A&E’s guide to spring style in 2018

It may still be snowing, but if you’re anything like us, you’ve been planning your picnic weather outfits for a month or more.

Haley Bennett

In anticipation of a more temperate climate, A&E sought out some fashion authorities on upcoming spring styles. 

David Loranger, a professor in the retail merchandising program who’s gone from working in the industry (read: Bergdorf Goodman) to teaching in apparel departments, and his student Ian Harris gave us a run-down of what’ll be hot once the weather warms up.

And they know because they just spent spring break in New York City checking out the latest designer collections. 

“The overall trend was a sense of playfulness,” Loranger said, explaining that in-styles range from bright colors to bedazzled bananas sewn onto jackets. “And laser-cut type stuff going on in leather.”

“There was a really strong monochromatic thing going on … especially ivory and khaki, which you can love or hate,” Loranger said.

Harris, meanwhile, was particularly fond of Calvin Klein’s latest line, headed by fashion icon Raf Simons.

“Calvin Klein wasn’t on my radar until Raf stepped in and gave it new life,” Harris said. “Raf brings a breath of fresh air to the brand.” Like cotton underwear with thick waistbands.

This year, we’re looking at some more vibrant, outgoing textures and patterns: “hand painted leather [and a] neo-city cowboy vibe in the denim work,” Harris said. “Raf has changed it up.”

“The Americana look is big right now,” Loranger said.

Harris has some suggestions about how to incorporate the latest looks into your own wardrobe.

“The color of the year is ultraviolet—right now, purple is very popular. A lot of collections had lilac, light purples, so if you aren’t going to go for a very bold color, those shades would keep you on trend.”

Curious about luxury clothing but don’t have the budget for Gucci’s latest line? Try looking closer to home.

Kathryn Sieve, who graduated from the apparel design program at the University in 2011, now runs Winsome, a small shop in Southeast Minneapolis. The shop designs and produces its own clothing, focusing on sustainability and ethics.

It’s no H&M. Individual ticket prices for the items range from $90–$450, depending on the type of garment.

But Sieve brings up a good point: cost per wear. That is, the more you wear an item, the more likely it’s worth what you paid for it. 

“I’d challenge people to look at their wardrobe. Think about what you wear all the time, and consider dollar per wear. If you spend $100 on one of our garments and wear it 10 times, that’s $10 per wear. If you buy something off the H&M sale rack that’s $10, and you wear it once, that’s still $10 per wear.”

Their S/S line for 2018 is full of soft burnt oranges, light blues, sandy browns and silky blacks.

“We’re dealing with a lot of these dusty desert colors this spring, which I love,” Sieve said.

Winsome tends to deal in simple, androgynous cuts that can be adjusted to the body and taste of the wearer.

What’s Sieve’s advice for buying quality clothing, and building a wardrobe that suits your style?

“If you don’t feel good in [a piece of clothing] right away, and it isn’t an immediate ‘yes,’ you’re probably not going to love it when you bring it home and try to wear it again.” Save the money you’d spend on cheap clothing, she suggests, and save up periodically for something more special.

Sieve makes another helpful suggestion: “Have a clothes shopping list the way you have a grocery list.” Put items you find yourself wishing for on your list so that you can shop intentionally.