8 Challenging Spring Trends Worth Trying

Remember putting on a pair of skinny jeans after a decade of bootleg? Or how about colorblocking for the first time? Though these trends might seem like no-brainers now, it took a bit of guts back then to try ’em— and these eight spring ’13 trends will require you to muster that same chutzpah once again

Though you may have sworn you would never wear certain items, we’re asking you to lay down your prejudices for this slideshow and come at it with an open mind. With the right styling, the appropriate pieces, and an infectious confidence, you could be the first among your friends to wear a detachable peplum, a cropped palazzo, or — yes, gulp — even a Birkenstock-style sandal. Scroll through, if you dare!


Cropped Palazzo Pants — You’ve mastered the palazzo pant by now, and now it’s time to take it to the next level. Whether in a soft, flowing fabric or a more stiff texture, cropped palazzo pants are an avant-garde ’90s throwback that look so chic with lace-up oxfords. Keep the volume exaggerated with a billowing, oversized top as well. 

Uniqlo Skirt Pants, $29.90, available at Uniqlo.


Tunics Over Pants — It was rare to see a show this fall Fashion Week that didn’t show a dress-over-pants look. Get ahead of the curve by pairing a short tunic with a cropped pant in a similar color. Consider it a modern-day salwar kameez! 

Photo: Courtesy of Madewell.


Short-Sleeved Sweatshirts — Practicality aside, the shape could seem as challenging as figuring out a climate where you’d need something short but warm. However, these sweatshirts are lightweight and structured, which means they won’t make you sweat but will keep things cool-looking. Wear them with skinny jeans or a flippy skirt, but don’t tuck it in! You’ll want clean, smooth, shell-like lines, and bunching the fabric will only make the shirt look sloppy. 

Zara Black Sweatshirt, $79.90, available at Zara.


Wide Stripes — You might feel like a referee or the Hamburglar at first, but wide stripes can be devastatingly cool. Wear them in thick fabrics and simply cut shapes and pair them with solid-colored staples, like in this Topshop example. If you can somehow swing a flash of skin (in the form of a high slight, a low neck, or a cropped hemline), do it! 

Photo: Courtesy of Topshop.


Birkenstock-Style Sandals — We started sniffing out this trend at the turn of 2013, upon hearing that multiple shops and department stores were seeking out styles similar the under-loved German sandal. And then when two of our senior editors placed an order for gloss-white ‘stocks…well, let’s just say that if we don’t see them clomping around this summer, we’ll eat our hats. Wear them with structured, fashion-forward pieces so you’re more Comme des Garçons than Coldwater Creek. 

Photo: Courtesy of Giambattista Valli


The Half-Tuck — The public might experience a bit of a learning curve (“Hey — your shirt’s not tucked in all the way”), but they’ll come around soon enough. A half-tucked shirt skews your look a little asymmetrically, which is a good thing. Even bookworms need a bit of unpredictability now and then! 

Photo: Courtesy of J. Crew.


A Detachable Peplum — A wide belt with built-in wings can give you all the benefits of a peplum, but with more of the versatility. Wear them like you would any other belt, but make sure you’re keeping the rest of your accessorizing to a minimum. 

Resort Batik Pants, $285, available at Pixie Market.


The Fashion Anorak — Mullet hemlines might not always be our cup of tea, but we’re into it in the case of these fashion-forward anoraks. This Lacoste version is so chic, we’d wear this thing on dates as well as the gym. 

Photo: Courtesy of Lacoste

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