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Eight things WNY women need for a spring/summer wardobe

When it comes to spring fashion, there are many trends to check out. Splashy floral prints. Cute neckerchief scarves. Oodles of shoulder-baring dresses and tops.

But if you’re on a mission to update your warm-weather wardrobe, we have a couple questions: Do you have a reliable (but stylish) raincoat? How about a quality pair of shades to protect your eyes?

Every woman in Western New York should own these items – and a few more. Read on for our list of eight picks.

1. Rain gear. If the last few weeks of wet weather didn’t serve as a reminder, there comes a time to pack away the down coat and bring out the rain gear. That means a raincoat. Or possibly two. That’s because the timeless trench you wear to work may not be the best choice to wear while watching your daughter’s lacrosse game.

Hoods are handy, especially if you rarely carry an umbrella. Packable raincoats are a good option for traveling. Furthermore, with today’s selection of rain boots, there is no reason to risk ruining your suede pumps or summer sandals in a downpour.

2. Go-anywhere dress. Seasoned Western New Yorkers know all about the region’s fickle weather. Snow one day. Spring the next.

Soon, warm weather will be here to stay – and the bridal showers, Mother’s Day festivities and graduation parties will pop up, too.

Every woman needs a versatile dress. It can be long or short, solid colored or patterned, sleeveless or sleeved.

A style that allows you to layer a lightweight jacket, cardigan or shawl over it is a smart choice.

Local image consultant Marybeth Hallmark agreed: “Have one skirt or dress for the summer-fun of it. Wear it on a girls’-day out, outdoor festivals, café dining.”

Mixit-brand scarf is from J.C. Penney.

3. A summer scarf. This is a great way to wear color without committing to head-to-toe hot pink, turquoise or yellow. “A bright, lightweight gauzy scarf will brighten up any outfit,” said Stephanie Robb, owner of Turnstyle Designs on Ashland Avenue.

4. In-season handbag. You’ve been hauling around that black bag for months now. It’s time to lighten up. Your spring/summer handbag will be the finishing touch to your warm-weather outfits.

There are neutrals, of course, but also pastels and brights. As an accent, a tote, shoulder bag or clutch will add a shot of color to a simple dress or outfit. We’re seeing two-tone bags as well. Flower embellishments also sing spring.

And, come June, why not add a straw bag to your collection? Summer is short around here. Celebrate it.

5. Sunglasses. “This is a must-have all-year round: Optic quality UV protection sunglasses. Why promote squint wrinkles?,” Hallmark said. To that, we also add one of our favorite summer must-haves : a sun hat.

6. Summer denim. It can be a lightweight shirt or jacket. A dress or tunic in breezy indigo-colored Tencel fabric. Or, as Hallmark suggested, embroidered denim in any length jeans or shorts.

Denim not for you? Robb suggested lightweight trousers in a stretch twill.

She described one popular version: “It’s a pull-on pant so it’s more like a trouser not a legging. They are a cropped length with a little slit on the side so they look cute with a wedge sandal. No buttons. No zippers. So if you have a tunic on top there isn’t any bulkiness.”

7. White bottoms. What’s a summer wardrobe without white pants (or skirt)?

“Ditch the dark for our spring and summer months. Summer-colored tops look fresh and more vibrant over white bottoms,” Hallmark said.

For less see-through, invest in a quality fabric – whether it’s denim or another fabric. And choose a style that suits you: regular length, ankle, crop, capri or shorts, she added.

8. A new top: Robb and Hallmark both suggested this for our list. “It always lifts your spirits,” Robb said.

“Explore all the new sleeve options – bell or ruffled sleeves, cold shoulder, off-shoulder, cut-outs – and add one to update your tops collection,” Hallmark added.

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