Models swapped heels for sneakers on this season's runways, embracing fabrics and cuts with athletic inspirations. "Sportswear is such a strong trend because it's practical — it's how people live," says Kim Crow, owner of Evie Lou in Tremont. "Most of us in Northeast Ohio aren't sashaying down the street in our towering platform shoes and chiffon minidresses. We want clothes that are durable, transitional and can be worn multiple ways." Exercise this trend by starting with a neutral piece, such as this crinkled tunic by Comfy USA ($118), then build a look with bold accessories. "The high-tech crushed fabric is water-resistant and breathable, but wouldn't look inappropriate in the creative workplace or at an event," Crow says.
Designs that mix signature athletic fabrics — think mesh and poly-spandex blends — with feminine cuts make sportswear sensuous. This Lucca Couture dress ($80) features sheer panels and a zippered front on a skater-style cut. "The shape is very flattering," says Cori Imbrigiotta, co-owner of Haven Style House in Chagrin Falls. "The volume on the bottom gives you some movement."
Moto jackets are always in. Rev up this fashion necessity from fall to spring by trading all-leather styles for lightweight looks, such as this lycra-denim Blank NYC Jacket ($98) available at Knuth's. Its cowl-neck feminizes traditionally tough lines.
Men who want to look their best know to head to J3 Clothing Co. in Moreland Hills. Co-owner J.B. Dunn advises how to stay on top of your style game this season.
Q. How can I protect leather shoes from wet weather?
A. Waxing and shining your shoes makes them impervious to the weather. And buy a shoe with a rubber sole. If you're in love with a pair that has a leather sole, take it to a cobbler and ask them to replace it with a rubber one.
Q. What's trendy for spring?
A. More casual pants. For example, a five-pocket dress pant combines the best of what a jean is and the best of what a dress pant is. It fits right into the workplace, yet looks great going out for the evening.
Q. What is the one must-have item for spring?
A. We have a new line called Eidos. I would absolutely say it's one of these jackets.
Q. Are black jeans back in style?
A. Yes, but they must be lightweight. [Men's jeans are] taking a nod from what women have always known, which is a little bit of stretch goes a long way.