-flowing fabrics.
"We're really seeking different silhouettes," Roberts said. "We're seeking more shape to the body. It's not quite a fitted look, but it's moving in that direction."
The A-line will be back in the spotlight. And this is good news for ladies, like me, who are tired of trying to pull off a tunic top.
"It's really nice," she said. "It's fitting a lot more body types."
Both Roberts and Ricker were quick to mention that some looks will definitely go retro.
"Many of the clothes and shoes we ordered have a pretty big retro feel to them," Ricker said. "High-waist, wide-leg pants, chunky wooden shoes and floral details are all over the place."
Ricker also reminded me that the nautical theme will be making a huge splash -- and can be super retro too. (Been to the Gap lately?) Think high-waisted sailor pants paired with those chunky wooden heels.
"This also ties in with bold colors -- there are lots of primary-colored striped pieces," Ricker said. (Again, been to the Gap lately?)
Another trend that should be on your radar: The flat boot-skinny jean combination will be hard to beat come summer. Sorry ladies, those skinny jeans aren't expiring anytime soon.