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Bright bottoms

It is no secret that brightly colored jeans -- as well as other popular pant styles -- have become a trendy alternative to blue, black and tan.

"We see colored bottoms as easy to wear, believe it or not," says Tana Ward, American Eagle's chief merchandising officer, to the Associated Press.

Is the look new for you? Start simple with this approach: Reverse whatever outfit you would have worn before.

Instead of jeans and a bold pink or red top, put the color on the bottom and pair it with a denim chambray shirt -- maybe even a Western style -- or go for a little femininity with a white lace tank top peeking out the top of a crisp white or blue button-down, Ward tells the AP.

The season's loose-weave sweaters in natural, neutral colors are other easy options.

But who knows? Before long you may be going bright on bright.

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Pops of pattern

Bold prints are another big trend for the season. But if going head-to-toe isn't your look, you can still update pieces in your wardrobe with a patterned top.

You'll find geometrics, dots, stripes and plenty of florals in an array of styles that will easily blend in with solids you already own. With or without sleeves, some can be layered; others will stand on their own.

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And finally

"For me, wearing the right thing is like meditating; a way of finding calm amid the chaos."

Designer Donna Karan, in the new book "Marie Claire Outfit 911: Fabulous Fixes for Every Fashion Emergency" (Hearst Books, $24.95), by contributing editor Joyce Corrigan.