SPRING is finally here... so it’s time to refresh your wardrobe and dump those worn-out woollies to make space for the pick of the new season.
We’ve asked some of the experts at St Helens Church Square to pick some of the key pieces they see as summing up this year’s must-haves for spring through to summer.
Warmer weather means you’re more likely to head to outdoor events for a breath of fresh air, rather than staying inside, so it’s good to opt for an outfit with a few layers you can shed when the sun shines.
That’s the case if you are heading to Haydock for the races, or you’ve been invited to a spring wedding, advises Lisa Jordan, store manager at Roman.
The fashion retailer has just opened a new store at Church Square.
Lisa says: “Customers are going for key pieces for races, weddings and christenings, or early summer cruises, that will last several seasons. Florals are very popular, with lime and turquoise some of the stand-out colours.
“But not everybody has the complexion to handle those, so floaty blouses over cropped dark leggings, sometimes with a smart cut jacket, is an easy look that can work for many.
“If you dare, wear the top sheer over a black, contrasting or floral bra, or wear a bright camisole underneath that helps bring the whole outfit together. Loose blouses over longer leggings help to define your shape and keep admiring eyes on your best features.
“Go casual with flat pumps – far more practical when walking around a race-track or a wedding marquee – and a matching big bag.
“If you’re in a box at the races, or in the church for the ceremony, dress it up so you’re smart and snazzy with sling-backs or shiny patent heels, plus a clutch and a hat or hairpiece, along with a well-cut jacket in a complementing colour.
“In addition, we are finding that black and white or ivory mixes are very popular, especially as you can ring the changes through the seasons by adding accessories of different colours, whether it’s a tailored jacket or bright bolero.
“Our customers – no matter whether they are 20, 30 or 60 – are canny and want to know they’re making an investment that will last more than one year.
“The key point, as always, is to keep it simple and make sure you feel comfortable.”
Top Shop customers are stocking up for festivals, weekends and outfits they can wear to the office and at a club later, said manager Amanda Griffin.
“For when it starts to really hot up, there are silk slip dresses suspended from spaghetti straps, in deep Mediterranean blues. For chillier days, we’ve got suede, which looks expensive but is surprising affordable – and durable.
“Other must-haves are full skirts with a drawstring waist and tops with deflated peplums. The denim offering has patchwork hoodies and outsize jackets, and low-slung raw denim jeans with exaggerated cuffs.
“The Joni range is perfect for the festival season, or just getting away at the weekend – comfortable and casual and extremely wearable.
“There’s also a retro feel going on – not the floral housewife mixes of last year, but more a throw-back to the pop art of the 60s, with big, block bright poster paint colours.
Combined with today’s stretch fabrics, they are very versatile – best of all, they don’t crumple, so you can pack light and save some luggage charges if you’re heading away.”
HANNAH Peters, winner of last year’s Miss St Helens Star, is modelling the spring choices of Amanda at Top Shop and Lisa at Roman.
The 21-year-old visual stylist from Whiston is pictured at the Function Room, on North Road, where she picked up her title last year.
Hannah, who loves shopping with her sister Alex and her mum Gail, a former BA air hostess, says her style is usually simple but smart.
“Usually you’ll never see me in leggings; I love a smart dress and jackets, but the floral top over leggings from Roman was great. I could see myself wearing that outfit,” added Hannah.