New Options as the Days (and some of the skirts) get longer

By Karen R. Smith


I’ve seen lots of terrific clothing in the Spring shows and thought this column would be a great place to tell you what you can find right in your own neighborhood (or at your own computer). Some of these are already available; others are being phased in as the weather warms up.


Thanks to a great website, you don’t have to live near a Uniqlo store to take advantage of this retailer’s fabulous Spring clothes. Right now, you can celebrate the Year of the Monkey (Chinese New Year) with $18 off any purchase of $108 or more by using the code LUCKY18, but even without that propitious discount, Uniqlo offers great style at terrific prices.

This Spring, check out the new collection from Carine Roitfeld, the former editor of French Vogue. Every designer is showing silk slip dresses for the warmer weather; Roitfeld has done them for Uniqlo at less than $100 and the cut is fabulous! Check out her cotton pencil skirts ­­ perfect for Spring and straight through Summer, too. Short sleeve cotton jackets are ideal for our air­conditioned offices and theaters, and there are gorgeous silk blouses to add to the look. These are beautifully cut clothes for real women, and if you purchase enough pieces, the combinations will get you through the warm weather in style.

As if that’s not enough, on March 4th Uniqlo will offer LeMaire’s Spring collection, which is filled with classic pieces that will update your wardrobe with style.


I love heading into H&M because I know I will find something completely on­trend for very little money. That’s an irresistible combination for me, and this retailer doesn’t disappoint. No word yet on who the chain will collaborate with this year...but their previous designer collections have been instant and complete sellouts, so keep your eyes and ears peeled and shop early!

For the warm weather, H&M has lots and lots of versions of this year’s new bohemian vibe. Tie dyes and bold graphics are combined with cotton peasant tops and drawstring shorts. Cotton pants here look just as terrific rolled up, and there are Berber­type stripes on an assortment of go­with­everything pieces.

Gwynnie Bee

Seventy five percent (75%!) of American women wear size 10­32. Yet most of these sizes are ignored in fashion magazines and in the malls. But this is a dynamic market filled with women who want to look terrific, and that’s what online retailer Gwynnie Bee is all about.

Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental subscription service. Which means that for a monthly fee (starting at $49) you can have new clothes ALL THE TIME.

There’s no fine print ­­ and shipping and exchanges are always free. How it works is remarkable: you choose fabulous clothes and they are delivered right to your door. Try them on. Wear them. Love them, or don’t love them. Then return them, or purchase them for less than retail.

Seriously? Why are you not already a member??? and right now, get a 30­day membership for free.

J. Crew

I could go on and on about the Spring stuff at this retailer...but better to just send you to their website and tell you to check out their February Spring Look Book. Everything is fresh, classic and just about perfect. The gingham shirt is timeless. The pink Campbell blazer looks amazing over a white tee shirt ­­ and is going to be fantastic over just about everything else.
The denim skirt will become your summer uniform. In short, whatever your wardrobe is missing, they have it at J. Crew.

Forever 21

Want fashion­forward on the cheap? Head to Forever 21 and get the designer looks for Spring for a whole lot less. I absolutely love their take on the floral crocheted skirts I saw at several shows... for under $25, and they did a strapless­dress version of the same concept for about ten dollars more than that! Cold­shoulder tops, striped and floral sheer kimonos, and every type of shorts and pants imaginable are all here, and at considerably less than anywhere else. We have a couple of Forever 21 retail stores in Tucson, but for the best selection, head to their website. They do sell­out quickly, but they offer an “I still want it” feature to put your name on a waitlist for out­of­stock items.

Dress up your Shoes

Several fashion watcher picked up on an Instagram early this month of Stuart Weitzman Cordon pumps decorated with vintage brooches. Why not copy that idea on the shoes you already own? Dig some terrific pins out of your jewelry box and get busy. Add them to a pair of sneakers...or to the ankle­ties on your espadrilles. Whatever the shoe, it’s going to look wonderful with a bit of jewelry added ­­ and a bit of sparkle is just the thing to make you feel like Spring incarnate!

About the Author:
Karen R. Smith is an award-winning journalist and publicist. Her book, "Stylishly Sexy" is available online and she takes private style clients throughout Arizona and across the country. Visit her at