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After a long and tough winter, the shining sun and bloomingflowers are making the world look beautiful all over again. And forfashion fans, the coming warm season offers the chance to brightenup the world a bit, too. Turning your wardrobe from warm andsnuggly to fresh and breezy is guaranteed to make you excited aboutstyling yourself throughout the summer.

One of the surest signs of seasonal change – aside from thesunny days and rising temperatures – is the debut of new styles instorefront windows. Fashion merchandising experts get a jump on things to put us inthe right frame of mind – boots are gone, but this season’s chunkyplatform sandals and espadrilles are showing up everywhere.

What’s in stores can be an inspiration for revamping existingwardrobes, as well as a resource for adding new pieces. As you makethe seasonal transition in your closet, focus on these trends thatare getting attention in fashion schools and on the runway:

* Color is king: Ditch the all-black outfits and get excitedabout color. But the key to current color trends is blocking: gofor wide swaths of no-holds-barred color. Pair an emerald greenshirt with a cobalt skirt or a purple silk tank with cropped coraltrousers. Another hot take on color is combining the loudest neoncolors with neutrals; shocking pink or glowing citron getsophisticated when paired with beige or cream.

* Go long: Mini skirts will never want for fans, but thefashion-forward crowd is putting the spotlight on long-form dressesand skirts. Maxi tank dresses in relaxed jersey are a girl’s secretsummer weapon: they look polished and modern but they’re incrediblycomfortable and cool enough to wear even on the hottest days. Ifyou want a more buildable look, find a long skirt and try pairingit with everything from button-down shirts to casual tees.

* Pleats and thank you: If you want to add a little visualinterest to your outfit without prints or baubles, pleats are theway to go this season. Calf-grazing skirts with knife pleats areone of the hottest trends of the moment, and an easy summer staplethat you’ll reach for again and again. Pleats are also showing upin trouser styles, giving them added dimension without bulk.

* Show your stripes: Stripes, from the wide to the narrow to themicro, are showing up on just about anything you can wear thisseason. You’ll find plenty of ways to make the classic look yourown, whether you go for the simplicity of a traditionalnavy-striped boatneck top or a bold mini dress that melds thestripes craze with the color-blocking trend.

Summer dressing is all about fun – keep that in mind as youperuse the items you own and start picking out pairings to wear toyour next pool party, barbecue or concert festival. Once you’vegone through your closet, hit the shops to stock up on the itemsyou need to create perfect warm-weather looks.

Information in this article was provided by Collins College in Arizona.Contact Collins College today if you’re interested in pursuing yourinterest in fashion. (Collins College cannot guarantee employmentor salary.)