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CURRENT

Top trends

What is a new spring fashion season without a Top 10 list? Here are the style trends that Talbots spokeswoman Betsy Thompson highlights:

Errand jacket: A simple, slightly fitted casual jacket that elevates jeans to a new level and works with a '40s-inspired circle skirt or Bermuda shorts.

Stepped-up denim: Dressed up or down, denim comes in new shapes and colors.

The white tank: A white tank answers an infinite array of wear-with questions. It goes with virtually everything and offers the perfect counterbalance to color and pattern.

V-necklines: They are elongating, flattering and a clean backdrop to highlight distinctive stone and bead jewelry.

Bright spots: Dots, circles and bubbles have enduring appeal.

Butterflies: Look for butterfly motifs on shoes, scarves, bags and skirts.

Flowers: Pretty flowers and floral patterns are springing up everywhere.

Natural inclinations. Rich wood tones and turquoise add interest to necklaces, earrings, belt buckles and handbag handles.

Jewelry with irregular-shaped stones and beads: Look for it in land- or sea-inspired hues.

Rear view: Dresses and tops that reveal an unexpected glimpse of the back have an understated, feminine allure.

Ocean spray

Greens and blues are the hot colors for spring -- especially cool, crisp shades like sea foam and aqua.

"They remind us -- and it's all about association -- (of) a clean, clear body of water, some place that would be very refreshing and soothing. We all know that this is what we all need right now," color expert Leatrice Eiseman tells Knight Ridder Newspapers.

The hues also recall other aspects of nature, such as sky, grass and stones.

"A lot of the designers were talking about escape, a place to get away to," says Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute. "Some place like Hawaii or some place that we can stop the world and get away from the craziness."

One tip for wearing these shades: Mix any of the shades with white, navy blue or any maritime colors, and you won't miss.

Fashion tip

Here is a hint from Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine from their book "What You Wear Can Change Your Life" (Riverhead Books, $22): "When you are wearing one color head to toe, don't break it up with a different colored belt."

And finally . . .

"Preppie now is all about the tighter fit and the mad, unexpected color combos."
Kim Johnson Gross, author of "Chic Simple" books, on the Ladies Home Journal Web site, lhj.com.